Tango Argentino > The Booty Misconception

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by TomTango, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. TomTango

    TomTango Active Member

    I see and hear a phrase like this often, mostly applied to advanced follows: "Just look at her poor posture! She's thrusting her butt out. Tsk tsk." The implication is that it's a style designed to look sexy at the expense of your back.

    But having a prominent posterior actually is good posture! "...if you look at drawings from Leonardo da Vinci — or a Gray's Anatomy book from 1901 — the spine isn't shaped like a sharp, curvy S. It's much flatter, all the way down the back. Then at the bottom, it curves to stick the buttocks out. So the spine looks more like the letter J." - From NPR. Here's a link. Look at the spine shapes of the statues:

    My theory is that we've gotten so used to seeing a tucked pelvis-posture in our modern, sitting-prominent world that good posture can look strange to us sometimes. Also, keep in mind some countries' populations just tend to have more badonkadonk.

    Also, think about it it...why would so many professional dancers who dance hundreds of hours a month assume a posture that would cause them pain? Granted, some DO have exaggerated postures, but it is due to the exaggerated "S" shaped spine and not the derriere.

    Here's someone with a good, "J" shaped spine:

    And a more exaggerated "S" spine:

    Note that in both cases the backside is prominent, but if you look at the lines they're actually quite different.
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  2. koinzell

    koinzell Active Member

    It's very painful for your lumbar spine if stand that way and finish your step on a bent leg. (poor quality of motion)

    However, when one extends the leg, it engages the glutes and prevents stress to the lumbar spine.

  3. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    But it isn't just about the Butt it's about all the posture.
    Your audio link and the associated website says it all much more accurately
    than you do. In fact it seems to me you are trying to defend the indefensible.

    No what we see in real life is often the opposite and certainly
    among tango dancers (although mainly women, men can be guilty of it too).
    Your link hits the nail on the head - lack of exercise and lack of core.
    Sedentary lifestyles have changed everything. Read Eric Franklin with
    an open mind. He even says that many people don't even have (working)
    psoas muscles, they rely on the chair to support their pelvis and internals.
    Well of course an exaggerated S-curve results in a stuck out butt
    usually because it's accompanied by a tilted-back pelvis. If you allow
    your spine vertebras and cartilages (discs) it sit on themselves
    without muscle support the result is almost inevitable.

    For professional dancers the point is that it's performance;
    these people don't often dance much socially.
    Why should they? It's work to them.

    Not all that much different. Noelia (it is Noelia?) is a good example
    of a non-aligned, posturally bad body. There are so many things unnatural
    about her dance that I would have no interest in dancing with her.

    I referred to all this in the video section so here's another example
    of Javier with a different partner dressed in white which shows the
    worst effects. So much so that you can positively see where her
    unengaged pelvic floor and resulting tilted pelvis is actually tipping out
    her internal organs and they are bulging the abdomen being used
    rather unnaturally as the retaining medium.

    Some people in tango even advocate tipping the pelvis back
    so that there is room for the feet but you can guarantee that
    the core is not engaged. In my body it seems to be impossible
    to tilt the pelvis and retain an engaged core at the same time.
    Engage the pelvic floor and the pelvis naturally assumes the
    neutral position (not excessively tucked under) and the abdominal
    muscles engage always assuming that you have the muscles.

    Here's an extreme example of both partners tilting back the pelvis:

    I have danced once alongside these two and I can assure you
    that they dance like this in a milonga (which is not much).
    Her overactive butt is a sight to behold!

    There are many more unfortunate consequences for the dance
    from these postures which we haven't even touched on.
  4. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Tom, I thought about posting pretty much exactly what you did!
    Thanks for starting this thread.

    Years ago I was told by a well known AT instructor from BA that I had poor posture and would have back problems when I get "older." Still waiting for that one. (Now a days I think I would point at my backside and say, you like that, don't you?) Meanwhile, I qualify for the "Honored Citizen" fare for MAX and C Tran, discounts on movies, car washes, etc.
  5. TomTango

    TomTango Active Member

    I agree. Sometimes posture is bad. But butts sticking out in and of itself isn't an indication of bad posture.

    Yes, sedentary posture is horrible for you. I've had to do lots of exercises to correct my weak hamstrings, psoas, tight hip flexors, just so I can dance comfortably. Dancing without lower back pain was (and is) something of an obsession of mine, which is why I've done so much research on it.

    But professional tango dancers have crazy strong cores due to all the dissociation they do. Every one I've met has been flexible, limber, and strong, all the things that aren't symptoms of poor posture and sedentary sitting.

    I too have danced alongside and with Maja. Her and Marko do dance at milongas just like they dance in performances. She's a classically trained dancer who's done ballet since she was three. She's incredibly strong and is capable of dissociations I can only dream of. Her boleo reach is insane. There's no way she has weak or tight core, glutes, psoas, flexors, etc. Her posture is excellent, in my opinion.

