Last week I committed one of the worst Follower offences: I ‘back led’ pretty much an entire tanda!
We had just finished a class and the practica was fully up and running. I was chatting to a sweet, relatively inexperienced dancer who while lovely socially, is quite a timid leader. A vals tanda started and we both looked at each other and said ‘I love this one!’ and got up to dance.
Now here is the big problem: I LOVE this particular vals and must have played that version hundreds of times at home. I knew precisely where the pauses were, the up-breaths, the swoops and I knew in my mind exactly how I wanted to dance it.
So subtly, I started to lead it. I sped up my ochos, so I could fit in an extra one. I over-pivoted so I was led into a side step — the list goes on, frighteningly long! At the end of the song, my partner looked quite dazzled. ‘That was “good”,’ he said in surprise, ‘I really liked that. Another?’ I nodded and again, it was another popular vals and off I was again, an extra step here and there, a quick step to the side – I was out of control! At the end of the tanda, my partner smiled at me, said how fun it was to dance with me. I smiled back but the realisation had hit me, we hadn’t just tangoed, I’d used him to dance how I wanted to and basically turned it into a solo routine with props. Regardless of whether he had enjoyed it or not (he could have just been being polite?) I was sheepish for the rest of the night and have now sworn to not let my enthusiasm take over again!