Tango Argentino > What tango do we dance?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Gssh, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    In another thread I mentioned that it is difficult to figure out who to study with because people don't articulate clearly what type of tango they dance. I am consciously avoiding the word "style" here, because what I am trying to talk about is to a large extend independent of styles - I have found that there are teachers who are "milonguero" or "nuevo" who have more in common with each other than others who both are "milonguero". My favourite example for this is Chicho - I see his dance and I see a very close resemblance in the underlying technology to what is generally thought of as the downtown milonguero style, despite the fact that it looks and uses space very differently.

    And of course another issue is that everybody uses a lot of different technologies in each dance - actually I think staying rigidly within one technique would lead to boring tangos. A lot of what we see as new developments is tango seems to be taking one of the "cool moves" that are used to play, and use it as the standard technique of our dance - and as soon as this is the baseline of the dance we use different things to spice the dance up, and the cycle repeats.

    This does not really help us talking about it. There is of course the question if talking about it is necessary: at milongas both the space and the crowd tend to somewhat homogenize the dance, and people know whose dance they are compatible with, and whose they aren't.

    I think there are two reasons we need to talk about it: First, we want to be able to talk about teachers and milongas we don't know yet to be able to figure out if it likely to be worth the investment of time and money to explore them. This is an issue when travelling and attending workshops. Second, and probably more importantly, when working with a somebody we don't know very well at a practica it is basically impossible to work and debug things if we are not able to articulate what the baseline assumptions of our dance are. And there is a third reason - if we dance socially it helps with offering a pleasant dance when we understand what our partner is doing (and it also helps with enduring an unpleasant dance if we don't have to ascribe things to malice ;) ), and it helps with calming down beginners who tend to feel that it is their fault when things don't work exactly like they worked in class.
    [EDIT: and of course it is good for talking on message boards...]

    I propose one of the ways of thinking about this that is useful is to think about what the default state of the couple is. I think there are basically 3 types:
    1) Inward: the follower moves into the leader when it is possible. The couple is has the most energy when they are standing still, and relaxes into movement.
    2) Neutral: the follower does not move in relationship to the leader. Every movement is a new exchange of impulse that ends again in neutral
    3) Outward: the follower moves away from the leader. The couple is neutral when they are standing still, and gathers momentum that needs to be dissipated or soaked up when moving.

    These three are mostly independent from open/close or milonguero/salon/nuevo, and determine what movement feels comfortable, and what works.

    -everybody uses all three approaches all the time, but there is usually one that is their baseline
    -this is very leader centric because I mostly lead (my following is way under par) - a follower will probably describe these three different states differently?
  2. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    I would really like to share this but i cannot, i do not get the idea. I suppose my observations have been different on my way in tango or i gave the observations different explanations and values.

    Could you explain some details in Chichos dance as you see it - the milonguero principle and different use of space.

    The default states: could you please tell an example or show a video example. How a movement is done in these 3 ways?
  3. TomTango

    TomTango Active Member

    I can kind of see what you're saying. I like the use of the word "technologies" here by the way!

    One big difference I've seen from a lot of teachers is whether they advocate you put your attention: the front or the back. A front lead/follow doesn't need the arms and uses just the chest for communication. A back lead/follow uses the connection of the leaders hand around the spine of the follow. I see this sort of thing pop up regardless of a teacher's style.

    On a side note, one thing that drives me crazy is a teacher who tries to convert you to their style in a one-off private lesson. If we're just getting one lesson together, it'd be way more useful to me for you to work within the style I have and teach me something in that space. Don't spend an hour trying to get me to change my whole lead structure when we're not going to get another lesson together.
    Mladenac likes this.
  4. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    I just tried to find videos that would illustrate this well, but i can't find ones that make this difference clear.

