Tango Argentino > Some possibly confusing tango terms

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by plugger, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

  2. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    As I recall, there was quite a bit of flak about Cheryl Burke's weight too.
  3. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

  4. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    I agree that fitness is a good thing - of course it is. I also have back pain issues, and I know the solution - or, at least, the thing which helps the most - is a combination of stretches, mobility, and fitness.

    The correlation is less high for social dancers - skill is paramount. It's much higher, obviously, for performers.
  5. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    First, professional (AKA performance) dancing is a different animal from social dancing. Second, I think the answer to your question has to do with what the customer (and the organizers) wants. Part of what they are marketing is an image, and fat people don't often fit into that image.

    OK, so if I got on the treadmill and started jogging, or went to the gym and started lifting weights, what tango related skills will that improve faster than spending that same time practicing tango?

    I'm not criticizing anyone for doing whatever they think works for them. I just think a lot of people make the erroneous assumption of everything that applies to them must apply to everyone else. It's just not true, IMO.

    Maybe it's true that if you were fat, you couldn't do all the same things you do now, but I've been fat for a very long time (including when I was in the Army), and I've been able to do pretty much anything that anyone else can do, (and sometimes better than average, which drove "fit" people crazy on the basketball court, soccer field, etc. when I was younger).

    To be honest, tango is lot less physically demanding than a lot of activities I've done, and what surprised and still fascinates me is the mental/analytical challenges of it (at least for leading, as I don't know that much about what followers go through).
  6. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Whilst I agree with your points:
    Well, I think there are some targetted exercises that might help better than simply "practicing tango" - obvious examples are balance, twisting movements, and working on the lats (for dissociation).

    So I think some targetted exercise would be good for Tango. In the same way that professional footballers (soccer players) do exercises that are not always about "practicing football".
  7. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    We're probably not far apart of this one. I do some balance exercises from time to time, but they are focused on improving my balance, rather than improving my level of fitness. Soccer does require a lot of running, so anything to improve your stamina & speed is a good thing for it, and it's a lot more strenuous than Tango, (at least for fat guys like me).

  8. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    dChester, you might be surprised at the results. Cardio and weight lifting give you stamina. That makes every-day activities and activities requiring a moderate amount of fitness (ie, tango) easy, even effortless.

    Whenever I slack off at the gym (or don't go for a few weeks) I notice it in everything I do. I do some specific exercises which help my tango (balance, core), but would do them anyway. I exercise to - hopefully - allow my body to age less rapidly than it would otherwise, since that is a well-documented outcome. Any tango benefits (imagined or real) are secondary.

    I don't disagree (well, I do somewhat ;)) that time spent exercising would be better spent dancing/practicing tango, if the goal is solely to be a better tango dancer.
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Earlier in the thread the Tango life style was discussed. I recently came across a 1939 Western Swing tune that used son clave (as confirmed by TangoTime) and was looking at the history of that rhythm, and rumba, and came across this.

    “I was born in the neighborhood called Simpson. You had rumba for lunch and rumba for dinner . . . so, you had to learn rumba . . . Young and old, with great respect, and consideration. It was a whole way of life. [In other words, we’re born with the rumba] and we will die with the rumba”—Chachá Vega.[14]
  10. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi Steve, please note, that Rumba in this respect in not Rumba. The cited Rumba (cubana) is a creol way of life, kind of a religion, rhythm and rites merge. What everyone calls (international) Rumba is a slow Son cubano in reality.

    In tango-words: the role of rumba in Cuba would resemble the role of Candombe in Argentina.
  11. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I know next to nothing about latin music, which is why I consulted TT!
    If I remember right, though, there were actual candombe societies of people of African descent who made their music and dance together, as well as social bonding and "self help" (my words, not that of any source).
    Here in the US, we still have neighborhoods, clubs, and churches that are based on ethnic origin, although as the generations go by, those associations weaken.
    You would have to be very much into tango (Ha! as a Way of Life) to have an equivalent Tango experience. But, I guess that is the point of the people who talk and write about it.
  12. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    think so, too ;)
  13. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    Meine Meinung auch...
  14. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    .. but "then we take Berlin" :cheers:
  15. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    Ha ha! :cheers:
  16. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Actually, "Rumba" is a catch-all term that encompasses all of the indigenous dances and rhythms that are born out of the " Son " rhythm ( Like, Guaguanco, Guaracha, Guajira etc. which all are both styles of dance and rhythms)..

