Home > Tango Resources > Tangology 101 Blog

Tag Name: following

Submission vs Surrender

I just answered an interesting question about the difference between submission and surrender while dancing in the role of a follower:

I think that the difference between submission and surrender is that submission is forced and surrender is voluntary. But I think of the follower's role as less of a surrender and more as an act of accompaniment. The follower accompanies the leader in the direction, tempo, and even the step the leader proposes, but the follower can still insert their own voice. An active follower can embellish that step or, in some cases, even object to a step or propose a different step.

If there is a surrendering, it happens with both partners. We surrender to each other, to the music, and to the flow of the ronda (dance floor). As a leader, I often surrender to a proposition that I am feeling from my partner. I also surrender to the music and to the other dancers on the dance floor. For example, I might want to lead something large and dramatic, but if I am on a crowded dance floor then I have to surrender that desire for the wellbeing and comfort of the other dancers.