clicker tango

A Clicker is a toy that makes a noise, "click, click."

What's it good for?

Well, a clicker is an Event Marker. It produces an audible signal to mark the instant something happens.

I have a background in sports, where we used verbal cues as event markers for good technique, but clickers are far more precise. It takes a much shorter time to send as well as process a mechanical noise than it does to interpret a verbal signal.

I used clickers in the late 90's to train dogs as well as oxen.

I've used clickers in tango practicas and classes since 2005.

Clickers can be used in tango in at least 3 different ways:


The teacher can be the "clicker" while the student is the "clickee."
When the student executes the Exact technique that you wish them to execute, you "click" them, thereby signaling precisely what you want them to accomplish. In this manner, they can experience multiple execution strategies and find the one that works for Them- all without, "hmm, a little more to the left, now right," etc. Students may also click each other, which has the benefit of the "clickers" becoming fluent with the visual criteria.

Aliaception (leader example)

In this case we work in groups of 3. The couple embraces while the "clicker" stands out of line of sight of the woman. The man leads a leg extension and the "clicker" signals when the woman's foot is precisely where the man was supposed to lead it. This way, the man learns exactly what the woman feels like when she is doing this movement, in addition to gaining exactitude in his lead.

Improvisation (the Cross example)

Groups of 3. The couple embraces while the "clicker" stands outside the woman's line of sight. The "clicker" signals what they would like the man to lead, to cross, or to not cross. If the woman executes what the man was supposed to lead, they get a "click." This way, the man must be fluent in his lead, no taking 20 steps to get into perfect position, and the woman gains clarity of what the man intended her to do, without the man being able to fake it.

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Equipment Suppliers

Clickers: Pet or Party supply stores

Clicker Usage in Animals: google "clicker training"
Clicker Usage in Athletes: TAG Teach International
Book I started my clicker journey with: Don't Shoot the Dog!