Tango Argentino > Do women and men want the same thing from tango?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by jantango, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    And again, does it matter? If they watch a beautiful entrance to an embrace, does it matter if he initiated it with his left arm or his right?
  2. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Jantango, are you embarrassed to be an American? Some of your posts seem to imply that.

    I typically start my embrace with my right hand (similar to what HBBoogie said), and did so in BsAs as well. It didn't bother me in the least that people there knew I was an American. Actually, most of the people figured that out before the embrace (when chatting briefly before the first song). Typically when I said something in my rather poor Spanish, most women would respond back, "Ah from New York?", and since I knew most people wouldn't know the city I am from, I would just say, "No, Boston".


    It just seems odd that you appear to have an issue with Americans acting like Americans, even when in America. Does it bother you if the Brits act British?
  3. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    No, o.c., but it is a funny thing to watch how a couple gets into the embrace. Left hand (men´s view) is more like an invitation, right hand like a conquest. It depends on how gritty the guy is, isn´t it?
  4. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, I will look to the lady for signs. Some will slowly open up their right arm, and then I'll extend my left hand first. More often than not though, without a clear indication to do something else, I'll start the embrace with my right hand. Some women just want to quickly get into an embrace, while others like to take their time at arranging / negotiating the embrace.

    To another point that was made earlier. Sometimes I don't feel a true connection with the follower (whatever that means), until some point into the first song (although this is more true of someone I've never danced with before). From my perspective, sometimes it feels like the follower needs some time to decide if she can really trust my lead before she truly surrenders.
    (I realize that "surrender" may not be PC in the US, but it's the only way I know how to describe it).
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I can't say I've ever put that much thought into it. Ever. And I've never thought of right-arm-first as a conquest, or considered describing a guy as "gritty." I can't think of how I get into an embrace even now, beyond "arms up and around" on some level. And I'm certainly not going to start getting rules involved with it.
  6. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Yep, sometimes it takes a while. Surrender is as good a word as any, I suppose.

    Sometimes it just takes a bit to figure out how to be comfortable (physically...some guys just are harder to get comfy against than others).

    Sometimes it takes a while to find the best feel/position for how the guy leads. There is one many I've danced with a few times where I couldn't make heads or tails of his leading at first. Everything felt off. Then, purely by accident, I figured out that if I slid around to his right side a bit more and danced almost perpendicular to him, everything became crystal clear. It went from a nerve-wracking chore to figure out what he was doing, to where we might as well be sharing the same brain. Odd.

    Sometimes it takes a while just to relax. I find this all the time with the first tanda or two of the evening--I've got to get myself calmed and centered, and it shows in my connection. (I've also felt this from several men.)

    Sometimes with someone new, it just takes a bit to learn their quirks, and to feel how they hear the music, and to get a sense of how much they'll play or move their body, or any number of things. Perhaps some of that is the deciding to trust and surrender, as you've said. It takes a bit, but then once the connection is established...WHEEEE!!!
  7. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I agree, since I dance with quite a few intermediate dancers I let them take their time; once they feel comfortable dancing then i push their limits; in most cases they are thinking way to much and to get past that requires moving quicker than they can think, so they respond with the body not the brain and nine times out of ten, VOILA, they go to lightspeed and connection is made.
  8. ant

    ant Member

    I agree a beautiful entrance to an embrace is always desirable but I was thinking more in terms of the lady placing her left arm and as a leader noting where on my back she placed it and with what pressure so as best as I can mirror that, especially if I have never danced with her before.

    Nothing to do with rules just doing my best to accomodate the lady I am dancing with.
  9. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Huh. I don't think I've ever noticed the guy's hand/arm on my back as mirroring mine. (And I move my arm around a lot, so where I start is not where I generally end up.) What I do notice, and intensely dislike, is when the guy starts doing things with the fingertips of his right hand. Don't ask me why, but for me it crosses some line in the sand wrt intimacy that I just don't like. I notice a change in what he's doing.
  10. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

  11. jantango

    jantango Active Member

  12. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    ...reply deleted...have headache (from banging head against wall)...

    Are we seriously debating this nonsense again? Really? For the love of god, can't this damn subject be closed? No one here is ever going to agree--months and years of posts have made that pretty clear.

    Can't we actually discuss something, I dunno, useful? Technique? Musicality? Problem solving? Music? With actual contributions instead of tearing people down and sniping?

    Anyone taking any lessons they'd like to share? Puzzling experiences? Lightbulb moments?
  13. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I've tried to stay out of this discussion, but I did want to respectfully point out something in response to the above comment

    It is not that Americans have convinced themselves of anything.. it is that Americans are convinced by their teachers, most of whom are Argentine themselves.

    How would an American know that they are "embarrassing to Argentines" when they are doing what they were taught by their expatriate Argentine teachers?

    I doubt there is anyone on this forum who has never had an Argentine teacher. I have had predominantly Argentine teachers, but I learned more about dancing in BA from my 1st teacher who was an American. After him, I would say that the teachers I've had who gave the most instruction of BA style salon dancing were an American couple who now reside in BA and travel back to the US to teach once or twice a year. (you may know them) FEW Argentine teachers I've had even taught close embrace, much less techniques for crowded traditional milongas.

    You will respond that many of the Argentine teachers are show dancers that didn't dance in the milongas.... possibly so, but you are still blaming the student for not knowing what you feel constitutes "true Argentine Tango" when you should be holding the Argentine dancers who leave BA to make money in the US and Europe responsible.

