Tango Argentino > The Booty Misconception

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

  1. TomTango

    TomTango Active Member

    People don't realize the prominent booty is a side effect of other postural things she's doing, not the main point. So they stick their butt out without all of the other necessary adjustments, turn their back into an "S", and get lower back pain.

    Same for leads. I tried to hinge forward at the waist for a while not realizing what it looked like leads I saw were doing wasn't what they actually were doing.
    sixela, Lois Donnay and Mladenac like this.
  2. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Why ever not? Isn't a discussion like this, and maybe the provocative
    (in the sense of provoking comment and/or thought) comments like mine,
    the point of a forum? Funny isn't it, I found this forum, years ago now,
    while looking for clues as to what the dance could be. Based on other
    research, much experimentation and practice I eventually ended up
    disagreeing with most of what was being written at the time.

    I can certainly agree that pelvic positioning is a complex area
    to discuss partly because we all have different experiences
    and partly because we are all in different states of bodily fitness.

    I would recommend that anyone interested reads Eric Franklin's
    writings on the pelvic floor, pelvic positioning (and tilt), the supporting
    deep core muscles and all their contributions to centering.
    His dance orientated contributions need interpretation because
    much of it is really aimed at other professional dance forms.

    Tango is a complex subject with its wide open interpretations and
    its variations makes certainties difficult. May that long continue.
    The ballroom industry resolved the same problem decades ago
    which resulted in the standardised pattern dances of today.

    Moving on . . . .
    Well of course I would argue that this posture is unnatural
    and rather dangerous in the long term to copy. In fact if
    someone in normal life has this posture it would be regarded
    by some as at best less than ideal and worst as indicative
    of other muscular or even structural problems. Or maybe
    simply the result of poor musculature support as a result
    of a sedentary lifestyle and at least that can be rectified.

    I think we disagree there. Whatever postural thing she might be doing
    is probably counter to being centered and seems very artificial. To tilt forward
    the pelvis to find space for the feet results in a prominent butt (that may be
    merely a consequential sideshow) and a break in the internal communication
    of the body. That's besides the resultant possibly long term route to back
    pain as it becomes ingrained in their bodies. Perhaps we should ask why such
    dancers feel the need to hold themselves like that when Argentine social
    dancers who dance of hours per day have no need to do so.

    Although dance trainers may talk about isolations and tango practitioners
    talk about dissociation the real world body is a complex structure of bones
    and interdependent muscular structures. Change one thing which affects
    something else, improve one thing and find that you can do something new
    with another or you expose another different weakness to yourself.

    As above, but why attempt it?
  3. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    Static posture is unnatural but used in dynamic way it can be really natural.
    You are bashing Noelia of your background.
    And don't even think of dancing of someone with that way.

    I was dancing with a professional dancer many times and she doesn't have any problems.

  4. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    We're talking about Noelia because the original poster
    has used Noelia in support of his argument. I have
    refrained from bashing her restricting my comments
    to those about posture. If you want me to move off-topic
    on to connection and her dance, I could but not here.

    Come on, you cannot know who or how I have danced.
    In fact I came to tango via other dances and first learnt
    from an overtly show dancer. Rejecting that style, and his 8 count
    basic teaching, I learned from two Salon dancers who claimed
    to teach an authentic tango.
    It wasn't really although it had elements.
    Then I went on a voyage of discovery for some time
    and made up my own mind. Tango allows that.

    I certainly have danced with people like Noelia,
    it's a personal choice to prefer not to repeat it.
    Not to labour the point, I covered this in the video section.
    It isn't a natural nor healthy posture and from briefly watching
    her walk and her dance with you and with Osky Casas (whose
    father does not dance like this) it looks pretty ingrained to me.
    It's a fashion of today, possibly because many have less core
    than they actually need to stand and walk erect supporting
    their internal organs in the way nature/evolution intended.
    I wonder what we are evolving into?
  5. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    I am not in this video, I appologize for misleading the forum to think that and I cannot edit my post.
  6. Lois Donnay

