Tango Argentino > Leading - different philosophies?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by dchester, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Wow! Several persons here on the DF will remember when I was severely beaten up...on 2 threads...for saying this same thing many months ago. Further that...How can someone effectively lead if they have no concept of how to follow the follower's response.

    As in life. I just told someone yesterday that man (mankind) hasn't learned a thing in 2K years. The smarter we become...the dumber we seem to be. Forgive the mini-hijack...just a side thought.
  2. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member


    Hi dChester, thanks
    ... that was the term I was after. I called it "showing the room" which meant something like "shifting the frame".

  3. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Yep, that can happen. But then you get back into that "on my way again" zone.

    Ha, ha, ha. Oh so pigging true eh. Here's a good quote from whoever:

    Progress is good but can we all stop now?

    And of course the first verse of my fave UB40 hit which fits in with Zoopsia's post:

    Every hour of every day I'm learning more
    The more I learn, the less I know about before
    The less I know, the more I want to look around
    Digging deep for clues on higher ground


  4. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    If you're being passed, you're going too slow! :D
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Damn skippy.
  6. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    It was very intimidating to me, the first time I was at a crowded milonga, especially since (at least on the East Coast) people don't stay in lanes at a milonga any more than they do on the highway. It seemed like I had people backing into me from all directions. I soon learned that backing up when I saw someone backing into my partner didn't work, as I'd just hit someone else. Sometimes I can quickly turn (and let them bump into me), but other times, all I can do is to put out my right arm to protect my follower, when an errant leader backs into our space. I find it's very hard to relax and give a good dance, in those conditions.
  7. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Based on what you say (which is all I have to go by) I disagree that this guy is safe. He's safe only in the way that the person who weaves and cuts in and out of cars is safe. The weaver may not actually hit anyone himself, but the cars that he moves around sometimes have accidents with each other due to trying to react quickly to what they think is happening or about to happen. (sorta like the chase scenes in movies whre the speeding car gets through the crowded intersection without incident, but everyone else ends up in a pile up after they're gone)

    HE may know where he's going and that he's ok going there, but the other people don't know where's he's going and that THEY'RE safe with him going there! There's more to being safe on the dance floor that not hitting anyone yourself. The chaos you leave in your wake can be a problem too. Other leaders may not know they can safely ignore him because he's that good, and less skilled leaders may not be able to react quickly or appropriately to what they have to GUESS he is about to do.

    Reminds me of a skating session I went to for awhile that had a mix of speed skaters, freestylers, and Ice dancers. There was one ice dancer who would do her set pattern that took her into the corners, sometimes in front of oncoming speed skaters. SHE knew she'd be out of there by the time they got there, but THEY had no way to know what she was doing. Speed skaters are very predictable.. figure skaters, not so much. One less advanced speed skater would always get nervous about her being in his path, because he knew his manuevering was very limited (all SS's are, but he especially) He'd trip up trying to slow down or thinking about avoiding her. So who is at fault for his falls in that situation? I'd say partly her. She violated the unwritten rule about getting in the path of the speed skaters even if you know you're good enough to get clear of them quickly, because THEY don't know what you're going to do, and they can't stop or turn easily.

    You may not get hurt dancing with him, but other people may get hurt trying to react to his unpredictability. Not crashing is important, but being considerate of the other dancers is also important, whether or not they are in any real danger.
  8. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Really? What on earth could the objection be? I wasn't here for the discussion you are referring to, but I would think its a standard thing to want leaders to reach a level where they know what the follower's response to their lead should be? My lightbulb moment was only over the fact that people don't get taught this soon enough. Leaders spend too many years learning steps without understanding the hoped-for follower's response. I mean... Duh? Am I missing something?
  9. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Is it really that bad to pass someone if they're taking all the time in the world to do their thing without moving? What's so wrong with maneuvering around them?
  10. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Is it really that bad to take the opportunity to work on small things that don't travel much when movement is limited?

    Besides, I was responding to your whole post, not just the fact that he occasionally passes other people.

    In a crowded milonga, passing means "changing lanes". Changing lanes means possibly cutting off someone who was in the lane already. If there was enough room for him to pass without it being any problem whatsoever, no one would be complaining about it.
  11. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    Also, passing means "not being predictable". I really, really prefer when i am able to predict where another leader is going to be the next moment, and both passing and excessive idling disrupts that. In a way i think of myself as "following the dancefloor", the same way a follower is following a leader, and if a couple is not predictable, and expands and contracts their space too much i feel jerked and pushed around. The bad thing about crazy boleos is not just hitting people - it is that the couple is suddenly twice or three times as big, and when i am following them this is the same thing as if they had not just stopped, but taken a step back towards me. There are leaders that i don't trust, and i dislike dancing around them, because any second they might change lanes, and change back, and suddenly run, and stop, or do a huge move. I actually prefer when somebody is consistently dancing big to when somebody dances small and then when he sees an opening throws in something gigantic. If the couple clearly marks the area they are claiming for themselves i am happy, almost irrespective how big the area is.

