Tango Argentino > Rotating partners vs dedicated partner

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by JTh, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. JTh

    JTh Member

    Which is better to develop more competency in a quicker time.id say I'm intermediate level in class..and in my view rotating partners with not much more than a couple of minutes per dance before rotating once again isn't doing it for me. I think my progression would be better if I had a dedicated dance partner..
    Anyone else think the same?
  2. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    IMO competency consist of the principle and the individual variations. The broader your experience base is the easier it is to dance with different kind of partners.

    Far back in time when i was teaching we let the students learn the new material with their original partner. When the movements were ok for most of them we asked them to rotate for example during two songs with a promise to get back to the original partner again. Usually the theme was only a few steps long so the rotation was quite fast and during the songs they could test it with 6+ new partners.
  3. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Not vs., JTh, but &
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.
  4. Someday

    Someday Member

    I need some of everything to improve:
    1. A bit of a regular partner with whom to practice and give feedback; and to work out moves together. As we know how each other moves, it is very clear to separate where I am leading and she is following. With a random partner there are too many variables in play - she (or he) doesn't give honest feedback, or they have a false sense of their ability.
    2. As an intermediate you should have a good sense of your leading skill versus follower's ability to follow. On the positive side, you should be able to lead an intermediate follower to a new move. But it depends on you both. But to eliminate all dancing with rotation, won't give you the chance to exercise your leading skills. I will say that when learning something completely new and challenging it makes sense to me to practice mostly with a regular partner, but not solely.
    3. Lessons - a good teacher with private lessons will help. Don't be shy and solely acquiesce to their agenda , but let then know what move or technique you want improve.
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I think that your competency with your dedicated partner would increase more quickly if you only danced with that partner, but your competency with other partners would lag behind. If you plan to be a "social dancer," dancing with multiple partners, it's probably not the best strategy.
    Note that this is from someone who has never had a dedicated partner.
  6. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    I would say for practicing and improving one needs both. With a single partner you got some variables constant, so you may concentrate on working on other stuff. With a variety of partners you work on dealing with variables and managing the unexpected.
    A lot of people, instead of having a permanent amateur partner, just take regular private lesson, and a professional in a way plays the role of their "partner with some constants". That is a good solution in my opinion.
  7. Tango Distance

    Tango Distance Active Member

    If you are trying to cross the whole stage (foreshadowing hint!) whilst doing complicated steps to fast music, it'll happen faster with the same partner, provided your partner is good enough. There is a reason dance performers usually have the same partner! BTW one of my classes taught us a choreographed routine that we performed. Even though the studio is big on switching partners, we didn't switch for this choreography class. For the record they did say it was still lead follow -- if I got behind the beat I would skip a step sometimes so my partner had to be able to read that and not blindly keep doing the choreography. Quick side comment: I know most people here are not in favor of stage Tango moves, but the class was really valuable in that it really pushed us, we had to work to be able to do things fast enough, and after I did a few of the choreographed elements at a Milonga I was asked if I was an instructor by an experienced visitor! :cool: Don't worry there was plenty of space! :cool:

    I assume you intend to switch partners at the formal Milonga dances? For that switching partners in class definitely helps.
    • A regular partner might be correcting your mistakes, so you are actually leading something poorly but you think it is going well.
    • Your regular partner might be subtly back leading you, and you might be getting more "help" than you realize. I saw an amazing example of this, in my choreography class one guy could do the routine excellently with his partner, and couldn't do it with anyone else (we did a little bit of switching partners in practicas). All the other leaders could. His partner was definitely a do-her-own-thing/backleader type of follower.
    • If something isn't going quite right, is it your leading or the follower's following? If it went perfectly with 20 other ladies, especially if that included beginners, then maybe the follower has something needing fixing. If you can't lead it with your favorite follower, or any other follower, you are definitely doing it wrong, or trying to lead a "wrong" move for Tango.
    • Your regular partner might be memorizing you. She knows you always do steps x, y, and z in that order, despite your lazy or even wrong lead for step z.
    • Switching partners is a good way to make friends and figure out who best to ask for Milonga tandas vs. Vals tandas.
    • Rotating helps gender balance. If nobody or few people rotate, there are ladies that wind up with no or few partners in class.
    • Rotating is giving something back: Yes, you have it nailed so well maybe you are even a little bit bored. You can spread the wealth with ladies who are struggling a bit by rotating and helping them.
    It's a long story, but the short story is when I started I didn't want to switch partners ever, at all, but quickly saw the value once I did. Long story:

    IMHO, the best scenario is to switch partners in class, but practice at home with your significant other.

