Tango Argentino > Introducing the Giro to Beginners

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by UKDancer, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I agree. It is very important for followers to "collect" after each and every step, even if it's for a split moment. As you say, if they don't collect, then they are anticipating the next step, and most likely loosing their axis. Collecting gives an important point/place for the leader to indicate a different step.
  2. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    The QQS isn't just a rule. It exists because is the natural movement in open if the leader is leading the follower with an even pace, rotating at a constant speed. The back step is naturally shorter for a follower pivoting in the giro, so she must speed up to catch up to the leader if he is leading it that way.

    In close embrace, especially with crossing ochos, it doesn't matter nearly as much so it is easier to lead SSSS, etc..
  3. If your using points of a square, SSSS is natural if the rotation speed is even.
  4. Double speed is necessary around half the square to get the QQS timing 360 around a square and that is why the molinete fits into three beats if done in QQS.
  5. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    This is a physiology problem, not a rhythm problem. The rhythm exists because unless a follower is made of jello, her back, side, and front steps will not be the same length. The farther out in the embrace she is from the leader, the more her back step has to twist.

    I swear this makes sense... just have someone lead you in a giro yourself, and have them turn with an even pressure/speed. Have them vary the speed, and see if you can take as big a back step as your front step when they get faster and you are trying to keep up. :)
  6. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I agree, but have observed that followers often have difficulty with collection when they first start dancing tango. Either they don't collect at all, or they bring the feet together and then hold one leg/foot to the other, reluctant to move again. I was leading a novice, last week, to a side-step following a forward step, but she was so reluctant to open her feet again, that I was worried that she was going to fall! She had frozen, and hadn't connected her upper body movement sideways with an urgent need to place her foot to establish a new axis.

    So perhaps this exercise could be useful to work on collection as well as the giro pattern itself. With everyone together, moving around with minimal pivots, there is an opportunity to focus on the momentary collection between steps that allows the possibility of a change in direction/speed, but which doesn't impede the flow of the movement when flow is what is wanted.
  7. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    But that is what I _do_, by the position I'm in and the amount of rotation and distance between the follower and I. I've just found a very nice variation that starts with an acceleration after a forward ocho (so the accelerated steps are side-back) and there's no way I can manage it with a follower on autopilot accelerations. I like their default to be SSS - in other words, don't accelerate unless it's lead. And when I lead it, it's blatantly obvious.
  8. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    In _some_ giros. It all depends on whether the leader stays in the same spots or not. As I said in my previous post, I think it's positively dangerous to teach followers there is "the" giro as a fixed ingrained pattern, just as it's dangerous to tell them there is "the" básico (8CBWDBS).

    There are many different ones and it's possible to change rotational speed for the follower anywhere through several mechanisms (through constant rotational speed and necessarily shorter steps or through changes in rotational speed through dissociation by the leader).

    It is fine to teach them "a" giro and then others, and I don't even think it's bad to teach them the 8CB as one of the _possibilities_, but autocrosses, auto-ochos or autoaccelerations are Spawns of the Devil as far as I'm concerned (especially since I don't lead the 'leader stays on the spot and lapizes elaborately in an almost endless giro' VU-style giro a lot; I tend to move all over the place as well and smash giros into little pieces that are between half a turn to a whole turn).
  9. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Is there general agreement on when the music begs it?
  10. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Is there general agreement about anything in tango?
  11. I will try your exercise, but your explanation doesn't explain why the second Q is needed. That side step should be identical to the one on the other side in an even turn.

    Maybe the second Q is a compromise to keep the pattern on the down beat? Regardless, the square exercise only works if QQS is done double-time.

    I completely agree. I like it when QQS comes from an impluse (that strong, comfortable way a BA Milonguero leads them).

    Ok, point taken, but I went to an alt milongua on Sunday night and was leading a very slow molinete with absolutely no impulse, and a follow kept taking the QQS herself and pulling/pushing me around which was pushing me off balance and felt terrible to me. Was that my fault?
  12. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    The standard explanation is that where pivots are involved following the forward step, and before the back step, they take time to perform. So arguably, it isn't that the regular timing would need to be SSSS, but (almost) that it would naturally be QQQQ, and it is only the need to step + pivot twice (ie QQ=S), that we have SSQQ, starting from the forward step.

    I don't buy it, completely, as an explanation, but it is logical; but once we are largely crossing the feet in close embrace, the issue no longer arises, although we are left with the issue of whether to lead each and every step, or to let the follower dictate events.
  13. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Sounds like she was dancing the way followers are almost always taught to dance. It's your fault if you are expecting things to be different than they are.

