Misunderstading the eight's

Hi everybody,

when I dance tango I have observed that some partners misunderstand me when I lead an eight figure. The first time is OK, but sometimes they think I'm still marking the figure, when I think I have stopped...

Maybe there is some problem with the way I signal the figure, or maybe she is just led by inertia.

I'd like to know if someone has experienced something similar and any advice or hint about how to signal this figure.

Thanks in advance
Some girls are taught to pivot and step twice no matter what the man leads. That is a big mistake and really a waste of the leader's time. That may be what is happening.
On the other hand, it might be you. I cannot really say unless I dance with you. If you want your partner to pivot, you just move your upper body with the force you think it should require to get her to turn the right amount. Then, if you want her to step, you move her again with your upper body, whether you step or not. Then, if you want her to pivot again back the other way, you move her with your upper body. One thing you might try to do to help yourself and maybe your partners is to try it with them very slowly. Girls sometimes get in a hurry and they think just because you motion for them to pivot, you want them to do some little routine they have learned. In other words, try just a pivot one way or the other, wait. Then, try a step in that direction. Then, try a pivot the other way, wait. Then a step in that direction. It takes some practice. Sometimes switch things up on them when you practice this and do something different. Make them take a step forward after the pivot for example. Then, they'll know better than to guess your intentions. That is assuming it is the follower's fault. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. Or, you could get with a good leader, and ask him to lead through a turn or two. That might help you gauge what force and direction you need to lead a lady.
Whatever you do, it will take some practice. It took me a long, long time to even walk in a staight line with a woman. Just give it a try slowly, and we'll see if it works.


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Dreaded eight count basic? I guess that means it's tough to lead. Any pointers that can help make it better, for the lead or the follow?


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I think the reason it is dreaded is that it leads dancers into expecting a pattern of moves in a dance which is improvised so creates situation where a follower will do the step she is expecting instead of the step that is lead.

As an approach to teaching it seems to contradict the essence of tango.
nuff said :D


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Mm. Understood. Been there, done that, ballroom style. My whole first year of dancing, we were all taught school figures, and everybody did them regardless. Needless to say, very little actual leading or following happened. *shrug* :?


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this gives you some idea of the debate and frustration felt by those who are on the end of un-led steps, particularly the cross, which is not a simple step to lead or follow. So why teach it as rote? Recently I danced a mirror image of the D8CB with a good follower and surprise surprise it worked!! How many follwers know how to do the cross with the other foot I wonder? :wink: :wink:

But I've never seen a teacher say you can do this exactly the same on the leader's right.

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