Tango Argentino > Crossing over from ballroom to Tango

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by twnkltoz, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    It was a poise thing, and related to me and my issue. I had the tendency--from AT--to bring my left shoulder in towards the man and open out on the right side, and to really bring my head around to face him. The contact with my back wouldn't have been light if my teacher had kept his frame, it would have been non-existant.
  2. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Well, having a backward poise with a forward balance is always going to feel 'different', but it is appropriate for BR and not for AT. Unfortunately, most BR dancers can't/won't do it properly, so it may not be what you are conscious of.

    What I would say is that surely there is a fundamental difference about the way that a follower moved backward in tango, in that the foot goes, and the body doesn't (until its movement can no longer be denied). It feels to me as though the followers body goes back to make the weight transfer, at the extent of the stride. It's almost as though only one leg is working at a time (the free leg, thing), whereas a BR backward movement has the body move with the foot, but the weight is still supported (until it can no longer be) by the standing leg, which is still working hard, using the knee joint and ankle in a very dynamic way.

    BR backward walks are very difficult to do well (far harder, I think, than a tango walk), and are often done badly. What tango leader may feel is the incorrect execution of what a BR dancer thinks they should be doing, but to some extent this is the fault ot the tango teacher in not getting to grips, very early on, with what is required of a tango follower.
  3. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Er...well, given the people I've heard it from/about, I feel reasonably confident that it is not a skill issue.

    I think it is more related to what you said here:
    And that is EXACTLY what does NOT happen with AT...and doing so will create the feeling that she is "falling away" from the man. Also, given that you say that they don't "necessarily" break contact is another indication...in AT you just don't break contact. (Unless the man leads you to. Another can of worms.)

    This gave me pause, possibly because I don't have a full enough understanding of the BR side of things. Can you explain this a bit more?

    Good call on not carrying your momentum with each step. Another big sticking point (and also a possible reason why AT leaders can feel like a woman is "falling away").
  4. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Oh well, play fair then, that was a suggestion to correct a particular issue - from AT - rather than a generic BR tendency.
  5. chanchan

    chanchan Member

    It is normal, the same is for me.
    You pay attention to more interesting aspects of the music.
    Even when it is not the beat, there is always something in the music that you are following, and this things are made of notes, pauses, crescendo, staccato, legato...
    BR music is much more simple and flat from this point of view, so dancers are problably not used to hear all that nuances.
  6. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

  7. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Yeah, my bad.

    Although twinkletoz did echo much the same thought... :confused:
  8. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

  9. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

  10. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    4. ... Even though the girl dances backward a good deal of the time she must keep her weight forward...

    Ballroom Dance Rhythms. Heaton 1961 page 41
    I'm sure I could find more if I had time.

    One of many reasons I keep agreeing that there are many similarities BR & AT.

    The upper body "away shape", however has me a bit perplexed, and I've never attempted to analyze it.
    Neither have I seen it addressed in any of the "Ballroom" "Social Dance" books I've looked at.
    The connection must be much lower than in AT???
  11. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    That's interesting. The last sentence of your post isn't visible to me in the original?

    Anyway, might it be that given a certain level of experience of the rhythmic freedom of tango that it is no longer important to hear the pulse consciously, because it has been internalised, with the conscious attention being paid to other things in the music in order to use them creatively?

    BR music doesn't need to be 'nuanced' in that way, because the rhythm is fixed and the musicality is achieved in other ways (no less subtle).
  12. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what point you are making.. that I wrote the rhythm wrong for Fox Trot? I said that I could be wrong about the way I wrote them out.

    If you are saying that BR dancers hear the beginning and ends of sequences and/or phrases, I never said they didn't, so... again :confused:

    Maybe we are using the term pattern to mean different things. By pattern, I meant that one must adhere to a specific pattern without variation for the entire piece. ie: "Slow,Slow,Quick,Quick" over and over and over and....

    That is not true of AT obviously. Yes, there are "patterns" that get used, but they are not continuously repeated (what I think you mean by loop)

    So I think we are saying the same thing, but we used the term "pattern" differently. I agree that there are patterns (ie: typical uses of slows and quicks) but they are not, as you say, an endless loop.

    Also, to clarify, I am speaking specifically of RHYTHM patterns of TIMING of movements, not step patterns involving the specific movements themselves..

    It is easily answered by saying "there is no set pattern you must dance for the entire piece". Getting the people to take that on board and be comfortable without that parameter is NOT always easy.

    And yes, it's a problem in crossover situations primarily. People who haven't ever been exposed to dancing a specific rhythm pattern without variation don't even think to ask what the "pattern" they're supposed to use is. Its not the way other dance forms are constructed.

    No. Difficulty finding the beat in the unfamiliar music is not SPECIFIC to BR dancers, but it does happen with BR dancers sometimes too.

    Yes, some of them were.

    You missed the point.. they could find it in other music, just not the unfamiliar Argentine orchestrations.
  13. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member


    I would argue that there is much the same thing in AT. When I start to feel a leader's intention, there is an increase (slight!) in pressure in the connection between us. In response to this I may send my leg wherever he's asking, or not, depending on what the intention is for. As the step is taken, there is a "reversion" to the original amount of pressure.

    This makes me curious as to why you feel the BR hold is more...wudjacallit?...right...has more compression and relaxation in the frame. I always felt like the AT hold was super soft and relaxed (it's called a walking hug, after all! :D), but I always felt like a BR frame was like an [expletive deleted] straight jacket.
  14. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    In BR, you do NOT have to pick one rhythm (slow, slow, quick, quick) for the whole dance. Dancers go back and forth between rhythms.
  15. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure to whom that was directed, but yes, the contact area is roughly from the hips to the diaphram (Y) to contrast with the AT upper chest (A).
  16. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I wonder if there's a disction to be made between keeping weight forward versus a forward pressure into the leader. I mean, I can keep my weight forward (and I do!) without having that forward intention. This as a completely separate issue from "poise" or "posture."
  17. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Most figures have little variation in timing (but some do), but of course we choose how to link figures together into amalgamations (precedes and follows), often with some sort of continuity steps between, with considerable flexibility. The greater the skill level, the better matched the chosen figures to the music and its phrasing. It can be 'almost' as free as AT, but we are thinking in groups of steps as the indivisible unit, rather than one step at a time.

    Not easy.
  18. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    There may be some of this in AT, but it is not nearly as dynamic as in BR. I know this from watching the dancers and from dancing with them and being corrected when I danced the way I did in BR. If the AT hold is softer and more relaxed, you can't have the same amount of compression as you do in BR, with a more solid, energetic frame. A proper BR hold should NOT feel like a straight jacket. Either you felt that way because it's so different from what you're used to, or the person you danced with didn't do it right.
  19. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    As I pointed out, that seems to be true of what happens at more advanced levels. But my experience has been that BR dancers at that level aren't taking AT and if they try, they don't stick with it for reasons discussed above.

    The BR dancers I see (and work with) are not at a point of playing with rhythms that way. They are adhering to a specific pattern from start to finish. That's true of the BR'ers I've taught AT and the ones I've danced BR with.

    So when these beginner, advanced beginner and lower intermediate BR'ers come to AT, they usually are looking to know that "The Rhythm" is that they're supposed to dance (continuously)
  20. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Yes, they are different things, but I don't think there is a fundamental technique difference in the basic approach between BR & AT here.

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