Tango Argentino > Watching Yourself Dance to Improve

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by TomTango, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member


    To his defence, TomTango does what he can with what he has. His partner can't walk properly (but there's nothing that a couple of privates can't fix in this respect.), that makes many suggestions on his musicality, and most on his lead, irrelevant. You don't tell a Formula One pilot that his trajectories are not optimized, if his only car has a flat tire.
  2. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    If proper teacher for followers exist in the area. ;)
  3. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    Interesting videos of self-filming

  4. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Very true. A lot that is said about musicality is little more than someone's opinion/preference on how it should be done.
  5. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I've seen advanced dancers lead total beginners and not be visibly hampered by it. I've also had my own ability to walk significantly affected by certain leader habits. You can't keep blaming everything on the follower. For one thing, it's a partner dance.. unless the skill levels are extremely mismatched (not the case here) things are rarely only the fault of one person. All of the things that I pointed out in my post are things HE is doing. She isn't causing them; on the contrary, they are things that could affect her ability to use proper technique.

    BTW - Walking "improperly" is a symptom, not a diagnosis. It's not at all useful to tell someone that they aren't walking properly. It's like telling someone that they are coughing.
  6. TomTango

    TomTango Active Member

    I wanted the contrast. All the other performances were to pop songs/salsa songs. I wanted to show people why you should dance tango, why it's different from other dances.

    I know a lot of people who feel that way. However, 1) Given a limited time to practice, I'd like to devote all my energy to my social tango, and I can't perform what I don't practice and 2) for performing for non-tango dancers, like I said above, I'd like to convey what tango is all about. 3) The performances that got me into tango emphasized the connection and musicality over the flashiness.

    Actually, if you look at my performance post for "Gricel," at no point do I ask for additional feedback. The post was purely an update on improvements over last video, with comments about how I felt during the performance.

    Also, as a few have said, these posts are for me only, not my partner. Saying she isn't as good as me, or saying she can't walk properly are not constructive anyways. The 1 year dancer doesn't walk properly for the 5 year. The 5 year dancer doesn't walk properly for the 10 year. What's the point? Also, as far as I know, I'm the only one on this forum who has offered evidence of exactly how well they dance. I'm not saying you need to post a video of your own dancing to be able to give advice, but I'm going to ignore any harsh criticisms unless you've got some weight behind it.

    I post these videos because I enjoy sharing my approach to progressing with others. I post them because the path to getting better at tango is often uncertain and nebulous, and I would've liked to have seen someone else's road map to help guide my own journey when/while I'm on my own path.

    Imagine a beginner tango dancer comes to this thread and starts reading. The beginner tango dancer sees everyone's comments on someone else improving their dance. The beginner tango dancer might naturally assume that whatever comments people write here probably correspond to similar things people think when watching others in their home community. Would that notion (that people are thinking these things about him/her) encourage the beginner, or make them want to quit? What kind of atmosphere are we trying to cultivate here?

    If anyone enjoys following my progress videos, are interested in my thought processes when improving, or are otherwise getting something else out of this thread, I'd continue posting. Otherwise, I'll keep them to myself. A couple of posters have generously offered to give advice when I require it via private message, so I might take y'all up on that when I require it.
    brunoalfirevic likes this.
  7. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Tom Tango, your partner is obviously a good follower, very soft, which is not such a common trait in beginning ladies (or at all). I totally see how it is a pleasant feeling to dance with her. I would want to dance with her, big time. Don't listen to rude people. They are so eager to criticize, they don't know where to look. ;)
    TomTango likes this.
  8. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    That's how this topic started. Just to be known. ;)
  9. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    It's one thing what you want and the other thing what you should receive.
    It's impossible to represent tango with one song.
    My point was that noise from the public can make hearing the music harder.

    And the part of my community was aggressive and rude because style of dancing was not so attractive.
    It was notion to find a balance what you want and what community expects ;)

    I really wished I could have seen improvements.

    Your first post here said that it was for a couple, over time since we said that she could improve it's not targeting her any more.
    I was talking relative to the time you had been dancing, there is something what is expected after 1 year, 3 yrs, 5 years, ...
    If you see my previous post I wrote in supportive manner because you were showing a nice progress.

    What they should see that people were taking time to watch videos and had interaction with topic poster.
    And they had their way of responding, sometimes poster liked, sometimes didn't.
    So what will you do with posts that you don't like it's up to you. Maybe there is some truth in them.

    I don't know what kind of feedback you expect here.
    If you are fishing for compliments you need to have a really good bait for that from some people. :)

    See what you can improve, improve it and come with another video.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  10. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I wish I could "super-like" this.
    TomTango likes this.
  11. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    People progress at widely varying rates. So many things play a part in how someone progresses.. the amount of time they have to devote to it, the quality of available instruction, their dedication to solo practice, their innate ability, their background in other movement forms, their physical condition... etc, etc...

    I've seen amazing professionals and been dismayed to learn they've been doing tango for HALF the time I have. I've known social dancers who are forever stuck in Long Term Beginner status despite starting years before me. I've seen people make slow but steady progress (not me!) and seen people who make rapid initial progress and then plateau without noticeable improvement for years, then make a giant leap forward, then plateau again for a long stretch (THAT would be me).

    It's futile to expect certain ability at specific milestones measured by TIME.
    RiseNFall and raindance like this.
  12. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    A far worse things I experienced and witnessed in local communities.
    There was maybe a few rude remarks and that's it.

