If you have ever wanted a highly skilled tango partner, who lives with you, and would love to tango with you every day, this is the best time in your life to create her. You can teach your wife to be the best tango partner you ever met.
The most important thing for a woman to learn – and it’s not easy – is to follow without anticipating (being aware of the sequence or “step” or figure that you are leading). If your partner recognizes the figure you are dancing, she may take the next step (or prepare to take the next step) without waiting for your lead. “Anticipation” is called the worst sin in tango. Women who anticipate rarely learn to stop doing it, so it’s best to teach a woman from scratch how to follow.
Put on music with a strong clear rhythm, such as El Garron by Don Pancho https://youtu.be/pmaCfeib9Ag and play it loud. Prepare yourself by dancing alone, with a precise, strong step. Feel the beat and the simple syncopations in the rhythm and walk, exactly on the beat. Then add some quick steps to match the rhythm. Don’t worry about correctness in your interpretation of the rhythm, but do dance precisely on the beat. Be confident; don’t question what you’ve done; don’t wonder what to do next. The little voice in your head may try to manage and correct you, but override it and don’t listen to it. Just go!
When you are ready, take your wife in a tango embrace – clear, secure, solid, with lots of upper-body contact, but not squeezing her. Make your body soft and pliable against her, and enveloping and protective. She must feel safe and protected with you, so don’t ever move her in a way that could cause her to lose her balance or bump into something. Take off your shoes if necessary, to insure not stepping on her toes. Start by walking together to the music, leading her clearly on every step but never pushing or pulling her. Step with strong intention. Then bit-by-bit add in quick steps to match the rhythm of the music. Step in any direction but do not step in patterns or sequences; choose each step independently from the previous, and don’t repeat. Add pauses, to fit with the music; lead the pause clearly, and keep your full attention on her while your feet are still. The object at this critical point is to cause her to move confidently and energetically following you, and not feel a need to know what you might do next. You must engender her total relaxation and confidence; focus all your attention on her, follow her, and let your thinking and speaking be only about acknowledging and appreciating her. No corrections, instructions, or discussions other than appreciating and acknowledging. That’s it! Keep on doing it.
Do this every day for a half hour – or as often and long as needed. If she takes tango lessons, she may be taken over by figures and techniques, so refresh her improvisation skills as needed. Once she can follow you without thinking about what figure you are doing, you can do any figure or sequence with her, as long as you lead her, and don’t tell her what to do. Acknowledgement – YES . . . . . Instructions and corrections – NO
If you give yourself wholly to this project, you may gain an amazing tango partner for the rest of your life, so don’t stint on energy or focus.