Tango Argentino > Introducing the Giro to Beginners

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

  1. Yet it's the most used and it teaches follows to accelerate to try to get around.

    I am able to lead some follows completely around so that they to the side step on opposite sides of me, but it's true that very few have the flexibility or good enough form for it.

    I should have said collect instead of pause, but this is generally what is taught on my side of the continent. In an SSS giro, or 8 beat giro, it goes like this:
    beat 1 - take the back step
    beat 2 - collect
    beat 3 - take the side step
    beat 4 - collect
    beat 5 - take the front step
    beat 6 - collect and pivot your front leg more than a quarter turn, so you are facing partner
    beat 7 - take the side step
    beat 8 - collect and pivot landing leg more than a quarter turn, to prepare for taking a back step orthogonal to your partner while facing him or her.

    This method is taught out here so that follows learn very clear and crisp molinete movement with minimal support from a partner.
  2. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    My two penn'orth:

    the backstep and the pivot that leads into it take longer than a beat; therefore the subsequent side and forward steps are done as QQ to bring the follower back onto a regular beat; so the first Q might be on a half beat and the second on a regular beat.
  3. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    It isn't 'just' a demo tool, but I do agree that it isn't necessary (or common) to turn completely around a partner in four steps. However, moving in curves is the illusion created by dissociation. The feet do, indeed, mark out the pattern of a square (or pentagon, or hexagon) depending on the number of steps in a full circle. Think of them in terms of a children's dot-to-dot puzzle. Where the feet are placed over two consecutive steps can be joined by straight lines, and the follower's body weight will have passed along those lines, and not moved much off-centre (without wobbles). Lots of very short steps give a better impression of curving, but it is still only an impression: we don't, and can't.
  4. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not understanding what you are trying to say with this sentence, above. The back step is completed on a slow beat, and is commonly started from the prior slow beat (although it could even be done in a quick beat - giro with all quicks).
  5. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I don't suppose that a committee - of leaders?, of followers? - ever made an official decision about what the default rhythm should be. I imagine it is what it is because that's how followers usually do it.

    (Sort of like a landscape designer deciding where the sidewalks should be. If they're not in the right place, common usage will create footpaths where they should have been.)

    Dancing slowly is generally more difficult than dancing quickly, because it requires greater control. Back ochos are one of the more difficult moves in tango to do with good control. I suppose the back-side step is usually done with quick counts because it's just easier that way for followers, regardless of what leaders prefer.

    If leaders want a different rhythm, they have to lead it.
  6. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    The reason for a QQ could also be that the follow doesn't pivot enough/turn her hips enough and can't take an ordinary backstep because of that. To get out of this situation she uses the QQ then.

    During the basics the followers should become aware of the hip positions, they should have a clear goal - sidestep/hips are towards the center - front and back cross /hips are turned. If this is not in place and I try to lead a side-frontcross-side-frontcross variation or a giro, we just end up to forward walk.

    Here this man is very clear about the pivot and hips. We have 3 different turningpoints for giro:sidestep, frontcross and backcross. Doesn't he keep the time for the much longer front/back cross turning? (I can not hear things like that....)

  7. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

  8. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

  9. ^

    He is doing it without the QQ. That is why he has time for a complete one beat (upbeat) collection after the backstep and sidestep. SSS is the best timing to get good form IMHO. Then QQ one can be done for timing practice.

    He does it very good for a guy, but he doesn't know how to dance with a partner with his upper body (my tango teacher used to yell at me "where is your partner!" when I did that). He needs to keep his torso turned towards his partner when he does the backstep (he is overturning his torso by almost 90 degrees). He also needs to turn towards his partner in the front step during the collection from the sidestep (he is turning his torso way too late). Eventually, if he keeps up with it, he will learn to keep his torso facing the center constantly and let his hips rotate around on there own. Then it will be beautiful.
  10. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Yes, good point.
  11. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    I have also learned that it is important to collect the feet, but I am not so sure anymore that it is the best thing to do. To collect has been one tool to get some style in the beginner dance but it is not an issue of a correct technics.