    I think the easiest example to play around with this is the ocho cortado.
    1) Inward: The follower pushes into the space of the leader. When the leader opens up the right side and gives up his center the follower takes it,, and comes to a stop when the couple is parallel and coiled again - the follower would move more towards the leader axis, but can't because the leader is not getting out of the way. The leader reorienting his shoulder line reorients the followers shoulder line. The coiled energy of between the leaders axis and the followers axis is maintained, and grounded throught the followers right leg, the left leg "snaps" to the cross to mantain the alignment of the torsos when the axis shifts laterally to the right of the right leg.
    2) Neutral: The follower moves into the space to the right of the leader that the leader has opened up to maintain the alignment of torsos. When the leader stops his circular movement the follower feels the stop, and stops her movement too, staying on the double axis. When the leader reverse the circular movement the follower reverses, too. While stepping to the cross in that reversal is common it is essentially a adornment, and can be replaced by a forward cross or even a forward step without changing the geometry of the movement.
    3) Outward: The follower picks up the momentum the leader has generated by opening up the space to the right and back, and accelerates into to within the constraint of the embrace. The follower maintains and amplifies this momentum and attempts to move all the way around the leader, but "bounces" against the barrier made up by the leaders right arm, and rebounds back into the cross.

    Another way to see this is to look at what adornments couples do in the ocho cortado (and this is more ambivalent because a lot of people excert effort to do adornments that they think look cool independent of what technology the adornments are indicative of (kinda like cars having dedicated compressors for air-horns while trucks power them form the brake compressor that is there anyway))
    1) Inward: Moving in and out of the cross either rhythmically or (more often just) rapidly to emphasize the moment where the axis crosses the followers right leg and the geometry of the couple is maintained despite that
    2) Neutral: chachas or repeated swivels while moving to the cross to show off the followers sensitivity and ability to reverse directions and maintaining the couples geometry despite the fact that the leader suddenly changed his mind
    3) Outward: Emphasizing the elasticity of the rebound by swaying/letting go of the hips during the rebound to show off how the follower is able to pick up and work with that sudden reversal of energy

    And again, these are mostly theoretical endpoints and "real" dance happens mostly in the greys, but i have found it an useful tool when trying to understand how to make different teachers ideas work/ what is stealable for me.
  5. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Gssh, you always post the most interesting ideas!

    My thoughts:
    As a follower, I don't have as much trouble as you seem to be having in this regard. I think followers have to sort this stuff out fairly early on in order to get enough tandas in an evening. If we aren't able to adapt to the various styles/technologies/leads, we will spend even more time sitting than we already do. When I teach followers, I tell them that they will most likely prefer some techniques over others, but that it behooves them to become comfortable following them all (keeping in mind that bad technique is not a "style"). Depending on the level of the follower, I will try to expose them to variations on how basic moves may be led.

    For instance, I personally am not a fan of leads "from the back" (as someone called it). However, I do find though that even leaders who lead with their chest will use pressure from their right hand for specific things. It always puzzles me because they don't need to. I attribute it to simply not knowing the way to lead that move from the chest.

    The most common example I experience is someone who is "milonguero" most of the time and then will use their hand/arm to lead me into a very pivoted ocho for the last step in an ocho cortado sequence. Equally baffling is the leader who is the opposite... rarely uses milonguero techniques but aggressively prevents me from pivoting that particular ocho so that I draw into the cross in a more milonguero style (most likely assuming that if he isn't forceful, I will pivot automatically). Having someone mix the styles this way is far more disconcerting than dancing with a leader who is using a less familiar or comfortable style (to me), but doing so consistently.

    As to de-bugging things at practicas, IME, many followers are totally clueless about what a leader should be doing. They don't know anything about leading unless they have made an effort to learn about it specifically. They often only know that what the leader IS doing isn't working. Come to think of it, that often goes for leaders too.

    Also IME, most leaders decide fairly quickly that the follower is at fault for a problem and simply tell her what she should have done. They aren't interested in her feedback in WHY she did what she did. I have seen leaders in my community "correct" the most experienced and skilled followers even when that leader has been dancing for less than 1/3 the time of that follower (and have experienced this myself). Unfortunately many women are also quick to assume that they messed up and try to take in every comment given by leaders, even when the comments directly contradict each other!
  6. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I totally agree! Followers get this too. I've become extremely picky about who I take a lesson from. I've also learned to tell an instructor up front that I have this or that physical limitation and they have to help me work around it so that it doesn't impact the leader, regardless of what is "correct".

