how to do enrosque ( for a man)

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by aaah, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    Yes, I understand. She can take dozens of small steps.

    Do you consciously do the enrosque? I consciously try not to in tight spaces as I try to keep the rhythm.
  2. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Ok. I see what the disconnect is.. Yes, dissociation powers the second part, your hips catching up. But when dancing with a partner, not alone, you need extra energy to start the movement in the classic enrosque pattern.

    I have to get to work now, I will break it down later.
  3. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    IMO, this definition is not complete. I would say that is one type of enrosque, but I wouldn't even say it's the most common type. The enrosque (AKA corkscrew step), does involve pivoting, but the "free" leg can wrap in front of or behind the pivoting foot while the pivot is occurring, (so the free foot can be lifted to get into the "corkscrew" position, and can slide once in position).

    My two cents (if it's even worth that much).
  4. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not so much saying what you have learned is wrong, but more that I think what you have learned is incomplete. What you are stating is merely a possibility (although it's not the most common possibility).
  5. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    I was taught that ochos were a separate step. (I first learned tango as the "8-ct-basic" way.) However, through real dancing, I've learned that it's not a fancy step at all. As a matter of fact, I've led absolute beginners into these "ochos" without ever having taught them.

    Unfortunately, most people think of ochos as something fancy when it really is just a way to move around a crowded dance floor.
  6. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I agree that they are not fancy. I'm not sure most people think they are, though.
  7. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Your earlier description seemed to exclude the pivots, and talked exclusively about stepping. But an ocho (front or back) has to be a minimum of two steps with turns, returning, (to a greater or lesser extent) where you came from. Less than that doesn't make the shape of a figure eight, and you don't have an ocho. You can dance a half-ocho, of course, (although that is just a made-up name) and the giro or molinete pattern could be said to be two half-ocho steps (one forward, one backward), each separated by a side step, but a step without a turn can't even be a 'half-ocho'.

    A good way to start with enrosques is to practise overturned forward ochos: one is really a decorative addition to the other, and for the follower, to dance a front enrosque action in a front ocho is one of the most common embelishments of the basic form.
  8. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not clear where you got the idea that most people think of ochos as something fancy. I don't think that's true at all.

    FWIW, I consider ochos to be one of the fundamental steps, along with walking, rock steps, the cross, and the mollinette.

    One way to group how ochos are done is by whether the follower is pivoting (AKA salon style ochos) or not pivoting (AKA milonguero ochos). Although in either way, the follower does a foot move and weight change, so clearly a step is involved (whether she pivots or not).

    One way to look at tango in general, is that all tango moves are made up of various combinations of pivots, foot movements, and weight changes. Any of these 3 elementary items can come in any order (to include multiples of any of them), depending on what the move is. Also, things like disassociation, lean, lifting, etc., are a means to facilitate various combinations of those 3 elementary items.
  9. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member


    Exactly "Elementary, My Dear Watson.."
    dchester likes this.
  10. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    Many tango teachers in the area where I live (the US) teach the "8-count-basic" tango. As a result, most of their students can't dance in any manner that is remotely tango (meaning they listen, hear, and are moved by the music.) These teachers teach such things as ochos, molinete, sandwich, boleo, etc; they teach steps, not dance. As a result, almost all students have problems because they think tango is about steps. This is why many students think something as simple as an "ocho" is so difficult, because they are trying to force something that is quite natural - it's just stepping forward or back with a turn.

    There is no such thing as salon style or milonguero style. There is only good technique or bad technique. Pivoting is necessary only if the turn is a lot. Also, if the woman has a feet wide stance, i.e. her feet look like this: \ /, then pivoting isn't as necessary since the feet are already partially turned. If her feet are parallel, i.e.: ||, then she will need to pivot.

    The feet wide stance is just good technique as it allows her change directions quickly using the least amount of movement. It's also the stance that provides the most stability and balance. The wide stance is also good technique for the man for the same reasons it's good for the woman. This is especially important in crowded milongas.

    I don't look at tango like this, not anymore. My view of tango is so much simpler because I look at it as a movement of bodies to music. If you look at it like this, then you will simply move to the music. But if you look at tango as steps, then all the issues of balance will be present, as well as making a very simple dance very complicated.

    It's tango. You walk. How hard is that? ^^^^
  11. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    It sounds as though

  12. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I understand your point, and agree with it.

    Except that we all know what those terms mean, including yourself, else you couldn't claim that they don't exist.

    I tried walking without taking steps, and I couldn't do it.

    Your comments have theoretical merit, but the reality is that things aren't as black and white as you say they are.
  13. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi LKSO, welcome to DF! Seems as if you are highly motivated and that you experienced a first sense of achievement. But be assured the next tango depression will come surefire. By the way it looks like this thread gets off topic. Let´s stick to front and back enrosques or completely start with a new theme.
  14. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    I mean steps in terms of giro, ocho, molinete, etc., aka: the money-making steps. If they taught in the way tango is actually danced, they'd be able to clear the practice floor in just a couple of lessons.


