Tango Argentino > What are you working on? v3

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by AndaBien, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I saw a nice little move recently and decided to try it out on the dance floor. It requires that I step outside my partner (ct-3, shall we call it?) to her R in parallel system. I realized that maybe 90% of the time I go outside I'm in cross system, just by habit. I wouldn't have thought the ratio was that lopsided.

    By incorporating parallel steps more often right there, I may discover some forgotten sequences, or maybe some new subtleties.
  2. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Nifty! It's interesting when watching someone else dance you suddenly remember, "Oh yeah! I know how to do that. Why don't I?"

    For me, I had a grueling "back to the basics" session with my teacher this past week. Uggg. so much I've let slide in basic technique. One thing the session made me think of more is the position of the leader's left arm and how it influences the follower, even in CE.
  3. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Do tell.
  4. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I have three technique things I need to fix that I think about while I'm dancing: 1) not letting my right arm collapse, particularly when I'm tense (oh, and trying not to get tense), 2) not letting my upper body fall back when I step backward, especially during ochos, and 3) keeping my free leg a little straighter, especially during ochos...yet keeping it relaxed enough at the same time so my leader can control it.
  5. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I'm still/continually tinkering with my walk(s). Also, for some strange reason, I'm getting more interested in ganchos.
  6. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I'll try. :)

    So the thing we worked on was being "present" and supportive with the left arm. Having tone without pressure, holding the follower's hand but not squeezing, etc. The trick for me seemed to be finding the muscle in my left shoulder blade and keeping it engaged the whole dance. I personally didn't feel much different (other than a twinge in my back after a bit of this :p), but my teacher told me it was huge for her... like instantly going from just dancing to being transported to the milongas of Argentina.

    As always, this was a personal correction in a private lesson, so this isn't something that everyone necessarily needs. But this isn't the first time either that I've heard an expert follower talk about the leaders left arm being a source of comfort/support.
  7. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    A lot of really good leaders have left arms just as she was working on with you, and it does come from the back (I always say the entire embrace comes from the back). It's cool that it clicked for you so quickly. It does feel quite different.

    I'm working on certain elements of walking again, and certain aspects of molinetes for my following. As a leader, I'm trying to get what tends to be called milonguero dip working without me having to think it through, and playing with sacadas a little more.
  8. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I like it when my partners give me a good turn, as opposed to a small one. One of my favorite partners is rather short, but she turns me farther than most. It makes the molinetes easier and more fun.
  9. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

  10. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    ONe of the things I've found to be very important in the leader's left arm, especially in CE, is where his hand is in relation to the plane of his body. IE: is his hand forward of his shoulder or in line with it.

    Quite a few leaders let their arm/hand drift too far forward of their own shoulder line, which means in a flat-on CE embrace, the follower's right arm is getting pushed too far back. (I sometimes wonder if this issue is the origin of V-embrace since it's actually more natural to have your arm slightly forward of your shoulder)

    You find out very fast how prevalent this is when you have a shoulder injury that prevents your arm from going past your shoulder (or even in line with it) without pain. It seems a number of leaders become interested in doing more CE and simply move in closer without adjusting anything but the distance from their partner, never considering that they need to hold their left arm further back.

    The exception is if he holds his hand so that his palm faces perpendicular to his shoulders (as opposed to front) IF his palm is turned, it actually becomes MORE uncomfortable for her for his arm/hand to be in line with his shoulders rather than forward. However, I wouldn't suggest holding the hand facing this way in CE at all..
  11. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Quite a few followers let their arm/hand drift too far behind their own shoulder line, which means in a flat-on CE embrace, the leader's left arm drifts forward.

    Seriously, partners should be meeting resistance with a equal amount of resistance.

    Actually, this rarely happens to me, so maybe "a few leaders" is correct, but when it does, I ask my partner why she has let it go back there.
  12. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Yes, Yes, OMG YES!

    I can't tell you the number of times I've come home from dancing with my right shoulder aching because of this.

    Regarding holding the palm turned towards the body, I usually try to just release my rand hand and hold onto his thumb.
  13. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    It's an interesting problem. I think in some cases the leader has to be the strong one, especially when he is the more experienced of the pair. It is more effort on your left upper back, but if you keep your arm as solidly connected (via engaged muscles) as you can to your torso, you can keep your arm still without pushing hers. In essence, using your strength to keep still rather than push forward.
  14. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Hi Guys, too often we say the word 'embrace', but forget to do it (or, maybe, never really understood how). Yes, if we meet, esp in a flat-on CE position, and hold each other rather than embrace the position, we create unwanted pressure/s, or influences onto our partners. If we truly meet each other with the intention of embracing, then we are not really holding each other at all, but wrapping/encircling/embracing each other's space and not pressing on each others' hands, etc. At least that's how I teach it. FWIW.

