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

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

  1. vade mecum

    vade mecum New Member

    I keep waiting for the group class (close embrace) where there are more taller than average women than shorter. I'm 6'4" with no belly, and feel like something out of the Beowulf movie sometime around woman 5' 5" in heels. They seem scared to maintain the connection; and most know that I have 5 years experience.

    The hardest thing for me do is maintain contra body position as I walk to the cross (step 2 and 3 of the dreaded 8 count). She must maintain close contact and contra positioning as well, but most followers are too light and end up sliding off, or step too wide on the side step with me, and then I can never get that outside position no matter what I do. I think this is why most of the want me to make Step #4 so far to the outside insted of staying in my lane (they pull even with me on the sidestep) Fortunately, I have a regular partner and GF that is 5' 7'' + shoes to dance with at the milonga. However, we both want to dance with others in the lessons' rotations and at the dances. Usually I arrive home from the lessons totally frustrated and neurotic about how I must put people off just because of my height and, yes, lower belly to chest connection.
     
  2. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to the DF AT section.

    The subject of how much weight to share with your partner surely must have come up in your classes.
    What have you been taught in that regard, and does your instructor share your diagnosis of the problem? (That being that the followers are "too light".)
     
  3. vade mecum

    vade mecum New Member

    This particular class is only 5 seessions long (this was week 4). I believe that close embrace is a rather new concept for the followers. Our community is known for dancing open. The instructor has been taking the followers out of the rotation (my follower) to I think assess the situation. I definitely heard him asking for more pressure and contra.

    I used to have sore hips from trying in vain to connect (bending at the ankles, but trying to feel some pressure at the mid waist which was illusory because the follow would not be comfortable with the contact). Now, after so many years of walking and maintaining an upright chest and staying balanced my hips can take the forward and down position without much pain. It's usually open embrace however that followers will accept from me. This is not preferred on my part.
     
  4. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    IMO a certain (usually more than the women want to give) amount of "pressure" or weight sharing in the torso (or where ever your bodies connect if there is a significant difference in height) is required to make it work beyond the "mind reading" stage for a lot of things.

    Question about this, though,
    Do you mean the upper part of your pelvis forward and down?
     
  5. vade mecum

    vade mecum New Member

    Question about this, though,


    Do you mean the upper part of your pelvis forward and down?[/quote]

    Yes, I had a diagnostic at work a month ago where physical therapists looked at my posture and said that my hips in a natural standing position were tilted back. So for the last few weeks I've been working on doing exactly as you quoted above.

    I managed to forget to answer your question about how the subject of weight sharing was treated in class. It is not emphasized by this teacher since he frequently teaches a dynamic close then --using energy-- opening the embrace. I personally feel that weight should be shared to a degree, and can take a lot of it simply by using the floor to push off.
     
  6. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Instructors will regurgitate ad nauseum "Lead from the chest!" Please remeber that this does not mean literally a bull's eye point/area of the chest, rather it is the argentine word for center. Lead from your center. There is no need for you to bend, squat, or sacrifice your posture in any way.
     
  7. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    I’m 6’2” and I think I know what you’re doing wrong. It’s step two and the correction is very simple and easy to fix.
    What you’re doing now is taking step #2 to the left and your left foot is pointing straight so when you take step #3 with your right leg to the outside of your partner your hips and legs are twisting creating a disconnect with her.

    The fix: when you take step #2 make sure your left foot is turned out to the left at around a 30 degree angle and as you shift your weight on to the left foot you pivot her slightly to the left and take step #3. Now your hips are straight as you take step #3 and she is right where she belongs with a good connection.

    Let me know if this works for you.
     
  8. vade mecum

    vade mecum New Member

    Thanks, I am doing what you posit that I'm doing on Step 2. By pivoting her to the left you mean that should pivot her counter-clock slightly? I will try this tonight.
     