    Lois Donnay Member

    In my 20 years of dancing tango, I have seen many different types of postures. Back in about 2008, it became very popular in BA for followers to really stick their butts out. Remember this is a business for performers and teachers, and they need to attract attention. (My guy once dubbed BBA "The city of nice butts"). After about 4 years of everybody imitating this, it went out of favor. This is a confluence of art, style, talent and ability, as are so may things in tango - dance YOUR dance, that makes you and your partners happy, and spend less time trying to copy some "ideal" that doesn't really exist.
  7. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Nice performance of social tango Mladenac, smooth and fluid.
  8. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    That are my teachers dancing, I didn't formulate my sentence correctly and cannot edit
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    That is what you wrote.
    It does not say that you danced with Noelia, and it doesn't say that it is you dancing in that video.

    No worries, mate.
  10. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    It's actually pretty hard for the untrained eye to determine whether someone's bad posture is the result of skeletal formation or bad habits. Anatomy books love to give a picture of how the femur is set in the hip socket, but dig a little deeper and you find that not only can it be sitting quite differently from person to another, but that the angle of the femoral neck can be quite drastically different as well.

    Speaking from my own experience... as a child I always sat in the W position (link with picture below) I actually sat like this with my knees much further apart, but I could bring them together this way too. I can still sit this way with no discomfort


    Adults kept trying to get me to stop because it was "bad for my knees", but it was perfectly natural for me. I never really grew completely out of femoral anteversion. (There is also a condition called femoral retroversion). I attain more range of motion in my hips when I work at flexibility, but there is a limit to how much I can change it. Sitting cross legged is difficult. In my late teens and early 20's I was taking 15 hours of ballet a week and I could never do a split. Even to get close, my back leg had to go off to the side at an angle. Nor did I have much extension for arabesque without opening my hip, because my leg had so little range of motion going to the back because of the BONE structure, not soft tissue flexibility. See pictures of bone variations in this link:


    That's just the hips... people also have differences in how their knees are formed making them knock-kneed or bowlegged. There are differences in the joints in the feet. There are differences in the natural curvature of the spine and in the natural amount of pelvic tilt.

    And of course, there are differences in how much booty women have based on where they gain weight/fat. Even if I tip my pelvis substantially UNDER (ie: trying to elongate rather than arch my lower back) I look like my butt is sticking out because, well, I've got booty. (and a significant curve in the lumbar region)

    There are also people with what is erroneously called an extra vertebra in the lumbar region (L6) and these people sometimes have more significant pelvic tilt. It's not always an extra...it can be an anomaly of how the bones fused to form the sacrum. Or it might be an extra. Some articles say less than 4% of people have this and I've read others that say it may be as much as 10%. If you think about how the lumbar vertebra angle, you can imagine how an additional vertebra might impact pelvic tipping.

    Anyway, my point is that it's easy to judge other people's bodies and use of them because we aren't IN them. We don't know about their skeletons, their injuries, their ligaments and tendons. We barely know about our own. Do we as a culture spend too much time sitting and not enough time strengthening? Oh yeah! Is a weak core always the answer to what you might perceive as "bad posture"? No.

    Now the way my shoulders creeped up and rounded forward because I was nervous and tense in my recent demo... yeah, THAT was just bad posture. ;)
  11. katerina

    katerina New Member

    You know there is a thing called lordosis, which affects most women that are or were engaged in ballet or gymnastics that many tango followers come from. I know cause I have it and my tango teacher always corrects my butt sticking out but it is only my natural pose because of this particular thing with my spine.
  12. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Some of us here do effectively have trained eyes, not professionally maybe,
    but based on our own experiences of working on our own bodies and dance.
    One clue is to look how and where partners connect and separately
    how they stand and walk when apart. It's often quite visible.

    Clearly you know your own body but surely the point is that we should dance
    what we are and not adopt some artificial bearing because teacher says or the
    unnatural connection demands. From my own experience I would maintain
    that most of us can change our posture for the better outside the dance;
    that improvement should be maintained as our normality in life and thus
    brought to the dance. Because of my own personal physical situation,
    a back injury and a later unrelated operation, I have corrected my bad posture
    resulting from unconscious pain minimising and strengthened my body
    more than once. Once started you have to continue.
    But you are talking about a minority and we should not be generalising
    based on a minority. But we surely can generalise about the damaging influences
    impact of sedentary lifestyles on average bodies which also affects those
    with physical differences, be they large or small.

