To increase the awareness and adherence to good etiquette and navigation rules, several years ago I created the Navigation and Etiquette Survey. From the 500 suggestions from over 100 respondents, I weighted, compiled and condensed the suggestions to come up with the following Navigation & Etiquette Guidelines:
- Always move forward in line of dance.
- Stay in your lane.
- Move up and fill gap in front of you.
- Use cabeceo and accept refusals.
- Dance small figures.
- Eyes up and avoid collisions.
- Seek permission to enter the floor.
- No teaching, criticizing or loud talking.
- Clear the floor during the cortina.
- Apologize regardless of who’s at fault.
- Center is for beginners–good dancers stay in outside lanes.
- Dress appropriately and have good hygiene.
The next step was to think of a way to incorporate/instill/enforce/encourage tangueros to actually abide by and follow these guidelines. Towards this end, the Victoria Randlett and I came up with the following:
Stations of the Well Mannered Milonguero (please give me your comments below):
- Upon entering the ballroom, each dancer will receive a pocket-size copy of the Navigation & Etiquette Guidelines.
- Each tanda will be dedicated to observing specifically one of these rules.
- The specific rule being focused on will we be posted on a different column that surrounds the ballroom.
- Each dancer is asked to be especially cognizant of and follow the featured rule.
- Finally–and this may be the most difficult part of all because many times we’re not aware of breaking the rules and/or we’re resistant to others correcting us–each dancer will be asked to gently, and in a respectful manner remind their partner and/or fellow tanguero to respect the specific rules being emphasized.