  9. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Well, that didn't take long. I'm already back for more. LOL. Going to tone back on the random group classes some though. Honestly, learning flashy move of the week + getting corrections for whatever style that teacher likes (sometimes going against what my teacher has told me :???: ) is probably just confusing my already addled brain. I have a feeling I understand enough about the fundamentals of the dance to figure out most of the patterns on my own now anyways.

    So today I felt a lot better. Not invincible, but still like progress has been made. We mostly spent time reviewing and correcting minor things.

    1. Keeping forward pressure with the open arm.
    2. Using breathing and CBM to help signal syncopated steps and rocksteps.
    3. Walking backwards. My forward walk is apparently awesome now! :) Now time to apply the same technique the other way. heh.
     
  10. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    So what you're saying is that it's the perfect time to go out dancing and practice what you've learned, right? Right???
     
  11. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Hehe! YES! It's been like, what, two months since we danced?! I don't know about tonight though, got a B-day party... oh hey, there's a text message! I guess I should turn on my phone ringer. :p
     
  12. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Prolly at least two months. Birthday party, shmirthday party...it'll happen again next year! ;)

    Yeah, having the ringer turned on has been shown to improve a cell's efficacy.
     
  13. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Took a slight break from fundamentals to take a group class on back sacadas and overturned ochos. Wheee! They are fun. Back sacada still needs a lot of work, but the overturned ochos weren't that hard to lead. I think it's because my teacher was very good on separating out the pivot as a distinct motion when I first started learning ochos. In fact, she had this little game she used to torment me with... when I'd lead a very long front ocho, she would take her sweet time on the pivot, doing like 5 adornos. If I tried to rush her to pivot faster or took a step myself before she was done, she'd tsk me, make me start over, and do even MORE adornos until I sat there patiently waiting for her to finish. It was very cute. Also very annoying. ;)
     
  14. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Staying forward in hesitation/rock steps. Staying forward in giros. Staying forward in general. Arg. :) On the plus side, got complimented again on my embrace!
     
  15. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    I've noticed an interesting progression in my YouTube studies...for the first 1 1/2 Years I watched the man's feet...then, I began watching mostly the woman's feet...now, I am watching the man's upper torso.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aIyPVXoxlc&feature=related#
    Since, I watch close embrace dancing..no matter what the step of either partner, the man must lead everything with his chest.
     
  16. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    ... in close embrace, the above is crucial if one wants something besides a mediocre dance. A failure at it is called 'bicycling'..where you are sort of sitting back.
    A great exercise is simply standing with the weight forward on the balls of the feet leaning forward body straight butt in and everything relaxed.. then walking and keeping the lean forward... it gave me a breakthru!:friend:
     
  17. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Thanks Mario. :) I think at this point it's mostly consistency I'm working on. Out of the gate I'm ok, but when I lose my concentration, things fall apart and the old bad habits come back.
     
  18. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    ..may I offer a suggestion; practise the lean and walk consistently, daily to Arg. Tango music. This will form THE 'habit'..then, when you dance; pause a lot, get into the habitual walk and don't think nor plan any figures unless they happen spontaneously out of the walk...this eventually will work and lead to a very personal and dynamic dance.:cool:
     
  19. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Today was a fun lesson.

    Musical interpretation! Walking such that I match what I hear in the music through creative use of taps, pivots, weight changes, etc. Matching a figure to a phrase. And being patient when the songs begins, waiting for the right moment to start; using the introduction part of the song to connect with my partner and the music.

    Minor adjustments to the walk and embrace. I have to keep the heel of the trailing leg closer to the ground as my foot moves up. Being more grounded and solid during paradas. Not losing my posture during a parada.

    Feelin' better about my progress. Good times.
     
  20. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    you will notice that this is a more traditional embrace: mostly connection at shoulder chest height; it almost separtes at 1:38 because he is sticking his butt out to get his chest forward; the more modern close embrace has the connection "down the shirt buttons" as Korey has put it; so from about navel height there is a torso connection. Like most things it is fluid and has to vary according to relative height, and as mentioned elsewhere where the woman decides to place herself.
     

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