In this article, we will focus on follower’s embellishments in Argentine tango.

What is a follower?

A follower is a role in tango. What does this mean? The presence and power of the follower is very important.
A good follower must connect with a partner and to the ground. They must also adjust to the embrace and be respond readily to the movement that the leader proposes.

What is the embellishment?

An embellishment is a decoration. It is used by the follower to “decorate” the movement generated by the leader. Some words to describe an embellishment may include: fresh, energetic, sparkling and alive.

When do you use the embellishments?

Embellishments may be added within the beats that the leader creates. For instance, if the leader walks on the beat in 4/4 time, a popular time to use the embellishment would be between the 3rd and 4th beats.

There are times that the leader may create space for the follower to embellish. For instance, after a parada is led, the leader creates a pause in the momentum. This is the time the follower may embellish.

As followers, we must be sensitive to the music as much as the leader’s interpretation of the music.