Tango Argentino > What are you currently 'working on' in A.T.?-Vol.II

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Mario7, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Collapsing your upper body so that you are downward weight?
    Taking too far of a backstep so that it increases your lean?

    I'm a smidge skeptical that he felt he had to pull backwards away from you because you were too heavy. It seems like it would make more sense for him to send his weight more FORWARD if you are leaning on him too much or being too "down".

    Leaders? Would you sit back in order to help with downward pressure from a follower or would you try to counterbalance her by going towards her more?

    My point is that it could very well have been a problem with him, because his solution makes me go "hmmmm..." :-? :eyebrow:
  2. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    When something doesn't goe right, it's rarely 100% one person's fault (although it's usually not 50/50 either).

    I always try to match the force the follower gives me. While I don't know who/what caused the issue she referred to, I agree that the leader's reaction seems flawed.
  3. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    I once had a woman weigh me down in a close embrace class. We were both beginners and I told the instructor, he then told her to reach higher and forward with each step that she took backwards. You know that sort of walking downhill backwards? I can't explain it better but for the next several minutes she was amazing and then later the downward entropy took over again. He showed her how to push up from the floor and up thru her upper body (forward) while stepping backwards..I'm sure a woman can explain it better.
  4. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    The amount of weight that goes "downward" is related to the amount of "lean" you have, when "measured" from the top of your body. If you are standing with no "lean" at all, there would be no weight "on" your partner. If you are leaning against him at a 45 degree angle, much more of your weight would be "down" on him.

    If he was walking forward, and you backwards, my guess is that your backstep may have been longer than his forward step, which increased the amount of "lean".
    Maybe he HAD to change the length of his step. Maybe he was doing it just to do it.
    Who knows.
    Hey, this could be your way of asking someone to lead a volcada there!

    (Usually, when the woman takes a too big step it ends up feeling like she's moved away from me, and there is this accordian like feeling. In this case you MAY have done a really good job of keeping your upper body forward towards him.)

    Or, maybe not.
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Unfortunately, I got plenty of feedback from women that "the other guys" did not want them sharing any substantial amount of weight. Rather they were asked to "be on their own axis".
    So, many men are "afraid" (come on guys, man up) of women who share weight, it seems to me.
    And let's not confuse this with the woman actually "hanging" on the man with her left arm over his right should. Or did I just do that/
  6. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    Leaning forward and pushing against a woman who is sharing her weight is like dancing into a strong wind and one of the most ecstatic experiences I've ever had.
    I love it when a woman is willing to take the risk and give me her weight.
  7. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I actually enjoy it.
  8. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    ... to get back on the dancefloor. Had been months now, not weeks, as I once thought when my knee cracked. Feel like an absolute beginner now. But the chondroitine injections into the joint cleft seem to help. Some say, pausing helps, you will be better than before, when you return. But I feel as I if starting form the very first beginning.
  9. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    I just completed an hour and 8 mins dancing alone for my practica at home. I set up 5 tandas 4 songs each and gave a different emphasis to each one; ie: walking six different highways, dancing with Cw,CCW giros in crossed and parallel, walks to the cross and all variations, cross overs to woman's left side, the baldosa, dancing in a small area, dancing in a large area, etc.. it worked! I was never bored and always started the next tanda with enthusiasm!
  10. New in NY

    New in NY New Member

    Forward walks - STILL - When I think about what I am doing, definitely getting better, so that's improvement. But if I let myself get lost in the music, they are still pretty bad.

    Ganchos - improving slightly, making sure my leg is actually on the leader's leg

    Forward and back boleos - really really bad. Teacher helped me to realize how loose I need to be in the hip as I did not even realize that I was tensing the muscles in my upper leg. But still my react to the lead is slow, the execution and technique is just messy and I think this is going to take a long long time to be halfway decent.
  11. Light Sleeper

    Light Sleeper New Member

    Thanks Zoopsia, David, Mario and Steve.

    That was my thought, Zoopsia, but when I actually chatted about it, he said we weren't sharing weight but it struck me he was asking to. Hmm, I'm not sure I see the point of pushing your chests together if you're not going to share weight. It felt strange to me to touch chests but not share weight that much, i found it unbalancing, maybe I just need to think about it a bit more (probably!). So, I feel he made a decision to 'do it his way' by not sharing more of his weight when he could've made a decision the other way.