    I learned to do this after a teacher (one of those young, leggy, ballerina types with the perfect pointed feet) told me not to open my hip or tilt my pelvis to reach back. My leg won't go behind me while keeping my weight forward unless I do one or the other due to the way my femur is set in my hip socket.

    The really odd thing about her harping on this was that my backwards walking has typically been praised by every other instructor. Even as a beginner I was told that my back walk was unusually nice for someone at my level. But I was doing them all "wrong" from her perspective.

    My personal experience has been that young show dancers have less ability to teach within the framework of "aging social dancer" bodies. The people who look the best in demos are frequently NOT the best teachers even though they get the most students.
  7. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    This really feed into why i think it is important for dancers to think about this - we often don't reflect on why and how the dance actually works. Even really advanced leaders often don't have a working framework for how to integrate new figures into their dance, and how the figures they use work within their dance. And a lot of teachers make it worse by talking about "this is the lead for...". I see these things a lot, and i always wonder if this is a remnant of a workshop, or a class, or the first time they managed to make something work. A lot of things are leadable/followable with different technologies (e.g. the ocho cortado is a perfectly fine figure in all versions, but they are essentially different figures with different leads), but we often stick with the first technology we have been exposed to, independent of what else we are doing. I think the fact that leaders are often completely clueless of what they should be doing, and why that works in which context makes workshops often quite useless, and i also feel that it hurts non-experienced followers. We often claim that there are no figures in tango, and that if a follower can follow anything, and that a leader can lead anything if they are just "communicating" , and that is just not true - if the basic movement framework is different it will be painful, and won't work. And being at a milonga and getting nonstop contradictory feedback is the most frustrating experience in the world. So people retract into their clans where they understand how people dance.
  8. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    You know, this is a completly different issue, but i think it has nothing to do with "young show dancer" versus "aging social dancer". The teacher is just wrong. Well, not wrong, but there is a split developing in tango followers technique because of the influx of ballet and modern dance trained teachers - they move different from how - for lack of a better word - tango trained teachers move. I had a long discussion with one of my friends who is professionally trained in classical ballet and in graham technique (so i hope this is not completely made up by me up - as a leader i am aware that a lot of my thinking about followers technique essentially second hand (my following is awful)), and what we think is happening is that these followers don't realize that tango moves differently from modern dance, even though it uses similar language when talking about it. Basically in tango the core is higher and the legs start at the lower edge of the ribcage, and we open and close the pelvis and move the hips, and move the legs using the diagonal muscles in the back, while in ballet the core extends down to the pelvis and the legs start at the hip socket and are moved using the thighs. I.e. i think an influx of people with ballet training have created an acceptance of movement patterns that actually are not traditionally associated with tango, but they are slowly taking over because that is where so many dancers come from. People who want to improve their tango walk should look at salsa and aim for (a subtle version) of that technique. (which is even more true for leaders).

    And these two movement technologies are even less compatible than the different leading technologies are.....

    Though even in BA this style of movement is dying out (maybe even more in BA than anywhere else - BA professional tango is to some extent a second career for people who trained their whole life for a career in modern dance, ballet, or folk dance - note how many people start dancing as infants and discover tango in their twenties - so of course we get (mostly sadly unreflected) crossover in movement technologies). I personally don't think that this movement technology is a good fit for partner dances. I miss the time in the 90's where nuevo was the thing, and there was at least here an influx of dancers who came from belly dance - their movement habits and the outward/leading from the back technology fit really nicely together.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
  9. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    You aren't dreaming this. I can attest to the difference in how ballet and tango are different. There are other things as well, but the way in ballet the pelvis is part of the torso and in tango it is part of the legs is a major difference. (another difference is that ballet tends to use a straight standing leg and bent free leg, while tango uses a soft knee in the standing leg and reaches with a straight leg... in this way, skating is actually a better cross training)

    However, I stand by my assertion that some of the young limber teachers don't relate well to aging bodies (just you wait dearie!... old lady cackling ensues!) For instance in this situation, she herself wasn't reaching from her thigh; she was just able to project her leg back without her pelvis tipping forward into a swayback because she had more flexibility in her hips. Her pelvis was aligned properly when standing.