    Yes, those terms are simply marketing gimmicks in an attempt to market a particular teacher's tango style, to make it sound different enough to attract new customers.

    I realize that there are many teachers out there, but almost all of them have no business teaching, especially if the results are as bad as it is where I am from. I don't like having so what shoved in my face, but that's how it feels like when I dance with someone who can't follow and insists on dragging me into an "8-count-basic" step sequence. But this is also the reason good dancers become very selective with who they choose to dance with.

    If teachers taught how to hold the torso, to keep it firm and still, and to keep the weight always forward, then most issues will resolve themselves. Instead, such teachers focus on steps.

    But they make the money. I just complain about their students. So I choose not to dance with them.
  15. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I'm curious, how were you able to acquire such a wealth of knowledge, especially since you live in an area where you say the teachers are not very good?

    With your vast understanding and fresh approach to things, maybe you should start teaching. I expect people would flock to your classes.
    Gssh likes this.
  16. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    I learned how to lead in salsa. That is, as long as the follower's form and technique are good, I can lead her into anything, even complex turn patterns with the beginners I taught. I simply applied this to tango. Tango is much easier because the form is simply standing and technique is always keeping the weight forward. With just these two things, I can lead a beginner into anything.

    As a musician, I've always been acutely aware of the music. When I first started learning tango, the step sequences that were taught never fit, though it took several months for me to become aware of this. (I didn't listen to tango.) And when I did become aware of it (after I bought and listened to many recordings), I realized just how disconnected the movements were to the music. This is when I tried to move to the music, though with poor success since I was just using the steps that I was taught.

    This is also when I started looking for more information on the internet. I found it at tangoandchaos.org, read all of it in a week, watched all the videos, including those of Ricardo Vidort, and then spent time trying to understand all of it. It took a couple of weeks of investigative practice, but I finally got it. I danced with a woman with my new way of dancing and she was so surprised and impressed that she started clapping immediately after the song ended. (I'm serious!) She asked me where I had learned to dance like that. I pointed to the laptop where the music was stored and said "The music tells me what to do."

    The wealth of knowledge came from two sources: the milongueros and the music. By watching the milongueros i learned how to move. By listening to the music, I learned how to move with the music.

    Any tango class that starts with steps and ends with steps is not a dance class. It's an aerobics class.

    Tango is not a dance. Tango is music. It just happens that you can dance to some tangos. This is something very important that I understood that has allowed me to have an entirely different perspective.
  17. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Wow, that's very impressive.

    Would you recommend that leaders take up Salsa, to learn the proper techniques for leading in tango, or do you think we could get most of what we need from reading tangoandchaos.org, along with watching videos?
    UKDancer likes this.
  18. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you discovered the depth, nuance, expression and creativity of tango very quickly, perhaps aided by your previous dance and music background. Congratulations. To me, it's the best type of tango, but it's not the only one. Each person does whatever gives them satisfaction.
  19. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    Very few people will question their teachers. I question my teachers. It is easy for me to do and it is something I tell my students to do so that they are not blinded by their teacher's ignorance.

    I know that most people who learn tango learn from the style taught by Todaro. He was the most athletic of the old guard and influenced a large number of dancers of his generation and the generations to follow. His influence is still present. But, unfortunately, this kind of tango has little to do with the music. Steps, while interesting, isn't dance.

    Most people take classes because of a desire to dance. However, few are qualified to teach it because most teachers are ignorant of the music. You move because the music moves you, not because you are going through a checklist of steps you learned. Music is the driver on tango.

    Dance is a movement to music. The music of tango, while it has a lot of depth of expression, is quite simple and it should be expressed simply, not with a volcada to boleo into reverse sacada double giro sequence.

    While your sarcasm is noted, I would like to say that tango isn't as complicated as teachers have made it out to be. They make money by teaching something, even if it isn't tango. As long as aspiring tango students remain ignorant, they'll keep on giving money for something that has little to do with tango.

    It should also be noted that I gave my money to what I am now against. If I knew this sooner, I would have saved some money. I wish others would save some money, too.
  20. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    I'm not a fast learner by any means. However, I do things that most people don't which allows me to learn something complicated very quickly. The most important is that I try to understand the underlying mechanisms of things. The surface is just the aesthetic; beneath it is meaning.

    Tango is a feeling. This is something many of the milongueros y milongueras have said but I didn't understand it until recently. Now I understand: tango isn't a dance - tango is a feeling. If you have ever felt this feeling, then you know how powerful it is. It's a feeling but it's not an emotion.

    I would say that as long as one moves with respect to the music, then that is tango. But if one is only using the music as a metronome, that is not tango.

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