    God, tango is such an individual thing!
  12. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    I think that you are touching on a general problem with this. One that
    is not addressed much outside of BsAs.. I'm a beginner (2 1/2yrs) so I can't talk like I 'know' about this but it seems to me also that there is a giant contradiction in this situation..up close but not really...ugh very unbalancing if you ask me.
  13. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I dunno. I like close embrace (without sharing weight) when there's a strong chest-to-chest connection. IME/IMO, it makes the leads feel so much more clear (assuming the leads are clear to begin with..:rolleyes:). I love that feeling of solidity and one-ness that happens when it works well. It's such a great feeling of security, and a feeling like my partner is truly "present" in the embrace. Perhaps it's just because this was how I was first taught.

    I'm much less a fan of standing very close--perhaps even chest-to-chest--with no forward pressure into each other. I always end up feeling like I'm searching the entire time for that connection, but whenever I get close the guy moves off from it. I just find it frustrating. I'd rather dance in full-out open embrace than dance close but without pressure.

    OTOH, sometimes dancing is dancing...which is almost always better than sitting! :)

    But you're right...AT is so incredibly personal.
  14. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    That's a good description from the other side of the embrace yet somewhat similarly applies to me as a leader. The leader equally needs that forward pressure returned - it has to be mutually reinforcing. And how I prefer the word pressure to weight as a description. If the lady doesn't enter the embrace with the same commitment it can feel like she is running away from you.

    And while you need a clear lead, the leader needs a positive follow. And by that I mean she willingly follows the chest, doesn't twist away when something is unfamiliar and allows her free leg to go wherever her body displacement tells her she needs to place it for the next axis/point of balance.

    I certainly know guys who don't or won't dance with ladies who don't commit to the connection in the embrace. While I haven't reached that stage . . . I can see a time. Open hold just doesn't do it for me - there are other different dances for that - so it has to be the much less satisfactory upright close hold.
  15. Light Sleeper

    Light Sleeper New Member

    Ha ha, maybe right in the first sentence! I think I need a total break for a bit!

    The second sentence - amen, sister! Mind you, I think other dance forms can be... but AT is *so* intimate ..
  16. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    That is one of the attributes of Villa Urquiza style. The chests touch without sharing weight (at least not much).
  17. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member


    Is this a bad thing? (in the way you presumably mean it?)
  18. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    No, not at all. T'was just agreeing with Light Sleeper.
  19. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    It took me a good while to figure this out. I'd dance in close embrace, with chest-to-chest contact, but it took me a while to really understand the forward pressure thing. I was wary of being "heavy" in the embrace, or of being unresponsive, or any number of negative things. I had one lesson in particular where the necessity of actively pressing into my partner was stressed, and it made a huge difference.

    Now, as to guys' preferences with it...who knows. Some will meet me halfway, some seem to pull away. I try to accomodate various preferences as they seem to me, but I can only do so much. Beyond that, there's not much I can do. But very few guys seem to really keep a strong connection with a lot of forward pressure (regardless of if we share weight or not)...quite a shame.

    Well, without getting intto a whole huge discussion on it and hijacking the thread, to me the two terms mean very different things, and relate to two different styles. IME there's weight sharing (apilado), and non-weight sharing (Salon, with forward pressure created without a sharing of weight).
  20. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    Peaches, I'm going to be very careful here!

    Yes you have it. Being heavy comes from confusing pressing with hanging or from losing control of your own balance. It still must be you making your own axis and not relying on your partner putting you there. Now that's heavy!

    Oh, please dance with me!

    I thought anything we're working on is ok in this thread so I'll bring it back on topic in a mo.

    In my opinion any difference is a difference only of degree. We get confused by the show/stage tango images of posed gross leans but they themselves are based on the off-axis moves of carousels, enganches, and volcadas etc. And off-axis means that you as a follower are actually having some of your weight being supported by your partner. But neither of us would want to walk like that.

    But that is different. There is only so far you can go in apilado and the extent of the lean depends on the individual muscle strength (core, back, legs, thighs, ankles, feet) and control of the partners to retain their own ability to create axis/balance as they walk so neither feels heavy to the other.

    And yes, of course we've had this discussion before but in my view we agree more than disagree and any disagreement is only about degree and I'm quite happy to agree to disagree about such a subtlety. Being a good follow, I'm sure you can follow that!

    Meanwhile if you watch video of milongueros their lean varies according to what they are doing and it rarely is exaggerated. But the best tip forward into the initiation of the walk and a good follow with a good forward and solid connection can really be driven from the chest before the leader has even moved a foot. That's what I'm always conscious of and try and make work with those few followers who connect in that way.

    It sounds, Peaches, as if you may be one. Hurray!

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