Tango Argentino > Crossing over from ballroom to Tango

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

  1. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Well I hope you tell them!
  2. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Here's a video of rumba--look at how much their frame changes. Obviously, there isn't this level of compression and relaxation in smooth/standard dances, but the idea is the same.

  3. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    A highly skilled dancer will hardly feel the frame at all, but will do nothing to disturbe it, either. We are each totally responsible for the carriage of our own weight at all times, and neither wants to represent any sort of load on the other.
  4. ant

    ant Member

    It appears we agree then. It is a question of familiarity to the music rather than anything specific BR brings to the table. Hence my original question.

    I would say never easy but that applies to anybody coming into AT.

    I would suggest one of the earliest things learnt in AT is the number of beats in a phrase. BR people may be asking the question but from knowledge not lack thereof. As a non teacher I see this as an advantage but if you as a teacher see this as a disadvantage based upon your experience I must accept your view.

    This maybe the case with BR dancers but what ability and experience did they have?

    I can see that unfamiliarity brings problems but is this specific to BR people?

    As I stated in my earlier post, in my opinion BR is far less forgiving if you do not find the beat compared to AT. It is far more relentless regarding dancing on the beat and to that extent it is different but again I see this as an advantage and not a problem when crossing over but again I say this as a non teacher.
  5. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I've been looking for a good, clear, example of an Advanced Opening Out movement on YouTube for ages, and there's a very good one at 0:16 - so thanks for that!
  6. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    This is sooo off topic and beside the point, but I just want to clarify.

    In the bronze American Foxtrot syllabus alone, there are three different rhythms: slow, slow, quick, quick; slow, quick, quick; and quick, quick, quick, quick, quick, quick, slow...with some variations on the last part. Dancers are able to move between these rhythms within a couple of months. Are they truly interpreting the music? No, because most BR dancers don't think about that. However, changing rhythms isn't that big a deal. I know, because I teach lots and lots of dancers to do it.

    There are also changes in the Tango rhythm within the bronze syllabus. Again, not that big a deal, nor an advanced concept.

    However, the basic step of each dance does come with its own basic rhythm, and that is what people look for when they first learn AT if they don't know better.
  7. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Glad I could help. :)
  8. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    This! Sometimes i think that is why so many tango dancers have some martial arts background. The whole tangle of one-way-ism, half -truths and outright wrong opinions, correct things explained using completely bogus theory, endless squabbles between schools, marvellous practitioners that are useless as teachers and the way that six-month students of any system believe that they are invincible/know the complete truth about how the universe works is sometimes a bit hard to stomach and to work through. And in tango people don't even want to admit that they work of different theories/ranges, and the idea of "steal my art" is only rarely voiced. If you have seen this in another domain already it is much less off putting.
    One of the few teachers that impressed my with their attitude to this are actually Mitra and Stefan - i have heard that one of their conditions for students to attend their advanced class series was that they have to take classes with some other tango teacher and study there.
  9. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Yes, free leg movement is very difficult to develop - it's the whole "relaxing whilst focussing" thing.

    Yes, as said that's a linear back boleo. I did a class on this in October - here's my notes from that session, they may help.

    But good free leg movement seems to take a while to develop (years, frankly).
  10. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    ukdancer - at last a proper explanation of what you mean
    none of which I disagree with.
    No matter how similar the concept, it feels very different.
    After all it's the changed points of contact, the connection,
    and the very different posture, that are important to the senses.

    It's a mistake in my view to mix up ballroom concepts with tango.
    Indeed it is why some say you should forget about ballroom and that
    certainly helped me as so many things have to change. You may say
    you cannot forget what you already know and have absorbed and
    that's true so now I prefer to think more of bringing an open mind.

    Tango developed informally and entirely independently of other dances,
    bringing technicalities from elsewhere isn't necessarily the answer.
  11. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    My opinion is that if a beginner can hear the basic beat, and attempt to move to it (for a leader), then that's enough to be getting on with. There are more important things at the start than musicality (posture and embrace are a couple of obvious examples - plus, of course, actually learning leading / following).

    But that's just my opinion.
  12. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    deleted due to formatting issues... it was easier to start over with a fresh post
  13. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Good notes--I'm bookmarking your site. Thanks!
  14. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Somehow, we just aren't communicating. I feel like I'm making the same correction again in this post to what you think I'm saying.

    No. There are TWO things we're talking about.

    One: Expecting to repeat a specific rhythm ad infinitum.

    This IS specific to BR dancers. Ballet dancers for instance do not expect to dance a continuous, non changing sequence of "Slow,Slow,Quick,Quick". Skaters would not expect it unless they are ice dancers who have never done anything else.. (which not something I've ever encountered on or off the ice)

    People who go to clubs and bars to shake their booty or freestyle dance do not expect it. Maybe Morris dancers expect it.. I wouldn't know. But the Ballroom dancers I taught expected there to be a single rhythm pattern that they were supposed to stick with throughout. It IS something that BR brings to the table.

