Tango Argentino > grounded vs heavy. ungrounded vs light

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

  1. tangonuevo

    tangonuevo New Member

    Actually, my partner (also my life partner BTW) may even disapprove of the first offer.;)
    I've seen both - follows who have to be pushed to their axis and those who too quickly move past it. In either case, it doesn't feel grounded to me. In the former, perhaps she can feel the ground through me, but I can't feel it through her. She just feels heavy, not grounded. And in the latter, neither one of us can really feel the ground through the other.

    I also see a lot of leads who just shuffle from step to step, never arriving so that the follow can really tell where they are, but also just shuffling on past the point where they should have felt grounded to their partner. I won't post any videos (Mario has posted enough for all to go back a look at :cool: ), but if you look at nearly any of the old and respected milongueros, you can really see this sense of arrival, which translates into a strong feeling of a grounded connection.
  2. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that lower back problems come more from what one does with the pelvis tilt than the ribs. I think when some people "raise their ribcage" they also drop their pelvis forward as part of that feeling. Its the forward tilt to the pelvis that creates more curvature in the lower back and results in back pain, No?

    Raising the ribs without affecting the pelvis at all and without creating tension in the mid-upper back results in only a very slight movement of the ribs and has little affect on the lower back (at least in MY body) It does give a feeling of "lengthening" the overall torso rather than any compression in the lower back. But as I said, the amount of "lift" is VERY small. Any more than that starts to change the orientation of my pelvis.
  3. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Properly lifting the ribcage is what creates that feeling you LIKE of a follower being a "coiled spring" (your words I believe) creating a lifting feeling rather than being a weight downward on you.
  4. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I would expect that the latter (the ones who go past the arrival) feel too light?
  5. tangonuevo

    tangonuevo New Member

    Indeed they do.
  6. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Meh, the whole lifting the ribcage thing never worked for me, until one teacher told me to try visualizing opening my ribs out to the side rather than pushing them up. That seemed to do the trick.

    But yeah. If you're starting from nothing, all of those things are meaningless unless you have someone experienced to tell you when you've got it right.
  7. bafonso

    bafonso New Member

    To me groundedness is different than the ability to transmit your state through your embrace even though both go together as only a relaxed dancer is really able to be grounded.
  8. bafonso

    bafonso New Member

    Imagery can help you a lot with this. For example, you can pick up a small object not very heavy with your arm without tensing your biceps. You can also pick it up while fully tensing your biceps. Imagine your arms are made out of balloons with helium for example.

    The same happens in legs, core muscles, etc in dancing. You want to move using your muscles but not at their full amount of tension. That gives you the relaxed feeling and ability to transmit energy throughout your body.

    I see a lot of people almost doing a work out while dancing. They don't feel good.
  9. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Remember that your ribcage is not only in your front, it's also in your back.
  10. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Yes. And when I had more serious back problems that incorrect tilt was either a cause or a result, no idea which.

    I suspect that because of the different demands of following - walking backwards etc. - that ladies tend to do that incorrect tilt more than men especially when they are in that rather painful looking lower back arm hold. But as I'm a mere leader, how would I know?

    Absolutely, and if you can't get that feeling of lengthening then practice is definitely needed!
    Really? Is that when you do it leaning forward? That doesn't happen in my case so your body must be different to mine, in addition to the obvious ways!

    And what a useful reminder from Joe.

    When we talk about the ribcage we are talking about all of it not just lifting the front but an elongation of the whole body, front, back and sides!

    Moderation in everything: extension not lock up. And enough muscle strength to maintain it comfortably plus a mix of suppleness and control for movement.

    And other things can cause lockup too, tiredness, tension, nervousness, discomfort. It takes time, practice, lots of dancing to achieve nirvana.
  11. tangonuevo

    tangonuevo New Member

    On the other hand, I can only feel the ground through my partner if she is really relaxed and if the connection is relaxed. If the connection has tension, or even heavy pressure (caused by leaning), separating the feel of the weight of my partner from the feel of the ground beneath her is very difficult.

    One of the very many reasons I much prefer a partner who will manage her own balance and not lean or rely on me for support.

    "You brought it in here, you carry it around."
  12. ant

    ant Member

    I find that there is still curvature of the spine if you lift your ribcage via engaging the core and you keep your pelvis in neutral. I agree that if you tilt your pelvis backwards then the curvature in the spine will become worse.

    Can I ask what process is raising your ribs?

    IMO the main reason for engaging your core is to provide support for the lower back and when engaging your core the movement of the muscles is towards the back not up into the ribcage.

    By supporting your lower back in the way descibed it allows you to lenghten the spine and engage the muscle under the shoulders from a solid position. It also helps to free the pelvic area if required.

    When I continue after engaging my core, to get my body into an embrace, I lenghten my spine and engage the muscles below the shoulders. This raises my ribcage but my ribcage then lowers again when I lift my arms into position. So any raising of the ribcage is not as a result of engaging my core but other processes that follow when going into an embrace.
  13. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I don't understand why you're flogging this to death disagreeing with the answers to a question you asked. If you already had your own view, why waste everyone's time? Not only that you're somewhat outnumbered.

    And you're contradictory within your own post.
    Presumably the process you use here:

    You may be right, I'm not a doctor!
    But then I don't think anyone said anything about muscles moving up into the ribcage.

    And to go back to your raising of your own ribcage
    Err no, not in my experience.

    I think (well I hope) the point everyone else who has contributed here will say is that you have to keep (the ribcage) up, stay tall and not allow yourself to sink back downwards. Inevitably that's the hardest part when you're concentrating on other parts of the dance especially when it's all new. So in the early stages I, and many others, find it necessary to consciously "grow" again during the dance to maintain the connection.

