The shoe shine

Beginners love their adornments. For some reason at one stage or another a lot of ladies learn how to rub the foot over a mans leg while stepping over his leg during a stop. I don’t know whether this adornment has a proper name, but one of my teachers once called it a shoe shine.

In case you haven’t been taught it before, I’m sure there are many videos on youtube teaching it (problem is I don’t know its name) but here’s a video of Osvaldo commenting on a student doing it to him it in the first 15 seconds of the clip (this video is part 3, you may want to view part 2 first to get some context on what happened previously).

Unfortunately some women with poor basics (especially beginners and improvers) compromise their balance and posture when walking over the man’s leg and trying to do adornments. Some get tense, some have poor balance and feel a bit wonky and start to lean into the man.

People don’t notice you rubbing your foot, what they see is you shaking like a tree on a windy day.

If you must do that adornment, the focus should be on you lifting your leg/knee, nice and clean and stepping over elegantly — and obviously to the music. There should be some contact with your foot and my leg – otherwise you’re just waving your foot around in front of me and looks even worse when you’ve got a wonky structure, and gazing down at your feet since you don’t know where my leg is, you don’t know where to step over.

One of my roles in tango is to make the women look and feel good. Why do you insist on doing the opposite?


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3 Responses to “The shoe shine”

  1. jantango Says:

    The “shoe shine” and other adornments are for stage performance rather than the social dance floor. Let’s face it, they are the unique elements included in a choreography to impress the audience. If done on the social floor, there is no one watching.

    If women thought about what they were actually doing while rubbing a man’s leg, they might refrain from it entirely.

  2. Arlene Says:

    Jan is right on this. I don’t usually do adornments and pray that most men won’t ask me to do ganchos and the like, but if I am doing a shoe shine, there is a meaning and I am usually just goofing around, to make a point, not because I am interested in my dance partner in that particular way.

    I just loved the video. I want to dance like that until I can’t walk anymore or until I die.

    Thanks for that.

  3. Chris, UK Says:

    > If women thought about what they were actually doing
    > while rubbing a man’s leg, they might refrain from it entirely.


    I once heard Gavito in class sayy: “Girls, do this move /only/ if you /really/ mean it.”

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