Tango Argentino > AT Lessons: What are you working on?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by DancePoet, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    The worst thing is that once you've made the change, the next teacher will tell you that you should go toe first.

  2. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member


    That's a good point. Well. Hmm. I think I'll probably discuss things with my regular teacher before reinventing myself. I will take her point in hand, that something needs fixing to make the walk feel nicer.
  3. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    So. By Peach's request, posting an awesome Graciela metaphor for teaching the proper molinete technique to a leader:

    "Imagine you have grabbed the woman's bra in your teeth and you are trying to pull her around you in a circle. While at the same time, reaching around her back with your right arm to grope her breast."
    Mladenac likes this.
  4. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Well, lesson #2 with my fav visiting teacher. Spent the entire time walking. Very very enlightening, got a lot to think about and practice. The biggest thing I have to work on is absolutely positively no pushing off the back leg. It's messing everything up for me. When she finally got me to relax and let my trailing leg well, trail, I felt a lot more stable. I don't know where I picked up the habit, maybe my old ballroom or swing training coming back to haunt me? Hrm.

    Got clarification on her stance on the whole heel vs toe lead thing. According to her, it's merely a matter of aesthetics. When you can control the movement of your body to the point when you can stop on a dime, at any step, and the follower still feels you anchoring her, then you can choose which style you want. But until then, you stick to the one which feels the most natural and grounded for the person.
  5. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    Who is graciela?
  6. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Could you elaborate on this a bit more? Being grounded is somethat that I'm still working on, still get called on, and still just don't really understand. I've been told to let the trailing leg trail, but I've also been told to really use the floor when I move, which seems to contradict what you're being told.

    Granted, it's hard to say what's going on. You could have been pushing too much, so "no pushing off the back leg" could be a correction; I could be using the floor not at all, so need to be told to use it as much as possible. Possibly there's a middle point that we're approaching from opposite ends. Nevertheless, I'd still be interested in some more detail.

    (Or if anyone else has some ideas..??)

    I think that's got to be one of the best statements ever from a teacher. Recognition of differences and the significance/lack of said differences, reason for doing it how they say at the moment, and an explantion of when you can feel free to disregard them. Love it.
  7. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

  8. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    This is the first time I've really understood it either. She made me take off my shoes... said they were not letting me feel the floor. She also pointed out that I had a bad habit of tensing my toes. How she knew that just by dancing with me... nevermind. ;) Anyway, with my shoes off, we stood together on the floor, then she pressed down on my foot until it was completely flat, toes relaxed and spread. She then made me shift my entire weight to that foot, move my weight over the ball of my foot in the tango posture, then lift my free leg off the floor behind me. Bending my standing leg slightly. She then told me THAT was grounded. When I could stand like that for an hour comfortably, perfectly balanced. We then practiced moving from foot to foot, walking while attaining that same level of connection to the floor after each step. The big thing during movement was to transfer the weight evenly and completely. No hopping, no sharp tensing of the muscles of the standing leg to push off the floor. The impulse and lead for the next step comes from relaxing and bending the standing leg before you take the step. I noticed when I was doing this "right" according to her, my head was moving completely even with the floor without even thinking about it.

    That's all I can remember right now. I guess "using the floor" could refer to the feeling that you're always solidly in contact with the floor at some point during the step, you're never bouncing or hopping. It's kind of a controlled rolling feeling.

    Yeah! I really like it when they explain why they teach something a certain way. Never been a fan of "Do it this way 'cause I say so." :)
  9. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    First you lead, then you follow. I think I knew this instinctively at the beginning, but I forgot it again when I started learning figures...
  10. New in NY

    New in NY New Member

    Interesting, because most of my lesson yesterday was about pushing off MORE than I tend to do. But we also worked on improving the trailing leg, not moving abruptly, and consistency in bending the standing leg.
  11. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Yep, could be we both just have different problems. I have very very strong legs, and my teacher pointed out to me it didn't take much movement at all to take me to the next step.

    Consistency of movement and bending the standing leg definitely sounds familiar though.
  12. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Lesson today, back to my normal teacher.

    Putting it all together. No new figures, just focusing on taking everything I learned in the past week about walking and the embrace and making sure it sticks. My teacher pointed out that I'd just made some major changes to my fundamentals, and that kind of thing is important to take slow. Give the body time to readjust, and not overwhelm the brain with new information.

    It was hard for me to tell how much had changed... my teacher pointed out that for the leader sometimes it's hard to tell when their embrace has improved, but followers always can tell. She told me that my embrace was much more comfortable, and her legs felt more free to move. I take that as a good sign. :)

    Another sign of improvement... I've graduated to faster more rhythmic tangos as practice music. ;) We spent some time really focusing on the music, and incorporating the feeling into each step. Walking inside, outside, crossed, rock steps, hesitation steps, etc.
  13. arslanz

    arslanz New Member

    ...working on boleos right now.....
  14. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    1. Engage the buttocks when walking - use them to push off the floor.
    2. Collect the legs, always.
    3. When rockstepping, don't lift the back leg up off the floor - lead it earlier and smaller.
    4. Use collect and transfer of weight as an alternative to rocksteps.
    5. Relax the knee, always
    6. Keep left arm forward - especially during giros and ochos
  15. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    DB's point is most relative.... we all must, from time to time, return to review the basics, yes?
  16. Light Sleeper

    Light Sleeper New Member


    Like DB, this week I am mostly working on .... "Collect the legs, always."
  17. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Yes - and it was brought home to me at the Tango Mango event.

    I'd like to try to re-visit the basics, doing a beginner class / course, once a year.
  18. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    Yes watching some of the (excellent) leaders at the Tango Mango reminded me of what's really important :)

    At the moment : syncopation, double times, dynamic weight changes, varying the step pattern.
  19. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    yesterday: barridas , my styling is not good. Fetching foot is not streched enought, donĀ“t really pivot on the left ball, so im kind of knotty and unorganized :-(
  20. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member


    Incorporating the natural motion of the human body as an expression of the music. CBM, thinking in spirals rather than straight lines. Thinking of the walk as a continual movement, rather than a series of steps.

    Also using pauses in the music to reconnect to your partner in a seamless manner. i.e., Listening to the music, doing a figure or series of steps that matches the phrase, then pausing and collecting between musical phrases because you probably lost a little of your posture and connection.

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