Tango Argentino > The Booty Misconception

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

  1. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    We also see that in second picture the guy is quite vertical (open embrace posture) and doesn't go into shared space.
    And the follower is trying to compesate that by pushing her head forward.
  2. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    IMO The picture is bad in so many ways.

    1. He is already on the step and she will be late
    2. With an extended leg in social dancing there is a great chance that the next couple will be hit with a heel.
  3. ArbeeNYC

    ArbeeNYC Member

    Personally, I'm a big fan of Noelia & Carlitos, but I'm not a posture expert. However, to add to your examples of exaggerated posture, I'd add Virginia Pandolfi. Saw her at a local exhibition not too long ago and was stunned at the way she used her backside. It was like a runaway locomotive. The whole thing seemed false to me. Very interesting thread.
  4. ArbeeNYC

    ArbeeNYC Member

    I was wondering if you could provide examples or a link to the exercises you describe. I do (and have done) sit ups, yoga, and a couple of pilates exercises (mostly planks) to strengthen core muscles. But I'm always interested in improvement. My problems are mostly my shoulder (rotator cuff or tendonitis) and an occasionally wonky ankle.
  5. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Whilst trying to avoid a long critique of Noelia,
    she is not a centered dancer and like others of her ilk,
    much of the extrovert stuff that she does, she does alone.
    In their embrace her body is broken at the waist
    and her sensitivity is restricted, her sensual communication
    with Carlitos is minimised even despite the outward show.

    Virginia Pandolfi has been mentioned earlier and I agree!
    She is an even more exaggerated example.

    There are plenty of ways to investigate and experiment with
    improvement and you are the best person to do that. It's your
    body and the development you experience will encourage you.

    I too have had a bad ankle for years, now it's stronger and more
    reliable than the other. Other than exercise I have no explanation
    for that. Pilates certainly has its place although seemingly Joe Pilates
    himself did not refer to the pelvic floor, that has been added more
    recently based on improved knowledge of the human body and
    how it works. I am less convinced about Yoga and about stretches
    which can be all too readily overdone especially if done cold.

    My dance is one of the engagement of the senses and milongueros
    often describe their tango dance simply as a feeling. Well there
    are many feelings and senses involved and they are difficult to describe.
    An Alexander Principle author describes what she calls the sixth sense
    which is not ESP but bodily sensation. From that perhaps we should
    rename ESP to ISP - Internal Sensory Perception. I often say that
    in order to dance the dance of the senses first we have to be able
    to sense ourselves.
    So I recommend Missy Vineyard's book for interest:

    and about the importance of the pelvic floor:
    Eric Franklin's Pelvic-Power-Exercises-Strength-Flexibility
    or his more recent work about The Psoas Muscle.

    I am rather less convinced about Eric Franklin's belief in touch
    as a sort of self-therapy other than maybe as a method of identifying
    which muscle to control. But you are not me, your senses are not
    my senses and clearly from Missy Vineyards book, we all can be very
    different. I cannot readily identify with her patients for example since
    I have never been in their extreme state and I solve my own problems.
    We have to find our own way. Maybe that's why I also don't connect
    with Eric Franklin's imagery process because I can sense directly already.
  6. ArbeeNYC

    ArbeeNYC Member

    Thanks for the recommendations. I'll have a look.
  7. Tagontarian

    Tagontarian New Member

    After reading all of this thread, I registered only so that I could post a response.

    I fully agree with JohnEm point of view. I don't know any of you but reading your posts I think it is fair to assume most of you are long time AT dancers. I have a few points to make

    - yes both men and women can have bad postures. IMHO most dancers at Milongas have a bad postures. It is evident.

    - Unless the partner is pushing or pulling, the partner can not be blamed for one's posture. Maintaining one's posture and axis is our own responsibility.

    - Someone being professional dancers (especially in the AT world) doesn't mean they are experts in what is a good posture for preventing injuries. Injuries due to bad posture can take years to manifest.

    - In my personal opinion use of incorrect posture because it makes the dance feel comfortable is not a valid argument.

