Tango Argentino > control emotions in close embrace

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by aaah, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I think the more concerned you are with stepping on your partner's feet, the more hesitantly you'll move and lead, and the more you will actually step on her.

    If, however, you move confidently and lead from your chest (don't just go sticking a foot out there and then step onto it) it will actually be harder to step on her. (Caveat: she's got to know how to move in response, too.) Also, think of walking "through" her, not "around" her.

    I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but it works.
  2. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    You're stepping on toes primarily because your posture is probably wrong, and your technique is off. It needs to be corrected. Peaches is right about this one.

    Based on your posts, you're knit-picking on several flawed details. There are greater issues at work as a whole here than you may not yet realize. So, now that your asking me...

    MY personal opinion...

    Do a combination of group and private lessons to maximize value.

    Find an AT specific teacher/studio class that is neutral (away from the unversity). That way, you have a mixed demograpgic. Take group lessons to learn steps. This constitutes the majority.

    Intersperse private lessons FOR TECHNIQUE only. Concentrate learning on "How to lead." This would include (to name a few) connection, connection, connection, nuances, etiquette, posture, placement, balance, Close/open/liquid embrace, etc... All of the fundamental stuff necessary to be a good lead. Things that make one a decent Tanguero.

    A cautionary note... Choose your AT teacher wisely.
  3. aaah

    aaah Member

    Excellent advise. :-D Technique it will be, during the privates. Reckon, a female tacher would be better so that my lead can be evaluated from the follow's end?
  4. aaah

    aaah Member

    I've heard this so often during the group classes but because I dance mainly with diverse beginners still don't really have a clue. I will need privates to straighten this out. Thanks. ;)
  5. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    You reckon so. Actually, male or female, does not matter. Its common in AT for good leads to know how to follow. So, as long as your teachers know how to follow, either can evaluate and improve your lear's technique just as well.

    Make sure that you have VERY, VERY, VERY good grasp of the BASICS before you proceed with anything else.
  6. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Something I always tell people is that you should "always" keep your feet under your center, expecially in close embrace. When your center moves forward the woman should begin to move backwards, and her unweighted leg should move to stay under her center. You are in effect making room for your foot with your upper body.
    Here again is the url to some excellent material regarding "close embrace".
    Assume that you are a rank beginner in this style when you take classes. After dancing many different social dances for a decade, and after one year of open embrace AT, I figured out that the approach had many differences from what I had learned previously, and I signed up for the beginner class. Basics are VERY important in this dance.
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Peaches wrote:
    "Also, I know the general thinking here in the U.S. is that it's up to the woman to determine the embrace. I think this is kind of disingenuous--what if they guy (such as yourself) isn't comfortable with it? He should have a say. (Reality is, most of us can tell if the guy isn't comfortable, by body language, and adjust accordingly.) But I've also heard a couple of well-respected AT teachers (women, no less) state that it's the man's choice that determines the embrace. The thinking is that the man sets the predominant style, and it's the woman's responsibility to adapt to that, and never impose her style. Just some food for thought."

    Guys should have enough gumption to let a woman know if he feels uncomfortable in close embrace. For me, although I've gotten over the closeness issue, sometimes the women think it's way easier than it is, and I just can't make it work with her. At that point I'll probably say as casually as I can, "Let's try open". (Don't know if this is a good cover up or not.)
    I was taught that forming "the embrace" isn't rushed. The discussion as to its closeness can be either non verbal or verbal. I would say to women that if you want to dance close embrace, you should assume that the man is letting you decide. If he grabs you and pulls you against him, ah... I guess you know what he's been taught. Or more commonly, I think (based on observation of other guys who have had the same instructors as I have), that he isn't doing what he was taught.
    My opinion is that if a woman has to be coerced into a close embrace, she probably isn't going to dance it very well. (Again, I think it's way harder than it looks.)
  8. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    aaah, I think you need to remember that Heather2007 is a Nasty Evil Southerner, and hence not as couth as wot we are Up North. :cool:

    Well, hey, thanks - I didn't realise you fought in WWII. Well done - I for one appreciate the sacrifice you personally made. And, it's good to confirm that you're never too old to start Tango. Although I'm surprised about your comments about older people?

    What can I say, she's from Bromley.
  9. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    That's such good advice.

    I had exactly that issue a few weeks back - I had a sore knee, and so was leading hesitantly to (I thought) protect it. So what happens? My partner picks up on this hesitation and moves hesitantly herself - resulting in more knee-banging.

    Fortunately my partner spotted this problem, and sorted it out for me.

    Absolutely - so many times in AT, the things I try to do to correct a problem are either the things causing the problem, or aggravate it. When all I needed to do was to have good technique in the first place. :rolleyes:
  10. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Nice post. Yes, I definitely feel the guys have equal say in the embrace. Like I've said before, I think determining the embrace should be an equal thing. No one should be uncomfortable. (Let's just forget about how I was introduced to it for the moment, shall we? ;-) )

    I've never heard that the man or the woman should be pulling the other into the embrace. Regardless of who's "setting" it.
  11. aaah

    aaah Member

    That explains it, but shouldn't the central gov't build some schools down there?:confused:

    That's okay mate. I'll hold the Germans offa you again. :ladiesma:

    Taken totally out of context my man. I love older people, some of my best friends are older.

    Thanks for the good old Brit sense of humor. Cheers!

    Thanks mate, for covering my back.
  12. The Bear

    The Bear New Member

    I think Heather and Aaah should be made to dance together in close embrace until they both jolly well start to get a long and enjoy it.:rolleyes:
    And Heather - no back leading now, y'hear?

    Oh and one more thing; Don't mention the war!!!
  13. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    I think AMpster's advice was good. If you are able to find someone who can both lead and follow (this would include a follower who leads, as well as a leader who follows), then I think you'll get the best of both worlds. You may not make as much progress working with a leader who only leads or a follower who only follows.

    My instinct if I were going to take privates (as a leader) would be, a follower who is also a good leader.
  14. crysis999

    crysis999 New Member

    Really nice tips ...... would keep that in mind !!!
  15. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Or a couple.
    I once took a series of privates with a couple and their assistant. They would show together, then he would show and explain, then she would show and explain, then I would lead the assistant while they watch, then once the major mistakes corrected I would dance with the female teacher to adjust the little things, while the male teacher would dance with the assistant if he felt he needed to add some extra explanation.
  16. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    Absolutely- the only reason I didn't mention it is because I think it is pretty rare. I've only had the chance for that one time so far, but if the opportunity presents itself- definitely yes!

    My last set of privates was with Luciana Valle, and she leads and follows (though she was only doing privates with couples at these workshops and I don't know if that is her regular method). So, of course, with her, its all good from both sides of the equation. :rocker:
  17. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    I'm smug and filled with animosity because I won't p*ssyfoot around your ego and entertain your rather...erm...gobsmacking views about "fat" and "old" women? Is that it? Of course it is. What next? A problem tango'ing with black women, Jewish women, asian women, blond women? One prejudice leads to another my friend. One prejudice leads to another. And on behalf of all those women are not slim, pretty, young - I will forever defend. If that makes me one smug bitch. Then, so be it.
  18. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Which one?
  19. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    The Boer War. It's embarassing, mainly because we Brits can never remember if it's supposed to have one of those umlaut thingies or not, and we've no idea where Boer is ;)
  20. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    It's not "where"--it's "what."

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