Tango Topics | Exploring Your Dance

Lead Mindset is a way of thinking that pertains solely to the Lead of the dance. Lead Mindset is a belief system that presupposes that the only way a Follower will be happy dancing with a particular Lead is by having that Lead study chains of vocabulary, and intricate, complex, and arcane vocabulary (moves, steps, patterns, figures) they think that Followers want so that their Follower’s don’t become bored dancing with said Lead. Still another part of this belief system is where the Lead ‘assumes’ that the Follower will do X or Y when they actually haven’t been led to do X or Y. This is Lead Mindset in its simplest form.

The belief system is erroneous in nature. False at best, and an out and out self-made lie at its worst.

When a beginning or intermediate level Lead sees a very good Follower that they would like to dance with, but sees them dancing with the same Lead over and over again, and/or a very good Follower keeps choosing the same Lead over and over again, or a series of very good Leads, said beginner or intermediate Lead gets it into their heads that in order to dance with that particular Follower, said Lead must emulate what they see the other Leads that dance with that Follower doing. And that typically means studying lots vocabulary to ‘up their game’ and then using that vocabulary with every Follower, trying to perfect said vocabulary. This is a trap and a fallacy at the same time. It’s known as the Vocabulary Trap or the Pattern Fallacy, which is needing to know more and more steps or figures so that one can generate the illusion of either mastery or improvisational abilities, or musical mastery and musical improvisational abilities.

This is, of course, a fallacy made up in the mind of the Lead. It’s not real nor does it have any basis in fact. Lead Mindset is an assumption of X on the part of the intermediate Lead about what more desirable Followers may or may not want. When in reality what’s happening is that a more advanced Follower is dancing with a particular Lead because of their embrace, or their application of the music in time to their dancing experience or any number of a dozen reasons. It just may happen that said more advanced Lead is more advanced because they have taken the time to study X, Y, and Z but chooses to use said vocabulary in a timely fashion that is comfortable for them, and their partner and in time to the music.

Still, another part of this Lead Mindset is an assumption that the Follower should do X. X could be but is not limited to anything where the Follower must quite honestly must read the Lead’s mind! Not kidding. For instance ? The simple problem of why the Follower would cross their feet in an Argentine Cross ? The answer is that the Follower is supposed to cross their feet! That’s an assumption. The reality is that the Follower crosses their feet for 2 reasons. 1.) Upper Body Torso Rotation. 2.) To get back in front of their Lead. It’s not the commonly held belief that the Lead takes two steps outside partner and the Follower should cross their feet. No. There is a reason why they need to cross their feet. (See: The Engine of the Cross). But again this is an assumption on the part of the Lead. There are loads of these assumptions. Still another common one is detailed in the Lazy Man’s Turn idea that comes up in engaging the Follower’s Molinete. Where the Lead presupposes that the Follower should turn their bodies when they’re not actually leading the Follower to do that. There’s an assumption that the Follower SHOULD turn their body, but they’re leaving it to the Follower to figure out how to do that or just do automagically know how to do that. These two ideas are part of a group of assumptions that the Follower should do X when they actually haven’t been led to X, nor is their any indication from their Lead to do X. This part of Lead Mindset.

« Back to Glossary Index
Scroll to top