    My pelvis is tipped even when standing upright. In order to move my leg behind me at all, I have to either tip more or open my hip. So the tip seems fairly pronounced visually (and I have a booty and that makes it look even more like I'm sticking my tush out and arching my back) MOST followers can extend their leg back without tipping their pelvis as much as I do and I'm sure it seems like a mistake in technique... it isn't; it's necessary for me to step back. If I stand with my pelvis "properly aligned", I have to have my knees bent because my femurs project forward. This has gotten more pronounced and harder to adjust as I've gotten older and developed tendonitis.

    There is a limited amount that even the most flexible person can have their leg behind them beyond the straight alignment of the pelvis. If you look at contortionists, even they have their leg only slightly beyond alignment with their pelvis and it is their back that is doing all the bending. For me however, there is always a slight "closed" angle in my pelvis/thigh alignment. I couldn't get that through to her.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
  10. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    Think that you are leading a CW giro and want to turn her to a CCW giro on a front cross step. Sometimes a follower starts to turn but on half way she makes a bouncing sidestep before she goes to the CCW giro. This could be about bad lead or bad balance/turning techniques of the follower. Now I thought that this could also be about a mishmatch of the technologies. or?
  11. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    Exactly! That is what i am thinking about when i talk about "debugging". Of course this is one of the subtle things that needs to be experienced, and anything else is mostly pure speculation, but i and my partner played around with this, and the most likely scenario seems to be that the follower expects the couple to be shaped more than the leader provides:
    The situation is this: We are doing a CW giro. At the followers front cross the leader reverses the direction, and the follower turns their sidestep to the left into a second front cross. (in the ideal case). In the case we don't want the follower does not do this front ocho, but when the direction is reversed the follower ends up collecting (well, they really would like to do a sidestep to the right, but their weight is on the right), and then doing a sidestep to the right, and then they segue into the giro front cross.

    Lets think about this within all these frameworks:
    This sequence is tricky - i can't get enough dissocation to reverse directions after a front cross step - it is much easier to reverse from CW to CCW after a back cross step.
    This almost guaranteed a collect for me.
    This works, but as most things in this technology it is pretty much the followers choice how they shape the couple when they reverse. It is much prettier when they don't sidestep, so in this case it is in some sense bad follower technique - they should be aware of how to shape things prettily. In another sense it is perfectly fine - it is their choice in how they shape the couple while maintaining the alignment of the axes with each other.
    (interestingly the big temptation for me as the leader here is turning this into an outward/outward move - i can "catch" the followers impulse, and it works nicely, but it is somewhat against the spirit of the exercise - tough it is a great example for how in reality we switch technologies all the time)
    this is beautiful. whoever thought of this combination probably danced this way. The followers impulse gets picked up by the leader, redirected, and with a shwoosh the follower is reversed into the other front cross

    What happens with mismatches?
    i think the only set of mismatches that is interesting is the outward ones - there doesn't seem to be a good way of leading this as a inward or an neutral leader.

    outward/inward - well, this is somewhat unpleasant: the leader will feel that the follower is heavy, in his way, and doesn't move. the follower will feel at the same time pushed around and confused about where they are supposed to be. That said, the figure works fine if the leader pushes the follower around the turn using their right arm. There is no momentum that they could redirect, so it is all force, but it works (in a fashion)
    outward/neutral - somewhat better - there is at least some impulse from the follower, and while the follower will not give a lot of energy the leader will be able to make up for this by precise timing.