    The Rumba which is danced "solo" is the indigenous style where the " call and response " theory emanates from.. All other forms are hybrids of Guaracha and Danzon .

    Son dates back as far as one can tell ,to the early 1600s, introduced into Cuba by Teodra Gines .

    The actual Clave instrument, is used in many other ethnic rhythms,as in " swing" and even in Maori culture, among others .
  17. Ray Sison

    Ray Sison New Member

    That's great dance history. Thank you so very, very much...
  18. plugger

    plugger Member

    I've been paying more attention to how "into the floor" is used in class. (My teacher had told me I was dancing "on top of the floor" when I was definitely not on the balls of my feet, and my knees were flexed. What was wrong?)
    It has since come to mind that I was keeping much of my weight on my supporting foot while bringing the other foot forward. Then as my body passed over that foot I'd transfer weight to it. In a way, I was falling smoothly forward instead of taking well defined separate steps with a collect between them. The whole foot came down flat but it was placed softly and the teacher said she could hardly feel the step.
    Later, when I remembered to put the heel down first, roll forward to the ball and push off to the next step, the feeling was very different, much more assertive and grounded. Both steps were "into the floor" but they felt different to me and to her as well.
    I don't know if this has any bearing, but when I dance with a woman my height or taller I feel much more grounded than with a short woman. With a tall partner, I can easily step in a heel-roll-push fashion. With someone shorter I often feel barely connected (the contact point, my belly, is more round than my chest), and I feel a need to flex the knees and get down closer to the lady's level.
    This becomes uncomfortable, so I tend to go back on the other kind of walk, letting momentum take me forward as if I were strolling down the sidewalk instead of making each step deliberate.
    On the question of whether a dancer in apilado would fall if the partner pulled away, I'll say yes, probably, if this happened unexpectedly while they were moving. The follower gives a little bit of resistance as they walk, so that if he stops she will maintain her connection and not let her momentum separate them.
    As to whether this would happen if they were dancing in place, I don't know. I've been taught that each partner should be able to stand without the other, but this is tango and -- blessedly -- there are a lot of ways to do it.
  19. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    "On top of the floor" sounds like a dancer's description and not very helpful.

    Like many tango descriptions, all of this "into the floor" is a description from observation,
    not necessarily what is actually felt. Apilado suffers the same, resulting in the exaggerated
    perception and image from show dancers.

    Such descriptions come from choreographers, chattering teachers
    (and presumably from some of us on this medium who only have words)
    when the argentinians had no need for that sort of communication.
    They felt it, they coached one another by doing not talking.

    However so far I've neither found nor heard a better description of the walk
    when in the embrace than on Tango and Chaos. I have to guess that Rick McGarrey
    learned much of this walk from Ricardo Vidort and there were probably
    few better sources at the time.

    Even Ricardo Vidort could talk misleadingly, as he seemed to say
    "always lead with the toe". In fact I think he was actually emphasising
    not leading with the heel as watching video of him confirms usually
    a whole footed floor landing on "compas".

    Many teachers bring other dance influences to tango and think they are better.
    Some definitely don't like the walking down into and solidly contacting the floor
    but if you commit forward in the embrace, it undoubtedly is form following function.

    I was no different when I first saw that sort of tango but changing that perception
    was worthwhile. So it's a dance, but for men it's flat-footed.

    This description is difficult to understand so hopefully you know what you mean!

    The falling smoothly forward is ok so it seems that it's the following foot
    (your own feet) causing the problem - maybe.

    Using the heel in a forward leaning forward walk results in double bump
    and inevitably it's the heel strike that will be on the beat. If you are able
    to roll onto the ball of the foot then probably you still are not committing
    forward and into the floor.

    All of us in tango have an ideal height range of partner.
    But even with a shorter partner you should never compromise
    your posture.

    Yes the extent of lean changes according to what is being danced.
    There are many different ideas of the dynamics of the lean and the forces involved.
    Not enough followers provide that resistance in the walk, but it is quite a skill.
    Given that very few teachers concentrate on connection, it isn't surprising.
  20. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi tt, you are the expert in this respect, and I think thus I was not that far off the mark, then. :)

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