    Pushing you off balance is a separate thing, and she should know how to do giros without doing that.
  14. I think this must be regional. Both ways are taught on my coast and most follows here do either with ease.

    That's a very good explanation, but if you do the pattern like that, the (side step) then (front step) portion of the sequence are done in two Q steps so would cover twice the distince in only two Q's which isn't even speed rotation, but creates an acceleration.

    Another advantage of having SSS the default (or by having no default) is that you can have smooth gliding turns done in both SSS and QQS since you don't have to lead the steps in either to get a gliding smooth turn. If QQS is the default then you have to lead the "stops" in the SSS and the turn doesn't glide the way it should.
  15. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    No, you partly misunderstand me. It is the back step and the following side step that will be QQ, according to this principle, because they are the steps not followed by pivots, but yes, the rotation speed around the leader will change over the four steps if they are danced this way. It is very widely taught as 'standard', regardless of the merits.

    One thing that I would observe is that while there are plenty of exceptions around, the average standard of leading and following in tango is pretty modest (as is the prevailing standard of execution in many partner dances on the social scene), and having a default probably helps more people than it hinders. Those that can bring technique and musicality to the dance will, and those that can't need all the help they can get ...
  16. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    It doesn't seem that she was staying with your intention (lead, or whatever), so I would say it was her fault.

    My personal opinion (more accurately, one that I've bought into), is that no one follows anyone (taken literally, that is). While the man does indicate the intention, both the man and the women have a responsibility to accompany each other. She was not doing that, so that's why I'd say she was in the wrong.

    It sounds like either she wasn't paying attention to what you were doing (possibly a lack of understanding or skills), or maybe she simply didn't care (like back leading). I accept that there are differing opinions from mine on this stuff, though.
  17. Ok,I stand corrected.

    I think this makes more sense as a default:

    SSS way:
    ----no impulse

    QQS way:
    ------------------------------impulse(at back)

    It also seams to be what most follows do naturally. Also, SSS way is good for teaching them to gather and leads to better form because you collect at every pivot and pause and don't rush the moves which can come out sloppy in QQS.
  18. This is cleaner:

    SSS way:
    ^no impulse from lead

    QQS way:
    ^impulse from lead

    It matches the square perfectly, the SSS way creates an even rotation and the QQS way will create the swooping feel that it should and both are clear and smooth. Each move enclosed in () takes one beat of the music and all actual steps are on downbeats, except for the (side) after (back) in QQS which naturally happens on the upbeat.

    Maybe it's too much information for beginners?
  19. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what you're getting at MTS. The square is just a demonstration tool (and not a very good one) to show followers how to dance while oriented around a center point. No one is expected to get all the way around the square in normal social dancing conditions. And I don't understand what you mean with pauses and pivots.

    Back to the point I was trying to make... the backstep in a pivoting giro can be difficult, and a leader can lead it fast without even understanding. If they do not support the follower's movement, it can feel to her like the leader is rushing her... and she might interpret that as a lead for a QQS. Alternatively, if her balance isn't good, she might fall into the backstep, making it a quick and then using the sidestep as another quick to catch her balance.

    I'm just saying, there is more going on in the turn than most leaders realize, and it's not always the follower's fault.
  20. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Dangerous? Are you serious? Followers don't give a fig about the 8CB. But the giro is something they will do 900000000 times in their dancing lifetime. Comparing the two is ridiculous. And depending on how they are taught, it makes some things possible and others harder.

    The traditional way is to make a very clear delineation between when you are giroing around the leader and when you are not. If the leader is static, then it is the follower's duty to take charge of the energy to drive the giro as long as he continues to lead it. This is what makes some of those pretty complicated turn/lapis combinations possible.

    I have a serious question... how much following have you done? When I am following I have NO FREAKIN CLUE what is being lead until it has happened. I know when I am in a giro, and act accordingly. I know when the leader is standing still and expecting me to giro around them, and act accordingly with more energy. And I know to keep the leader's center as my reference point. It doesn't matter if it's a dynamic turn with both moving or not. The leader can be kicking their feet this way and that, sacadaing left and right, dancing a 16th note jig, but if he/she is leading me in a giro, I'm going to dance around their center, wherever it may be and ignore whatever is going on with their lower body.

    That's just the way followers' technique works.

Share This Page