1b. Stepping in Place
Stepping in place is a useful practice in Argentine tango. It allows the dancers to respond to the music in a simple but often dramatic way. It also allows a dance couple to mark time with the music while waiting for floor space to clear ahead of them.
There is no recommended number of times to step in place. Above, the dancers are stepping in place two times. Practice stepping in place various numbers of times and in various combinations with steps forward.
You may be thinking "Ugh!! Stepping in place! This is starting dreadfully slowly". Trust us. Read the text and be open to the subtlety. Good technique in Argentine tango is achieved by an accumulation of subtlety.
It is surprising but stepping in place can easily be led. As the leader shifts his weight from foot to foot, his chest naturally shifts (slightly) from side to side as well. If the partners maintain a good connection -- keeping their chests forward and creating some compression where their arms make contact with their partner's body -- the follower will feel the leader's weight shifting and will respond by shifting her weight in kind. At the beginning, most leaders do not realize how clearly small movements communicate to followers and they have a tendency to make larger than necessary movements.
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