Tango Argentino > What steps/moves do you use (and how often)

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by dchester, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Occasionally I see posts that preach to us (leaders) about keeping it simple. I don't really know how most people perceive my dancing style, and I'm not even sure how I view my own style. I get feedback from people occasionally. Lately it's been more good than bad, (but it could just be from people being polite). For me, what steps/moves I do is determined by a variety of factors (the follower's skill level, the follower's embrace, my perceptions about what/how the follower likes to dance, the music, the available space, how well I feel I am dancing that night, my energy level, etc).

    In any case, I'm trying to spark a conversation about what people are doing, how often, and also from the followers, what do they feel is the "right mix" on a given occasion. So I took a swag at listing the moves I do in order from most likely to least likely (with the typical follower). Then I split the moves into three categories, grouped (again) by how likely I am to do the stuff.

    75 - 95%
    This is my Bread and Butter, as they say (the stuff that I do the most).

    • Walking
    • Rock steps
    • Turns / giros / mollinetes (sometimes with sacadas)
    • The Cross (Cruzada)

    5 - 25%
    In this category, it's likely that I'll do some of the things from this category in most tandas, but maybe not all of them.

    • Back Ochos
    • Front ochos
    • Pasadas
    • Walking in Cross system on the Dark (or closed) side
    • Ocho Cortado

    0 - 10%
    I may (or may not) do things from this category in the course of the milonga, but likely not every tanda.

    • Leg wraps
    • Volcadas
    • Calesitas
    • Single axis turns / close embrace colgadas

    I suspect that I do more turns than typical, and possibly less ochos, but who knows. What moves do others do, and how often?
  2. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I think simple is a relative term... If you can't do it with ease, it isn't simple. If its effortless for you to lead someone in it (especially a stranger) it might qualify as simple.

    Obviously only practice makes complicated moves effortless.

    So its not so much that the step itself is "simple", but that it is smooth and effortless for you to lead and execute. I think when folllowers say they want "simple",what they really mean is smooth and effortless (so they can focus on the other elements of the experience instead of figuring out the steps you're leading). For many leaders, only the so-called 'simple' moves are effortless. So the followers wish they would stick to those.

    But seriously complex fancy moves are a lot of fun too... when they are done with ease...

    Mostly I think followers at a social dance don't want to be used for practicing or working on some difficult manuever you are still doing sloppily or roughly. There are places to improve your moves.. the Saturday night dress up milonga isn't one of them. (Unless you have plenty of room and a willing partner.)

    In a social setting, followers want first and formost an enjoyable dance and all the elements that make one such as connection, musicality, flow, being transported, etc, not a learning experience in tango dancing. That means it has to flow smoothly and she has to feel like a success in partnering you in it. If she's guessing and stumbling, no matter how much she blames you in her head, she'll still feel rotten about her dancing and they way she probably looked for those minutes at least.

    So often, that translates to "KISS". (keep it simple stupid) Whatever constitutes the "simple" moves in your own personal vocabulary at this point in time.
  3. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    Let me see...

    *continually flowing into each other
    • Walks (with hesitations, pauses, syncopations, in the cross (3-tracks) etc., all depending on the music)
    • Ochos (Forward, backward)
    • Giros
    • Enrosques

