Tango Argentino > Possible "moves" after the Follower's Cross

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by tangomonkey, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    OK, to me, this meant that at step 5 (after the weight change to her left foot), what other options are there, other than 6, 7, & 8.

    Of course, my answer was, pretty much any step that she could do, when she is on her left foot if she wasn't crossed. It appears that at some point the subject changed to what to do after step 4, if you then lead the follower to move her left like she was going to cross, but then don't allow her to complete the cross/step/whatever you care to call it. In this scenario, the weight is still on her right foot, so you can lead her to step anywhere that's possible (front, side, back).

    At the end of the day, if her weight is on her left foot (whether crossed or not), the next step will be on to her right foot (and it can be in any direction: front, side, or back; and BTW). The lead might be slightly different though, depending on whether she is at the cross or not.

    Going off on a bit of a tangent that I hope will relate to the OP, any pattern can be broken up into pieces, and then the pieces plugged into other steps, then going completely away from the pattern. If you don't want to think of the 8CB, then it might be worth considering just walking to the cross, without using steps 1 & 2. Either just get outside parallel, like the 8CB does, or even better, go into cross system. In either scenario you can walk the follower to the cross, then just keep walking forward and repeat. As soon as you have some comfort level with this, then just try walking her to the cross, and doing something else (like a side step to your left, starting a CCW turn). Really, the trick is just to think of any step you can lead when she is on her left foot (as that's where her weight is after the cross).

    I was taught on the 8CB, but it's just one of many drills. It's not the dance.
  2. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    dchester: agreed on all points! And thanks for the additional tips.
  3. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    goodness gracious! I've been away a bit...did this come about from my lead a follower to the cross suggestions?

    I agree with Anda and dchester. A cross is a step. Without getting in to all the hairy details and over-analyzing of why I think that, I will say my leaders can lead me to a cross without stepping, so, in some ways all the talk about follower only crossing when the leads right foot goes to a certain point don't really have any pertinence. A leader can lead a cross standing still, a real crusada. They can also lead them without stepping outside partner at all (and it's strange, but true and bizarre when I get led that but I think it only works well in open, maybe)...

    basically, I am of the opinion that a leader leads a cross and it's a step and indicates he wants me to do that specific step (with any number of various ways of leading it, shoulder rotation is only one possibility) and it implies a weight change to me unless he does other specific things with his body that tell me "don't set your weight down".

    And so in that respect, my post about an exercise to relieve "dancing in a rut" is pertinent if a leader can lead a follower to a crossed position and put her weight where he wants it. If he's really interested in getting out of a rut, let the follower tell him what step comes next at certain points as an exersize.

    I've been in multiple classes where these exercises are done to get people's creatively rolling again. Because, as people have said, patterns can be broken down. In one class (the one i based my suggestion off of) the class was told that leaders could lead 3 steps, then the follow got to choose (verbally) the next step (or movement, to be more precise) and the lead had to figure out how to get to it....so 3 steps get led, and I say, back cross/front cross/open step or gancho or whatever depending on the level of difficulty of the game...and the leader has to figure it out from there.

    Same thing applies in my suggestion, just a different command. Lead a follower to a cross (which for me implies a weight change). But hey, even if it doesn't for you she's still standing on one of her feet (hopefully) and can then respond with whatever comes in to her mind for him to lead next as as a step, movement or direction for the leader, thereby causing him to think differently about what and how he is leading...which is the point....

    I've been in classes with other variations of this same thing...one had us do 5 steps then lead a cross...one had...entire dance in cross system, then entire dance with no cross system. The exercises you can do to get yourself out of pattern mode are many.
  4. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    pretty much...
  5. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    I'm confused I guess then? If I am standing in a crosses position and tell a leader what step to do next, because the exercise is to help increase his creativity by him not knowing what I'm going to ask for, then how can it not work?
  6. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    this is what I have experienced as a follower...granted...I'm in a smallish pond, but I have a rather devious dance partner who does do all this stuff....
  7. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    OK, fair enough. I believe I wrote "One possibility..." after describing the cross (with/without weight transfer) after my example. The leader's torso rotation and right foot forward stuff was specific to that example - "one possibility". It was an attempt to examine a way to lead or not lead a weight change to the followers front foot in that situation. Not all situations and not all times. :)

    Will try this out tomorrow at class, followers willing!
  8. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I don't suppose it matters whether you think a cross is a step or not but
    in fact I don't. To me it's a special sort of collect usually with but not always
    with a weight change. And only provided you have a very precise follower
    with neatly placed feet can the weight change be lead. However a weight change
    can be prevented/lead even if usually the lady automatically weight changes herself.

    I agree that standing crosses and in-line crosses are both possible
    and are good ways to lead crosses without any reference to the 8CB at all.
    By the way I don't regard in-line crosses as bizarre and they can be lead
    and work well in the embrace, maybe better and certainly more subtly
    than in an open hold.
    Agree with this entirely as I had to eliminate the 8CB pattern too.

    However I am mystified why the OP is concentrating only on eliminating
    the resolution - steps 6,7&8 in 8CB. For me the best way to rid yourself of 8CB lock-in
    is not to start the pattern at all. Try starting with walking forward, or a weight change
    and then forwards, or a sidestep and walks in-line or outside without leading
    a cross. And so on.
  9. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    Not concentrating on eliminating 6-8 only. I have been doing the things you say all along in my own practice. Never said I was doing 1-5 and seeking options for 6-8. I did say I enjoy walking outside partner and crossing (4-5).

    My purpose here was to find ways to step after the cross. Yes, that does remove steps 6-8, the so- called "close/resolution". That "resolution" has become automatic and unthinking; I want that changed. I feel the cross as something special, dramatic even. I was looking for ways handle it differently - make it more subtle and step differently afterwards.