    They create legions of "Argentine Tango" dancers through classes and workshops that emphasize show dancing or non-traditional moves. It is actually quite hard for NON-Argentine teachers to compete with them and therefore have any substantial influence, unless they are as well-known as someone like Homer Ladas. Hardly anyone took lessons from my 1st teacher because there were Argentine alternatives here, which is sad because (having now had lessons from all of them) I can say without a doubt that he is the best instructor around here of fundamental principles of lead & follow as well as basic technique. When I teach using his teaching as my model, both leaders and followers who I've worked with look at me like I've told them some amazing tidbit they've never heard before despite the length of time they've danced. (things I started learning about in lesson ONE)

    Even in Buenos Aries, people know that show dancing is what sells. No one performs salon dancing in the shows of BA unless they are doing a demo at a milonga. Its hard to get decent instruction in salon even in BA since so many teachers are show dancers. My teacher complained of this because he tried lessons in BA FIRST (he was there for something else) and when he went to a milonga, he couldn't use ANYTHING he was taught, and he wasn't taught ANYTHING he needed. He threw himself on the mercy of some older milonguero for some hints, and then later went back to BA with a tour put together by Daniel Trenner and got instruction from Tete and some others... people he might never have had access to on his own.

    If the Argentines are so embarrassed by what the world has done to their tango, they have mostly other Argentines to blame. The rest of us are their students, not their masters..
  14. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Actually, that's exactly what Jan said, and it the the opposite order than what was indicated by the wording of your post to which she responded.. ("Now tenderly wrap your right hand around her waist and offer her your left hand now you can bring her closer to you.") I inferred from your post (and possibly so did she) that you were suggesting embracing the lady with the right arm first, and only after that, offering the left hand.

    Personally, I couldn't even tell you how I get into an embrace... with most leaders, its either automatic based on our prior knowledge of each other, or slowly non-verbally negotiated bit by bit. I will say however, that most often (not always) the LAST thing that occurs is that I softly drape my left arm over his shoulders, down his back, or wherever seems most natural with how we've connected in our bodies. Sometimes, I don't even do this until after we've taken teh first step or two, depending on how soon we start to actually move together. My left arm is not important for the connection, and I've had leaders tell me they like the way it arrives to them "softly" rather than immediately.

    So I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with you or Jan. I'm just pointing out that your earlier post possibly reads backwards from what you meant, and that's why Jan responded about the leader's left hand needing to come before the right arm. Then you actually AGREED with her about the left hand being first even as you sounded as though you meant to disprove her point with video.

    I actually got a chuckle out of it all....;)

    I did however, feel that the bigger picture of your meaning was about taking some time to settle into the embrace and not rush things, but rather create a mood even from the first movements of coming together. Until it got discussed, I actually ignored your specifics while getting the "flavor" of what you were trying to say.... which I agree with.
  15. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

  16. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    Oops it’s the dyslexia kicking in again.
    Reminds me of the agnostic suffering from insomnia and dyslexia
    Lying awake all night wondering if there really is a DOG
  17. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Re: order of embrace:
    To be honest, I haven't really thought about the order I do things with the embrace. I suspect it varies, however.

    And I also suspect that if you attempt to formalize it too much, it may lose spontaneity - you'll sacrifice the end (establishing a connection with your partner) for the means (doing it In The Right Order).

    It's not always necessary. Sometimes it helps.

    Untrue. It's actually done - if needed - in many social dances. If not needed, it's not done. But it's a common technique - if needed - in some of the dance forms I have some years experience in.

    Some of us need a helping hand to get started.

    Some do.

    Some don't.

    I assumed it'd be easy to spot them because they'd be the ones wearing really loud shorts.

    What? What's that you say? I'm "stereotyping an entire nation based on unfair generalisations"? Ooops.

    You say that like it's a bad thing. :tongue:

    In fact, I'm tempted to get a T-shirt printed with that... "One
    who has never danced in BsAs"... :D

    I agree.

    As for, again, the order:

    Well, it's one way to do things.

    Blimey, you might as well say Argentine men are all sexist, nationalistic, and have poor choice in leaders.

    What? What's that you say? I'm "stereotyping an entire nation based on unfair generalisations"? Ooops.
  18. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    I say, old bean, that's Just Not Cricket, what?

    (Note: I do not understand the rules of cricket. In fact I struggle with the rules of football. Anything more complicated than running is a bit of a mystery to me...)
  19. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    And Uruguay, officially. So presumably we should adopt 50% Argentinian and 50% Uruguayan customs?

    (What are Uruguayan customs? I barely know where the place is...)

    It's a point. But then, cultures are different. Something that works in one culture won't work in another culture, or at least not in the same way.

    He can't be much good as a teacher then.
  20. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I honestly think a lot of women want excitement; I hear constant complaints about the deathmarch traditional music played at a local practilonga; the dj says he can brainwash the people who come into liking tango music but he's having the opposite effect by playing whole cds of one orchestra. I really like a lot of traditional music and i dont think its rocket science to mix up different orchestras into tandas, and keep it mostly instrumental ( with the exception of Tanturi Campos) so the flavours keep changing, along with some vals and milongas say one tanda of these per hour.
    Women seem to like Poema but it seems pretty unique amongst tango music.
    Then I always use Di Sarli to give people some clear structured music. Felicia :Alberto Carabelli version is another song that more advanced dancers like.

Share This Page