    • Lapiz
    • Calecitas
    • Mordidas

    • Deep volcadas
    • Dance in open embrace

    • Colgadas
    • Underarm turns
  4. Joy In Motion

    Joy In Motion Active Member

    Just the fact that you say you base your repertoire in a given dance on a variety of factors says a lot - in a positive sense. As a follower, I can say that although this seems simple and obvious, a great number of leaders (perhaps the majority overall) do not do this. Dancing musically and being attentive and responsive to me are my two biggest desires in a dance partner, with the third being of course that the patterns and moves are clearly lead and feel comfortable. Apart from that, the type and frequency of particular moves is of little consequence to me. Part of the joy of dancing with different partners is that they are different. Some lead wonderful volcadas, others simply delightful ochos, and some leg wraps, but you're right that the majority of patterns are made up of the "bread and butter." Simplicity can be magical. The real giddiness for the follower comes from following a leader who has their own unique style that you can't find in anyone else. And whichever patterns and moves feel good on your body and capture you, please do them! You can also throw in some other things that maybe aren't your favorites for some variety and to see how I respond and maybe find a new connection - that is great too. The biggest thing is allowing your own body and personality, the music, and your partner to be your complete inspiration and motivation. As long as you are doing that, I would love to dance with you! :)
  5. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    These 2 posts speak volumes in answerign the question.
    I have a student who insists on telling me how good he is as he elaborates on every lead/step/movement that he did at some point during the milonga/class/practica. He refuses to understand me when I say to him, "If you can tell me everything that you did in such detail, then you haven't even begun to understand dance, let alone AT". What are the things that I do most? I don't know; I feel and I move. I'll have to ask my follows.
  6. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    Context is everything. Mostly walks and giros in a crowded milonga. Anything I can think of on a Sunday afternoon at a weekender :p
  7. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    there are a few things I dont have names for;

    vals walking turns
    simultaneous giro of leader and follower from an alongside step

    but basics are walking, cross, ocho cortado, giro, ochos, cortados and rock steps.
    plus caminadas and taspie

    parada and sandwich; never.

    boloes and wraps with the right person and adequate floor space.
    barridas; once in a blue moon,

    cadenas; on emptyish floors
  8. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi BTM, sounds ...

    ... interesting, but have no idea how it may look like: Each one with a vuelta-like giro on his own, or do you mean a molinete-like movement around one another? Would be nice if you can share an YT example.
  9. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I've heard this referred to as a double giro. This is what I assumed he meant (although after reading your post, I now realize there were other possibilities).
  10. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    YES its like pentominoes; so many different combinations. i dont have time to find an example but I think Carlitos and Mamie do them in his vals. R foot forwrad then giro to your right.

    has a real whee! factor

    #now I'm nowhere as good as this.. but I'm working on it ;)

  11. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

  12. New in NY

    New in NY New Member

    Curious why you avoid these.
  13. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I do a dance that is very simple, stepwise, but I like to think it is complex with nuance, sensitivity and expression.

    Mostly walks, rocks, ochos in front and back, crusadas, side steps. Milonetes to my left are common, and occasionally to my right, but only with a good partner. Sometimes I do a few sacadas. Rarely a small callecita. Boleos and ganchos; never.

    I dance entirely close embrace, so do nothing that needs a more open embrace. I don't do any steps for the sake of "show".
  14. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    ... Or do you mean the 1:20 thing, a pretty carminata of alteraciones?
  15. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    i HAVE never liked the appearance of the sandwich, and while I may slip in a parada in a practica again I feel it disrupts the flow of the dance.

    alterations; I do lots of these.
  16. Mario7

    Mario7 Member

    Interesting question...after much study of Milongueros on YouTube;
    The order of appearance is also the order of frequency;
    Walking Parallel footed with rock steps, change of timing and pauses
    Weight change without follow's change
    Walking Cross footed with follow doing back crosses
    Side step to the left
    Walking Cross footed on Follows right, to the cross and then...
    Ocho cortado..or a quarter giro to the right and back
    Giro to the left half way around and then another to complete
    Giro to the right half way around and then another to complete
    Walking outside follows right in parallel footing and then going to the cross
    Walking outside follows left in cross footing
    3 Sidesteps to the right
    Single axis half turn
    In no step is the close embrace ever broken...never! ...and close means close, no "V" salon stuff.
    What do you think? ...anyone want to dance??
  17. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

  18. Captain Jep

    Captain Jep New Member

    Hmm the second sacada I dont think Ive seen before (it looks more like an enlazada). Does it work for the woman or does it feel slightly unnatural?
  19. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    No it’s not unnatural but it’s very difficult to master. After you hook with your right foot you need to move forward and bring your left foot behind the right foot into a cruzada and then bring the right foot around for the second hook. It took a lot of practice to make it look so smooth and calm. The main secret to the step is moving forward after the first hook.
    Watch the video again and you'll see me move forward after the first hook.
  20. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I thought you two looked very nice. I liked some of the ocho variations.

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