Tango Argentino > If you can't lead it don't dance it

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by hbboogie1, May 20, 2009.

  1. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    You asked for it so here it is. Why is it that men cannot grasp the concept of mastering a figure before trying it out at the milongas.

    Now I already know what some of the comments will be
    ...you shouldn't learn figures you must dance from your heart this can't be taught...
    He has to do his own thing so his partner can do her own thing....

    That's crapola....Tango is a partner dance with a leader and a follower and the reason men are weak leads is because they are too lazy to put the time in to learn or it's just that they simply don't possess the skill to dance well.

    The lazy ones usually cop out by "doing their own thing" we see this all the time. No excuses just Too Lazy...Has no concept of proper lead.

    bring in the clowns....this group works hard at doing everything wrong from how they dance to line of dance....and we all know who they are.

    The ones with a low skill level I applaud, they show up every week and try hard they work at being better they just don't have the skill....bravo

    So lets get ready to rumble...I can take it
  2. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    If you know the answers already why ask the question?

    Dont learners in all forms of dance "learn" on the dance floor? Why should tango be any different?

    (The problem I think you are alluding to - floorcraft - well that's a different issue... )
  3. Tango Bellingham

    Tango Bellingham New Member

    Uh, traditionally, no. http://www.history-of-tango.com/learn-to-dance.html

    This is one of the reasons that Alex Krebs started running a Men Only practica in Portland. It started after a visit from Daniel Trenner and Sharna Fabiano a few years back, in which Daniel took all the men and we hung out at Tango Berretin for a few days, practicing, talking, and working our rear-ends off, while Sharna and Rachel did the same at Jay Rabe's studio. It created such an enthusiasm for working this way that it persists (as far as I know) to this day.

    I have a friend who used to teach tango in Vancouver, B.C., who would insist that the men allow him to lead them so they could feel what it was they were supposed to be doing. And lo and behold, the people he taught are some of the best dancers in Vancouver, and they managed quite well when they went to Buenos Aires.
  4. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    If there is no Practica in the area, they don't have much choice. Practicing on your own is vital, but until you've tried it with a partner (prefreably a GOOD partner), you don't know if you're practicing it correctly.

    Many of the "practicas" I've seen are treated as casual mini-milongas. TRUE practicas are rare. At least around here.
  5. Tango Bellingham

    Tango Bellingham New Member

    [Channeling Richard Dawson] Survey says:
    1. testosterone poisoning
    2. see #1
    3. "I paid good money to learn this at the workshop today, I'm gonna try it out!"
    4. Despite every woman within a county mile telling them that what they want is a comfortable embrace, good navigation, and walking on the beat, to the music, they can't accept that, so they feel compelled to try out the whoopsiedoodle move that their teacher saw on Dancing With The Stars and subsequently taught to the class the next day.

    That was an easy question. Why don't you ask something hard, like how we fix the banking crisis? ;)
  6. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Well, there's a question...

    Some possible answers, from a London perspective:
    - Few teachers even explain the difference between a milonga and a practica. So men don't usually know; and there are almost no practicas locally anyway.
    - Men see other men ("Advanced" dancers) doing figures - they think this is the way they should be dancing.
    - Men think that women are impressed by the cool moves.
    - Sometimes, figures are the only things they're taught, so it's all they can do
    - Sometimes, weirdly, men simply don't get the "leading" concept.
  7. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    Congratulations Cap Jep your the first to make to jump into the "learn on the dance floor" No you first learn on the "practice dance floor"and when you've mastered it you Lead it on the Social dancefloor (milonga)
    unless you fall into the lazy or clown category.
  8. Me

    Me New Member

  9. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    Like I said take what you are taught at the lesson and master it before "trying it out on the social dance floor otherwise your either lazy or a clown or both.

    I know in the classes before a milonga the teacher will usually make the announcement I'm going to play a couple of Vals so you can practice what I just taught. That is not an invitation to practice during the milonga.
  10. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    Dave well said
    that's not just a London problem it's world wide. The responsibility falls on the man to research and find a good teacher that will first teach the basics and rules of the road.
    If that same leader wanted to compete at LeMans and he's never driven before he's going to endanger the lives of others by his stupidity.
    Learn to drive first...learn to lead first then no one gets hurt.
  11. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Well, I see the man haters are out in force on this thread. Did you know that there's a difference between leading something with your instructor, and leading the same thing with an am partner? It's true. Try it sometime.