  12. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    What if movement isn't limited? Is it OK to loaf?

    How so? If you are driving and you see someone going past you, you can darn well assume (predict) that they are going to change lanes ahead of you. Unless, of course, they follow the common US habit of cruising in one lane instead of actually keeping right. Likewise, if you are cruising in the left lane, you can darn well assume that people who want to drive faster than you are going to be passing you on the right, whether or not it's legal in your area.
  13. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    If there is plenty of room, "lanes" don't really matter so much at a milonga. But in the case of the person who initiated this particular discussion, she said that people complained about someone who was passing and doing crazy boleos in corners and such. Therefore it must be creating a problem in some way. We don't know if he jumped from the "slow" lane (the left) into the fast lane to pass someone and might have cut off someone going faster, or whether he left the fast lane to go fast in the slow lane, or weaved from lane to lane.

    I suppose its possible that the people complaining are just sticklers for rules, and they are complaining on principle just to be judgemental. However, given how hard it is to navigate and lead even under ideal circumstances, my assumption is that the guy is creating a problem for some of the other leaders that the person he is dancing with may not be aware of because no "crash" occurs.

    Experienced drivers can predict all kinds of things that other cars might do, and yet there are still an enourmous number of accidents every year, and they aren't all being caused by beginner drivers who don't know yet what they can "assume". Relying on the theory that your "driving" should be predictable to others probably isn't a great idea in a car or a dance. That's why there are rules about stuff... to make it so that it IS predictable. Certain things become obvious patterns on the road, especially in certain localities. But its far from certain that anyone will do anything, or that anyone else will assume the correct thing about it.

    Maybe I'm just in a mood about this topic at the moment because I went to dance last weekend where the floorcraft was ATROCIOUS. It was downright scary and did result in at least one injury that needed ice, and at another point, I truly thought a fistfight was going to erupt between 2 guys who "took it outside" (dont know what happened out there, and don't want to know!). In fact, the leader there that I trusted the most was too intimidated by the whole scene to get up and dance.

    If several people are violating the rules by stalling or going slow in a fast lane, and others start weaving around them, it doesn't take long for it to become totally chaotic. Solving one problem by breaking a different rule of eitquette just creates MORE problems.
  14. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    This is one of those situations where I can see both sides of it. If some leader keeps stalling and stopping the flow, IMO he is the one causing the problem. The question then becomes what does the leader(s) behind him do about it. Your point is well taken that you can disrupt someone without hitting them.

    Still, passing seems to be a better solution than "taking it outside".

  15. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    Ah, see that is not the image i would have chosen - the image for me is more like "I am on the right lane and ahead the traffic light changes to red. Suddenly, instead of being the second car in line at the traffic light the driver next to me guns his engine and squeezes in before me, forcing me to brake to avoid hitting him". Or "I slow down at a pedestrian crosswalk, and the car behind me doesn't slow, but uses to opportunity to pass, narrowly missing the pedestrian he was not able to see". Or "We are in stop and go city traffic and a car is constantly switching lanes based on which lane seems to be faster at that particular moment, even though both lanes are really equally fast".

    I think the feeling we want to create on the dancefloor, just like in traffic should be more like a flock of birds/school of fish than a race.

    The best exercise for floorcraft i have seen was one teacher who asked that leaders spent a practica trying to be conscious that we dance with the other leaders as much as we dance with the music and the follower. To support this feeling we had to make eye contact with each other as much as possible. All problems with floorcraft vanished, and the additional layer of conversation (and showing off :) ) made it a lot of fun (at least for me).

  16. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    It was quite bizarre... I was on the porch and these 2 guys came out red-faced and argueing about whose fault something was, and it looked like a punch might get thrown any minute... I scooted out of there FAST.
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Fair points. I hadn't considered the chaos-in-wake side of things, only that the maneuvering was fine.
  18. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    See, and I'm thinking 3 lane road...pokey people in the middle and right lanes, left lane wide open...currently in middle lane behind some blasted Sunday Driver...why not switch and continue on with your day. Not sideswipe, not clip the back corner of the car in front of you...change lanes and go about your business.
  19. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Presumably the object in tango is to keep moving, not stop at stoplights. You want to stop while dancing? Turn off onto a side road. :)
  20. Me

    Me New Member

    Just wanted to say - I like this discussion! I've been quietly reading this for a bit and keeping my pie hole shut. ;)

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