Tango Argentino > Assessing our own ability

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Dave Bailey, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    This is all that I have been asking for. I fail to see why it recently can not be done, here.
  2. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Hmmm... topic, topic.. where is the topic...

    Oh, here it is!

    Um... assessing our own ability...

    In truth, is this EVER really a static thing? Doesn't it change constantly for most folks (except those at each end of the extremes of overconfident and self-loathing)?

    So in the long run, it both matters a great deal, AND also matters not, what other people might think.

    In the long run....

  3. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    [detour] The wikipedia article mischaracterized Kruger and Dunning(1999):
    The core of their results and their theorizing is not that incompetent people think they are competent, or that competent people think that they are incompetent.
    Their main concept is a false-consensus/illusory-peer-group theory. Incompetent people consider themselves to be about average at a task, while competent people also consider themselves as a little bit above average. I.e. humans never think about a task "this is an easy task, and i failed because i am not even able to do easy things", but in general we think that a task we fail on is a task another imagined average/normal person would probably fail on, too. The reverse is true, too - we don't think about tasks that we can routinely do as hard tasks - as anybody who has ever had an expert in any field try to explain a "easy, straightforward thing" to them knows. It is always interesting what kind of skills experts think an average person has - this is also what makes some amazingly talented people awful teachers - they just don't get that not everybody is them, and understands things the same way, and has the same gifts. In tango i think the consequences of Kruger and Dunning are felt much more on the high end of things [/detour]

    One of the problems with judging ones own ability in tango is that there is no real consensus what skills a good tango dancer needs to have. Sure, there is dancing that is atrocious from any perspective, but there is a huge middle ground where technique and personal perference and style are quite inseperabably mixed up. Take the comment above about "looking at the partners feet" - there are lots of advanced dancers who look down (or appear to look down?), e.g. chicho frumboli. Sure, with a beginner this is probably a symptom of bad balance, a uncomfortable embrace and indecisive stepping, but considering the v he dances in (and his reputation :) ) i am pretty sure he is doing fine in that regard.

    I thought one of the interesting aspects of the original article is that Steve Morall is actually not talking about judging anybodies dance - he is talking about people advancing through his series of classes. And as a teacher he certainly has the ability to see if his students have learned what he tried to teach, and if they have the skills that he expects them to have as a foundation for the next class. One of my teachers insisted to dance (as a follower or leader, as needed) with anybody who wanted to progress to the next level of his progression of classes. That is very different than judging somebodies tango - this is judging somebodies skill in a specific slice of tango technique. And that is eminently fair - i have been in workshops where the basic approach to the dance was so dissimilar to anything i had seen up to then that i might as well have been a complete beginner.

    I am trying to be not too judgemental about other peoples tango (though it is hard). In retrospect i realized that during my tango adolescence i was able to have two completely opposite ideas as to what the highest pinnacle of tango was - nuevo tango, milonguero, and so i am trying hard (and only partially) to live and let live, even if i have sometimes strong feelings about people doing things "wrong". It has proven for me to be much more fruitful to ask "why?" and "what does this technique achieve for you?" - even people whose dancing i positivly detest have sometimes very keen insight on how to make specific aspects of the dance work. Still there are many people where i say "He tries to do something very different from what i am trying to do" and "She is a wonderful dancer, and very skilled, but our styles are different enough to make dancing together not that pleasant".


    P.S. This thread is realy interesting if seen as a companion piece to the competition thread above. G.
  4. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    This is why when someone come to the area for a full day of workshops starting with a "beginner" one, I try to take the whole day unless I have studied with them before and know their approach. Even if I have had a workshop with them in the past, it never hurts to review their "basics". I don't think I've ever had a teacher say "You shouldn't be in this class... you're too advanced" ;)
  5. Me

    Me New Member

    Yes. Exactly. We work to maintain, to improve, or to change. As some elements come into focus, others dim from view. This makes any set formula to evaluate improvement hard to apply, IMO.

    I think this is one reason why finding your own identity in dance is so important. Find your own voice and work to strengthen it. I like to be a chameleon, to be able to dance well in multiple styles. This is my strength. But I think, overall, we become better dancers when we "find" who we are. The greatest tango dancers out there, both living and dead, can easily be identified in the blurriest or darkest of videos because they have mastered their own unique style.
  6. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Personally, I hate the way it looks when someone spends the whole dance with their head pitched forward and looking down at the floor. Especially if they are nice and erect until you get to their skull. It breaks the "line" similar to that of a ballet dancer who badly sickles the foot in an otherwise beautiful arabesque, resulting in the toes pointing down at the floor.

    Now as to whether that person is a pleasure to dance with... that's another story. I haven't danced with hardly any of the "greats" (and the three I have danced with didn't do that) so in my own experience of leaders (who I would mostly classify as beginner to advanced-intermediate) the ones who are looking down are actually NOT pleasant to dance with because they truly need to look down to know where their partner's feet are, or know where to step. There's more wrong than just a dropped head. They are LOOKING at the floor, not just allowing their head to tip because they are being more "intimate" towards their partner or going into a "zone". The forward drop to the head to look down is a symptom of bigger issues for them.

