How Many Tango Moves Do I Need?And What The Big Bang Crew Taught Me About Tango
There was a question that I ask myself in the early days of Tango and watching Tango Videos and all the new men learning now ask this same question…
. ..and guess what in a hundred years from now … this same question will keep coming up…..
How many moves do I need to learn so that I can dance Tango well?
And the answers that you will get from most Tango teachers is …
…. “Et’s wot in the mouesss!!! Vouve kot to wearn da halk eirst!!!! …
(yes that was my attempt at speaking with a Argentinean sixth generation Spanish accent .. not bad…. I am reading ‘Spanish For Dummies’ … and I know that some would agree with that title for me!!)
Let’s use Babel Fish to translate:
“It’s not in the moves!!! You’ve got to learn the walk first!!!”
But I here at Tango Videos am going to answer the question differently…. in English and with a twist.
My thinking is that when a leader knows a number of moves….i.e. 12.3 … they have reached a level of competency that allows them to ‘feel’ better on the dance floor to be able to walk better. …. it’s a bit like the chicken and egg thing….. but more of that later…
….And let me add that the ‘leader’ … what we are talking about here is a white middle age going onto later age male with slightly oversize midriff, dropping jowls, mass amount of baggage with low self-esteem and non-dancing background….
We are going to get into the mind of Dr Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang crew to assist us with this very serious Tango challenge, puzzle, dilemma, riddle, enigma, impediment and conundrum.
(Oh I love Synonyms)!
(who would have thought)
Now Dr Sheldon Cooper has told me that in mathematics there is a ‘thing’ called ‘Factorials’.
Now I know you may be asking ‘What the heck is a Factorial’ …. but surprisingly there is 5.8% of you that know exactly what a Factorial is or are…..
And just to add a side note…. 67.4% of statistic’s are made up by the deliver to make them sound like they know what they are talking about….
….the other 32.6% are just lies….. to continue….
In mathematics, the factorial of a non-negative integer n, denoted by n!, is the product of all positive integers less than or equal to n. For example,
5! = 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 120
The value of 0! is 1, according to the convention for an empty product.
The factorial operation is encountered in many different areas of mathematics, notably in combinatorics, algebra and mathematical analysis.
Its most basic occurrence is the fact that there are n! ways to arrange n distinct objects into a sequence (i.e., permutations of the set of objects).
This fact was known at least as early as the 12th century, to Indian scholars. The notation n! was introduced by Christian Kramp in 1808.
The definition of the factorial function can also be extended to non-integer arguments, while retaining its most important properties; this involves more advanced mathematics, notably techniques from mathematical analysis.
Ok now you know what a Factorial is we go back to what happened earlier…
‘What the heck is a Factorial’ … Ok … let’s change it to something we might understand.
Let’s say you have three object or items … i.e.… A B C….
How many different ways (what are the different combinations) can we arrange these three objects or items … let’s us try …..
1) A B C
2) A C B
3) B A C
4) B C A
5) C A B
6) C B A
That’s it…. there are 6 different ways we can arrange 3 object or items… but here is the interesting mathematical ‘thing’ … we can work out the combinations by using the Factorial formula ….. i.e. 3 items / objects …. 3 x 2 x 1 = 6
Now kiddies…. let’s see who is paying attention …. if we have 4 items / objects .. how many different combinations can we have…..
…go to the top of the class if you came up with 24
… 4 items / objects …. 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 24
So what does this have to do with Tango…
.. I’m glad you asked….. If the leader knows 5 different moves …. he can arrange them in a number of different combinations…
i.e.…. 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 120
Now the thought-provoking thing is when a Tango leader knows 12.3 moves they have reached a confidence level that they are not scared to death to go onto the dance floor.
So 12 x 11 x 10 x 9 x 8 ….. oh you get the point….
….(the interesting thing here is that followers only need 5.8 moves to feel confident)…
I always know that you girls are more advanced than us guys…
… but let’s leave that for another day….
And remember what we are talking about here is white middle age going onto later age male with slightly oversize midriff, dropping jowls, mass amount of baggage with low self-esteem and non-dancing background….
So next time you are learning a move ‘leaders’ remember Dr Sheldon Cooper and the Factorials…. and Bazinga!!
Duncan from The Tango Videos site.