Trapped between two couples

bell shaped curve

During a milonga, dancers on the floor tend to follow a bell-shaped curve. This means that at the peak time, there’s very few space for each couple on the dance floor. My ability to drive around the dance floor is still improving and I feel that my most common “mistake” (or less considerate action) is to not occupy the space left ahead of me as quickly as I should. Happens more often if I’m having a blast and doing very small and simple stuff on the spot. 🙂

But I’d like to bring your attention – and help – to another matter. Sometimes, I will get a couple that is right on top of me, just behind me. As in, 1 inch. I like to keep a small space between me and the next couple. Enough for him to setup a giro, 1-2 small steps, etc. At yesterday’s milonga, for a couple of times, the couple behind me was just right next to me, giving me virtually no space. Is this normal? What’s the best way to cope with this?

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  1. Usually, your space to dance is the one in front and in the left of your line of dance. You have to try to avoid going back, unless you know for sure it is safe, and you have to keep the distance with your front couple.
    That said, certainly is not good is your back couple is just behind you, there are doing something not right. You can manage in some way keeping distance with the couple in front, so you will have space to do most of the step, but of course is not the perfect thing.
    If they are really annoying you could try to change to the line of dance in your left, is it is safe and maybe return later to your original line, that will depend of how relax are the codes in that particulary dance floor.
    Anyway, you have to focus in do your step with the less necessarily space behind you, that will help you to avoid bumps specially with that kind of couple.

  2. Tango Padawan

    Hi Tanguillo,

    Thanks a lot for the tip to momentarily switch lane if “tolerated”. I think it’s a mix of me maybe not moving as fast as the trailing couple wants to and the couple’s ability to realize that I’m not moving so fast so they should also slow down a bit. This happened also when I didn’t have any space ahead of me. Hence the title “trapped”…

    Thanks for your amazing blog. I’m thankful for being able to read spanish to fully appreciate it 🙂

  3. I didn’t know you speak spanish!
    Then, maybe this article will be usefull for you:
    Codigos de circulación.
    Yes, I wrote it, but i was approve for a lot of people, even the 2nd place of the tango salon world championship, so you can read safely 😉
    Probably, the problem of those “tramps” is not to know how to dance in the same spot, so the couple need to continuously going to some place , usually forward, because the space behind them is taken.One thing you can do also is have some extra space in front to you to use in that cases.
    Not great, but…
    In the article maybe you will find another useful tips.

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