Tango Argentino > What steps should never be taught?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Dave Bailey, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Geez, usually it's the back step that the heretics get all upset about.

  2. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    I know teachers who teach the 8CB without the 1. So it is a 7CB, except when you reach the 8 you cannot do a 2, so they teach a 3 instead. So it becomes a 6CB, except the first one which is a 7CB. And they changed the counts as well, their 4 is our 5.
    Needless to say, their students have a hard time when they switch to another teacher.
  3. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I was thinking that too. My teaching society's 'definition' for the 8CB has the back step interchangeable with a 'one beat hesitation (ie you start on 2 to the side), or a point to the side, without weight, before closing again (in double time), both of which I prefer to that back step. Surely the side step needn't be very big? I prefer to think of it in terms of predominantly forward step, with a sideways component, which in BR technique we would call a fwd step preparing to step outside partner.
  4. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Good gracious; do you hobble your students? as far as I'm concerned my sidestep defines my dance lane, we're not in BsAs milonga after all. The only place where I might need to adjust this is Cambridge when it gets busy and there are two definite lines of dance, and since I can see to my left its pretty obvious when its not a good idea to take a side step.

    If you over emphasise caution in beginners you will get a bunch of unconfident woolly leaders. I take the view that long steps instill confident clear leading, once you have that you can start making smaller steps.
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Hmmm... I've always considered the 8CB to be a teaching tool, not meant to really be danced, because it combines so many distinct and separate fundamentals. The point to the side is, IMO, more of an advanced move which doesn't belong there. Not to mention wrt floorcraft, it could be considered just as dangerous to be sticking your feet out in a point as it would be to take a backstep. Which brings me to another point (and pet peeve)--the back step can be perfectly safe if it is tweaked. There is nothing that says the back step has to be big and huge--it can be a back step of only a few inches. Surely a few inches isn't going to present a problem.
  6. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Basically, my problem with the 8CB - even without the insanely-stupid backstep - is that it creates a big gap to your left, which you leave open for several steps, and you then step blindly back into that space. "Blindly", because the woman's head is likely to be in your way so you're stepping into a blind spot.

    And there's every possibility that you'll then crash into another couple who have decided to come up along your right hand side.

    There's a variation of this one I learnt, with a diagonal sidestep - there's a review here, with a diagram which hopefully makes it clear. That version opens up far less space. But it still opens a little.
  7. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Would that work? Hmmm... may be worth a try :)

    Sure - but I simply emphasized that confidence it in context of forward steps rather than side steps. You don't have to do sidesteps for anything, unless you want to.
  8. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Sure, but as I mentioned elsewhere, people don't listen to what you tell them to do. If you teach the 8CB, people will do the 8CB in social dancing.
  9. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I assume you mean a big gap to the right?

    Actually if I dance to a cruzada using what amounts to 2-5 of the 8CB, I do more-or-less do what the diagram suggests, directionally. My leader's side step is taken not to the side, but diagonally forward (with the feeling of stepping around my partner). I would hope not to have ever stepped sideways far enough for any one to try anything as rude as to pass me on my blind side, particularly as I will have taken care that no one could consider that I have, myself, changed lanes.
  10. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I am reminded of a class I took last year which was all about dancing in tiny spaces. Really fun class. The teacher set up an obstacle course with extremely narrow lanes going around the room. Not even enough room for a big sidestep, much less a full giro. The teacher told us to dance, and we HAD to use more than just walking. What most of us figured out very quickly is that when quarters are that tight, it becomes all about the angles. If you aim diagonal to the right instead of forward, you can get a full sidestep going down line of dance, or even a small backstep. And still follow the rules about diagonal steps and collecting. You could even do a full 8CB in a tiny space, it'll just be very zigzaggy.

    The same goes for fancy steps too. If I begin a giro to my right when I am facing backwards and a little toward the center of the floor, I could follow it with a sacada or gancho into the turn and make the step go down line of dance.

    People just need to be taught more geometry imo. ;)
  11. salthepal

    salthepal New Member

    I wanna take that class too! Actually, I think I might try to teach it at some point! I have one guy in my beginner class who's a move monster (like the Cookie Monster, but for tango moves). Whenever I'm going over the technique of any movement, he just nods his head and asks for the next move. An obstacle course sounds like it might slow him down and make him think about the quality of the movement instead of just more moves!
  12. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Oh yes... :oops:
  13. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    I've done that a couple of different ways in workshops:
    - The serious version: cordoned off a tiny area of the studio and get them to dance in this small area.
    - The fun version: I teach in a gym studio which has those big balancing ball things on racks. I got those out and used them as obstacles. I then got the balls rolling around randomly and got students to try to avoid those obstacles. Shoulda filmed that one :D
  14. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    That hasn't been my experience, as long as the teacher explains that it's a teaching tool, and not the basis of the dance. I was taught the 8CB and I've never used it during milongas.
  15. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Ha Ha! I wonder who you mean? The Birmingham scene is very odd.
  16. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Strictly speaking from a business perspective, if his his milonga and classes are well attended, then he is correct. Now the challenge for the people that don't like his milongas (and I likely would be in that camp), is to create a market/demand for a more traditional tango environment.
  17. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    IME what happens most is the leader THINKS he's led one because he creates a space for her to get her leg in. But he doesn't follow it up with anything that leads her to move her leg into the space. He plants his leg apart from his other leg and figures she'll see it and hook her leg through his.

    This is the flip side of followers who execute a gancho by lifting their leg and shooting it through an opening they see. Since they often don't get led properly for it, they don't learn the feeling of the interruption of movement that results in a hook. The leader expects her to do it on her own, and she learns to do just that when she sees his leg there.
  18. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    This is exactly how my first teacher taught it, but I've never seen anyone else around here do it that way! :D I was going to try to post about it as a solution, but your diagram makes it far more clear than I could have in words.
  19. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    As that's the only way I know it, this perhaps explains why everyone else seems so dead against it. It's quite harmless really, but not very interesting...
  20. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    The way my teacher did this, it wasn't really a step around the follower. Because he pivots to be angled to the wall, it steps directly side from his body, but at a 45 degree angle to line of dance. Am I being clear? I

    f you took away the line of dance, it would not be considered a diagonal step. It is to his side. It is only diagonal to the perimeter of the dance floor, not to his body or direction of travel for the step itself in relation to the couple.

    It also eliminates the need to do the resolution after the cross to get back over to the right and avoid slowly migrating to the center of the room.

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