Tango Argentino > Projecting steps

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by opendoor, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    So why aren't you in front of the leader?
    IMHO Putting follower aside is improper embrace
  2. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    I am not a mechanic. :D

    In the V-embrace dancers are connected on one side, and follower is in front of the leader.
    Leading is mainly from the chest, some things are accentuated by the hands but that's minor.

    Some followers tend to separate a bit, that's a problem.
  3. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Zoopsia, you get info from the chest, either in V or parallel hold. Even in open hold the chest should be your landmark. And finally it´s not your task to seek for information, the leader is responsible for clear and non-conflicting signals. So I fear those said other followers may actually seek something else.
  4. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    It really isn't the same following and moving at an angle to the leader. It may be that some followers can do it just as easily as being flat on parallel with the entire chest touching, but that doesn't mean it is the SAME.

    For one thing, if someone has gotten accustomed to having their face pointed over the leader's right shoulder and slightly to her own left, then just changing the orientation of the head to be facing the other way could affect her sense of relationship to her partner, the room and her own body.

    I really don't know how to convince you that it is different. If you think it isn't, then we have no way to discuss this.
  5. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Yes, but blame isn't very useful on the dance floor. If the leader isn't sending those clear signals, I have to use what he does send. I can't just "not follow" because he isn't leading properly. Aside from the fact that I'll be the one who gets injured (stepped on at the very least) I have a responsibility to make an enjoyable dance too and adapt to the best of my ability.

    There are leaders who expect a certain amount of pressure (and other leaders hate it) from my left arm along and downward on their right for me to get their lead. They are dancing this way deliberately. I try to make chest contact, and I can't get to their chest, but nor can I SEE their chest because we are in "close embrace" but without any actual contact even along the side of the V. It's a style they have adopted and "learned". I really don't know how to describe it.

    But as long as I continue to seek info from a directly forward place of my chest to theirs, I'm not going to be able to follow them. If I start approaching it as more like V-embrace when chest connection isn't going to be happening anyway, it might solve some problems. For one thing, I'd only have to get them to touch along one side of our bodies, not the whole chest.

    I'm not sure where this "close embrace without torso contact" style comes from, but I've run into it from several leaders from different places. They seem to WANT me to pin their right arm in exactly the way that other leaders despise. I even had one TELL me that was what was missing in our connection and why I couldn't follow him.

    Is this some new thing?
  6. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    It's not the same, that's fore sure. :)

    I wanted to say that for me it is easiest to lead when the partner is in front of me. Embrace may vary.
    If the partner is on a side, that is not always the same. And I can't get exact feel where she is.
    Partners need to make most comfortable embrace, which is usually not completely V nor close. ;)

    I usually dance V-embrace but some followers prefer close, so I adjust my dancing to close.
    A lot elements are done slightly different, some are completely different.

    I am very tolerant in tango. Both partners should be pleased. ;)
  7. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    Both dancers are responsible for the signals. I danced with some partners that were to sensitive. I had a feeling I was dancing by myself.

    IME It's not a new thing. It's a thing for people who cannot dance properly so they imitate the hold. It's usually beginners thing.

    They want to dance close embrace the open way. o_O
  8. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I would say the two methods are quite distinct. I think the lead comes from wherever the connection is, whether than be the chest, right upper arm and shoulder, or open frame. If a partner is looking for it in one place, but it actually comes from another place, there will be a problem.

    I like apilado, where the lead comes from the chest. I've danced with some partners who make a connection with my R shoulder (V embrace), and I can't lead them, because I don't want to lead with my shoulder.

    And no, I don't think it's anything new. Well, at least not in the last 10 years. Maybe there is just a new way to talk about it.
  9. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I don't mean is the V method a new thing.. I meant was this non-touching close embrace where the follower pins the leaders arm to form a connection a new thing...

    At least in a typical V embrace there is usually SOME torso contact along the side to justify calling it close embrace. I just don't get this "close embrace from 2 inches away" concept that I'm running into more and more..
  10. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Oddly enough, these leaders aren't beginners and they changed their style to be this way as intermediate dancers.
  11. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    duplicate post - sorry
  12. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    Let me play one on the internet ;)

    I think everybody agrees that the lead comes from the chest (well, except some people phrase it as "the lead comes from everywhere"), but i don't think that is exacly what i am trying to talk about - the chest is the engine of the lead, it creates and sends the lead, but the embrace is the clutch.

