On Style

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Intuitive surfing is accepting. When we see ungainly style, it’s  most often a result of not picking up on the ocean’s lead. Trying to force the issue. Bouncing around  when you should marshal resources. Inflicting athleticism when the moment calls for near stillness.

In the lexicon of Argentine tango, there exists the planeo, a  movement so akin to the round- house cutback as to be uncanny.  Leading, the male declines his center of gravity as he turns. His partner reads this signal, dropping correspondingly low, extending a leg as she slides through the curve, the toe of her tacón describing the crescent.

The resulting arc is smooth beyond words, definitive to the practice. While kniving kicks and formalized hip/torso independence are tango shorthand, the planeo is so achingly pure that once seen it stays with you, always.

It bears review: Let the lead define the rules of aesthetic  engagement. You go along for the ride. The moment doesn’t call for additional input. The power is already provided. Follow the natural curve—like Derrick Disney in this image. Quietly, now. And for the literally inclined: Planeo translates to “glide.”

[Feature image by Grant Ellis]