Tango Argentino > "But that's how they do it in BsAs..."

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Dave Bailey, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    Yes! :cheers:
  2. CeeCee

    CeeCee New Member

    ooh, thank you Ampster

    I agree and it depends on the dancer. We had a visiting teacher from BsAs who teaches toe leads because he dances that way. He certainly looks natural and manages to elegantly extend his leg creating a smooth walk.

    Another visiting teacher from BsAs teaches heal leads because he dances that way. His style is very different and he doesn’t seem to look for leg extension and smoothness but he does look natural.

    They both caress the floor and they both have convincing arguments about why their way is the right way. They don’t seem to switch but their choice of heel or toe lead seems to suit their style.
  3. jhpark

    jhpark Member

    the visiting teacher who did toe leads -- did he keep his foot sliding on the floor as he walked, or would he lift his foot off the floor and then step toe first? i've seen that difference too

  4. CeeCee

    CeeCee New Member

    Oh yes, he kept his foot sliding on the floor, apparently all of the time. His forward walks were very stylised and while he made it look natural, somehow other people looked unnatural, uncomfortable and in pain trying to copy him.
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    And you're sure it was a genuine toe lead?

    I'm not trying to be contradictory, I'm genuinely asking. My teacher almost always keeps his feet in constant contact with the floor, and I could see where it could look like he takes toe leads. He slides his foo forward with the inside edge of the ball of his foot to the floor, and it does look something like a toe lead, but then actually transfers the weight onto his heel.

    I'm just wondering, based on what you said about others having such a hard time executing the same technique, if there was a disconnect between what was actually going on vs. what it looked like was going on...
  6. CeeCee

    CeeCee New Member

    You may be right, perhaps it wasn't a genuine toe lead. Perhaps we were fooled by what we saw.

    Equally, there may be a genuine communication problem here. We have a lot of visiting teachers in London who come from BsAs and it appears that the poorer their English, the more authentic they are considered to be.

    He told us that he was leading with his toe.
    He told us to lead with our toe.
    We tried to lead with our toe.
    We couldn't do it without looking ridiculous and hopelessly losing balance. I have to say again though that he looks really good, sliding along the floor with his flexible, extended legs and rotated ankles.
  7. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I wasn't trying to suggest that it didn't look good, or that you were wrong. I was just asking.

    But, yeah...language barriers can make for some interesting (and amusing) isntruction.
  8. Twirly

    Twirly New Member

    Wish I knew how to do a smiley with a crazy laugh! It's so true! ;)
  9. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    Twirly, how about this one!? --> :uplaugh:
  10. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    On a side note, and with all due respect to our friends from BsAs.

    A lot of us here have a back ground in Ballroom (myself included). We have to take into consideration that their (teachers from BA) idea of a toe lead is not what we (BR exposed people), would consider a toe lead.

    They don't do BR in BsAs. What they we both consider as toe leads have a different method of execution--with the same name.

    The preceeding quote is their idea of a toe lead, and (if I may add) the inside ball of the foot (right behind the big toe) is the point that is always in contact with the floor.

    It takes A LOT of practice to do this and look natural without falling over. You basicaly have to build up enough strength in your calves, quads, and glutes combined with smooth deliberate motion to be able to sustain this for a whole night's milonga.
  11. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    In Tennessee, we say, "You ain't from around here, are ya?"
  12. FTL

    FTL New Member

    I heard this once from my instructor and she's an Argentine who used to teach in Buenos Aires. I've never taken her remark seriously. If I see something that looks good technically and aesthetically from others, Argentine or not, I will try to learn it and use it. Nowadays, whenever I ask my instructor on what she thinks about a new technique or pattern I've learned outside her class, she'd say, "looks good, tango is improvisation". If it looks bad she tries to modify and refine it.
  13. Twirly

    Twirly New Member

    That's the one!!!
  14. Lynn P

    Lynn P New Member

    Yep. I've been told my year of learning, going to classes in different places in the UK, didn't count as much compared to someone else who had 2 lessons - because I didn't learn in BsAs. :rolleyes:
  15. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    Hello Lynn :D Welcome to our world!

    FYI: When I hear stuff like this (directed at me), it kinda makes me :evil: . Yes, there is value in going to BsAs to learn. However, this is simply an imposition some people's ethnocentric perception. As a Manager who does "Global" stuff regularly, I know for a fact that it is all a matter of "Quality Knowledge Transfer."

    Find a local quality teacher who has learned and mastered the intricate nuances of AT, and who knows how AT should be. Bolster this by attending a few workshops by reputable teachers from BsAs. Combine that with your own mastery of the dance. Then, it makes no difference if you learned AT in the US, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, etc.

    To illustrate my point, I have several friends from Buenos Aires. They cannot dance (even if their lives depended on it). After seeing me and my wife Tango, they decide to follow our lead and take it up to. They've been with my teacher AND they've been to BsAs (their hometown) to learn it. They have made their comparisons. Ethnocentricity aside, the value they got from either was the same. They just had to pick the right teacher.
  16. Lynn P

    Lynn P New Member


    The comment didn't really annoy me that much as it was all part of an 'attitude' that was clearly meant to impress, but didn't.

    I'm just glad of any opportunity I get to learn or dance tango, wherever it is.
  17. Twirly

    Twirly New Member

    I think that going to buenos aires can be valuable, not because of better teachers but because there are so many dancers to be inspired by. And the environment in the milongas is so different (but then I've yet to dance anywhere else apart from the UK, so I don't know what it's like in other places...). You can learn a lot just by watching.

    Of course I wouldn't say that someone who's been to Bs As has to a better dancer or know more about tango than someone who hasn't, that's ridiculous and annoying. But it's an experience that can change your perception of tango.
  18. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Being in BsAs atm, I'd say that different teachers say different things (yesterday at Cordoba one said that you don't lead with the chest). So whatever you're doing, there is most probably some people in BsAs who also "do it this way".
  19. Tanguera

    Tanguera New Member

    I perfectly agree with you, Twirly.:p

  20. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    :confused: I thought we were supposed to lead with our "centre" (wherever that is...)

    I like it!

    Hmmm... I guess I could just lie and say "Well, when I was in BsAs..." - after all, they're being dumb, why shouldn't I be also? :grin:

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