    We all know these two exercises that teach/explore "leading with the chest":
    A) We dance without embrace, the follower closes their eyes, and we make chest contact
    B) We dance without embrace, the follower watches the leaders sternum and we don't touch at all

    And both exercises are usually followed up with something like "and now lets add the embrace, and see how much easier it is if we have this additional channel of information and ability to support and feel each other, but keep in mind that the chest is the core, we don't push or pull the follower around"

    But note that these two exercises teach fundamentally different things about how the lead actually works in terms of how the information/energy/signal is transmitted, and what the information/energy/signal is.

    Imagine we were mad tango scientists, and we took one group of beginners, and started every lesson with excercise A), and we teach all vocabulary and exercises as "first do it the A) way, then add the embrace", and we took a second group and did everything the B) way.

    We will get tango dancers in both groups, but i highly doubt they would enjoy dancing with each other.

    Now RL is much more differentiated, and we will be exposed to many different dancers, and we adapt to people we dance with, but for troubleshooting the dance this is kinda useful.

    Or to play mechanic again: For a good dance the clutch needs to be engage, and i think when the dance is not working it sometimes is not a problem with the leading or following per so, but with them not engaging properly with each other. And then the dance is like driving with a bad clutch: the engine sputters, the car dies, we cant start from red lights, and the acric smell of slipping clutch pads permeated everything.

    Re: "Close embrace without torso contact" is pretty much an old thing - i don't think it is neccessarily beginners, but people who developed/polished their technique for open embrace, and then because they read dchesters and jantangos comments ;) get convinced that real tango is close embrace. The whole "pin leaders right arm" thing works very well when both leader and follower agree that this is the way it should be. I personally hate it, but some people make it work. I personally think it is a consequence of what i think of as "third generation" - the V embrace is a close embrace that is opened up on one side to give more option. So there is the first generation: a genius opens up their dance, and its a great idea - they have all the advantages of open embrace on one side, all the advantages of close embrace on the other, and they can fluidly move through the different frameworks. Their students then dance mostly V, and start to polish their vocabulary to maximise the options and strenghts of that, and their students - normal people like you and me who want to be like the genius who started the whole thing - in turn only dance v, and use techniques that work only with that embrace. The same thing happens with close embrace in and open embrace, and everything else, too - great creative ideas fossilize into dogma.

    I am trying very hard to avoid falling into the same trap with my own stylistic preferences, but i am somewhat failing - i dance more, and enjoy dancing more with people who share my stylistic preferences, and while i love playing with these concepts i am perfectly happy dancing with a follower who dances only close-embrace, weight-sharing, parallel. In that sense my dance has narrowed, too - and if i really wanted to maximise my skills in it i would have to make it even more fossilized.

  13. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I had to put up with it every now and then when I was doing (more?) AT. I think it is the result of bad teaching or inexperience. And if someone is teaching this please tell me who it is so I can avoid them.
    (Pet Peeve I'd forgotten, thankfully)

    And, who is teaching the women to press back against the man's right arm to look for the lead? Ditto

    The one woman who definately danced in a V with me was from Buenos Aires, and it was here in Portland. She connected with me on my right side with her torso. Some women who dance "close embrace" drift to that side if you don't hold them in place.

    PS It's raining now in the Portland area after a beautiful summer. Time to be inside on Sunday again. The practica at the Viscount Studio may start seeing me again at their new location.
  14. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi Zoopsia, this style is an advanced way of dancing. And of course it is much more healthier for your spine. But it requires something that is close to the BR frame: The shared axis isn´t at the line of body contact, it is virtually in the free space between the arms of that V. So you cannot feel it and you also cannot see it. The dancers have to imagine and to respect it. Do you regularly dance colgadas? There is a fluent passage between V-hold and colgada. Just to make clear what it should feel like.

    Speaking honestly, I haven´t got the arm-thing. In school-book apilado (chest contact) my right arm should be under your right arm pit. Your left on my atlas. In V-hold my hand was beneath your right bra cup and yours on my right scapula. But your left hand should always easily be able to slip between my scapula, acromion, delta muscle and biceps.
  15. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Well, I guess I'm not advanced enough and I don't care to be if that's the case.

    Funny... none of the leaders I've met who do this seem advanced to me, and none of the advanced leaders I danced with did this, nor teachers I've had suggested this method.

    So either I'm not describing it right or you and I just totally disagree on it's value for tango.