    Two: The familiarity of the musical genre and ability to hear the "beat" when listening to it.

    This is NOT specific to BR dancers. However, I have had BR dancers who had trouble. Yes, there are some people (usually not BR dancers) who have trouble with hearing the beat in any music, but that's not what I'm referring to. I'm talking about people who can usually hear the beat in music just fine and for some reason get stymied by Argentine music and orchestration. If I put on a Frank Sinatra Fox Trot and ask them to do the Argentine steps and embrace, they find the beat. I switch to AT music and they get lost.

    It is not because they've never heard THAT piece of music. It is because the entire genre is alien. There's often no percussion. The beat is played by instruments they aren't expecting to be playing a beat and they often aren't bass instruments. They've never heard a bandoneon.

    They aren't conscious of what the problem is. They aren't thinking nuances like "Oh... the piano is giving the rhythm" or "Oh, there's no drum set". They don't know why they can't find the beat and it's frustrating them because it's not a problem they've had before where orchestration and instruments are familiar. So I've found that getting them to listen to the music more often usually helps. If the listen to it in their car when there's no need to dance, they get "comfortable" with the way Argentine music sounds.

    People who can't find the beat in ANY music are a different problem.

    Ballroom people are asking what the "set rhythm pattern" is out fo expectation. The fact that they have this understanding of rhythm to begin with can be an advantage. If they are unable to improvise rhythm because they need the structure of never varying it, that's a disadvantage.

    Basically we are talking about what BR brings to the table. Some of it helps and some of it doesn't. Just like any other movement activity... some parts of it help, some hinder.

    Asked and answered in several posts.
  15. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    As long as we're off topic... ;)

    Actually, it's not off topic, since the relative ability level does play a significant part in crossing over from one thing to another.

    Perhaps, in the BR world, it's not considered advanced. I'm in a mid-size city and I'm not sure how to "rank" the BR'er's I know. As I said, typically people I dance BR with don't vary the rhythm pattern. They may have been dancing for 3 years, but they can't make that transition.

    The exception is Viennese Waltz. People often can't maintain that quick 1,2,3 throughout, so they intersperse dancing only the 1. On the other hand, the only people I know who can do VW at all are more experienced Ballroom dancers to begin with. Most everyone here does American or Country Waltz. I have danced with ONE person who maintained the fast 1,2,3 for the whole dance... what fun that was! In this case however, I'd say that NOT varying was the more advanced skill.

    Keep in mind that I don't run with a BR crowd. I go to dances sometimes but it's unlikely that I am dancing with the best dancers.

    Studios here have to make lots of allowances to get enough students to stay afloat. This tends to be true regardless of what dance the class is.. BR, Latin or AT. There are places that offer "Bronze" and stuff and I'm sure they adhere better to the requirements of that level. However there are also quite a few classes just titled "Beginner", "Intermediate" and "Advanced". There may be "advanced beginner" or "Advanced intermediate" in there too.

    One studio starts a "new beginner class" for 4 weeks. At the end of that period, the class is renamed so that people continue to come at the same time, and a different time slot becomes the starter class. The class progresses however it progresses. If people are doing well, it goes faster.. if people are struggling, it goes slower. Joining a class after the first month is possible, so people still sign up for a time slot that works rather than a level that fits them. Classes can get rather mixed that way. Eventually people get fed up and move on to the formal level classes or they quit.

    So I really have no idea what constitutes "advanced" in BR. I can only go by what I see happening at dances.
  16. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    I agree. I had a brief BR learning experience after dancing AT for a while. My teacher had to remind me often to "open up", throw my head back and let my head move freely (I don't remember the exact words). The connection for BR is at the pelvic level, not higher up at the chest.
    - this is what I understood, but I could have totally misunderstood my teacher.
  17. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Throw your head back? Seriously? Oy.
  18. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    Good and clear advices. Thanks!
  19. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    As a counter opinion: I think especially beginning leaders need more than the basic beat. If you teach tango without the 8cb the first 2 weeks are going to be walking, pausing, weightshifts in place, and rocksteps. A basic idea of musicality can get a beginner to do a reasonably pleasant dance with these tools (and if they are really ambitious they can survive at a milonga with this). As a beginning leader (and to be honest this is still true now) it was MUCH, MUCH easier for me to create an interesting dance for my followers by trying to pause on breaks and to at least somewhat acknowledge the dynamics in the music than by spewing out half digested tricks.
  20. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Oh my gosh, yes. I would rather walk well all night than do a bunch of "fancy" stuff done crappily. That goes for every dance.

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