    But I'm sure you won't agree.

    One last point: earlier you claimed I had back problems through my technique. I had back problems prior to tango as a result of work related issues - noone to blame but myself, it was my business.
    It has to be managed and Tango placed new stresses on it which required new thinking, yet more posture improvement and new exercises. If they hadn't been succcessful I wouldn't be doing tango.
  14. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi ant, please help me with forward and backwards. Maybe I´m confusing the directions. And, could you tell me the difference between pelvis and hip? (In German there is no difference except, that the first is of latin, and the latter of germanic origin.) Always thought the forward tilt of the hip increases the lordosis (hyperlordosis). Since two years I try to reduce the curvature of my spine to get a more upright posture.

    and http://www.raqs.co.nz/safedance/graphics/postures.jpg
  15. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    For me, in CE it's not a question of sinking 'back downwards' because I'm concentrated on the tilt forwards and driving the dance. 'Sitting back' is THE problematic posture that I see others doing and that was pointed out by Maxi a teacher from BsAs. I don't see it as holding oneself up as if it was a verticle path..my path is tilted forwards and it solves all my posture 'problems' in CE. I would hate to have to hold my ribcage up. I tried that for a year and it sucked.
    I think that this is a giant misunderstanding and if my case is 'different' for whatever reason, so be it. But I will continue to preach the tilt instead of the raise in CE.
  16. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Mario, I don't really want to keep repeating this but you are repeating your own mantra which doesn't seem to agree with everyone else's experience.

    Let's start with the lean. Clearly you weren't leaning, why you weren't told sooner will for ever remain a mystery. But you need to lean, project at the chest (keep your shoulders back), feel tall and not be loose hipped (no salsa style movement).

    The leaning makes space for the feet as you know and should be mirrored by your partner. But you should grow tall first and then in that state, lean - yes, from the ankles and with relaxed but not bent knees.

    The being tall (still leaning and it isn't an overstretch) puts tension and connectedness into your body. When both of you are in this state, you should be able to feel a little bump through the chest as you change your partner's weight and she should feel your weight change similarly. Do you?
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I think the misunderstanding is in the idea of it being an either/or proposition. Stand up straight and tall, have good posture, then keep that feeling throughout your body and lean forward (from the ankles) to bring that weight forward. The tilt, as you call it. Definitely not sitting back. But a slight lean forward--without going swaybacked, without "breaking" at the waist, without hunching shoulders. Good, upright, tall posture...and a lean!...together at last!
  18. spectator

    spectator Member

    I very much like this schematic digram, thank you for posting it!
    ok so what i see most often with followers is a posture reminiscent of the muscular dystrophy phenotype. And the curvature I often see with leaders is like the scheuermann kyphosis.

    I think the problem here is that perhaps Ant and Mario are assuming that they and most people are starting from the "normal" posture. Ant and Mario may well be, but my observations of people walking around london are that they don't. Because a lot of people never learned to stand /or sit correctly, and laugh in the face of OTs who try to tell them you have to give a correction that would make some one with perfect posture look weird if they tried to do it.

    If you assume that a lot of people slouch, telling them to lift their rib cage is correct. If someone sticks their bum out like a little duck, telling them to tuck in their pelvis is correct. Telling a ballet dancer to tuck in their pelvis and lift their chest in addition to what they are already doing would make them stand in a very unnatural weird and uncomfortable way.

    I caan only assume that Ant nd Mario have perfect posture and so any explanation of how one might suggest changes based on one's own experience of postural problems is going to cause confusion. Everyone has their own idiosyncratic traits so a personalised explanation/correction is necessary. Because there are some things that people do more often we all make the lazy assumption that a one size fits all approach is best. As with all sterotypes it has some root in truth, so is it really surprising that telling people as a rule to "lift their rib cage" often works quite well?
  19. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Sorry to have had to drop the ball here. No need to further; John, you have it. Thanks.
  20. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Oh, what a mess I have created! After having read the last few pages, it seems to me that there are 2 distinct problemes that are, however, related.

    1. The reason so many persons have a probleme w/ core, including Ant, is that they do not know what it means. John, Peaches, and one or two others have tried, very well I might add, to explain it, but there seems to still be confusion. It appears that Ant is trying to dissect core from center from shoulder blades from chest from lower back from..... from..... from. at the risk of being oversimplistic, simply picture the body as the Eiffel Tower, think of the core as the part of the tower atop the base. The core is not either one of the afore mentioned parts; it is all of the afore mentioned parts, each with its own weight/placement/function, but each working in time with the other/s.

    2. The other issue is how to do what we want to do once we identify what it is that we are trying to do it to/with. Most of you are trying to correct the core; by lifting the rib cage --A DEFINITE NO--, by stretching the sides --correct, but not alone--, by standing upright w/ good posture --whatever the hell that is. Though the latter 2 are the extra points, neither is the touchdown.

    Correcting the core depends first on having a good "grounded" (remember the point of the thread?) center. To do this, we go back to the Eiffel Tower image and, after having stood erect, 'but relaxed', and forwar over the insteps of the feet, we use the aduc... nevermind, the muscles of the insides of the thighs to pull our upper thighs and knees inward. Without tension, we have created, now, not only a vertical center, but a horizontal center (very much like the tower), and we are indeed grounded. Keeping the tower part of the body pulled up and centered over the base, we begin to feel the muscles of the core coming into play to maintain this posture.

    Once attained, this is a very relaxed and comfortable posture/position. Given a good embrace, there is not much else required (core wise). I know how difficult this is to explain via cyber, but I hope it helps.

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