Surveying the damage: Floorcraft Rant


Two tandas . . .

Two bruised toes from getting stepped on.
One abrasion and bruise on the side of right foot from a stiletto heel (ocho taps adornment).
One bruise in right calf from stiletto heel (boleo).
One bruise on my left Achilles tendon from a (not my) leader's kick (gancho).
One silver-dollar sized bruise on the inside of knee (back sacada).

Fairly ranty requests:

Teachers: every single class you teach about any pattern/sequence/step whatever, should include floorcraft. Every one of these injuries could have been prevented by following the most basic rules of good floorcraft. When your students, leaders or followers, kick people, it's a reflection on you.

Leaders: If you think the floor looks pretty tough and you may have trouble navigating it - you're probably right. Either dance small, and by small, I mean *small* - for example, two large steps to walk me to the cross is not small, or sit out until later in the milonga. If you're not sure you know the basics about floorcraft, then you probably don't. Start here:

Tango L rant from Jai Jeffryes:
Tango floorcraft from

Followers, if we're close enough to feel each other's skirts swish by, keep your *expletive* 4" Comme il Faut *expletive* heels on the *expletive* floor, *expletive*.

*/end rant/*


Anonymous said...

Elizabeth Brinton said...

You are right to rant. It would help if milonga organizers would emphasize safe and polite floorcraft and warn people once only before throwing them out on the sidewalk. I have zero patience with it, especially right now.

The Tango Therapist said...

Mari... funny that we were working on the same idea. I added your post's link to my "solution" to milonga mayhem. My reflection is not a veritable rant (only a pseudo-rant). But it gave me ideas of what I could do to help at each milonga (see "solution three"). I love this post, especially the call to teachers to help out. Mardi & Stephen get the award for doing the best teaching in floorcraft in Austin -- hands (and stilettos) down.

Mari said...

@anon - great link - I love the hy-yah! sound affects. :-)

@Elizabeth - I'm afraid it's not just the organizers that need to set the example (though that would certainly help) but I think JanTango was right in her comment on my previous post - consistently saying yes to what amounts to painful tandas only reaffirms to that the dancer that they don't need to change anything. For my own well-being, it's time to start saying "no thank you."

@TAngoTherapist - I loved your post and commented :) And you're right, Mardi and Stephen have done wonderful things to promote floorcraft in their classes. If all the teachers would take time to do that . . . .

Anonymous said...

Boleos, ganchos and back sacadas are no part of social tango. I have no idea what ocho taps are. As far as your bruised toes... move your feet.

Teaching floorcraft with patterns and sequences will not solve the problem -- it is the problem! Tango is improvised, not memorized.

I was dancing so small on a crowded floor the other night that there was no separation between my feet. That is how small you need to dance in BsAs.

Frances R said...

Next time when you get kicked on the floor from high boleos, ganchos or adornments, do not let it go. Raise a big stink. While dancing social tango people must keep their feet on the floor, period, no exception. Express yourself to the one who kicked you, complain to the organizer, tell everyone around you. That is what really works. Also that will lead to more people raising their voices against unacceptable behavior.

Kirra said...

Ow! Ouch! How frustrating. I wouldn't go back to that milonga or practica for a while if I were in your shoes.

I am hoping this post and Mark's post go viral. It needs to be said, and said loudly. I know my students are sick to death of me squawking about floorcraft over and over again but I will keep saying it..."dance within your frame." "Pay attention to who is behind you." "Fill in the space in front of you." and "For gosh sakes get out of the middle."
Thanks for reminding me as to why I say those things.