Saturday, 7 March 2009

A momentous event and hideous boleos on the dance floor

I’ve been having a tango break for the last 10 days due to illness (the nightmare obviously marked the onset of a miserable cold) and a visit from my non tango friend and her baby daughter. I went back to my usual class on Wed and was a bit apprehensive beforehand, convinced that I’d find that I had lost all memories of having ever done a class but fortunately, after a few exercises I was back into the swing of it. Fired up again (maybe it was good taking a break?) I went to more classes on Thursday and Friday, all of which were quite useful. I was therefore quite keen to go out to a milonga on Saturday but was a bit scared I would OD again. In the end, I persuaded myself and had a wonderful evening culminating in a tanda with ‘The Brilliant Leader’ who turned up for the last hour.

Now a bit of background to this momentous event; as of January when I started my new classes, I’ve only danced with ‘The Brilliant Leader’ once, at my first ever lesson. Although it wasn’t disasterous then, I wouldn’t exactly expect it to into the history books as an example of how to tango. I got lost, stepped on his toe and missed several ‘obvious’ marks. So, since then although I would have been pleased if he had asked me I was secretly relieved he hadn’t as I felt I would still find it too intimidating and scary. Anyway, we danced and by no means was it brilliant but at the end he said I had definitely improved since last time, and with dedication he thought I could make myself very good! Just a simple compliment and yet I felt so happy that he had noticed that I practically floated through the next few tandas!

My only complaint from Saturday (and this is more to do with me than my respective partners I guess) – but why, oh why does EVERYONE want to lead me into either a boleo or a volcada every other minute??!! As someone who has never learnt either, I always try to let my partner know in advance that I am not comfortable with either of these moves, nor do I want to start practicing them in the middle of the dance floor at a milonga! Please, please help me at the practica but not out there where I am liable to kick some poor dancer’s vulnerable ankles! I know that if I was a brilliant follower and had a brilliant leader, then we could dance and naturally ‘boleo’ ourselves happily to the moon and back but neither of those two factors is likely to happen soon! However, as it seems to be that these moves are pretty much every man’s ultimate party piece, I’ve decided to look out for a workshop in one of these to try and at least get the principles of what I am supposed to be doing.


  1. Hi Golondrina!

    Yes, it seems like once men learn how to lead a volcada it's all they want to do (same with boleos). Since I HATE (well, maybe hate is too strong) volcadas I am very careful of who I actually do them with since we can really hurt our backs if they aren't lead correctly. If you feel a lead taking you to a volcada and you don't want to perform it take the step instead. If you do trust your lead but you're not sure if he's supporting you in a manner that will protect your back "toot" out your backside. It doesn't look as beautiful but your back will thank you later.

    If you want to see a few well-executed volcadas look for Homer & Christina Ladas videos on You Tube. I think the channel name is TangoStudent. They give a mini lesson and then demonstrate the technique.


  2. Oh my God! I love Homer and Cristina now.:-) Their volcadas are so graceful and she looks like she is skating! Definitely something to aspire to. Thanks for the tip!