Tango Argentino > Leadership and how it arises

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by All Sales Are Final, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    If she isn't moving at all, it's usually because the leader concentrated on his own movement and decoupled from the embrace (i.e. he moves, but the parts of his body connected to his partner stay with her current position instead of moving with the rest of him to communicate how he's moving).

    If she's moving but doing something else, the lead is usually either noisy (the leader moves in a way that makes the follower respond in an unintended way), not well timed, or flat out completely wrong, i.e. the correct lead for what the follower actually does.

    What I unconsciously do most of the time is move myself, but I concentrate on "painting" a path for a point outside of me with my body. And, just like when you paint or draw, it's all influenced by the tactile feedback you get while drawing the path (when you draw with a pencil on a sheet, you don't actively try to trace along the sheet of paper, you use the feedback from the tip of the pencil to guide you. That's why you can't practice moves solo: the feeling of the feedback is part of the experience).
    All Sales Are Final likes this.
  2. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Except that since he's her boyfriend, is possible that in a misguided attempt to help, she backleads and guesses.
  3. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Granted. If that happens, though, he should be able to recognize when that happens (since she would modulate _his_ movement and in effect lead him to feel how he's supposed to move, at least if he tries to protect the integrity of the embrace. Of course, if he's Mister Floppy Arms it won't teach him a thing).
  4. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    "should" and "does" are not always synonymous. Especially if he doesn't understand the concept of lead and follow.
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.
  5. Cal

    Cal Well-Known Member

    To follow on from this, it's possible that OP has mis-judged the true skill level of some of his regular follows. I know many beginner men who think that follows are very good dancers if they anticipate a figure and finish it on their own without a lead; and if that beginner man runs across a truly advanced follow who actually waits for a lead for each movement, he dismisses her as a beginner dancer who doesn't know the steps.
    raindance likes this.
  6. Krys

    Krys New Member

    Message 7 off this thread :

    And if his girlfriend thinks nobody is teaching him how to lead, she could make more effort to help.

    By reading again this quote I think to something. "All sales are final", do you think that she is trying to suggest to you to speak about this to your teacher or to change of teacher.
    Because if there is missing some "assumed knowledge" it may be an enduring misunderstanding beetween you and your teacher.
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.
  7. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    So what, never in those months of lessons was the question of leading and following brought up to light, or was he able to tune it out completely without anyone ( the teacher or partners in group classes) noticing or minding?
  8. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    ...or they noticed, tried to remedy it, and he still didn't listen. After all, he's still asking the same questions after five pages of answers.
    wooh likes this.
  9. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Some people just ignore answers they don't like....
  10. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Exactly. Or they get a certain idea in their head and can't be swayed.
  11. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Well, then the next logical step would be just not to dance the second time with followers who make comments about "not leading". Problem solved. :)
    twnkltoz likes this.
  12. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Let's not make it personal and start attributing intent. We don't know "all sales are final" and we haven't seen him dance nor know his teachers, so let's just stick with trying to answer the questions (and discussing the ramifications).
  13. Hello ladies and gents,

    Thanks for the enormously helpful tips... I'm immensely grateful. It's very useful to have access to the knowledge among these forum members in addition to the live learning process I'm undergoing, and it's encouraging also to know that there is such a positive sense of community among people who feel ownership toward the dance and want to carry that forward. So again, thank you.

    I want to say a particular heartfelt thanks to Gssh whose explanations are clear, to the point and succinct. I feel I know so much more now just by reading Gssh's posts to this thread. That's not to diminish anyone else's contribution and I'm sorry I'm unable to answer each one individually... the sheer volume of responses since I last logged in is overwhelming. That's exceedingly heartening!

    Yes, I have looked at that site on previous occasions and found it intriguing. Now that I have a bit more practical confidence I shall come back to it and read again. Thanks for reminding me about it.

    Sound advice and this is more or less what I aim for at the moment. Thank you.

    Gssh, as I said above, the entirety of your explanations have been unmatched in terms of clarity and I think I understand all of them, so I have no need to ask further follow-up questions at this stage (not "the same questions" as someone incorrectly said). However on this specific point that you mention above, yes, when learning something new from someone who is a great deal more experienced, what that person does and how she does it does seem somewhat miraculous, and it is quite a stretch in terms of mental capacity to try to get a reading on how her moves are achieved while I am still taking baby-steps in my own. Superior ability, like technology, is difficult to distinguish from magic!

