Tango Argentino > Introducing the Giro to Beginners

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

  1. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    try it for yourself and see, you could be right.
    but if you are right then there is no need for quick steps in the giro unless they are lead.
  2. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Based on the rationale you stated (again, assuming I'm understanding you correctly), is there ever a "need" to do any steps to a Q-Q-S rhythm?

    I've done the giro step before, and whenever I did them off the beat was due to error (I'm not the best follower). As a leader, I've lead them on occasion to various rhythms, all slows, all quicks, but the overwhelming majority of the time, I lead them to the "default" rhythm, "Q-Q-S" to the "B-S-F" steps (on the beat).
  3. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    You miss my point; if the steps can be done in an equal time measure then there isn't a need to to do QQS. But it isnt realistic to expect a follower to move from the sidestep into a backstep in a normal single beat. The "default" is what is possible. I spent six months wondering why followers did these quick steps, then it was explained to me:

    They can't do a back step in a giro in a single beat

    If you dont agree with this assertion then check it out for yourself; it is possible milongeuro style; ie with no pivoting just crossing behind.

    As I dont believe the steps can be done in an equal measure on a normal beat then there is a need for the quicks. It is possible if you are stepping in half time ie slower steps for the steps to take an equal length of time.

    As I keep repeating: try it yourself, and see what can be danced.
  4. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    In the context of a giro, yes, if what is led is incompatible with S-S. If you as a leader make yourself the centre of rotation of the giro and turn smoothly, the follower will have to cover a lot of ground while rotating relatively little. As I said, that often makes a Q-Q necessary for the follower when the backstep arrives, at least if the follower is determined to follow the front-side-back-side-... convention.

    That's a consequence of how the human body is built: just try to cross in front to the side and see how far you can go with relatively little hip rotation and torsion felt between hip and ribs and do the same crossing back. In my legs, the leg muscles happen to be primarily _behind_ the leg bones, and that has kinematic implications, making a back step that covers a lot of ground without rotating the hips and in extreme cases the upper body a lot more difficult than the same for a side step or a front step.

    If the leader also moves _his_ COG around in a circle during the movement (in the same counterclockwise or clockwise direction as the follower, obviously), there's going to possibly be more rotation (if the leader chooses to rotate the couple more) and certainly be less translation of the follower.

    So "is it led" is a question of semantics. You don't always lead the "accelerate _here_" explicitly, but you do often lead it (or not) implicitly.

    Note that it is actually possible to lead accelerations on other steps that starting with the back step as well, just as implicitly, although you might consider it more explicit given that the aim of where you lead the follower will be more obviously "non default" (what is implicit or explicit is often a matter of experience).
  5. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Border Tangoman is right: just try to see what's possible, and you'll see _why_ the Q-Q-S pattern often naturally arises (which doesn't, to me, mean it's "not led", although it is a matter of semantics. It is "led" because it's the normal solution to moving and rotating in the space and orientation invited by the leader if the follower insists on doing F-S-B-S-...That doesn't mean it's _explicitly_ led as "accelerate here", which may explain the protestations of some that it "isn't lead", but if it were truly "unlead" then the follower would have to do it _regardless_ of things, not because the movement invites it).

    Which will also tell you the ways in which it won't once you analyse the 'why'.
  6. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    The debate is largely academic, really: the less you think about what is and is not accelerated while you concentrate on the movement, the more the "right" thing will happen.

    But I _do_ occasionally encounter a follower who _thinks_ she should "naturally" do Q-Q-S at that moment in time, on her own, without being invited to it by the movement and even when the movement should tell her _not_ to (No big fuss, I can recover, but it's still not following.)

    In this sense, I think speaking about a "default" is dangerous. A default is what you use when you have no explicit instructions. But in dancing a giro, you _always_ have, at least if the leader is leading competently.
  7. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    It's a similar discussion as with "autocrossing". Yes, very often two back steps will be followed by a cross, but it is led, it is not a default.

