The Bluffer's Guide to Tango

17th March 2010

Vir Cotto: They are deeply spiritual people.
Londo Mollari: Yes, now that you can leave in. It always scares people.
~ Babylon 5

You can't bluff when you're dancing Tango. But it's very easy to bluff when you're discussing it... The fact that the dance itself is confusing, complex and often discussed in a foreign language makes it almost impossible not to. Let's face it, Tango is a bluffer's paradise.

The most important thing is that you Express An Opinion. It doesn't matter what the opinion is, the fact that you've demonstrated clear views about anything signifies that you know what you're talking about.

Bluff about Music

Bluff Details Example
Criticize the DJ No-one will remember what music was played anyway. I thought he played far too many Golden Age tracks
Get hippy Express an opinion in a wishy-washy manner. The music sang to my soul last Friday.
Name-drop composers Memorize a few names; ideally including someone obscure Ah yes, I used to enjoy Di Sarli when I started, but now he bores me - I'm a follower of Juan Maria Solare at the moment, do you know him?

Bluff while Socialising

Forgetting names If you don't know a name, make one up and stick to it. Hi Richard, lovely to see you again.
Pretend you know people Useful for getting dances. "Hi how are you?" *hug* "I haven't seen you in ages. Shall we dance?" from complete strangers
Divert her with shoe talk If in doubt mention shoes to a woman. They're a lovely pair of shoes she's wearing - what are they, Comme il Faut?

Bluff about Buenos Aires

Make up districts No-one outside of BA knows much about it. Of course my style is strongly influenced by the the way they dance in the Casa Cortese area.
Refer to styles Again no-one knows what the differnt styles actually are. Don't you love the possibilities for expression within the Villa Urquiza style?
Make up teachers There are thousands of teachers in BsAs, who'll know? I studied under the maestro's Federico Aldebar and Nina de Corazon for two years.

Bluff about Steps

Use the Spanish term "Cruzada" is much better than "cross". Yes, I'm working on the parada from a cruzada at the moment.
Use obscure step names The terms are in Spanish - a godsend for the bluffer. I loved the way he did his cunitas.
Use combinations No-one will ever try to decypher them. The salida parada follows the sentada beautifully, don't you agree?.

Bluff about Technique

Use jargon Luckily there's a lot of this about to use. Yes, I tried to engage my core, but I keep on having problems being grounded and maintaining dissociation.
Use Spanish jargon Even better, a lot of the jargon is In Foreign. Yes, Pablo talked about la intencion de avanzar a lot when I studied under him.
Criticize a performer As with DJs, there's always something to critique. Well, I'm sorry, but I thought Veron's performance at Negracha's lacked any semblance of musicality.

David Bailey / Christopher O' Shea, 17th March 2010