Tango Argentino > Videos > new milonguero embrace

Discussion in 'Videos' started by jantango, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. kieronneedscake

    kieronneedscake New Member

    This is a very good point, particularly for the more flamboyant dancers. Many women do not make any efforts to prevent collisions and boleo injuries whilst they whirl around. Sadly spatial awareness outside the couple is not easy to acquire when what is going on inside the embrace is so complex. Also, some people apparently are not concerned about injuring others.

    Part of me wonders if "equality" in the dance is often a synonym for "doing whatever I want".

    On the topic of height, I have to say on average I found the native Argentine dancers to be quite short and I'm only 5'10". Yes there a few tall ones, but many were on the bottom range of my easy embrace. A tall visitor does not have much option but to hold out for the lanky few unless he has learned some height-compensating skills.

    Statistics are on my side, Argentines are typically an inch shorter than Brits.

    If an 8-foot man can be comfortable dancing with a 4-woot woman, more power to them both! After all, the dance is about internal beauty as much as external appearances.
  2. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Off topic for the thread, but I felt compelled to comment on this.

    Like so many things involved with Tango and with following in general, there is a fine line that must be found. Beginner followers sometimes have a fair amount of trouble learning to "surrender" to the leader and trust the leader to keep her safe. Its not that she has no spatial awareness of what's happening "outside the couple".. its that she has TOO MUCH early on, and needs to learn to quiet it down, which often means turning it completely off just to get through the beginning stages of learning to follow a leader!

    Sometimes this happens because of bad experiences with leaders, but sometimes its just because of complete lack of experience at social dancing. Someone who hasn't done ballroom or other "line of dance" styles that requirte her to primarily move backwards sometimes has trouble learning to relax and not worry about what is behind her, but to focus on the leader and let HIM worry about what she can't see behind her.

    I myself had trouble with this when I started learning ballroom (and then very shortly thereafter, Tango) because I had done ice skating where you don't have the luxury of ignoring what's going on around you or what other people are likely to do. And when you skate backwards, you look where you are going! (which is impossible as a follower going backwards) The penalty for crashing into someone (or tripping over whatever) is potentially far more dangerous than even the worst Milonga issues (but then, I haven't been to Negracha)

    It took my first Tango teacher quite awhile to get me to trust him and let him worry about what was behind me. (Luckily he was also strictly BA "milonguero" style, and he also instructed me not to let my foot come off the floor back there!)

    I'm sure I'm not the only woman who has had trouble learning to relax, trust the leader, not get distracted, and stop worrying about what she might crash into if she isn't tensely vigilant.

    Then, lo and behold, after putting a huge effort into learning that, we get to the point of learning certain other new moves, and now we are told "Be aware of what's all around you when you do these moves" (uh, you mean this move I just got LED by someone who CAN see behind me that I'm supposed to trust? That move?) and are expected to just switch our awareness back on without losing the trust, relaxation, and focus on HIM we worked so hard to develop, blah, blah, blah!

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that somewhere, this is all going to backfire.

    Learning this fine line is one of the things that makes following very difficult and just as much of a skill as leading. (Its like the fine line of being responsive without anticipating.) Leaders don't have to walk this fine line, because they were never supposed to focus primarily on their partner and ignore distractions in the first place

    IMO, if there isn't room for me to raise my leg in a boleo, then the leader better not lead a boleo so vigorously that I have to fight the torque to keep my foot down. I'm supposed to be relaxed, not holding my legs and hips stiffly in anticipation of what might get in their way. I shouldn't have to tense up to prevent myself from going where the lead takes me (unless it truly is a case of what I can see that the leader can't) HE'S supposed to be paying attention to the room.. that's why he gets to choose what we're going to do next... I'm got my hands full paying attention to HIM so I can respond in the fraction of a second I have to respond in.

    I know how to do a boleo without my foot coming up, but to be honest, I haven't seen that get taught often (Thank you Rebecca Shulman for imparting the importance of this to some of us!) So many followers will take ANY boleo lead and do a full swinging boleo. If you tell them they don't have to raise their foot, they look at you with "huh?" written all over their face. The leaders need to realize that this is a possible result of any led boleo and lead accordingly when there isn't room. And frankly, I've rarely had a leader lead a boleo gently enough for me to easily and naturally kepp my leg low. To me, the DEFAULT should be that the leg doesn't come up unless there is enough torque that it comes up because it is relaxed and free. But the leaders typically provide that level of torque. I've had to fight against people leading high in-line back boleos in crowds and doing so can be painful.

    Of course, some followers just blindly (pun intended) throw in anything they please, but there's still the problem of having learned to shut out distractions and then having to relearn awareness (without being tense, vigilant, worried, blah,blah)

    And some of these wild moves are just the current culture of tango in some places. If people don't get taught to do things small.. if all they see is things done flamboyantly, that's how they are going to dance. These tv shows that showcase a tango (like SYTYCD having Miriam and Leonardo) are fun, but its not helping the problem for show dancing to be what most students think of as tango and want to learn.
  3. kieronneedscake

    kieronneedscake New Member

    Well Zoopsia, at least you care about not hitting people. It's not always possible to avoid it because we don't all have 360 degree awareness. Nevertheless, I have heard people say "I don't like dancing with .... we are always crashing into other couples". Why do they even dance with the useless twit?! Why do they settle into blind trust with someone who is patently not worthy of it? Trust should be earned.