    If a follower doesn't understand why those crosses are _necessary_ solutions to enable the movement that's led and treats the crossing as a true default, it may become very, very hard to lead her a "non-cross".

    That's why it's all less important a debate if you're dancing than if you're teaching. A teacher should understand _thoroughly_ why things happen, not just observe they do happen. Because not everyone will always Do the Right Thing, and you need to know where things go wrong or where ingrained patterns spawn that should be discouraged.
  8. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    ..which isnĀ“t false by itself: because we are discussing in an educational/didactical context.


    Simply would call that QQS (BSF) pattern a flotsam of history. What you call "naturally" simply is due to the change from crossed to parallel system in the eight-count-molinete. Legions of instructors use to follow that concept in their intermediate classes. Todaro, Dinzels, Arquimbaus, and Puglieses taught it. The only one doing without QQS is Naveira because he did not arrange his didactics around that eight-count-molinete.
  9. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    I have difficulties to form this to a text so I try to write down the questions I have instead.

    Is pivot the critical skill for SS?
    (Pivot = turn the hips to a new direction)
    These followers can not pivot fast enough to be able to complete the back step on time?
    Can these followers do back ochos on time?
    Can these followers do SS in waltz?

    I posted a link where the German teacher is doing the chair exercise - is he doing back ocho on time? (I can not see such things)
    ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNgQnpBcBJo&feature=bf_prev&list=PL6CFA866796E1D1C6 )
  10. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    This may have been answered once before?, but he is right on, even picking up one of the pauses (watched almost the entire clip).
  11. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    He's doing all slow counts (SSSS), which is not how a standard (default) molinete is done.

    Also, he's not turning his shoulders to keep them toward his imaginary partner.

    Not keeping his shoulders to his partner probably makes the exercise easier, but still he shows very good skill and control.
  12. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I've suspected as much all along, as what you "appear" to be saying is alien to me. That's why I asked for a clarification. The way I am interpreting your statement would indicate that what the guy in the video doing the giro drill, isn't possible. He's doing the giro on the beat, with all slows (not Q-Q-S).


    FWIW, all I'm saying is that the steps for the giro should all be on a beat, whether it is a quick beat or a slow beat, whether it is done to s-s-s, q-q-s, or q-q-q rhythm. Followers absolutely can do a back step on a single beat if that's what is lead (and they pay attention to the lead).
  13. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    Thanks for the responses!

    I remember that we were supposed to take steps with equal length and speed in giro. We were told to move faster on the back step so we could land on time. I have a faint memory that this load of extra energy for the backstep, if we lost control, could send us to QQS.

    I think it is physically possibly to produce a calm, SSSS with steps of equal length. In real life I suppose only the experienced and most skilled can dance in that way.

    In my case it was often the extra energy I put in to my turn giving me the QQS ride. One of my followers is pivoting too little and she is solving the situation by QQS. I suppose this kind of issues could be the background for the molinete standard.
  14. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    In addition he accentuate and performs badly back pivot.
  15. Yes because if the pivot before the backstep is not done properly, the follow's hips are still facing towards the lead and she will step away from the lead and can't cover the distance needed for a S beat, and either the lead has to chase her or she is forced to take a QQ because she can't cover the distance around the lead with the backstep and must quickly switch to the sidestep to get the distance she needs. With a good pivot before the backstep, she can easily cover the distance around the lead with just a backstep and can fill the whole S (time and distance) with just a long beautiful backstep and collect.

    The pivot in the SSS molinete requires much more dissociation than a standard ocho. Ofcourse ochos vary in required pivot from no pivot at all to almost 180 degrees (overturned ocho). The pivot involved in a SS molinete is about 90 degrees which some follows are not able to do without a whole lot of practice.

