Regardless of the city and customs, it is safe to say that in every Tango community, the man appears in front of the woman for a dance. Whether it be by cabeceo – where the woman waits at her seat until the man arrives in front of her in order to avoid any mistaken acceptances – or by direct verbal invitation at the woman’s seat, the man has made the trek to the woman’s location. How nice and brave of him to have done so!
What ensues may or may not be a delightful dance. Perhaps both of you cannot wait for the songs to be over. On the other hand, you may be experiencing a wonderful embrace while moving delightfully to the music. The last song of the tanda will end, you will thank each other, and then the leader will leave the follower high and dry on the dance floor to find her own way back to her seat. What?!
How has the simple tradition of walking a woman back to her seat after a dance – which exists in many countries around the world – not made its way into North American Tango culture? Although we assume it did exist in the past with other dances, it no longer exists in our ultra modern society (sarcasm). Being from Finland, Jorge has never known to do any differently until we began Tango in Canada. Besides observing how men leave their partner from any place on the dance floor, Jorge has actually had difficulty bringing women back to their seats. Some women are so used to the complete lack of gentlemanly courtesy that they are virtually running off the dance floor after the tanda, leaving Jorge to follow in their wake. The expression “Wham bam thank you ma’am” feels very appropriate here.
Men, after sharing your body, mind, and spirit with your Tango partner, have the decency to walk women back to their seats. If you haven’t already been practicing this concept or it doesn’t exist in your community, now is the time to start!
Women, after sharing your body, mind, and spirit with your Tango partner, have the decency to allow men to walk you back to your seats.