Why is it that many tangueros and tangueras have a hard time walking in a straight line? Many times, it could be the leads’ “fault”, but regardless, both leads and followers should work on improving their own technique. Let’s analyze some examples:
Simple Walk: In the parallel system (eg. lead steps with right foot, follower steps with left foot) Leads should be walking straight in front of the space that the Follower leaves when she steps back. The positioning of your foot will dictate where your upper body will be at the end of the step, so if you step on a diagonal when walking forward, you will either pull your partner off axis or make her walk like a “cowgirl” (as we call it) or end up in the middle of the dance floor.
Cross: This is the one that good followers hate the most. Why? Because instead of them being led straight back into the cross (where their feet are nicely crossed together), they are led in a diagonal (sometimes almost to the point of a side step). The good followers either end up completely off-axis or with a mile distance between their feet at the cross…. and possibly not dancing with you again…
My Advise? Walk straight as an arrow. The straight-er you both walk, the more balanced you both will be. Draw an imaginary line and make that line be the center as you move forward. Don’t forget to lead with intention. Followers, don’t take the intention alone to move your upper body away from the lead. The intention is for the projection of your foot.