    I want to stress again that, IMHO, at least from my experience, it is usually not the case that the pivot is too slow (or out of time), it's just that some follows just haven't practiced enough and don't have good enough disassociation. When she can't do a good SS, its usually because the follow doesn't go all the way around and her hips are facing too much towards the lead and thus she pulls away from lead instead of around the lead.

    It's much easier to time the backstep with the first beat of the walts and do QQ with the two "non accented" beats, because SS each take up two musical beats and can't fit into one measure of a valts. SSS can be done in a waltz, but it has to be well timed and doesn't flow as well IMHO, also SS is almost impossible to do in milongua because there is no time for a good pivot, so the faster the music, the more difficult it is to get an SSS, while QQS can be done with any music and arguably feels better in faster music.

    ... but to answer your question, even though I prefer QQS in waltz, it is more difficult to do SSS in waltz, so if the follow can't do them in Tango, they probably can't in vals either.
  16. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Like a lot of things, I would say the answer is, "it depends".

    I've heard different teachers give different answers to that. I had a women teacher yell at me for not making the follower do the turn to the Q-Q-S rhythm, and I've have another explicitly say that when the leader is trying to do planeos and such in the giro, he doesn't have the time to explicitly lead the rhythm for each step, and that the women needs to know what to do.

    Some followers love you to lead each step, while others are going to do what they've decided, regardless of what the man is trying to lead.
  17. This is a great point. In a living, evolving dance, you really can't expect everyone to agree on what to do. It's probably better to treat it like just about everything else in tango. It's just between a lead and follow and whatever feels good and makes them happy is right for them.
  18. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I have one thing to point out (and I don't mean to insult the intelligence of the majority of the people who likely are well aware of what I'm about to say). When "we" typically say Q-Q-S to the B-S-F, the first Quick actually occurs between the Back and the Side step (or right after the Back step lands). The next (second) Quick is between the side and the front steps. Those are the easiest places to do Quick steps in the giro, due to less pivoting being required.

    The pivot preceding the Back step is done at a Slow tempo, regardless of whether you are doing the Q-Q-S rhythm or the S-S-S rhythm. Typically, the only time that big pivot before the back step is done to a quick Rhythm, is when the giro is led with all quicks (more often done by performers, than social dancers).

    Maybe the terminology is confusing. It probably should be Q-Q-S-S (to B-S-F-S), to make it more clear. The giro actually could start on any of the 4 steps as well as end on any of the 4 steps. My two cents.
  19. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    I'm only old enough to remember Todaro on that list ;-) and he taught both a molinete around the leader with stationary leader _and_ a giro where the leader sacadas and both leader and follower go round a circle. The first one was accelerated, the second one wasn't. Naveira wasn't the only one who didn't _exclusively_ use that one molinete with "natural" acceleration.
  20. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    I've heard many teachers whose own teaching don't stand up to critical scrutiny. I've danced for long enough to have rolled my eyes at many teacher claiming the cross isn't led, something which fortunately is becoming more rare with the increase in knowledge in the field ;-).

    My point is exactly that you don't lead the rhythm for each step. You tell the follower where to go and how to be rotated, and she'll sort the rhythm out, only by assuming that the step pattern is F-S-B-S-F-... and making things work.

    Some beginners who are _completely_ unfamiliar with giros may actually do that but may do S-S-S-S using forward-side-forward-side instead, but it doesn't exactly feel right in the embrace (the F-S-B-S isn't a coincidence either: it's done that way because dissociation between hips and ribcage is never perfect, and the wiggle that is still transmitted because of it is better if it has a neutral position that makes the embrace comfortable and wiggles on both sides of neutral).

    I doubt you'll find many followers who will find it pleasant to micromanage every step in a Q-Q-S part of a giro with the shoulders (which would reduce the amount of dissociation needed, I'll grant you that). They universally seem to prefer smooth rotation and translation and they dissociate just enough to make their feet and leg do what they must (or in some milonguero styles will "ocho milonguerize" the giro and not dissociate, but with similar results).

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