Tango Argentino > grounded vs heavy. ungrounded vs light

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Zoopsia59, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    As long as we're having so much fun with things that are nearly impossible to explain, define, or teach... let's talk about grounding.

    Especially as it relates to being light/heavy and lifted/low.

    They shouldn't be synonymous, but for some reason they end up being that way for many.

    Any thoughts?
  2. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Let's not!
  3. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

  4. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I think I finally figured this one out. But rather than defining grounded, I think it's waaay more useful to talk about what you are doing to get there.

    When you are grounded...

    ...your weight transfers cleanly from one leg to the other.
    ...your toes are relaxed, but you are also engaging them for balance. (this is actually really important.)
    ...your core and leg/hip/etc muscles are engaged (but not stiff), such that each part of a step is controlled. Thus the "walking through mud" metaphor.

    "Heaviness" comes from not engaging the core. "Lightness" comes from too much leg action.

    At least, that's my understanding.
  5. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Grounded - It's a term I hear a lot, but I never use, because I'm not sure I fully understand what people mean when they use it. To me, the only thing I've been able to get from it is balanced and stable. The light/heavy lifted/low thing I'll be interested to learn about from you.
  6. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    I'm in over my head here but I'd like to take a shot. Grounded means actually stepping down/back into the floor..thru the surface of it..like being on an escalator that's collapsing..tell me I'm not crazy?:-?
  7. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Bugger all if any of it makes sense to me. Years and years of private lessons, and time when I was told I wasn't grounded and times I was told that I was...and damned if I could detect any difference. Dancing in the floor instead of on it, using the free leg, walking through mud...still no help.

    I can think of one person I've danced with who stands out as feeling exceptionally grounded. I think. Maybe it's not what grounding is. All I know is that dancing with him is like dancing with a brick wall--in a good way--in that he feels so incredibly solid and secure and immovable, unless he wants to move. It's like he's a part of the floor itself. I've asked what he does to create that sort of feeling and the response I get is something along the lines of a shrug and something about "using his standing leg." Beats the hell out of me what he's doing, but it's amazing and interesting. And I've only felt something similar to that from one or two other people.

    When I figure it out I'll let you know. :D
  8. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Of course, all our definitions are synthetic, allowing may shades of gray in between.

    I’ve heard is explained this way. Grounded dancing goes down into the floor; the dancers use the floor, touching it, pushing off of it, working with it. It doesn't necessarily mean heavy. Light, ungrounded dancing attempts to elevate above the floor, just using the floor to push off of, to stay elevated above the floor, to dance in the air. Think of ballet.
  9. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Zoops, I owe you a flogging for this thread. However....

    1. Please do not confuse a definition of being grounded w/ how to do it.
    2. Being grounded simply means being solidly balanced, both vertically and horizontally. Grounded is a horrible term; I never use it.
  10. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Awww honey... you're just trying to get me excited... ;)
  11. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    "Ground" may be the reference point in an electrical circuit from which other voltages are measured, or a common return path for electric current, or a direct physical connection to the Earth.


  12. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Off topic warning

    BTW, thanks for the music, if I haven't said that. :cheers:
  13. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Its a scam.

    If you want to be "grounded" get wide leg trousers hemmed to cover your shoes.

    If you want to be "light" get tapered leg trousers hemmed to break on top of your shoes.

  14. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Heh, so this made me remember something... last year when Graciela Gonzalez came through, I asked her what the whole grounding thing was about...

    So she asked me to take a step, then right after I transferred the weight, she SHOVED me. :D Causing me to stumble. After I recovered, she told me to take another step. Warily, I did so... this time, she made me stand there and lift one leg after I collected. Then she corrected my posture. Then she pushed my standing foot down on the floor to make sure it was flat, tapped the back of my knee to make sure it wasn't locked. Then, satisfied, she shoved me again. This time I didn't move. Then she made me take another step, and end in the same position. And again, with the shove. I didn't move. "There. You are grounded now."
  15. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    See how tension and freedom work together minimalistically, structurally; balanced, and connected to hold up something seemingly invisible and weightless, but is actually quite a bit of mass. Doing more with less, beautifully.

    Like being grounded in, and dancing good AT.

  16. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Love your table!
  17. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    I'm getting to that point also :)

    That's pretty much how I see it also. I've noticed that I've become much more grounded as I progress - it's much more difficult for a follower to pull me off balance, basically. Which is good for us.

    I've no idea how it happens, I think it's simply something that comes with experience.

    "Grounded" is jargon. "Stable" is much better.
  18. ant

    ant Member

    DB I was wondering if your lesson with Unni at The Mango helped with this technique. I found that she is the best teacher for this sort of thing.

    What I have taken grounded to mean from her is that although your weight is th the front of your foot you are still able to put weight through your heel(s) into the floor.

    Therefore I think "grounded" is a good description.
  19. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    It is a dynamic state ie it requires balance and the use of the knee joint being flexed
    (And the table above was balanced but not grounded!)
    It means you can transfer any movement of yourself or your partner through your centre into the floor using the strength of your feet ie the muscles that operate your feet

  20. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Being that I suspect I know who Peaches is referring to, I think "stable" works. I was going to say "balanced," but there are many degrees of "balanced," some of which overlap with "stable." :)

Share This Page