Tango Argentino > Introducing the Giro to Beginners

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

  1. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    To me, that's nothing more than a preference, or philosophy, if you will. When I first started tango, the idea of the automatic cross seemed strange to me. The more I dance, the more that I see the other point of view.

    I can and do lead the rhythm with some followers. What I will say is that with good followers (who listen for the lead), what you need to do to lead the rhythm, is not that much (just by the speed of my rotation). I'll even on rare occasion lead it as F-S-F-S, if there's a lot of space.

    I don't know how many followers dislike the rhythm to be led, but I've certainly noticed a preference between various followers about how the rhythm should be led (the mechanics of the lead). I've still got a lot to learn though, and it's quite possible that you know more about followers than I do.
  2. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Some of this depends on what you think a lead is. I was having this discussion years ago with a good dancer, and we decided that we would dance with no physical contact, to see if the cross was lead. Without touching her she easily saw what I was doing and did crosses as necessary. I would've had to consciously disguise my movement toward a crusada for her to not see the movement and understand even the visual lead.

    As already mentioned, as dancers develop greater experience and ability many of these distinctions fade into shades of gray.
  3. I just realized that I misstated this. The way I usually do vals is to time the (B-S-F) or QQS with the three beats in a vals measure. It works well because the front is done quickly, so the real rhythm is QQQ, and then it can either go straight into a back walk or continue into the front pivot of the molanite, or whatever you want really.

    Does anyone else have a favorite way to match the molanite with a vals?
  4. I think what Sixela is referring to is the practice of follows doing crosses in certain sequences on their own, with no input from the lead.
  5. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Seems like you are saying two different things here. QQS would have your partner not stepping on the first beat of the next measure. I suspect your real rhythm is, as you said later, QQQS.

    I like to dance on the 1-3 beats sometimes, depending on the music. It gives an interesting syncopation.
  6. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I also like to dance 1-3, sometimes 1-2 depending on the song. Gives a floaty quality to the turn.

    123 is usually too fast imo.
  7. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    i agree with all that. last's nights class was letting the followers take the prerogative in the giro, and the leaders follow them round. And aiming to get them to travel smoothly and above all musically.
  8. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    But we're in violent agreement, from the rest of yor post: you lead it implicitly through the amount of movement and rotation you invite the follower to do, not explicitly (as you would if you would actually lead which step to take through upper body rotation and would mark the end of the steps to the follower by 'landing' her.

    And you _do_ lead it in the sense the follower has no choice but to do it, there is no "default" that she dimply assumes (which allows you to fo different things with ease).

    It's all very much a matter of semantics (and as Andabien correctly point out, with more experience the semantics may shift, since we associate cause and effect more instinctively and also lead more instinctively as a result).
  9. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    'zactly. Some followers will even bend out of shape and unbalance when you lead a not-cross just to try to still do the cross they think is 'supposed' to happen. And some followers will run ahead of what the leader indicates in giros too, because they think the QQS is 'default'.
  10. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    This idea has been floated a few times, that the leader dictates/indicates the amount of turn, that the follower turns as far as is necessary. I can exert a small amount of influence on how far my partner turns, but normally I just become the follower and we turn as far as my partner takes us. One of my favorite partners does a really good turn, which makes for a fun giro, but I can't make a lesser follower take a bigger turn if she hasn't got the ability. A frustrating move is when my partner only makes about a quarter turn. If that's all she's going to do, I can't lead a larger turn without resorting to using uncomfortable physical strength on her.
  11. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    In giros, followers are supposed to fill the space made available for them (which is indeed what enables giros to be fluid, effortless and not stilted.) It is indeed frustrating for leaders to dance giros with followers who have their handbrakes engaged...

    The fact you 'listen' to her by being aware of where she is and how far she goes while leading doesn't make you the follower. It makes you a proper leader ;-).
  12. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    A really democratic mindset. Well done. I cannot change the roles on the fly. I start following or I start leading, no change in between. And concerning planeos : I do lead how far she takes me.
  13. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    The two common ways for this are to either do the Quick on the 2 best (and ignore the 3 beat), or doing the Quick on the 3 beat (and ignoring the prior 2 beat).

    So the QQSS could be done as: 1 2 - 1 - - 1 - -
    or 1 - 3 1 - - 1 - -

    As you already pointed out, one can step on all 3 of the beats in a vals, although it's not as common (for social dancers).
  14. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    For me, dancing on all three beats is rare, except for giros, where it is common - well - for my partner. I like to lead it as QQQS, with the S leading out of the giro.
  15. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

  16. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Nice vid and demonstration. But I don´t understand why they call it syncopated giro: the first steps are in half tempo and the following in regular. Or have I simply lost count?
  17. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    A lot of dancers call half steps (or quick steps) syncopation, (which is quite different from musicians usage of that term).
  18. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    This whole bit about syncopation is...

    Let's try this from Skippy Blair.
    Is her definition that much differnet that a musician's?
    (given that she only writes about the "&a" between the beats as one limitation in her presentation)

    (1) The "rearrangement" of the metered beat. (2) For the Dancer, it is the rearrangement of the weight changes within the "2-Beat" Rhythms. (3) Stepping BEFORE the beat (on the "&" or the "a" count) and then stepping again, or doing something ELSE on the actual beat of the Music. Example: Count: "&a1." Lift your knee on the "&," step on the "a" and "Kick" on count "1." Kick again on count “2.” This is a "Syncopated Single."
  19. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Her definition, while it might be accurate, seems way too complicated. The definition is really simple.

    In all music there is an expectation of emphasized beats. In 4/4 one expects the 1 beat to be the strongest and the 3 beat to be second strongest. Other beats are weak. Syncopation is when a normally un-emphasized beat is emphasized. It doesn't have to be the 3 or 4 beat; it could be any 1/4 or 1/8 note beats also.

    "...the displacement of the usual rhythmic accent away from a strong beat onto a weak beat"

    In the world of dance it means the same thing, it's a rhythmic consideration. Tango music has much syncopation, but dancers usually don't dance to the syncopated beats, although they could. Vals would be a good exception in which dancers could dance on the 1-2 beats, which would not be the normal expectation.
  20. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    What I think Skippy is saying, I don't think is the same as a musician's definition. AndaBien nailed it, though.

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