    Glad to be back.
  15. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I used to think that this was down to my tendency to allow my left arm to be too far forward (out of habit: it would be the right place in BR, because of the 'open at the top' shape), but I've concluded that too many followers (not all, obviously) just do not assert their presence in the embrace at all. It isn't a matter of there being no resistance: they're just not there. You can relax, and let the torso do all the work, in close embrace, but in any sort of open embrace, the arms are vital components in the frame being created (and I only use the expression 'frame' in the context of an open embrace), and without some tone in the arms, the leader can signal intention from the torso all he likes, but the follower will feel nothing.

    Interestingly, I don't suffer from the temptation to have the left arm 'active' and struggle to engage the right muscles in my back to keep things steady. I have my BR background to thank for this, and I think that it's a real shame that there isn't (at least not in UK - I don't know about elsewhere) the same travelling teacher/workshop tradition that tango has. A lot of tango leaders would benefit greatly from being able to spend a couple of hours at a good BR instructor's workshop, looking at issues of posture, carriage of weight, creating a frame and leading from movement of the body, not the arms. From my observations of other dancers, tango dancers are every bit as likely to have problems in this area as those in many other styles, and inexperienced tango dancers who have crossed over from salsa (or similar) seem to be the worst. Anyone coming away from such a workshop would have to apply the content to the tango context for themselves, (particularly the 'frame' bit), but it would be useful, all the same.

    [Note: In mentioning BR technique as having something of use to offer here, I am, of course, talking about people who can dance with reasonable technique as a result of proper training and practice: I'm not talking about the truly dreadful standard of the typical social dancer.]
  16. salthepal

    salthepal New Member

    I personally figured this out by practicing holding a ping pong ball under my left arm pit. If I lifted my left arm (and shoulder) too high, the ball falls. But if I squeezed my arm against my body too much, it hurt. I don't like to think about it in terms of "engaging muscles", mostly because when I engage muscles, they typically end up hurting. The key for me was to learn to relax the arms and shoulders without being limp like overcooked spaghetti.
  17. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Good to have you back. :bouncy:
    We have posters here now who probably don't even know who you are, you've been gone so long!
  18. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Merci beaucoup. Some might say that this could be a good thing that they don't. :friend:
  19. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    These are fine, yet the point still remains that this approach requires a meeting of the 2 persons which will always create a press/resist affect. Again, I submit that the embrace not be viewed as a meeting of 2 persons but as 2 persons encompassing the same center of space. This takes away all tension, all pressure, pressing, meeting, resisting, asserting, receiving,

    Let's use the example of a 2 small orbs, across from each other, circling around an invisible magnetic center. The magnetic center is the energy of the partnership, and the 2 small balls are the partners, drawn together and encircling each other in an embrace of the space by intent and each other by default. You constantly move around each other, yet with each other, and because of one or the other's energy imparted the other to do so.

    It is something that my students are finding quite enlightening in the art of lead/follow. Now, I must say that it is mainly applicable to AT. It doesn't work in the same manner in all of the BR dances --some, but not all.
  20. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I'm afraid that I don't agree at all. It all sounds nice (and mysterious and sophisticated), but my partner moves because she feels a force acting on her that calls for movement. If I could lead by intention alone (ie I thought that I would lead a side step but just stood completely still), and she actually took the step, then I might assume that there was some magnetic and invisible force at play. If I could harness that force, I could apply it equally in every single dance style: more than that - I could use it to get people to step out of my way as I go about my business in busy shops or banks. Queues would just dissolve in my sight - it would be great!

    If I lead through rotation, then pressure is applied through whatever points of contact I have. If that pressure is met with matching resistance, then the energy is immediately converted to movement in my partner's body. If it isn't, then my energy gets at least partly absorbed (eg in my partner's arm getting pushed behind her back) and movement is less fluid and takes more effort and feels less comfortable.

    And I'm not magnetic, and I'm not drawn to my partner by some invisible force. Just about the only thing I can agree with is that we move

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