Originally published October 13, 2009 and added to in 2011.

To walk in tango is not an easy thing.  When people come to their first tango class and they are shown ‘how to walk’  they look bored.  They expected something a little more dramatic.  Ah, but there is so much in the walk and when they discover how hard and delicious it is to walk, then they are hooked.

I found this quote by Miguel Zotto and thought it was a precise and beautiful way of describing the ‘tango walk’.

Tango is like writing a letter, it has a beginning, periods, commas, stops and an end. If you are doing figures and gyros (turns) all the time, people don’t see anything and that is why there is the walk- the invention of the people. In this dance of the people, which is what tango is, all the famous couples have used the walk, and they use it constantly.

The tango is on the ground, It is caressing the floor. It is the ball of the foot supporting the weight of the body, right on the axis and each person on his/her own axis. If you make pupils walk at the beginning, they get bored and want to learn steps and more steps – to show off at the dance hall. So you need to have the luck of meeting a teacher who tells you: No. Look. You must walk. First walk.

And this cute quote from Javier Rodriguez and Stella Misse:

Javier: When a man walks nicely, the woman dies in his embrace.
Stella: When a man walks badly, the woman wants to die.

tango in red
Image by zabara_tango via Flickr