Embellishments - Take 2 - Using His Legs For Embellishments

Post a question on our forum here.
Post a question on our forum here.

A lot of embellishments are about having a clear idea of what you are doing. Two specific things:

  1. A clear idea of the thigh, the calf, the toe and maybe the ankle and the hips (we keep adding :-)
  2. Basically, we want you to know what shape you are making. We want the shape to be very clearly described in your mind. If you cannot perfectly describe it, then probably the idea needs to become clearer.

  3. A very clear idea of the timing.

Some things are about being even and sustained. Some are about starting slow and building up to being sharp. Some are about a neutral energy which becomes very thick in the middle.

If you know what you are doing and when you are doing it, then usually, what you are doing will look pretty good or great.

Artist Name:
Mandragora Tango
Song Title:
El Garron
Album Title:
Let's Have Dinner And Go Dancing
Artist Website:

From website: Mandrágora Tango is a tango band headed by bandoneonist Bob Barnes and guitarist Scott Mateo Davies, 2 Minneapolis-based musicians who are wildly passionate about tango. We have been playing tango for dancing and listening since 2001 and we are still going strong. We've played in over 40 cities all over the United States.

Followers, I want you to think of embellishments as really varied.
Meaning, that... Worst thing you'll see, people know one embellishment. And they'll do it over and over again.
N: And over, and over. And over, and over.
D: Over and over, yeah.
So, instead, let's say... Well, you can embellish along yourself.
You can go up and down your leg. You can beat. You can kick with a bent knee, or with a straight leg.
You can swagger behind. You can cut. Yada-yada.
But you can also embellish around his legs.
D: You can...
N: You can play with his legs.
D: You can tap, caress, whatever.
N: Let's show.
D: She's right. I was going to just keep going.
N: Ha-ha!
N: David's got this list. he could write, like four books of
D: Right. Four minutes of...
So, there, she touched.
Now, as she does this, notice how there's the accent at the edge of the embellishment, much like a boleo.
And so, we have all these different embellishments, but, always, it's out, it hits. And then it goes on.
So make sure you accent that edge.
He had another one, that he was showing me before, that I thought was really cool.
Because it has this movement that I like so much in tango, that's a great place to... To go up his leg.
So, for example, let's say we do one of these pivots. And then, she says, "Oh, hello". And I say, "Oh, hello".
D: And you'd think, Oh, well, is she saying that it has to go back? But it's not the case.
N: No, you don't.
So, we can do that same embellishment. And any direction can happen, like, "Oh, OK", and we still have control.
N: I don't know if they saw that one, though.
D: Yeah, yeah, it was in the camera.
N: OK. What I'm saying, is...
D: Oh, they didn't see the embellishment, OK.
N: Right.
Oops. So.
So, as long as you keep your axis, and you're free to step in any direction, then you're not really interrupting the leader.
Well, I think that's a cool one.