    And I won't even go into the followers will will scream "I'M BORED!" if the lead doesn't whip out something new and cool every five seconds.
  12. Me

    Me New Member

    You're right. It is rather harsh. :(

    I did think the part about teachers cribbing from DWTS was funny though. ;)
  13. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Do you know for a fact that men can't grasp the concept, or is it maybe they don't all agree with it? Some people think that a way to increase their skill level is by dancing more.

    BTW, isn't a lot of this stuff self correcting? If people don't like how someone dances, then they typically will stop dancing with them.

    (FWIW, I actually agree with the concept, but I don't expect everyone to agree with my opinions on the subject).
  14. Tango Bellingham

    Tango Bellingham New Member

    Nah, I'm a guy. I can trash my own gender. :)

    "Thank you, thank you, you've been a great audience, I'll be here all week, two shows a night..." :raisebro:

    I know, I know - don't quit my day job....
  15. Tango Bellingham

    Tango Bellingham New Member

    Sadly, no. It's almost a cliché - I go to a milonga, sit at a table with friends (yes, I have friends - at least one or two :) ), some guy comes up and asks a lady for a dance. After a full tanda, she comes back to the table, complaining bitterly about how awful the guy is, and how many people they collided with, blah, blah.

    Me:"But you danced with the same guy last week, and the week before, and you always say the same things! Why don't you tell him no?"

    Her: "But I got all dressed up, these are my new shoes, I don't want to sit all night, I want to dance!"

    Me: "So you're saying you'd rather have a bad dance than no dance at all?"

    Her: [Blank stare]

    Maybe I'm chromosomally-challenged, but I just don't get it. Is this common?
  16. Tango Bellingham

    Tango Bellingham New Member

    Nah, just reporting from personal experience. And I'm a guy, so I think I recognize testosterone poisoning when I see it. :)

    My teaching partner has something she calls "going blonde." Complete naivete, on demand. It never fails to unearth that which is non-functional in the student's leading technique. Marjorie doesn't cut anybody any slack, including me. :)
    Yuck! :evil: That's just wrong, man. Don't dance with them, ever again.
  17. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Errr... I'm fairly sure I'm not a man hater. Although I may suffer the occasional bout of self-loathing :p

    Dunno. I never dance with my instructor.

    I may try it sometime though.

    There's some truth in that. But the answer is, "whip out something new and cool" in musicality, not in moves. Vary the speed, the timing, dance to the music, put in variations, pulse... If a follower is still bored after all that, then she's probably not worth dancing with.
  18. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    Got nothing to do with being "lazy" or a "clown". In most places there is no such thing as a true "practica" (as DB and others have pointed out). And even if there was there arent enough skilled followers/leaders in most places to truly practice with.

    Anyway how do you know when you've mastered something? Answer: when you can lead it to a complete stranger, preferably a beginner/near beginner.

    So I think it's inevitable that many dancers will take their "practising" to the dance floor. The only reason that it's even debated in tango circles is because tango is a travelling dance. So what you do can have a big effect on the dancers around you. But as I said that's another issue.
  19. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    Cap Jep
    Wouldn't any English lady be thrilled if you asked her to be your practice partner, get together once or twice a week to perfect those steps you learned in class? You would both be better dancers for putting in the effort.
  20. kieronneedscake

    kieronneedscake New Member

    You know what? The issue at my (proper) practica at various points has been lack of interest from women. They say they're interested but they don't often bring many ideas to the table. The guys are much more driven and regular in their attendance. One time I had five men and one woman which was pretty hilarious. We did reasonably well under the circumstances, but thankfully things have shifted to a better balance the rest of the time.

    Efforts in my area to set up men-only practice sessions have not done very well for whatever reason. No amount of "how they did it in the old days" marketing is enough to overcome a lot of basic homophobia I think, particularly when there are plenty of women around to occupy even the most offensively terrible men.

    Perhaps ladies respond better to direct 1-to-1 partnerships?

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