    As for Ballroom, I don't have this problem at all in ballroom, but maybe I do something different in ballroom that I've never actually thought about. I don't think ballroom dancers would want me to pin their arm like that, but they do expect a certain amount of pressing back into their hand rather than forward into their chest, so that's an interesting clue.

    Or I could just say to h*** with it and not tango with these guys. Seriously... if I want ballroom, I'll go to a ballroom event and dance with leaders who are good at it.
  16. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I totally disagree that it is an "advanced dancer" thing, and find it to be more a function of very poor technique.
  17. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    Some followers occasioanally dance that way but it's not a preference.
    It depends on the mood.

    You are dancing close, v or open.
    That is nowhere for me, or as I would say road to hell.
    I don't have connection through my arm, or chest.

    What is an intermediate dancer?
  18. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I think that's a topic for a whole new thread!
  19. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    I am not sure i would agree with that - i think it is fundametally a different way of dancing. (though i would say that text book apliado is bad for ones spine then they are doing it objectivly wrong - i think this is usually the consequence of doing chest-to-chest without having actual apilado technique).

    The way i see it (YMMV...):
    no-chest-contact-close embrace dancing:There is no actual physical engagement, but instead both the follower and the leader "volunteer" to move together based on the information they get about the other person by feeling where they are- through the embrace, through seeing them, and so on. The main advantage is that there is much more freedom to be an individual within the couple - in the extreme you could think of it as two solo dancers who dance whatever they want within the space described by the embrace. This allows a lot of dynamic movements that are beyond what you could achieve when the limits of dissociation are the absolute limits of how far the dancers can move independently of each other, and when the footwork and balance is completely coupled.

    apilado: both dancers use the chest-to-chest contact to balance themselves and counterbalance their partner. The follower does not "hang" on the leader - she pushes in a straight line from the ground through her hips trough her spine to the sky. The leader does not "hold" the follower- he also pushes in a straight line from the ground through his hips through his spine to the sky. The flow of energy is essentially an inverted Y - both push upwards at an angle, and where their bodies meet these two upward energies mingle, and go up in a vertical line. So the energy is more similar to the reverse of a colgada (both are off axis and keep balance and dynamics going by counterbalancing each other) than to a volcada (where most often the follower is off axis, and the leader is supporting her, and he holds her and she uses muscular tension to keep her body straight. The disadvantage of this is that they are inescapably coupled - anything one of them does is something the whole couple does. The advantage is that due to that both have an equal amount of control over what the couple does - the leader can not mark things beyond where the follower is going, and the follower by choosing where and how to move desides where the leader is going to be. Another interesting advantage of this coupling is that is becomes possible to dance with the other persons feet - the connection to the ground of the other partner is as present as my own connection to the ground, and this means that i have 4 feet to stand on, and i can choose to stand on her feet as much as i stand on my own.
    People experiencing spine problems tend to treat apilado like either a volcada (leader keeps his own axis, follower looses hers), or are trying to maintain both of their axes and bend forward - leading to the followers butt sticking out more than warranted by the bend of her spine and the leader being crouched over the (usually shorter) follower adding a downward force while at the same time holding her up . uncomfortable.

    These two approaches have both advantages and disadvantages, and if one likes the advantages of one more/ doesn't mind the disadvantages as much then there will be a strong personal preference because it will allow one to find something closes to onese own platonic archetype of ones own dance, but i would not call it "more advanced" - it just feels like that because i think most of us have gone through several iteration of how the baseline technique of tango works, and once we found the one that fit we stopped looking - so this seems like the last step in an evolution, but i personally think it isn't - it is just that we found a "home", and in retrospect all the other places we checked out feel a little bit like wasted time, but in reality we would not have been able to find that place if we hadn't had the journey before.

    Its like in martial arts - there are natural grapplers, and natural strikers, and people who love infighting, or mid-disance, or long range, and people who like weapons or fists, or feet, or elbows. After a while most practioners will have tried everything, and then ended up knowing what for them is the best and ultimate art - and then a lot forget the "for them" part and think they have found the best and ultimate art for everybody.

  20. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    As usual, I agree with almost all of what you have written, and I really like the way you have explained things.
    But, this is a discussion (right?), so...

    in no-chest-contact-close embrace dancing

    Another way to look at this is that, since I don't know with absolute certainty where my partner's feet, and/or her axis are (ie weight bearing vs free foot), I DON'T have the freedom to step with confidence. To me it seems like faux close embrace. See, here I am really close to you, but I'm not going to commit to you. I prefer going to an open embrace in these circumstances.

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