    I think it could help more the follower to learn how to TURN the hip to the right position and then take the step. I think she will collect naturally then, without effort or thinking
  12. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    not sure I could explain in any better but will try; the sidestep before lands on a beat; the back ocho and step will land after the next beat; so you speed up the subsequent steps to bring yourself back on the beat.
  13. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I was assuming I didn't understand because this is the first time I've ever heard someone say that the step lands after the beat. I don't agree with this at all.
  14. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    More than you have done reading, apparently.

    I know everything that followed this quote (and never did I contradict it), and it still doesn't change that whether the follower accelerates or not is entirely led and that there is no default. The default is to follow, and the acceleration will be obviously there or not; the leader has many techniques to ensure the acceleration happens or not, at "obvious" locations but also not so obvious ones, _except_ with followers on autoaccelerated giros (who will _not_ follow when you don't follow the ingrained patterns they've learned to recognise).
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

  16. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Well, I've argued that it's wrong if it's taught that way (a more apt parallel since you dislike the parallel with the 8CB would be the "two back steps are always followed by a cross and crosses are not led" syndrome).

    It's also definitely taught like this "always", since I seem to have no problems with the majority of followers even when leading "unnaturally" accelerated giros from time to time and a whole forest of non-accelerated ones.

    She isn't following. More accurately, she is doing something kinematically impossible for a follower (who should always dance in the space the leader gives her and never take him off balance to go somewhere else) just because she thinks "that's the way things are".

    I started to dance Argentine tango just because I could get rid of notions like that.
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Which is to say, ideally there _might_ be a case to be made for everything being led. Every individual step, every acceleration, otherwise. Not all teachers teach that way, and not to all levels of dancers. Certainly the reality, as a follower, is anything but that way. There are different ways of thinking about it, different approaches to it. So, like pretty much everything in AT, its up for debate.

    What I know, as a follower, is that there is some sort of natural default speed combo. Don't know why that is (and, frankly, don't care), but it is real. More importantly, however, is the fact that I _can_ vary the speed _if_ a leader actually leads each step. Otherwise, the default is to follow, which means staying with the leader's chest, regardless. At that point, absent other information, I'll usually end up defaulting to my own speed or find a way to match what I hear in the music.

    It is nothing but fallacy to suggest that every step of the giro is always led. It usually isn't. And when that happens, gents, you get what you ask for...which is to say, you don't get what you dont ask for...which is to say, you have no ground to complain about auto-giroing.
  18. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    It is what it is because it makes sense given the lead and the positions of leaders and followers.

    If most giros would have leaders do sacada-sacada-sacada-... all the time with leaders and followers pivoting around an axis in their centre, then the most common stepping rhythm for the follower would be a lot different, but some giros are more common than others, which means some acceleration patterns are more common than others.

    That doesn't mean they're "defaults" in the sense of 'if you don't know what it is, then do this'.
  19. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Wrong, right?
  20. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    I'll try to restate my point more explicitly: the followers do a quick-quick on back then side steps often when they do giros because often the leader stays on the same spot and lets her cover a lot of ground with respect to him (and the axis around which her centre of gravity rotates in the giro) with usually relavitely little rotation (at least compared to the rotation possible in the alternative discussed below).

    That lead and the positions of both partners means she _cannot_ do something very close to a dissociated full backward ocho that takes one strong and one weak beat on the "back" step, at least not without impossible torsion in her spine or alternatively pulling the leader in front of her (instead of following him). The kinematics will simply force her to do a QQ at least if she follows the side-back-side-forward pattern (she'd have to do side-forward-side-foward to maintain a slow stepping speed, but that's also quite difficult to do while keeping the upper body smoothly aligned with the leader).

    If the leader himself moves in the space she's leaving (e.g. using a sacada and really moving on that foot) while he rotates, she _can_ actually do a very large and slow back step, and she'll have no reason to accelerate.

    Form (in this case stepping rhythm) follows function (i.e. following).

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