    I read a couple of comments about how man's posture wouldn't allow a follower to lean in for chest to chest connection. I think that only applies if you dance Apilado style. I am not a student of Tango History. I am trying to study it now. From my limited understanding Apilado style originated out of show Tango and became prevalent during mid nineties. I tried to google its origin and only the very first link credits Carlos Gavitos for crafting it. I can't trust the rest of the links where Apilado style is equated with Milonguero style. From my limited understanding neither the Salon embrace nor Milonguero style require partners to lean into each other in close embrace. I don't consider a leader's posture of standing straight centered on the axis with weight on ball of feet as a lean. Therefore only reason I can think of a follower wanting to lean into an embrace is if you dance Apilado style and "chest connection" implies chest lead. The dance can be certainly danced in the close embrace with out either leaning into the other in both salon style and milonguero style (both are responsible for their own axis).

    I gave up Apilado style for precisely the posture reasons. I also prefer the salon style lead where the chest lead is not emphasized. Both choices made logical sense to me because the my primary reason was injury prevention in the longer run. That doesn't mean there aren't followers who will cling to me or push their weight on to me or try to support themselves by holding on to me (all bad technique that no lead would like no matter the style)

    Any physical activity whether it is running, swimming, biking, etc requires good posture. Tango is no different.
  8. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Not that it removes anything to the value of what you say about posture, pathology and all. But tango history, styles... Yunno, we all here actually attended classes by Gavito, he's not someone whom we know only via Google and Youtube.
    dchester likes this.
  9. ArbeeNYC

    ArbeeNYC Member

    Gavito is not the origin of dancing "apilado," he simply exemplifies its most extreme manifestation. It's not all that uncommon, in a less extreme form, in what you refer to as "milonguero" style, where it is used to create space between the partners' midsections. If you stand on the balls of your feet and project your chest, I would consider that a slight lean since you're obviously somewhat forward. I don't see any one posture as being more prone to injury than any other providing you are well balanced and in control of your movements.
    Angel HI and dchester like this.
  10. Tagontarian

    Tagontarian New Member

    I am not sure what is the point you are trying to make :)

    Tango has a very rich history and not an easy one to untangle.
  11. Tagontarian

    Tagontarian New Member

    As I suspected. Sometimes a style already exists and then someone comes along to help amplify it. I used the word amplify rather than popularize, because it may be either by design or not.

    Agree with you. Fortunately most who do prefer to dance using chest connection use the less extreme form. Posture may be defined generically but its execution is person specific. There in lies the rub. Based on my personal experience, I come across frequent bad postures when out dancing. I attribute quite a bit of it to the dancers trying to get to that chest connection at expense of balance and control.
  12. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    I seemed clear enough to me.
    Are you trying to bait me?
    In most forums there are rules against baiting.
  13. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Actually I found that post confusing as well. Maybe tangotarian is just looking for clarification.
  14. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    An interesting article (to me), on the apilado embrace.

    Here is a teaser:

    Apilado dancing is the way to increase the connection and intimacy in the embrace and it is most often used in the social tango. Since it is required to lean on the partner, for many people it is the ultimate challenge, much harder than the most complicated steps.

    . . .

    Oh how many things in tango are controversial and cause for a major debates. This is because there is no one right way of dancing – and one can say that all of the approaches, if they are respectful, are valid

    Apilado dancing is not on the repertoire of the 99% of the teachers I know. And, yet, it is one of the best ways to make the strong physical connection with the partner.

    – That is magical. I do not know what and how you do it, but when I first felt it, it was amazing. Scary but amazing – she laughed.

    . . .​
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
    Angel HI likes this.
  15. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Here is another article that compares the terms, milonguero style and apilado, along with some history of where the terms came from, and different opinions about them.


    Here is the intro:

    Is Tango Apilado Equivalent to Tango Milonguero?

    The term ‘milonguero style tango’ (‘tango estilo milonguero’) was coined by Susana Miller in the early 1990s to describe the style of dancing tango that was prevalent in the milongas of downtown Buenos Aires in the 1950s. This stylistic variant of tango is commonly called simply ‘tango milonguero’ in Buneos Aires today, although the term ‘milonguero style tango’ still appears to predominate in English-speaking countries.​
    Angel HI likes this.
  16. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    That's a very informative article.
    Note that bad posture is not required for apilado, but is symptomatic of either poor instruction or poor implementation of good instruction.