    Personally, I caution people I teach to hold their head up and find other ways to dance their part in relation to the partner without having to watch their feet. Unless someone is very able, tipping the head can really throw off the balance. Its also better (IMO) to learn how to tell what's going on with your partner without having to look at the feet. Leaders should strive to lead the follower to where he needs her to be and feel if she is there. Followers can't follow by waiting to see where the leader's feet go.. its already too late then.

    As to judging by how someone looks.... IMO if someone is performing, then they should expect to be evaluated on how their dance looks to the audience. We aren't dancing with them to know that they "feel good" even if they look bad, we're WATCHING them. If someone is performing, they expect and desire that people enjoy watching them and they must think that are are enjoyable to watch. Its not really reasonable to expect an audience to cut you some slack visually because you feel good as a partner.

    When I watch the "greats" like Chico (who I've only seen on video, never in person) or others who dance 'head down', it affects my enjoyment of the performance. I recognize other things of value and focus my attention on them.
  7. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    In both partnered or nonpartnered dance,...there are moves that are very uncomfortable to do, but the trick is to make them look easy and natural and effortless.
  8. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    head down

    I agree with everything you said. I was told by my first instructor that the head weighs about 12 lbs. and when it's tilted down it will effect your balance and of course your frame. My partner dances with some men who are very bent over with the head pointing down but she enjoys dancing with them and is very complementary of the lead and balance. I guess the point is poor posture for whatever reason can be compensated and the dancing can still be enjoyable.

    All characters appearing in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.
  9. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Ah HA! So you have an IMAGINARY partner! ;)
    Good to know.

    kidding..... ducking and running.....

    (all humor in this post is intended as light-hearted teasing... Any resemblance to sarcasm, insults, or hostility is purely coincidental)
  10. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    I understand why some follows want to enjoy the dance more than how it looks.
    There is another perspective that I hope that you all can be open minded enough to understand, and refrain from judging. Opinions are ok.

    Some dancers I know, enjoy the beauty/artistry they emanate from their dancing, more than how effortless (*enjoyable) the actual dancing is. They condition/train themselves at great lengths to achieve this. Their *enjoyment is recieved, while they are performing in a manner that they have desired to achieve.

    When a well trained dancer achieves this, the effort disappears due to the strength/motivation they recieve in doing a job well done. Then, the dancing itself becomes enjoyable.

    Point being, ...just because a lead makes some/a certain follow feel good dancing, even though the lead is not much to look at, as far as technique is concerned, ...a well trained follow may not enjoy his dancing at all, no matter how effortless it may be, because she could feel how the dancing looks like (notices the lack of proper technique etc.)....and be uncomfortable with it. Some accomplished follows, upon seeing how the lead dances...may even avoid dances with such leads.

    Please keep in mind, most of my experiences are in the youth training environment. The youth are very self-conscious about the way they look. (Sort of like Women/shoes...how good they look in them, trumps the pain the recieve from them).

    P.S.....I ask that you don't judge, because I see/experience judgement on this issue all the time. It's just the way it is,...sort of like, how some women who would never date a man shorter then her.
  11. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I think everyone wants to enjoy the dance. The point (in IMO), is that different people may get their enjoyment in different ways. Some get their enjoyment mostly from the feel (or connection), while others get their enjoyment mostly from the visual presentation, (or steps, as I sometimes say). Of course, some aspire to try and do some of both.
  12. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    That is difference between you and say, a friend or family member. They know me. Enough to know what it takes to really hurt or worry me. Clue: thump me, I will hurt (before I thump you back). Leave a message on my phone that a friend or family member is seriously ill: I will worry. Criticise my work in such a way that I consider it constructive, I will take it on board. In a way that is insulting: I will ignore you. So, no, CJ it takes more than a few negative words on a forum by one who I know not to bruise me. Strange, but true.:rolleyes:

    Why not? As long as it is backed up by a reason that isn't insulting, defamatory or personal about the man's wife or mother. They saying "I do not like..." is no different to your saying "You should not...". Both comes with weight and can be construed as being dictatorial and self-opinionating.

    That might be so. And this is your view and that should be respected..but, again, it might not be a view shared by another. I may have two ex-boyfriends discussing me. I doubt they'll share the same opinion about me. One may say that I was a complete and utter b****. The other more favorable. It happens. It is often times not so much the action but the RE-action where the lesson grow can be found.
  13. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    Oh dear. Just when we were getting on so nicely...

    I wont comment on you've said at the top of your post. What's there to say? You want to get the last word in, go ahead.

    I will say this though...

    Of course people can have opposing opinions on something. Mine is based on going to at least a dozen of Steve's weekenders, and hearing many women make complimentary comments on his dancing. What's yours based on?
  14. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Let's just end this thread. Several attempts to get it back on track have not worked. Obviously, the subject is exhausted.
  15. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Don't lose any sleep on it huns, it's just a differing of opinions not wholesale genocide.

    Erm..freedom of speech within the realms of respect?

    But... as Angel quite rightly says here I will say no more on the subject of opinions and their differences. I shall continue it with the family tonight :)

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