Tango- Whipping head?

This probably makes no sense, but I have a quick question. I have seen many couples while dancing tango flick/whip their heads around really quickly. I can understand doing it once and being fine (look right look left look right) but I have seen couples flick/whip their heads back and forth 2 or 3 times back to back and sometimes even more. How do they do this without getting a major headache or getting dizzy? I like the look of whipping the head multiple times, but I cant seem to do it without my head hurting afterwards.


Well-Known Member
I don't know that it speaks to the headache/dizziness question, but an important point overall is that the head movement is in reaction to body movement, not done independently. I don't think it's something you can figure out by looking at it -- you have to be taught, probably through feel, what's going on elsewhere in the body to create those energy pulses.


Well-Known Member
To add on to what bia said, your head isn't just flopping around which would hurt more. It's supported every time the whipping action happens through the neck and the back so though it feels quick, it's not jarring or painful.
Ohhh okay that makes a lot more sense... I didn't think about it being strong and connected through the neck and back... Thanks you all for answering because I was quite perplexed :)

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
WDSF for one thing. Not WDC. Not all tango dancers use such extreme head positions and extreme changes of positions.

But as for the how. First dizzy is a phycological response to physiological stimuli. And you can shut off a phycological response. In other words, practice "not getting dizzy" and you won't get dizzy anymore.

If you just stand around and shake your head without coordinating the support muscles through out the body, back, neck... you are going to hurt yourself. My SCM is really strong. And it has relaxed over the years of not dancing pro anymore, because at one time it was huge!! There are also tons of muscles twitching throughout her torso to counter the movements.
Sure it will. You should see my hair at comps. If someone wants to run into the back of my head the jokes on them, it ain't gonna bother me.
Same situation with my partner. She'll sleep in an updo for multi day comps and you can't even tell in the second day after all the freezing spray in there.

And I completely agree; the contrast of the stillness to the sharp movement is what really makes the head flicks exciting and dynamic to watch.


Well-Known Member
I find some of Joanne's head movements exaggerated and probably unnecessary. Tango is already a dramatic dance by its DNA.

And yes, most head and even hand movements (in the styles that have a lot of them, definitely not Standard) should come out of a deeper place; your torso. Not only will you hurt if you're not supporting properly; the judges will see that your movements are "fake" or "shallow" (for want of better words) assuming you're competing.


Site Moderator
Staff member
having read everyone else's comments, I expected not to like the clip....I am assuming it is a show dance, and therefore, I found it playful, I wouldfind it somewhat distracting if they were competing (though maybe not in a bad way)....at any rate, I didn't mind it at all....then again, I like that stuff ....so sue me

Dance Ads