    Without further analysing I will make the observation that Tango is the only
    dance I know of with such exaggerated posterior emphasising postures and
    some of that is rather more than just fashion but directly attributable
    to teaching style and/or unfit non-dancing bodies.
  13. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Yes of course there is something called lordosis,
    but often it isn't because of a spine abnormality
    but more usually owing to lack of support muscles,
    abdomen, back and deep lower core/pelvic support.

    You sort of make my point, your teacher can tell you
    for ever to tuck in your butt but that will never feel
    natural until your muscles can put it there without
    you thinking it and thus having to think it while dancing.

    And I rather think it would regarded as a bad thing
    in both ballet and gymnastics even though certain
    presentational poses seem to encourage it.

    I've just "borrowed" this post from a ballet forum:

    The use of the abdominal muscles is crucial in correcting the back,
    along with an understanding of alignment and weight placement.
    Ballet will do this, but only IF taught correctly and constantly corrected
    until the student not only understands, but is able to maintain the alignment.

    One of the biggest problems I see with this is with students
    who ONLY try to correct it in class, and do not work on it 24/7.
    It has to become a habit, a way of life, and if they think they can correct it
    just in class or PT sessions, they are delusional. I watch the way they walk
    and stand when not in class, and see why it is not working for them IN class.
    They have to be committed, and focused enough to carry the correction
    outside of the ballet classroom.

    AND..........this is important, they HAVE TO LOSE THE BACKPACKS!!!!!!!!!
    I cannot stress enough the damage that these things are doing to
    the posture problems we have in ballet.
  14. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Unfortunately, too many people think that what is "natural" for them, is true for everyone else. It's not. People have different body types and alignments. While I try to encourage people towards a "classic" style embrace, I also tell them that being relaxed and comfortable is very important. If you can't get comfortable one way, do something else.
    oldtangoguy, sixela and Mladenac like this.
  15. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    It's a pretty safe bet you haven't danced with Noelia. Not even when she has loose hair ;-).
  16. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    And 80% of those who will claim to have trained eyes while posting in a forum will merely think they have trained eyes, especially if they seem all too darn sure of themselves when they claim to know things with certainty.

    The other 20% will know.

    The 80% will think they're in the 20%.
    dchester likes this.
  17. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that the certain ironic contradictions of your comment
    escapes you. Certainties of judgement are certainly coming from you.
    Even those who you think don't know are entitled to express an opinion.

    The only certainty and the only reality in tango is your own and
    progress can and does change even those perceptions.
  18. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Indeed progress does. What it did in my case is make me less emphatically sure about asserting things in other people's tango. _Especially_ things divined only by looking at them and not dancing with them.
    Angel HI, dchester and Mladenac like this.
  19. tangobro

    tangobro Active Member

    Also some cultures tend to be more appreciative of women with more badonkadonk:)

    Some of the comments about "good" posture seem to me to engage some culturally bound value judgments.

    Noelia Hurtado & I think that's Virginia Pandolfi illustrated, are mentioned in this conversation. A woman I dance with who shares Noelia's & Virginia's body type used to be very self conscious about dancing in an embrace, worried that people would think she was "thrusting her butt out" like Tom Tango says. She said seeing videos of Noelia & Virginia liberated her. She became more comfortable about dancing in an embrace. She has also in recent years taken classes with both, & to me her dance feels even better.

    I've seen Noelia & Virginia on & off of the dance floor, walking & standing naturally, in heels & without. It does not seem to me that in any of those contexts either is "thrusting her butt out".

    Here is Noelia dancing without heels while illustrating a concept that she & Carlitos asked workshop attendees to explore:

    Virginia Pandolfi with Jonathan Aguero dancing milonga:

  20. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Love the musicality in the first video.

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