In anatomy, the axes of a body are defined without any reference to the position of the body or its relation to the floor or gravity. This concept has nothing to do with balance, function, or movement. The way dancers use this term is not accurate. The scientifically correct concept to which dancers are referring is ‘orthostasis’, but even scientists just use the word ‘standing’, which contrasts with ‘leaning’.

Since ‘axis’ is an abstraction, it’s not a body part that we can see or feel. And most of us can’t find it when we need it. Moreover, axis also tells us nothing about connection, or about how to handle the lateral forces we create when we dance.

‘Axis’ is deprecated in favor of ‘standing’.

Out-of-axis’ and ‘off-axis’ are also deprecated, in favor of ‘leaning’.

In tango, we do not stand alone. We stand with our bodies in relation to a partner. Instead of looking for your axis, use the arch of connection, which involves a circuit of body parts that we can see and feel and arrange in relation to gravity, our partner, and the current movement. Leaning moves are managed by intensifying the arch of connection.

 

 

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