    Otherwise, it's nice for us leaders to have a helping hand on crazy floors. We already know it's our fault when we hit people. However, I've had a few accidents in my time where my partner has been so intent on doing crazy things that I've not been able to stop them. Consider the potential ambiguity between a lead for a rapid stop because of another couple appearing from nowhere, and the lead for a nice big boleo. I've learned my way around that one now, but it used to be a problem for me.

    We've just got to rein in the crazies and the rest can be forgiven in exchange for sincere apology.
  4. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    well- to be honest, the times I most remember being banged into someone or crashing in to another couple, I would not have been able to see it without turning my head either away from my partner entirely, or looking behind me (where he is supposed to be looking) or it was someone's stiletto in my leg from a boleo someone led on a crowded floor (or the follow interpreted as high boleo).

    If I am in a very crowded milonga, or dancing with someone with not so good floorcraft skills, I tend to keep my eyes open to keep an eye on the backside, unless it is with my other half, who knows darn well not to take any back steps on a crowded floor and then I usually feel pretty safe doing that most of the time. Granted, in a smaller community like ours, he already has all the "troublemakers" pegged and generally tried not to get in LOD dance near them. :)

    I'm guessing from the boleo commentary, most ladies don't understand the how to tell when "rebound" is present in a lead to indicate something other than a boleo that stays near the floor.
  5. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    My eyes were open her eyes were open. I’m a good leader who knows how to keep my partner away from danger but no matter how good you are there’s always a chance of getting kicked.

    Last night my wife was kicked in the ankle with a 100-mph boleo. His new partner has only been dancing for three weeks so I don’t blame her. He on the other hand has created a total threat to the entire community in three short weeks.
    The boleo struck with such force it literally knocked her shoe off. (The lethal weapon’s shoe)
    What pissed me off the most was the idiot didn’t apologize. I’m afraid I lost it at this point and yelled in his face that he can’t lead boleo’s on a crowded social dance floor. This man is known for his disregard for others and the sad part is he’s a nice guy and a friend that I’ve known for years.

    Is there a solution to this problem? No.
  6. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    Yes, there is. When he's aside, tell him what he's doing wrong nicely without antagonizing anybody. It saves face, and the situation is made clear.

    At least, that's what I do, and it helps. If they feel bad and don't want to be my friend anymore, then too bad. At least the floor is safe.
  7. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    No doubt that the leader needs to be made aware of the facts of life, but the same goes for the follower. Regardless of how stupid the lead is, the follower should know that the high boleo is not appropriate for a crowded milonga, and to only do the low (or social) boleos in that situation.
  8. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    well- it seems to me we are making a similar point.In your scenario, eyes closed or open appear to have made no difference. Much the same in the occasions I have experienced this type of thing with my regular partner. My point was that in cases with him, my eyes open or closed would have made little to no difference.

    Other people, now that's a different story.
  9. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    I shut my eyes on friday. I could not find a woman, I would like to dance with, when I was asked by a man. And I think, he could lead pretty good. It worked better with eyes closed. I could better concentrate on the dissociation at ochos, and to move my feet appealingly. Eyes set to infinite worked as well.
  10. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    that's good for you then.

    But you misinterpreted what I said in my comment.

    I didn't imply that dancing with my eyes open or closed made no difference to my following. If you read through any earlier posts you'd see that one of the benefits I find in closing my eyes with someone I can trust is to better focus and connect with them and the music.

    The comment about no difference was in reference to teh fact that there are times when florocraft issues can not be avoided, and also as in HBBoogie's comment about floorcraft accidents, there are times when whether or not a follow has their eyes open or closed would have made no difference to the outcome (a mishap or collision).

    Like I said, the better the leader and the more I trust him and his floorcraft, the more likely I will be to probably close my eyes. Not too many leaders fit that category for me, and certainly not on a very crowded floor.

    I just say do whatever makes you feel comfortable. If you aren't comfortable closing your eyes, there's no rule that says you have to for Pete's sake. And if closing them brings you closer to bliss, then go for it.
  11. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    I trust my partners to protect me on the floor. However, I dance with my eyes open to watch others around us. We are familiar with who we can count on to bump into us on the floor and move away when it happens. That is why I keep my eyes open in case I need to warn my partners.

    I often marvel at how they are able to manuever on a crowded floor without touching anyone. Moving away from hazards is their speciality.

    I am amazed how many women have their eyes closed and are oblivious when they bump or kick others. This "new milonguero embrace" where a short woman dances blind with a tall man is promoting more collisions on dance floors.
  12. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    have just been following from the wings for a while, but stopping in just to say that there are 2 issues on this thread; the eyes closed, and the "new embrace". Firstly, the eyes closed or not is completely a moot point. I have known many argentines and non to dance w/ eyes opened, and experience crash. Relatively, I have known many who dance w/ eyes closed, and the lead amsters well the dance and the venue so that there are no crashes (at least from his pov).

    Secondly, although a wee rusty at the moment, I speak italian, and if one reads the blurb on the YT vid posted by the OP, the guy says that he is tall, and finds that this embrace works for him. He does not suggest that this should be some sort of new generic, or worse yet, more correct, styling. It certainly wouldn't work for me or any of the teachers/dancers that I am acquainted with.

    Lastly, ...
    Yes there is!, and it is guaranteed to work. Have the gutless organizers to bar him from the venues w/ the understanding that when he knocks off his rude behavior, then he may return.
    Back to the wings for a while.

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