Tango Argentino > Feeling the Man's Steps?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Steve Pastor, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan Member

    While I think it's beneficial for a follower to know where the leader's feet are, that's only because it lets her be aware of what the couple is doing as a whole and have a greater appreciation for the dance she's half responsible for producing. What you are talking about is... well, let's just say it's not the way people lead and follow in tango!

    The lead for this movement (i.e. the follower sticking her free leg out) is a tiny impulse in the direction the leader wants her to place her foot, without him taking a step and doing a weight transfer. As soon as he's sent this impulse, he can then move his own free leg/foot however he chooses (in the same direction or any other). If executed properly, this creates the illusion of simultaneity. This is the same fundamental technique used in walking, just broken down into its constituent parts.

    Everything is felt through your partner's body. As a leader, I feel my partner's feet through her body, just as she feels the lead through mine. Good dancing has nothing at all to do with sight and little to do with pushing: it's about signal transduction, plain and simple.

    For instance: he creates a larger impulse so that she places her foot farther (sinking down slightly makes this message even clearer). Then he takes a shorter step than the one he led her to take. That's one way... there are many others.
  2. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    Great question but as usual the replies go to the moon and back. Steve is looking for the Milonguero secret of 'shooting the feet'..throwing the shoes to the floor rather than weakly walking them....another name for this is 'walking on cobblestones' , if you've ever had the luck to live in town with cobblestone streets , you will know what I'm talking about....you must shoot the feet straight down to where the stone is, otherwise you will slip off the edge of the stone and turn the ankle.... oK.. great examples of this are most dances of Jorge Firpo and Ruben Haryenblot (sp?)
    Of course, for The great example of this technique one must go to the greatest milongueros like Ricardo Vidort. ...good luck in seeing and mastering this..it will add a special touch or should I say 'kick' to your dance and clue-in the woman so that she follows with perfect feeling.
  3. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for the clarification. I somehow thought he was asking about whether people had been taught to lead from the body like he had, or whether the feet were used to lead.

    Steve, sorry for being confused by your question, and on going to the moon and back.
  4. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Pow, Alice! To the moon.
  5. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi Mario, I read that the old-time embellishment called Elevada (sudden yanking of the free foot) can be traced back to shaky grounds, as well.
  6. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Oh snap. Someone call the hopital and tell them we need the BURN ward.
  7. Nathan

    Nathan Member

    I don't know about him, but I shoot myself in the foot all the time.
  8. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Why not if talking about open embrace? Nothing changes with OE--the lead still comes from the man's center, and it's what we feel and respond to. Same as in close embrace.
  9. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Agree. Although there are times when the leader's foot could potentially be in the way--I'm thinking specifically of an embellishment before a step-over (or whatever you want to call it). But in those cases, if she has good technique, she's collected her feet together and made contact with his "problem foot," so she knows where it is and can avoid it.
  10. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    How you, as a leader, create what I feel, as a follower, is something I neither really know about or care about. I respond to the lead that I feel through the man's chest/center. That's all. If that comes from something he's doing differently with his feet, if "there are other aspects as well" to that lead through the center, if it's a matter of "the quality of the leaders foot connection to the floor"...I don't know, and don't particularly care.

    Your job is to create an effective lead. My job is to follow and interpret. How you do what you do is none of my concern. (And I can't even begin to comment on that, because I know nothing of how to lead.)
  11. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    You have brought up three entirely different concepts, and I'm not sure that you're separating them out in terms of how they affect the follower.

    1)The leader moving his foot.--Who cares. He can flail his damn free leg about all he wants. He can position it so it's ready to transfer his weight. It.does.not.matter what he does with his free foot. Because...

    2)The leader moving his body.--Ding ding ding! This is what we're feeling. That is when we step. When he moves his body (and, presumably, asks us to go with him) THAT is when we take a step.

    3)Giving his intention.--By feeling his intention he can move the follower's free leg. It is what tells us where and how to place our feet, in conjunction with moving his body (transferring weight).

    So. Our free leg moves with his intention. We follow the lead that comes from his center. This is how you can end up offset--he moves us one direction while going in the opposite direction himself. (What's that you say? We're not following his body? It's coming from his arms? No...not really it isn't. Every good lead still comes from the man's center, regardless of if it's transmitted through his arms or if we're in CE. It.doesn't.matter. Even if we're working in oppositon, that lead still comes from his center.)
  12. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    You do talk some rubbish.

    Tango might have a sprinkling of fairy dust in your eyes but it isn't
    that magical that it defies the physics of the bodies and the connection.

    I'm not going to cross swords with you any more again today
    if I can avoid it but have a look at the Chicho video you like so
    much. What's that? He leads with his arms! Yes, quite a lot.

    Oh, and by the way, as a leader I wouldn't lead you to any sort
    of offset position within the embrace in the way you describe.
  13. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Yep, his moving in another direction and leading with his center are not possible at the same time. One of my teachers explains that to reach an offset position the leader initiates the movement with his body/center/whatever-just-not-the-arms, which initiates the follower's movement in the given direction. Then at some point the leader moves in another direction while his hands keep accompanying the follower to the original direction.
  14. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Have you taken a look at some of your posts???


    I think someone doesn't understand the difference between a performance, and social dancing.

  15. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Re: center

    Speaking frankly, I fear the concept of the center often simply is kind of a smoke grenade to avoid a clear explanation of the lead in detail. And I think I am quite familiar with this concept back then since my TaiJi Chuan days.

    José „El Turco“ Brahemcha (one founding father of VU style) once said: You lead with your whole body, head, or arms, or butt, what actually fits best.
  16. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    What kind of move are you talking about, and how does this relate to the discussion? I can lead a volcada with my center, which will take the follower off axis, and her foot movements are led by my body (not my feet or my arms).

    BTW, I've heard "offset" used a couple different ways, so I'm not sure if my example relates to what you are talking about.
  17. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    At least I'm prepared to give an opinion, right or wrong,
    rather than just sit on the fence and prevaricate.

    Oh I think I do. And Chicho's is quite a performance,
    but not one I admire except for the clever word play
    which even more clearly is choreographed.

    One point worth making is that as a choreographed performance
    you might expect him to use his arms less rather than more
    as she probably knows what's coming next.

    Has your post actually actually added anything?
  18. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Nothing is more than a negative.

    Maybe you think calling someone's post rubbish is adding something. I don't.
  19. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Nothing is an absence of anything.
    Why not reread my post, and this time read on.
    It was one paragraph out of Peaches post I quoted and criticised.

    Oh yes, you dismissed my observation about Chicho too.
    You can do that, just don't pretend that my comment wasn't qualified.

    And why not leap in the next time Peaches uses language much stronger,
    ruder and more dismissive than anything I've ever used?
  20. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Re: Nothing is an absence of anything

    What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence


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