Tango Argentino > Leaders should learn to follow

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

  1. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I agree with Peaches point about immersion.

    Also, Bastet, I think you're on to something. And it reminded me of what my teacher said to me a few weeks ago. I had just made some big leaps in understanding the walk, and I told her I finally "got" something she'd told me on day one. She just smiled and told me not to worry, the walk was something you work and develop forever, until you have your own style. At that point, after years of study it's all about subtleties. Dancers at that level no longer judge by how their moves look, but by the signature of their walk.

    I also think part of the mystery has to do with how new AT is to most of our areas. I mean, how many people in your town have been dancing AT for 20+ years? It's not that there CAN'T be a non-Argentine milonguero, it's just there hasn't been time enough for many to reach that level.
  2. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    that's very true too- most people here haven't been dancing long enough perhaps, to get there.

    I think a person also has to be interested in "going there" where ever "there" might be, and that takes a pretty inquisitive and persistent mind/personality if you aren't actually in a place like BsAs 24/7 being bombarded with how something should "feel" or look til it becomes second nature. You may have to work harder at it.

    My view on the dance itself relaxed so much 2 or so years ago when I also realized that I would be working on a good looking walk for some time, and that it was OK to do so and feel the dance as progressive layers that I build, deconstruct periodically and re-build.
  3. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Well, yes, but...
    Recently witnessed Americans trying to do a Nepalese "head waggle" that is a non verbal, sort of luke warm "yes". Then I watched a six year old do it. BIG difference.
    And remember that many of us can detect very faint traces of accents in speech patterns and pronunciation of others decades after they've moved to another part of the country.
    So, I guess that means I'm willing to admit that there may be at the very least a grain of truth in the myth.
  4. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    maybe- but how much of it is "truth in the myth" versus- "didn't get explained properly" because no one knew how to ask the right question?
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I'm saying that if someone said that to me, I would find myself creeped out. I would wonder if they were in it for a cheap feel. I know from your posts that this is not the case with you. But without that added dimension of knowing someone...
  6. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    Actually, this is particularly interesting to me....the 'truth' in the 'myth'...I've spent some very important years studying research papers on second language and 'accent' acquisition. When one does 'ask the right questions' it shows that The process of learning/acquiring is not done consciously at all. It is all as close to an unconscious miracle as one can imagine ..these are the truths..they are not myths..the myths are what they teach in high school language class and you can tell that it's a myth because it doesn't work.:shock:

    Actually Peaches, you don't have to soften your opinions for me...I am mainly in this for the feel of a woman in my arms and the flow of the music and dance. The first time I saw a Tango was when a painter friend was visiting and asked me to find him some Tango..I called around and found a woman with a dance floor in her home...when they walked out onto the floor and the music began to play, I was transfixed..I thought that I was in a Fellini movie... months later, when I attended my first Tango class and stood with a beautiful/stranger woman in my arms..I asked myself, why didn't I know this sort of thing was going on, years ago??
  7. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Maybe it was never verbalized to the Argentines. From their perspective, it's just something natural, although they likely picked it up (subconsciously) by immersion, as you stated. Thus they've never had to verbalize it, as it is all done at the subconscious level.

    BTW, I'm making an assumption that the "it" you were referring to, is what soome people call "cadencia".

    Can you describe what it is that you FEEL in an embrace with one of them?
  8. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    I think you are quite possibly right. From what I understand of a lot of the traditional Argentine teaching methods, it is visual and not verbal. Those who learned that way still teach that way, I find. They tend to teach a pattern that emphasizes a concept (but forget to tell you what the concept is)...thus- it gets picked up by immersion. Even an Argentine had to be a beginner at some point. They had ot learn just like anyone else- they are just surrounded by it more.

    On the embrace- when I am in a nice (close) embrace, I get this nice gentle "up" feeling in my upper body. Not grabby, but gently supported in in a light "upwards" fashion. And I can really feel the connection through the core much better than with many people I generally dance with with someone who does have a nice close embrace (except for a few masters I have been lucky enough to find myself in an embrace with who also feel that way). (Trust me- both of these can be taught, if you're willing to work.)

    We were quite lucky that the leader of the couple we took lessons from is fairly tall, so I could see that something was happening with him that wasn't happening with my partner, as well as feel it. But they never explained it, until I hounded them about it for 3 days. We finally figured it out and as I figured, it was a pretty subtle upper body motion thing that doesn't show visually but is quite important and very hard to explain well enough for someone to "get" and then harder to put in muscle memory because you have to adapt it to every partner without misusing it.

    And that was just one couple.

    Another person I learned close embrace from taught it a little different, but the end feeling of the connection was similar but the body positioning was different....so mytery can be taught- but you kind of have to get good at asking questions the right way.
  9. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    I'll add one last difference between these 2 methods of close embrace I learned.

    The 1st one works better when the lead is a little taller than the follow, because of the "up" feeling he gives.

    The second works best with people whose heights are not too disparate (liek 6" or less). It would probably be a good choice for a leader who is slightly shorter than his follow...I'll have to think about that.
  10. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    I am certainly not saying that a native will not have an advantage over a non-native re language, customs, idesyncracies, etc. I am saying that it is not an improbability, or impossibility, for a non-native to, sincerely, accept/acuqire such values of a chosen/foreign people/culture.
  11. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    i had an observation from a female Danish friend who came to my classes for a while but just regarded English men beginners as hopelessly inept and unmusical and Danes would have been far more appreciative of my teaching skills. she give up for that reason, although she said she loved dancing with me ( who wouldnt)
  12. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    A six-year old American?
  13. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    And did you think about moving to Denmark in that moment, ..?
  14. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    Is it because you were actually teaching in Danish at the time? :raisebro:
  15. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    definitley; my Danish friend has the most alive eyes I have ever seen......

    ├śnsker De at danse?

    Copehangan here I come or Oslo maybe might be a nice place to go for a Milonga.
  16. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    You know, a while after posting, it occured to me that I would have been clearer if I had included "Nepalese" as an adjective in that sentence.
  17. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    So, basically racist, yes? :p
  18. tanjive

    tanjive New Member

    A person can swap roles for generally one of two aims. To understand their own role better or to learn to do the other role.

    In order to learn their own role better it is ideal to dance with good and less so skilled of that role. So a male lead that follows good and bad men will feel the many things he could subject his own followers to. With good and bad side by side hopefully he can distingiush which would be better to do and so learn.

    In order to learn the opposite role better it is generally only good to dance with those good at your normal position. A male learning to follow would learn much less about following correctly from a poor lead than a good one.

    So given my view above it depends on your aims who should help you learn the opposite role. For me an occasional follow to help with refining leading is enough. I am not interested in becoming more than just an adequate follow. I would learn nothing of leading if I could not atleast maintain presence forward when I follow.

    Observationally I see no motivation for guys to be great follows. Socially guys are not going to be asked to dance as a follow. Even if men are equally happy to lead a guy, why would they when there are more abundant and much nicer follower skilled women. Most leading women would lead women for the same reason. Equally alot of women would find it embarrassing to ask any guy to follow who is not already a friend.
  19. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Yay! We have TanJive! :D

    Welcome :)

    Yeah - it seems a bit pointless.
  20. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    uh oh now we're in trouble :rolleyes:

    welcome to our humble abode, TJ :raisebro:

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