    But, I have to disagree with the author's conclusion that,
    "‘tango apilado’ is not a useful category label for the classification of tango stylistic variation."

    That statement is perhaps true for those observing a couple dancing. It is certainly not true for someone within the couple, since it is rather easy to perceive the degree to which a partner is sharing weight.
    (Use of the term "lean on" is misleading, since partners put an equal amount of "weight" towards each other when at rest. It's just more obvious to an observer, since the woman is most often shorter and weighs less. Most really good hugs involve a fair amount of force joining the two bodies, so there.)

    Long time readers here know that MY definition of apilado involves the creation of a shared axis where a partner withdrawing their weight will induce movement in the partner. Having a term to describe that is to my way of thinking very useful.
  17. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I wonder if it wouldn't be more correct to say they put equal force rather than equal weight? Hello? Physics or Engineering people? (Dchester, this should be right up your alley)

    For example, because of the height and weight difference, I can give Dchester a fair amount of my weight before he needs to really give much back or feel as though I'm pushing him over, requiring counterbalancing.

    In an ironic twist on the concept, I find the leaders who most need to actually be forward to do any counterbalancing based on size (or even basic connecting without counterbalancing) are also the ones who want most to dance in a completely upright stance with their weight over the arches of their foot, making a connection less through the chest and more through the follower's left tricep on their right bicep. The leaders that are "sturdy" enough that I could actually lean on them are usually forward enough that I wouldn't need to in order to make a good torso connection.
  18. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Tagontarion, Firstly welcome to the DF. Secondly, thank you; you have unintentionally, yet directly, IMHO, brought some of the most well-thought, well-posted, and well conducted comments to the AT forum that there have been in a long time. There are so many good posts following your initial one that I did not reference them here.

    I simply will add or iterate that poor posture has nothing to do with the style of dance which one does. If your posture is poor in general, it will tend to find its way into your dance at some point. Be very leery and weary of labels. Adults tend to way...WAY... over-categorize things (the absurdity is that this often overly complicates the very thing that they are trying to simplify). An example is mentioned above when Suzanna used the term 'milonguero' to simply mean 'the way the milongueros danced', non-Argentines (mostly Americans) turned it into a categorized and labeled dance style. As mentioned, Gavito took apilado to the extreme. This was not the origin or definition of apilado as a categorized dance style; it is the definition of extreme styling. Gavito said to me once that, "...all [styles] of AT may be danced apilado o conaire..." (close or not). He went on to say, for what it's worth here, that knowing how to do do this well, is the secret to dancing to an optimal potential.

    Lastly, forgive me for assuming your level of newness, and for iterating previous posts, but, again, in the vein of being careful of labels..... Know that in the early days of the modern resurgence of AT, the term chest-to-chest was also a misunderstood or miscategorized labwl. The Argentines said this, but it is not what they meant. Perhaps, it was as simple as just the difference in translation, but what they meant when they said to lead from the chest was to lead from the center. Adults, again, being ignorant of how words and/or concepts do not always translate literally, and misunderstanding what they were seeing in the dance, took this to literally mean to push the partner around with chest. Of course, we know today that even in the so-called close-embrace, the lead is from a core center movement (regardless of lean), and not from shoving the lady around with one's chest.
  19. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Force would be the correct term, as weight is a force that comes from gravity. If one person actually was giving more force than the other, the person using less force would be moving back as a result.

    FWIW, I find that students seem to understand the concept, when I use the term, pressure.
    Angel HI likes this.
  20. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Yes, I don't use the terms weight or force either. "Force" is especially tricky because you don't want anyone to assume you mean "overcoming resistance". I learned the hard way that you also have to be careful using any terms that might be taken for fat shaming (so "weight" is a word you should probably avoid!). I once told a female student that she felt "heavy" in a move. What I meant was that she was hard to lead because she wasn't moving herself and I had to use "force". It had nothing to do with her body weight. But she was very offended because she thought I was commenting on her body, not her dancing technique. I tried to quickly clarify, but it just got MORE awkward instead of less.

    You'd think with all the words we have, we wouldn't have so much trouble finding the ones that work!

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