Tango Argentino > How to know if partner will step with "other" foot

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by All Sales Are Final, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    But you already follow you partner around anyway. For example, she steps backward after the molinete, and you have to go with her otherwise you will disconnect with her. That's following. So I thought you might as well learn to do it well and enjoy it more. You will have to dance with someone who leads. There are lots of women nowadays who dance in a leader's role. But of course it is up to you.
    Social tango is not "a set of matching steps and movements on each side to memorize". It does not work that way. And unless you abandon that notion, the confusion will remain.
  2. I am learning to do it well. Just not doing it well yet. That's why I take lessons. And actually I am perfectly happy with whom I am dancing with, whether you call it a "leader's role" or a woman "who leads" or whatever you choose to term it. I am just not as good, that is why I have to put aside the ego and accept instruction. That does not mean it is a failure of leadership. (Actually failure of leadership would be to allow the ego to get in the way and be unable to accept guidance and criticism. Even great leaders accept expert counsel.) I don't "follow her around" as you say, just trying to understand what I am supposed to do. And I don't know until someone shows me, preferably someone good.
  3. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    From what you wrote I sense a misunderstanding of what leading and following means in the context of social dancing.

    When your partner decides on her own where to go after, let's say, a molinete is over, she does not follow your lead. She just decides and goes on her own. If you go along, you follow her. You could not do what you were supposed to do because she did not do what she was supposed to -- wait for your lead. So you do what would be best to just stay together.
    At that rate it is NOT possible to say where your partner will step at any given moment. You cannot get into her head and read her mind. You can only follow her.
    So at best you switch the leader's and follower's roles back and forth during the course of the dance at random and without any clear protocol. There is no way for that to work in a clear way or figure it out. If you are OK with that, fine, but then your questions and our answers here are useless. Because you refuse to adopt the usual way it works in social dancing, and have not come up with your own protocol either. It is a complete chaos.
    Krys likes this.
  4. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    This goes back to what we talked about in your first thread here. You have not learned to lead. Your teachers are giving you patterns instead of the fundamental concept of the dance.
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.
  5. My teachers are very good and highly respected in the community. Yes I probably haven't learned that yet, but I've been at it only a year. I fully believe that if I keep at it, I will learn it eventually. I have learned many skills that I never thought possible before, through perseverance and effort, both physical and mental.

    As for fundamentals, we have done a lot of work on those in my lessons. One time for example we just spent the entire lesson doing crosses.
  6. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Crosses are not fundamentals. It is not even a basic move.
    A fundamental would be leading a weight change so you are sure which foot of your partner is free of weight and moves next, for example
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Did they explain why the woman crosses and how you lead her through it?

    And, why do the women take steps away from you, if they've been taught to wait for a lead before stepping?

    If they aren't being taught to wait for a lead, it's hard for many of us to accept that, in spite of being
    that your teachers are doing a good job teaching AT that will work outside of your community.

    I hope that by now you are getting the message that doing patterns does not equal learning or practicing "basics."
    Krys and Lilly_of_the_valley like this.
  8. I was told that crosses are a fundamental and that several hundred of them can occur during the course of any given milonga.

    This is how I was taught to do it (shall try to describe in great detail and hopefully will answer your questions):

    1. Take a sidestep to the left and make sure that it is a little (15-20cm) longer than the woman's corresponding sidestep to the right.
    2. Now walk forward with the left foot (if doing a cross-system cross) or the right foot (if doing a parallel-system cross). (I get to choose which type it is, apparently.) But in either case the step should be "straight into the woman's center" which means, among other things, that (A) in spite of being now 15-20cm displaced to her right, I am rotated back again to face her; and (B) I am headed slightly toward the "outside of the room".
    3. Take another step forward with the opposite foot than in (2) and then bring the original foot up to be level with, but not further ahead than it. So in a cross-system cross I would here step forward with the right and then bring the left level; in a parallel-system one I would step forward with the left and bring the right level. (The girl in the meantime crosses. I think there may be some other steps in there for her too.)
    4. Now regardless of which type of cross I did, we are ready to walk out in parallel system (unless I want to do a forward ocho which, again, I'm told I get to choose).
    Make sense at all? I know I'm not very up on dancing terminology.
  9. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    I don't know, perhaps they teach the fundamentals too. In that case:
    -the OP somehow manages to tune it off completely
    -they let him get away with it.
  10. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    It also had to be explained that it was possible to forgo the crosses completely, and dance the entire milonga or the entire life without them.
  11. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    You can lead a cross directly from the forward step. What if you have no room to step aside?
  12. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Krys likes this.
  13. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

  14. The first question on what to do if the woman steps with the wrong foot, she says to treat the twisting around as if it were a back ocho, and to carry on with an ocho to the other side then proceed maybe to a cross. I think I actually mentioned it at the start of this thread.

    The second question on if I don't know what direction she is going to back away, we worked on this a few weeks ago, it is actually difficult to put into words but she recommends waiting until the woman's hips are lined up perpendicular to the direction of travel (and parallel to mine) before proceeding. That way she should theoretically back off at 12 o'clock.

    It is a bit difficult though because if our chests are pressed together as per the rules of the tango embrace, I cannot exactly stare down at her hips. Getting this right is exceedingly challenging for me, for example, after the ocho cortado if she does the little cross at the end. By contrast, if she does not do the cross, but just finishes the ocho cortado with a forward ocho motion pivoting on her left foot, it is 100 times easier and I can be sure she will back away with the right foot in the expected direction.

    I don't generally like to contradict someone directly, but neither of the above questions were really answered in that older thread, largely because they had not actually arisen yet in my learning.
  15. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    But they were. Because the problem here is you don't understand lead and follow... And that's what this all comes down to.
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.
  16. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    ...and will keep coming down to. Because unless there is lead and follow, there is NO way to know where your partner would step next and, incidentally, btw, impossible to keep your dancing safe. What if she decides to go backward and steps on or bump into someone? If you dance in a leader's role, you will be to blame for not doing your job.
  17. aurel

    aurel New Member

    I don't dance tango (but I dance kizomba which bears some similarities in the way leading/following works) but without knowing that particular move I think we have the problem at hand -> you have described the figure in quite a lot of detail but you never mentioned a thing that would say anything about leading. You just wrote which steps you have to take. You have not said what you are doing to lead your dance partner to do her steps.
    Krys and UKDancer like this.
  18. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    You think that there may be? You need a different teacher now, and a fundamentally different approach to tango.
  19. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    OP, you are taking classes, not private lessons, correct? How about a few private lessons where you ask to concentrate on leading?
  20. oldtangoguy

    oldtangoguy Active Member

    You never described what you do to lead her to cross. With the same set of footsteps, she can be led to cross, or not cross, she can be led to execute a planeo, or a boleo, or a colgada, or nearly anything else.

    And you refer to the rules of tango embrace. Watch some videos of Homer & Christina Ladas if you want to understand how the 'rules' can nearly ALL be broken with a good lead.

    I too recommend that you work with a different instructor, one who can teach you to lead. Even privates with this instructor would probably not help. Best of luck, and bye-bye.

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