    I have never tried any other way to lead a cross, but I will now!
  10. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    To recap:

    I started the thread asking for alternative ways to move after the cross, other than the basic 8's "resolution" steps.

    The majority of leaders said the cross should be led entirely, including weight transfer to the front foot. If there is no lead to transfer weight it shouldn't happen (but some also said most followers transfer the weight automatically - my experience too). Since I asked for alternatives, this presented options I had not previously thought about - keeping (or attempting to keep the weight on the back foot), freeing up the left foot.

    Interestingly, the followers (unaminously?) and a couple leaders, said they consider the cross a step with full weight transfer to the crossed foot. Some followers said it is possible (but difficult) to be led to keep the weight on the back foot.

    My conclusion: when leading a cross be very much aware of where the follower's weight is and if she has transferred forward without being led (at least when I have not intended to lead it). Of course, a leader should always know where his partner's weight is. But the cross seems potentialy more problematic than usual.

    I will work this out - exploring leading weight/non-weight transfers in the cross (not just the outside partner one) and ways to move afterwards. And being very aware of where my partner's weight is (something I need to work on in general).

    Thanks everyone for your comments and advice.
  11. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Yes, but can't most (all?) steps be broken down into at least two components--the intention/lead to move the foot and leg, and then the weight change itself? Aren't plenty of common (to varying degrees of usage and/or acceptance) "steps" the result of separating out these two components? Voldadas, colgadas, boleos, ganchos...they all result from a "step" being taken but not completed, either because it's interrupted or because there is no lead to have weight placed on them. So much of AT is based on the idea of controlling the free leg independently of controlling the weight change...and can't the cross be considered the same way?

    Or not...if the intention is to keep moving, which would require the weight placement automatically.
  12. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Thanks for starting the thread!:) One of the problems of being in a miniscule scene is that everyone does stuff the same way - it's been great to read some other approaches to this: stuff I'll need to know when dancing elsewhere.
  13. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Rather than start a new thread, I thought I'd ask this here:-

    David Turner, in his 'A Passion for Tango', mentions that (particularly when things are getting too serious) he sometimes does an underarm turn from the cross... either a 360 (using the great word 'twizzle':D), or a 180 where he takes her left hand as it leaves his shoulder and into a cuddle hold.

    Now I know that this will temporarily break the embrace, and is pretty Salsa... but I found that women love turns/spins (and the cuddle hold, to a lesser extent)... so if it's all about her?...

    How would this kind of malarkey go down generally, do you think? Obviously, if it's packed and the dance is all slow, close and snuggly, you wouldn't dream of it, but otherwise? Is it heresy?

    I'd really appreciate people's thoughts.:)
  14. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Malarkey is a perfect word for it. I think it is un-chivalrous to do anything that pops the trance bubble, and that would.

    Too serious? Things are only as serious as my lead causes them to be. If I want to get less serious, I can lead less serious movements.
  15. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    sure, and those are all points I am trying to consider as I formulate this answer...

    I guess I am just a bit simplistic and tend to consider that if my foot gets interrupted before the actual weight change part is led and sent somewhere else, then I don't consider a crusada to have taken place. For me, crusada the movement implies crossing with weight change, just as gancho implies wrapping the leg. So similarly, if a leader lead me to a pivot and backstep and interrupts me with his leg, it has a new name "gancho" and most people wouldn't really call it a backstep any more, even though it is started from one.

    Same kind of thing with ocho cortado. The leader could stop the movement before the crossing part of the ocho cortado and do something else (like split weight movement or something) then if he never goes back to that moment of leading the follower to a crossed position, do you consider a ocho cortado to have taken place just because he almost let you get there at the start?

    If so, that's ok and I respect your take on it. But if not, why would a person consider a cross to have taken place just because the foot got in the vicinity of the traditional "crusada" position? That's kind of the question I've been asking in a round about way and what I was thinking when I posted my original answer.

    Heading off to bother the lampwork people again now... :)
  16. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    If i was in apilado and someone did that, I probably wouldn't like it.

    If I'm dancing open, or somewhere near that, it would depend on the music and the capability of the leader. I tend to enjoy that sort of thing more with electronic music.
  17. Hmm, I don't get it :/ Would you happen to have a video maybe?
  18. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I'll agree with Bastet on this one. If things are traditional, it would tick me off. If it's electronic or alternative music, and we're dancing open...and the vibe is right...go for it! (Assuming adequate floorspace and whatnot...which does happen.) The right leader, the right mood, and it's all just fun.
  19. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Sorry - the only vids I know that demonstrate this would be Salsa ones... and I probably still can't post links anyway....

    In words, you'd lift the follower's right hand over her head and 'twizzle' her round. For the cuddle hold, you'd twizzle her CCW, take her left hand as it leaves your shoulder, but keep twizzling until her back's to your front (you're facing the same way), with her left arm across her middle-front, with you still holding that hand (she's turned 180 degrees).

    I have no idea about what he means by 'too serious' though... maybe the follower's nibbling his ear: "Off you go!" <Twizzle!>:p

    Like I said, I wouldn't dream of this at a proper milonga... but there aren't any round here - if it's to be dancing to Flamenco-Salsa-('Tango'), or pop, with patternbots for four out of five dances, then I might as well have some fun too... might help to snap the followers out of pattern-mode....

    One of the main reasons that I asked was that I was just so surprised to read this in that book (didn't seem his style), and wondered if it was relatively common out there in the wider, non-traditional, Tango-world?

    As to the OP, it'd certainly break free from 8CB-programming....
  20. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    Like bastet and Peaches said: not appropriate in close embrace, but OK in open with electronic music. Which I don't dance to - not my thing...

    I can happily say that the 8CB "auto programming" is pretty much gone.

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