Many years ago now, when I went to my first milonga (tango dance) the host of the milonga, explained to we newbies the etiquette and 'rules' of the dance floor. We had introduced ourselves as new students from the country, and were delighted to learn all the new information.
We were shown how dancers were meant to enter and leave the dance floor and why. We were invited to do our form of beginner tango, in the centre of the group so as not to impede the flow. The group was beautiful to watch as it moved, the dancers flowing in a circular pattern.
However of late, I've become aware of many conversations centered around increasingly poor floorcraft on the Tango dance floor.
I wonder what happened to that lovely early Tango scene with the beautifully flowing line of dance? It has been replaced with a dishevelled floor craft and etiquette. Has it something to do with our shortening attention spans? Over the last few weeks, I've been sliced with high heels, trodden on by leaders walking backwards, and knocked sideways by dancers barging onto the floor without looking. If dancers walked onto a busy road, the same way they walk onto a dance floor, many of them would either be dead or critically injured and in hospital by now.
If you have experienced any of the above, you will know that it is not pleasant, and can turn an otherwise lovely evening into one you want to leave. I've even seen people nearly in a fight!
How do we turn this trend around? A few ideas - please share yours.
It's exciting to hear a piece of music that stirs the spirit, that has you on your feet and wanting to dance. However we all need to take care of each other on the dance floor, so we really enjoy the beauty that is Tango. I believe that is where mindfulness comes in.
What is Mindfulness? I'll let Diana Winston explain...
How can we all improve our mindfulness for Argentine Tango?
Dotted through this post and below you'll find some excellent videos on floor craft by Murat and Michelle Erdemsel.
We've all had bumps on the dance floor, accidents happen, lets do our utmost to reduce these and take care of one another. What are your thoughts on how we can bring mindfulness to the dance floor?