In another thread I mentioned that it is difficult to figure out who to study with because people don't articulate clearly what type of tango they dance. I am consciously avoiding the word "style" here, because what I am trying to talk about is to a large extend independent of styles - I have found that there are teachers who are "milonguero" or "nuevo" who have more in common with each other than others who both are "milonguero". My favourite example for this is Chicho - I see his dance and I see a very close resemblance in the underlying technology to what is generally thought of as the downtown milonguero style, despite the fact that it looks and uses space very differently. And of course another issue is that everybody uses a lot of different technologies in each dance - actually I think staying rigidly within one technique would lead to boring tangos. A lot of what we see as new developments is tango seems to be taking one of the "cool moves" that are used to play, and use it as the standard technique of our dance - and as soon as this is the baseline of the dance we use different things to spice the dance up, and the cycle repeats. This does not really help us talking about it. There is of course the question if talking about it is necessary: at milongas both the space and the crowd tend to somewhat homogenize the dance, and people know whose dance they are compatible with, and whose they aren't. I think there are two reasons we need to talk about it: First, we want to be able to talk about teachers and milongas we don't know yet to be able to figure out if it likely to be worth the investment of time and money to explore them. This is an issue when travelling and attending workshops. Second, and probably more importantly, when working with a somebody we don't know very well at a practica it is basically impossible to work and debug things if we are not able to articulate what the baseline assumptions of our dance are. And there is a third reason - if we dance socially it helps with offering a pleasant dance when we understand what our partner is doing (and it also helps with enduring an unpleasant dance if we don't have to ascribe things to malice ), and it helps with calming down beginners who tend to feel that it is their fault when things don't work exactly like they worked in class. [EDIT: and of course it is good for talking on message boards...] I propose one of the ways of thinking about this that is useful is to think about what the default state of the couple is. I think there are basically 3 types: 1) Inward: the follower moves into the leader when it is possible. The couple is has the most energy when they are standing still, and relaxes into movement. 2) Neutral: the follower does not move in relationship to the leader. Every movement is a new exchange of impulse that ends again in neutral 3) Outward: the follower moves away from the leader. The couple is neutral when they are standing still, and gathers momentum that needs to be dissipated or soaked up when moving. These three are mostly independent from open/close or milonguero/salon/nuevo, and determine what movement feels comfortable, and what works. -everybody uses all three approaches all the time, but there is usually one that is their baseline -this is very leader centric because I mostly lead (my following is way under par) - a follower will probably describe these three different states differently?