Tango Frenemies vs Best Friends Forever

Age 6-7-8-Kids Tango Dance.jpg

When it comes to tango, three words are commonly used, and those three words are often associated with the term frenemies − leader, follower, and dancing. Those three worlds can also lead to quite a few misunderstandings as well, especially for a child who is both learning tango and learning the true meaning of those three words.

Below we will dissect each of these frenemy words to discover the meaning behind them:


Leaders tend to have a lot of responsibilities fall on their shoulders, and they are often looked at as the one who leads. People who follow the lead of the leader are listening to them, but as a leader, you should also listen to the followers. 

One of the first things you need to realize when starting out with tango, even as a child, is how to recognize how and what your dance partner is feeling. Do they feel tense, or are they relaxed? Is this the first time you are dancing with this person? A connection is made between the two dance partners as they learn to listen to each other and respect one another.


This is generally recognized as someone who follows. In tango, the leader's right hand is on the follower's left shoulder blade, and the leaders left-hand holds the followers right hand. The two dancers are a team and need to love to dance together. Each beat becomes more fun, and with each beat, you learn how to follow each other and anticipate one another's moves.


When dancing, it is important to take pauses and explore other motions and feelings. This is also known as adding a little AND to your dancing. You can explore pausing while stopping in motion. You are giving the dance and each of your motions the room to exist on their own.

Exploring Tango Beyond the Words

Tango is meant to be a dialogue rather than a monologue. Both dance partners need to be equally as active and responsive to the music as the music dictates the scene. 

Also, a good leader is one that leads and follows, and a follower can follow and lead. Dancing is just the sum of these movements and even all the non-movements and pauses in the dance as well.

Tango isn't something that is meant to be singular and one-sided. It can be different every time and can be different with each partner. Whether you are leading, following, or stopping, the experience in itself is worth more than just a few of these notable words. 

When learning to tango, leaders should be aware of their partners and others on the dance floor and be able to keep the rhythm. Followers keep their own balance and rhythm and know how to walk, turn, stop, and execute other embellishments during the dance. 

These are just a few of the basics one must master as they begin to learn the power of tango and as you continue, you will find that you can perform new dance steps while even coming up with your own.