    But I am starting to absorb it now, and I think the source of the confusion was partly that when viewed from the perspective of the general direction of travel of the couple in the line-of-dance, it might at first appear to an inexperienced observer (such as myself) that it is the woman who is "leading" in the traditional sense of the word, in that she arrives first at the place that they are headed toward.

    Now, however, I see the fallacy in this... it is better to think of it as "steering" rather than "leading"... in a boat, the person sitting at the back in the direction of travel is responsible for steering, because any motion at the rudder is magnified by leverage at the front of the boat. People sitting in other positions in the boat besides the back might have other responsibilities but not steering. Likewise when reverse-parking a car, the car is traveling backward therefore the front wheels that are steered are now located at the back in the direction of travel, yielding much more maneuverability than if the car were driven forward.

    So now this makes sense to me. Thank you again.

    Naturally, all the teachers in our community dance regularly in the milongas.

    No, that is false, and what is more I don't see anything in this thread that could possibly bring you to this erroneous conclusion.

    I must say that while I appreciate the effort that has gone into helping me, I don't want you folks to think that I'd choose a teacher who didn't dance regularly in the milongas, or practice all my dancing alone... it's a little preposterous don't you think? Just because I am new to dancing doesn't mean I totally lack any normal human judgment.

    Nothing has been "hammered into the head". All the teaching I've received has been very intelligently explained and I have nothing but good things to say about it.

    In my understanding, a few months is nothing in terms of dancing tango... many of the best dancers I meet have been at it for 5, 10 or more years. And I think I explained before that no, I do not have any fixed prejudices, on the contrary I am starting this from a very low (or non-existent) base because I had no previous dance experience when I started tango last summer. I'm eager to learn whatever I can and very open-minded. Of course the words "leading" and "following" were thrown around, I just didn't really understand them, and wasn't clear as to whether it was something I needed to address now or could be safely left until later when I could get a feel for how they fit in with what I knew. You folks have helped me to address that, so I'm grateful to you!
  14. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you have a better understanding.
  15. Also Sixela... very helpful indeed! I like to think of it as similar to haptic feedback (like you get from certain modern electronics). Thanks again :)
  16. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    All Sales are Final, please don't take offense at the assumption some of us made. They were not made from our wild and mean imagination. It is just, the gap between what one would expect as the outcome of so many social dance lessons and what you have presented here in shape of questions and doubts was unusually glaring. We are happy to hear you are doing fine, and have everything under control. Good luck with your learning!
    Krys likes this.
  17. Krys

    Krys New Member

    I was referring to the first post when you said "hundred hours of practice at home" (it was just an assumption, I was not sur).
    Of course I do not believe you practice all you dancing alone.
    There is some stuffs that you can improve by practicing alone (like body awareness). But not leadership. It is what I wanted to emphasize. (so it is not stupid at all to practice sometimes alone)

    Happy to hear that things are clearer.
  18. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    He practices at home, but dances with his girlfriend...that opens other possibilities of practice than solo practice.
    Krys likes this.
  19. Lilly of the Valley, I'm not offended in the least! I'm sure I didn't come across that way... at least, I very much hope not! I tried to emphasize in each message to this forum how glad I am to have access to so much kindly advice.

    I think that once a person is highly accomplished, it is perhaps too easy to forget what it took to get there. My questions may seem like the height of stupidity, but eight months is nothing... all the really decent tangueros and tangueras I've asked state that for the first year, they were essentially blundering about on the floor in a manner that in no way resembles their current dance. And remember that prior to beginning tango I had no other dance experience to draw reference points from.

    The best teachers, however, do remember the struggles they went through when they were learning, and that is why I am so grateful to have the benefit of their advice.

    Thanks again for your solid and inspiring support.
  20. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Speaking for myself, I didn't forget what it took to get where I am, because I teach. I watch people struggle every day, and I help them through it. While I teach way more ballroom than AT, I do a lot of AT and teach a little as well as help newbies who come along. The concept of lead and follow are the same. And I promise you that everyone I teach or help understands the concept of leading and following from the very beginning. The first lesson. Maybe they're not great at it (it's hard), but they at least know what their job is.

    Your questions are not stupid. I'm glad you came here for help. Just please let go of any preconceived notions you have about dance and really look at what we're trying to tell you.
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.

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