Mangled in Class

Tango Tia: I’ve taken classes for two years and am extremely tired of being pushed and pulled through moves by men who use their hands and arms to lead. If I say something, most of them get defensive and try to make it sound like I’m the one who’s at fault. How can I take lessons and not end up needing a chiropractor? Mangled in Class

Dear Mangled: Push-and-pull leading is a real drag and happens when teachers focus on steps instead of on technique. Find out who spends time preventing men from submitting women to tango torture and spend your dollars and class time with them. It could also mean taking private lessons and choosing your partners at milongas carefully.

Men: Do you need training wheels on the dance floor? You probably stopped using them after about age five. That’s what leading with your hands and arms resembles.

Teachers: Can you find enough strait jackets for your men students? If leaders practiced with their arms locked behind their back, they would be leading from their axis in record time. Strait jackets might be a little hard to find, so practicing with their arms at their sides or with hands in their pockets would be viable alternatives.


  1. bill swan says

    The “no arms” lead also helps follows learn to actively follow. One local teacher uses it as a class exercise. It wordlessly gets follows to take responsibility where it had been neglected. So it “teaches” both partners. This follow yes embracing, but not the lead, exercises connection through movements the “nobody uses their arms” practice cannot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>