Tango Argentino > Leaders should learn to follow

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by AndaBien, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

  2. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I quite agree; I would also add that women should also learn to follow.
  3. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Puppy is awesome, definitely one of my inspirations. I suspect that my "tango heritage" comes from him... he definitely influenced my teacher and my teacher's teacher. Speaking of following, I heard that when he first learned to follow, he did it straight for an entire year. That's dedication. heh.
  4. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member


  5. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    If I ever get good at leading, then maybe I'll think about learning to follow.
  6. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    meow.......... :kitty:
  7. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    There are many good reasons for learning to follow :
    a) advanced followers get bored of classes so there's often be a surplus of men in the intermediate/advanced classes
    b) to put yourself in the followers shoes - you may think that leading multiple giroes is great, but what about your poor follower?
    c) you've managed to drag your dance partner to a festival workshop and are trying to figure out how to lead some figure. You turn to your partner and say "I just dont understand what Im supposed to do". They reply with the immortal words "Dont ask me - all I have to do is just follow"
    d) So one day - ideally when you are dancing with a female leader - you can utter the immortal words from (c) yourself :p
  8. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I've said for a while that I'll learn to lead. I definitely think it would be useful.

    But every time I think about actually doing it I can't bring myself to. I have so much more to work on as a follower, and I don't want to take time away from that. (Even though I know that learning to lead would make me a better follower.) And I just enjoy the freedom from responsibility, and love following so much I can't bring myself to give it up.

    But back to the topic, yes, I think it would be helpful if men learned to follow. And if women learned it, too. ;)
  9. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

  10. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    FWIW, I've danced with a total of 7 women who had learned leading. (Myself, as a lead) I felt that all but one of them had been ruined by their learning to lead. Nothing is sooooo upsetting to my dance as a woman who anticipates or even half leads a move.. there is no possibility of dance fluidity once that happens, I would have to start all over again in order to find the flow. How can there be any timing if the woman is throwing in her own timing? I know that I only have two years dancing experience but I am cock sure about this one. I hear that in BsAs, men will not dance with a woman they had seen leading. I think that it's more than just machismo involved. It takes two to tango and it takes two opposite roles to tango, too. If learning to lead dilutes the woman's role and sends it towards the other side...well, it screws it all up. :cool:
  11. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

  12. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    To be perfectly honest, I'm not at all convinced that learning to lead helps followers to follow better. I've actually had a conversation with a couple good leaders where we thought it sometimes tended to make them worse followers (based on how they felt when we danced with them).
  13. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I am inclined to agree with this; but I admit a prejudice; my experience of being a follower to a woman leading was just ... uuurhgh.. like a marshmallow and more recently another teacher in a private class suggested I learned to follow; but my experience of leading him in the lesson was that his response time was like a dionsaur's tail, about a couple of seconds after what I would normally expect an average follower's response to be; i do follow with one guy, and we do it just for a laugh; its not pretty, my decorations suck but I never lose my axis. :tongue:
  14. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Re: switching squared

    Agreed. I do not know it differently. My first real teacher, an Uruguayan, after 2 years of learning on my own, clapped his hands every 30 minutes and the couples had to change the roles.

    So I was accustomed to women leading. New to me was to be led by a man, taller than me. And that was the first time I could really switch the role, shut my eyes, and focus on my feet, only.
  15. wadpro

    wadpro Member

    What does Puppy mean by saying "young people dance like elephants". Does he mean nuevo style?
  16. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    Not necessarily. He means, heavy on the feet so they "plod" when they land... Like lumbering awkward elephants, regardless of style. They need refinement.
  17. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    I'd like to guess that he means that they lack "Cadencia"..there is something about an Argentine dancer (male) that I can always see when watching..I feel that I can tell the Argentines from the non-Args. by just observing their backs while dancing..of course by observing their fronts too..but what I'm trying to say is that it is OBVIOUS...the non native dancers plod around like lumps..robots..step step, figure, step, step, figure, etc...there's no nuance...no treatment of the music.:doh:
    They look like a floor of washing machines in Sears and Robucks...all turned on and washing at the same time..chug-a-la-chug-a-la....ugh

    In a workshop in Phila., Maxi Gluzman said that no non-Argentine will ever (EVER) have Cadencia....Never say Never and never say 'EVER' but he said it!....the next question is: What is Cadencia?
    the answer: It's what the Argentine Tango dancers have.
  18. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Which I, personally, think is a load of nationalistic twaddle.

    There's nothing about being born within a certain geographical confine that confers much of anything.

    Learning history and culture, refining feeling and technique, developing deep appreciation...those have nothing to do with where one was born, and everything to do with the beautiful dancing others admire.
  19. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I agree with this.

    Leaders mainly have the role of transmitting, and followers mainly have the role of receiving. For a leader to understand the problems of receiving might give him insight into transmitting better. I don't think for a follower to understand the problems of transmitting makes much difference in their abilities to receive, although it does give them some appreciation for the struggle that leaders have.

    I do know a few women who have done some leading (in classes) and begun to realize the importance of followers dancing to the rhythm and having a connection.

    I've heard that in the olden days only men would go to tango schools. Women would learn from friends and family at home. In the schools the men would dance the follower's part until they became proficient at it, no matter how long it took. Only then would they be allowed to start learning the leaders part.
  20. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    "Should" is maybe an exaggeration.

    I'd say more "Men will find it useful to learn to follow".

    But a la BTM, I'd suggest that men should focus on learning to lead (unless you as a man want to do a lot of following in your social dancing).

    There are very good reasons why men should at least have some experience of following - if only to understand (for example) the frustration of having an unclear lead to try to interpret.

    But if you have 10 hours a month to spend on learning tango, and you want to be a leader, I think you should prioritize and spend your time becoming as good a leader as you can. Yes, some follower experience will help that process. But you don't need to spend a vast amount of time becoming a superb follower - why not become a superb leader?

    That said, I want to learn to follow, but that's mainly because I want to be able to confidently explain both the lead and the follow parts.

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