    Haha awesome! I bet the BA instructor was just jealous of your rockin' backside.
  6. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    I am not a tango dancer myself. But keep in mind that high heels affect posture (it changes your balance, where your weight is centered, how your leg muscles work, etc), even for people that are in shape. The higher the heel the more the effect.
  7. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Made me laugh... just had to repost. :D
    The orig post notwithstanding, this is more the point. Understanding proper posture is important in general, and for dancers in particular. Re AT, so many inadequately educated or learned dancers still believe that sticking their bottoms out is the style. Others, esp. in the US, still have a closeness issue. They want to dance AT, but stick their tushies out because of their 'personal space' and/or closeness issues (greatly unique to the US).
    Again, an other testament to needing to properly understand good posture. Back to post #1. Good thread.
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  8. TomTango

    TomTango Active Member

    I thought I'd run out of synonyms for the glueteals, but then you remind me the word "tushy" exists. :play:
    Angel HI and j_alexandra like this.
  9. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    There are natural big butts, little butts, powerhouse butts and fat butts
    but sticking out butts are an indication of the likelihood of bad posture.

    And in my opinion her dance posture is utterly dire so I guess we'll just
    have to agree to disagree. There's no sign of the ballet dancer in her.

    Talking of which (and your boleo comment) here she is using a ballet bar
    for something very different to ballet.

    For me this is positively dangerous in a milonga alongside other dancers.
    Before I knew who they were it was her extravagant high flying heels
    which I noticed. Even worse it's a very destructive dance attitude
    to demonstrate and teach to other women.

    By the way, she isn't dissociating rather she is twisting her whole body,
    the angle reducing all the way up to her shoulders. When she dances
    the twisting extends all the way up to her neck.

    In her exaggerated movements it isn't her chest which is stationary
    but her head so she pivots/twists from the neck down with her head
    locked against Marko's. In my experience this is an indication of someone
    who does not dissociate - that is the separation the physical rotation
    of the pelvis from the physical visible rotation of the chest.

    Perhaps I should say that if she did dissociate and accepted the limitations
    on her extravagance thus imposed she could not dance as wildly she does.
    For me that would be a good thing since I abhor such anti-social dancing
    in a milonga. For her it would be good too since she would have to centre
    her body so that the pelvis and the chest could twist separately. It might
    not be so good for her commercially but the dance would benefit.
  10. TomTango

    TomTango Active Member

    JohnEm, I think it's a good policy if everyone avoids negative comments toward named individuals in public forums. If you'd like to discuss the merits and failing of specific individuals further, I'd be happy to but send me a PM.
  11. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    All of these are public videos of people invited to teach and perform
    and thus a form of advertising and promotion.

    You are advocating a form of censorship of criticism yet in the art world
    people are actually paid for their critiques to be published so that the
    paying public can decide whether to risk their money and time.
    I could argue that I'm performing that service for free and then
    it's up to other people to decide for themselves.

    Yes, we clearly don't agree and I don't agree with your wish to bury
    my opinion or make it seem unseemly. Is this really your best answer?
  12. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Also she lacks the flexibility to perform a high linear back boleo while keeping her torso vertical.
    But maybe it's an inspirational video about adornos, where she shows what you can do rather than how to do it properly.
  13. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Nor still, which is possibly because she is driving these wild, high boleos
    herself whether in the dance or alone. In the dance she is effectively alone
    at times except for the needed support from Marko.
    Look again (sorry), you can see her audience in the mirror.
    So it's the worst possible scenario as far as I am concerned.
    It's meant by Maja to be both inspirational and educational.

    Tango as a dance of connection is being repeatedly and systematically
    destroyed by such behaviour. I know there is a counter culture in Europe
    but that is often over-reactionary: instructive, restrictive, prescriptive.
  14. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    In a few weeks I'll attend a workshop and milonga weekend with Maja & Mirko.
    I'll lead a korean kick-boleo-partner in my front and ask a material-arts-friend to defend my back.
    Just to inform you as my last act in case our tango communitiy gets destroyed by them... :eek::nurse::wacky:
    Mladenac likes this.
  15. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    You're a fool -- Noelia is more fun than a barrel of monkeys, because of things that have absolutely nothing to do with her posture (not that I agree with those comments either. If you'd see here just walk on a street you'd understand).
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  16. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    Posture like Noelia's gives followers opportunity to be very reactive in dancing.
    So far I have nice experience when dancing with followers with that posture if done properly.
  17. Sunsetdancer

    Sunsetdancer Member

    Hilarious, Tom Tango....."... some countries' populations just tend to have more badonkadonk". You guys! :)
  18. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Of course it all depends on how you want to dance;
    that is your choice, she would not be mine nor their style.

    However this post was about butts and posture. In my view,
    and that of many others, there is nothing "proper" about
    Noelia's and Maja's posture and they are in fact an indication
    of other problems. Accordingly I don't think they are good
    examples to follow and promote.

    There doesn't seem to be even any dissension amongst posture "experts"
    on the net and certainly not amongst practitioners of Pilates, Alexander
    and Feldenkrais, physiotherapists in general and their writers.
  19. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    This raises all kinds of question that probably should be left it alone.
  20. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    Technique should be mapped to other areas not copied.
    e.g. if you play tennis at the squash field you might seriously injure someone.

    What is dangerous with Noelia's posture is that people try to copy the posture,
    but they are not aware how to use it properly and get injured.

    And then Noelia (Maja) ... is guilty for that.

    There is a saying in Croatian (literally)
    A frog saw horse getting a horse shoe so it raised its foot.
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