    If this is to disturbing that stop any activity that could create unpleasant feelings to you.
  13. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Of course, it is important to be friendly and nice to newcomers. However, as beginners, or at any stage of our tango development, we should not be that dependent of everyone's opinion. Some people don't like us, and never will, no matter how good we become. It's OK. Others may criticize us... does their opinion really matter? Are they that good themselves? ;) Do they care about improving the community or more about feeling better about themselves at the account of others?
    What really matters is an opinion of our group of reference, our teachers (the ones we chose, not the self appointed ones ;) ), people whose achievements and attitude we respect, our friends -- a group, which is actually smaller than the "whole community".
    And those people won't be unsupportive or rude to us. We respect them, they respect us back, respect our boundaries.
    That said, we shall expect politeness, tactfulness, and respect of our boundaries from everyone by default. Some people won't live to such expectations, that's life :) but it does not make it OK. Saying hurtful things to others is not OK, ever.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
    Mladenac likes this.
  14. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    OK, my error. I was incorrectly thinking you still wanted feedback, (based on the OP). My intent was not to offend you. I won't comment further on any more of your videos.
    Mladenac likes this.
  15. TomTango

    TomTango Active Member

    Aw, dchester, I consider your comments some of the more fair and well-worded comments on here. I understand if you want to stop commenting, but know that I appreciate what you say. And to be fair, I didn't specifically ask for people to refrain from criticizing.

    I've seen/heard far worse too. I'm not disturbed personally by any comments; if I didn't have a thick skin I would've have posted videos of myself in the first place. Rather I'm just concerned with cultivating a friendly community. Maybe it's the organizer in me.

    For example, there are different ways of saying the same criticism. "You're better than your partner" is a more positive way of wording criticism. "Your partner is worse than you" is a more negative way. "Your partner dances like a car with a flat tire" is a very negative way. Same information, different feelings evoked. I say go for the positive wording every time for a healthy community.
    raindance likes this.
  16. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    You are not a moderator here and not an organizer, so keep that role at your local place.
    You can be an example but cannot force people how to behave (see above sentence)

    Same generalization, that is inappropriate. And bad way of giving feedback.
    If someone is giving feedback in bad formation it should be analyzed with some time difference.

    Good feedback is to point a single element and how to improve it.

    Sometimes feedback is not what we expected so we feel hurt.
    And even from badly formulated feedback we can learn how to grow. ;)

    When you see comments on YT about professionals performances you will see really negative and badly constructed feedback
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
  17. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Maybe, but he only gets to demo 1 song. So he chose one that he thought was the best one-song chance he could have. I don't understand the point of this comment at all.. are you suggesting that since he can't represent tango with only 1 song, he shouldn't bother to pick something that he feels best represents what he wants to show?

    I had no trouble hearing the music on the video and judging from the cheering on the video, people in his audience liked it. What community expectations are you referring to?

    I have to say I somewhat agree with this. NO ONE is going to get only compliments on this site.. not even the pro's. I also don't understand what kind of feedback you are looking for because it seemed you posted posted videos to get feedback and now you say your latest video asked for none. I defended your partner because some of the comments weren't constructive and because I didn't read back over the thread to remember that you did originally post that it was for a couple. It was also possible that it was a different partner (not gonna watch the previous videos to find out... someone upthread asked if it was a different partner, and I don't remember seeing an answer)

    I think you need to be clearer about what kind of feedback/ response you would like when you post the videos.
  18. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    This is a great attitude that, to be honest, hardly any beginner is ever going to have. The truth is that beginners ARE impacted, sometimes severely, by other people's opinions and treatment of them. Expecting them to think this way is unrealistic, IMO. Realizing that no matter how good you get, some people are never going to like you or want to dance with you, is something that comes MUCH later in the tango journey. (usually after you get to the point where at least SOME decent dancers DO want to dance with you)

    At the beginning, a new dancer won't know who to respect yet or even what feedback is valid. It takes time to sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to the unwieldy amount of correction, feedback and criticism all new (and some not-so-new) tango dancers get. They may not have even made any friends yet in this new activity. They certainly may not have any way to judge who is good and who is not.

    Most beginners (and many not-so-beginner dancers) have little to no ability to judge anything beyond how many, and how fancy, the steps being done are. They don't know how to look for quality of movement or proper technique, especially in someone dancing the other role. Just think about how many people you have seen or heard (even here on our forum) express an inability to determine whether someone would be a good partner for them by watching, and instead watch to see who else is dancing with them, or worse, go by their shoes.

    I've seen too many followers devastated by self-appointed "teacher" leaders who give contradictory "corrections", and think that somehow they are actually supposed to do all the things being suggested. I imagine the same happens to leaders from some followers.

    I agree... there's no point in trashing anyone's efforts.

    To refer to the OP's mention of nice ways vs not-nice ways of expressing things... there's a huge difference between constructive criticism and criticism that just tears someone down without offering anything useful. Comparing someone to a car with a flat tire is not constructive criticism. There's nothing to be learned from that kind of comment. While individuals in any community might be nasty, I would like to think our community here is past that kind of nonsense. Most of us have been dancing for quite awhile and have probably been on the receiving end of nasty comments at some point. We shouldn't need to trash-talk. We should know better.

    While I am not a moderator, I am a member of the community and the people of any community set the standards of behavior beyond the actual laws. The moderators enforce the rules, but we have the right to express our objection to a tone of conversation that we find distasteful. We can encourage civil discourse and constructive feedback, and say "That's really not helpful" to things that are really not helpful.

  19. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Given all that is written about the internet, social media, etc, I don't think anyone should expect that something they post on a public site will not garner comment, unless you do something like "comments disabled," which is an option on YouTube.
  20. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Zoopsia, those are all good points. However, I don't believe that acquiring a healthy self esteem and good personal boundaries is unrealistic for a grown up person. Neither is to contemplate who (potential) friends and role models are in a new environment. Of course, it is a process, and those figures may change as a person progresses on her/his journey.

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