Tango Argentino > Not touchy feely

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Tango Distance, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    While this wasn't directed at me, (and my reply is somewhat of an oversimplification), some people are into the embrace, while others are into the steps, (and of course some are into both). The people that are mainly into the steps don't need the embrace the way that some of us do.

    IMO, tango is more about possibilities and preferences, (and less about dogmatic right and wrong, as some people claim).
     
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  2. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    I would agree but I think "movements" would be a kinder word than "steps". If you're thinking that steps are important, there are some things you're missing ;-).
     
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  3. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Of course, that was an impersonal 'you', certainly not one directed at dchester (who knows better than to find 'steps' important.)
     
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  4. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    Looking into the thread "Close Embrace Tango Teachers" you might notice that only few tango teachers teach close embrace, however.
     
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  5. Reuven Thetanguero

    Reuven Thetanguero Active Member

    In course of many years in the Tango world I noticed many "teachers" who after dancing a few years decided to teach. They just may not have an understanding of the fundamentals of AT. Often they teach steps and routines to beginners.
    Other do, but they adapt to the local customs (US in my case) and teach AG to students who think AT is another Ballroom Dance.
    On a recent visit to BA the only dancing I noticed was close embrace (in many different Milongas). One lady complained that a tourist was trying to lead her with his arms (open embrace) and she couldn't follow.
     
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  6. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Tango is many dances in a dialect continuum. To confine myself to Sebastian Arce and Mariana Montes (to keep the people constant, lest I be accused of picking people from two different tribes), to take the two extremes, this is tango:



    but so is this:
     
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  7. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    Inertia of mass and speed of light are fundamental, hair fashion and argentine tango will change:

     
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  8. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    While I'm certain you don't think it's the same, the wording still conveys some confusion potential for a novice reader.
     
  9. Reuven Thetanguero

    Reuven Thetanguero Active Member

    This was her statement and explanation.
     
  10. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Ah, the elitism of tango continues.
     
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  11. Reuven Thetanguero

    Reuven Thetanguero Active Member

    Where?
     
  12. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Mh -- even in open embrace you don't "lead with the arms" (yes, the arms are a conduit, but you still lead "desde el alma"). If you're really leading with (just) the arms, then you're not really leading, you're moving furniture around (badly -- tango has taught me how to properly move furniture around).
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  13. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    [sarcasm]Wherever there are more than one row of tables around the dance floor.[/sarcasm]

    Sorry, couldn't resist.
     
  14. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Seriously? You're telling the OP he shouldn't dance tango because he doesn't want to do it they way the dance in BsAs. He and his partners enjoy themselves perfectly well. He's found a way to make it work for him. So why step on him for that?
     
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  15. Tango Distance

    Tango Distance Active Member

    That is a fair question. Plowing through the 300+ messages of this thread would answer much of your question, but here is a much shorter answer plus a couple of new points.

    We did start with a Ballroom class. While it was fun enough we decided to do another dance class, the class wasn't great and there is not much Ballroom dancing in my area (dances are a once or twice a year thing). We tried Salsa. No. We tried Bachata. No. We tried Contra. We went with friends, and went as long as we had free passes (2 more times). I haven't been able to engineer a return to Contra, though we both seemed to enjoy it. My DW will do Blues classes with me, and a Blues dance once in a great while. Between classes, practicas, and milongas, DW does Tango multiple times a week.

    Tango has been a great thing to do with DW. It is a struggle to get her to join me in my hobbies, but she is always up for Tango. It has been a good relationship thing. Our relationship was good before, but dance has added a new dimension of fun. Learning to follow has been a good thing for her. It took weeks to get her to stop her huge backleading attempts, but she has seen the light that following well is magic. (An interesting aside, if we try a new dance she'll revert to trying to backlead.) I think it has been good for her in multiple ways to learn there can be great fun and benefit in following another's lead, rather than assume you can do it better and push for that agenda (literally push in the case of dance!).

    It has also been valuable to interact with so many ladies. I am a much better reader of body language, know better what to say and not say, and know what moves they like the best. My understanding of women has increased greatly and is now up to 2.7183%. This has helped me be a better DH to DW.

    Another factor is DW really really wants to dance with many people. An undanced tanda is a disaster in her mind! Not switching partners works for some couples, but for my DW that would be like eating the exact same thing for every meal.

    So Reuven7 you are right that the Tango Distance and Tango might not be the best match, but I'm highly motivated to make it work. You are also right if I want to be 100% immersed in Tango, going to a bunch of remote festivals and Buenos Aires and make the ladies as happy as possible, I'm going to have to embrace the embrace. Thankfully my local fellow Tangoers have been very kind and let me float to the level for which I am ready. I have also made an amazing amount of progress in 2 years, so who knows what the future might bring.

    Instruction here is mostly open embrace. Even the instructors that say they are "fundamentals" and "close embrace" and brag about their BsAs experiences start with open embrace. Milongas are a mix of OE and CE.
     
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  16. Tango Distance

    Tango Distance Active Member

    <Looks at shoes and blushes> That's very nice of you to say. I had not really thought of myself as an asset to my Tango community. My mind is a very busy place, maybe I should try clearing it during Tango. Anyway, at first I was at least tolerated. Some ladies complained to my DW I didn't switch partners. I have come a long way, and now some ladies will ask if I am going to an upcoming milonga, some will playfully pout if I ask the lady in the next chair, or will ask me by walking up to me (I have to work on receiving as well as giving Mirada). Multiple ladies have even asked me to do close embrace with them. So I had not really thought of it but there are at least some ladies that seem to consider me value added to our community -- or at least worth their investment of time for the future!
    I'm not sure I get the CE/connection thing, but I do know I enjoy the steps.
    That's my community.
    The teachers in my area are very experienced, and do lots of CE dancing. CE classes are few and far between. Places that do OE have lots of students, places that do CE tend to have few students. Likewise, steps are much more exciting than just walking! I think it is a case of dance capitalism and what sells, not the teachers' lack of experience. The hardcore Tango people do lots of CE, but have mostly learned it in out-of-state workshops.
     
  17. Tango Distance

    Tango Distance Active Member

    I'll propose we give R7 the benefit of the doubt -- I think it was more in the spirit of "Are you sure Tango is your ultimate path to happiness, or might there be a better path?"

    I do similar things with friends regarding motorsports and skiing.
     
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  18. Tango Distance

    Tango Distance Active Member

  19. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Ah, the eagerness of youth...

    On the other hand:
    First, please call them "movements". To call them steps is to tickle one of my pet peeves.

    Secondly: you still have to learn how exciting 'just walking' can be. It's normal. You'll grow into it.
     
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  20. Reuven Thetanguero

    Reuven Thetanguero Active Member

    Thank you Tango Distance for your thorough response to my questions above. I now understand better your reasoning and motivation for pursuing Tango.
    Not having good outlets for Ballroom Dancing would probably a good reason by itself. Pleasing your wife and her desire to Tango is a brilliant strategy. Someone once said "Happy wife, happy life" Plus, as you said it's an opportunity for you to create friendships and learn more about women...Kudos to you!
     

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