    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  8. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    But that's the usual milonga situation - plus far more demanding boundary conditions. How are you doing it there?

    I perceived rotation in a class more or less as a social effort. But that time I had up to four classes with different mates per week.
  9. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    There are many ways you may develop competency in either movement or musicality.
    The trick is the faster you want to go, slower you will get.

    Take your time to listen to music in relaxed atmosphere with high quality sources and equipment.
    When practicing try to feel how your muscles are activated and that you know how to correct something that puts you off balance.

    And then when you dance with your partner try to feel how she moves and what she is listening in the music.
    Not all followers express musicality at intermediate, some do and try to pick up slightest element of musicality.
    And try to play with musicality and movements i.e. change dynamics of dancing.
    Movement with varying dynamics can be more difficult to perform than a complex movement.

    I find that the most complex thing in social dancing is how we adjust to a random partner.

    And when not dancing try to analyze what how followers are dancing with they partners so you can get some advantage to get familiar with their dancing.
  10. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    You will have the illusion that your progression is better, will, but you'll only be able to dance with this partner. While "a couple of minutes" between to changes is possibly too short to acknowledges the differences with the previous follower, switchinf frequently will assure that the lead/follow process is actually lead/follow, and not your dedicated follow knowing you sowell that when you lead this way, you want a boleo, when you lead that way, you want a gancho, while what you lead has possibly nothing to do with a gancho or a boleo.

    With this said, with my partner we are quite dedicated and we usually ignore the "cambio de pareja!" by the teacher.
    Lois Donnay likes this.
  11. Lois Donnay

    Lois Donnay Member

    You will think you are more competent, but probably won't be. Considering that competency in tango is considered by many to be the ability to dance with any partner and make them feel special, and bring out the best dance in them - you will struggle with dancing with anyone who hasn't learned your moves, learned your way of leading, and fixes your problems for you. You will only have an illusion of competency.
    Steve Pastor likes this.
  12. Reuven Thetanguero

    Reuven Thetanguero Active Member

    I am not sure whether you were talking from leader's or follower's point of view, or just trying to be leadership neutral. But as a leader, competency means being able to adjust your leading to the level of your partner.

    As long as the follower is on the beat, relatively relaxed and not anticipating your next move - leading is simple.
    Competency means being able to identify your followers tendencies and adjust your leading accordingly.
    jantango and Lois Donnay like this.
  13. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Like a lot of things, it depends. In this case, it depends on the dedicated partner, her preferences, and the feedback she provides. IMO, I think it can be good to learn for a bit with one specific partner to achieve minimal proficiency, and then practice with other people to see other possibilities for how people may react to your lead, (and how to adjust to them).
  14. JTh

    JTh Member

    Leaders point of view I agree it means adjusting my game to suit the follower.. But I feel held back with this 1 Min rotation. Such a short time is simply not enough. I don't mind rotating, but needs to be much longer to practice it several times. Not one time (hit or miss) and then move on.
  15. Reuven Thetanguero

    Reuven Thetanguero Active Member

    Going back to the original question, in my view rotating partners is a must if you want to learn how to dance with any partner.
    Couple of minutes with the same partner will not work either... You have to practice after the class. The actual instruction is not meant to develop competency, but rather teach you the skills you can practice at a later point, preferably with multiple partners.
    Learning to dance with same partner helps you and your partner develop complacency and what I call laziness, as you both know what to anticipate or how the other will respond.

    Rotating partners should be the standard from day one.
    jantango likes this.
  16. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    deleted - wrong thread -
  17. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    But to post something on this topic: :confused:
    I select a teacher who teches the way I think that is best for me.
    Not the other way round...

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