When you put it all together, it begins to make sense. The milongueros lean forward into the step with an easy athletic stride, carrying the woman along with the chest. They initiate movements by tipping slightly off their center of gravity and using the weight of the upper body to lead the woman—and they keep the arms still and the head centered. The result is that the torso and lower back remain relaxed, allowing them to stride out with strength and power. By placing each foot directly in front of the other when walking, they eliminate any side-to-side movement. And since they are always centered, they can balance and pivot easily on either foot, and create complex turns at any place in the dance.
Staying centered and relaxed, and stepping solidly into the floor, allows the milongueros to express the music with freedom and creativity in the crowded milongas. It is good basic technique that makes it possible for them to do complex cadences with their feet and perform balanced and relaxed giros. Long strides can be followed quickly by tiny stabbing steps, and equilibrium is easily regained if they want to do difficult movements. And all of this is can be done while quickly starting, stopping, or changing direction to navigate the floor.
Here are some random shots of some of the very best of Buenos Aires—a mixed bag of balanced, efficient, and beautiful dancing. We should enjoy it while we can… the median age here is almost 70.