    So, in summary:

    If the leader is an inward leader it is a style mismatch - this leading technology makes it very difficult to lead this sequence (at least for me)

    If the leader is a neutral leader it is (somewhat) the followers problem: they should understand enough about maintaining the geometry of the couple to realize that a front cross step, front cross step is the best/prettiest way of maintaining the geometry. OTOH if she does cross step, doubletime collect - sidestep, cross step she needs about the same about of time, and it is a valid way of solving the situation the leader generated

    If the leader is an outward leader (or uses outward technology for this specific step) then it is a leaders problem - this works fine great with outwards followers, with a bit of subtle timing well with neutral followers, and if one is willing to force the follower through the reversal while they are confused about what happens it is possible to do this.

  12. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    Re: inward, inward: i just watched a milonga video for another thread, and i realized that there might be way to make this work: when the follower does the forward cross the leader steps into them so that the followers right foot is between the leaders right and leg and does a single axis turn around that base once the follower has fully transferred the weight onto it, and then steps out CCW, and the follower step into the leader with a left front step

    (i have not actually tested this, but i think it will work - it avoids having to do a 180 degree dissociation to do a 180degree turn and does footwork instead)
  13. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    If we stay on the CW giro and and the turn to a CCW giro on front cross. And we assume that my lead for this turn is ok :)

    I expect the follower to stop advancing on the giro circle when I stop the turn of my axis before we turn. Am I a neutral leader here? Am I assuming that the follower is a neutral one? She knows the geometry of the abrazo and stays when I stop.

    When a follower is not stopping but continues to a sidestep I have thought that she is loading her front cros step with too much energy; that she is not able to absorb the extra energy and is therefore forced to take an extra step to manage the situation. If the follower is an outward she needs a boundary of my right arm to stop for the turn. Teachers have asked me to provide it and i understand now that if I provide it I can manage more of the variations of this situation.
  14. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    Gssh you are talking about geometry and that image created the following translations of your statements. I am still unsure if I have got your ideas but here we go:

    If we look the dancing couple from above there is a line, a center line, between the dancers from the joined hands to the point on the closed side where the arms are crossing.

    1. The follower is pushing towards the center line
    2. The follower is returning the leaders impact towards the center line - there is a balance between the dancers
    3. In this case the follower is pushing away from the center line

    According this the volgadas are the special toys for nr 1 dancers and colgadas for the 3. :)
  15. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    According this the volgadas are the special toys for nr 1 dancers and colgadas for the 3. :)[/QUOTE]

    I tend to visualize this slightly differently (based on the idea that there is a line connecting the dancers axes - which would be perpendicular to your centerline), but yes, that is the idea, except for the "balance" part. I think of nr 1 and nr 3 as the cases where the dancer counterbalance each other (in nr 1 to keep one of them from "pushing" the other one backwards, in nr. 3 to keep one of them from pulling the other one, while in case 2 there is no "default weight" which means that there is nothing to balance - the dancers don't excert a force on each other) (of course this does not really work this way - this is just imagery that if a nr.3 couple lets go of the embrace they will not just drift apart to the opposite edges of the dancefloor, but if a nr.3 leader loosens the embrace the follower will move outwards to fill the embrace to the max, whil if a nr1 leader loosens the embrace the follower will stay where they are, or even move inwards to improve the connection again) the embrace they will in general

    1) the dancers move/have energy towards each other along this line, and counterbalance each other through the embrace to maintain the line
    2) the dancers move/have energy independently from each other in a way that maintains this line as a more abstract concept, but there is no balancing each other - they are independent
    3) the dancers move/have energy away from each other and counterbalance each other through the embrace to maintain the line

    exactly! and conversely, for a nr 1 dancer a colgada does not naturally flow from their technique and requires either extra setup, or needs to be practiced as a set figure. And similar for a nr 3 dancer and a volcada. I think almost all of the special toys we have can be traced to some dancer showing of their mastery of their technique, and almost all of them make the most sense within that technical framework, and become more and more set figures the further away a dancer is from that technology.

    So, where does this leave nr 2 dancers - don't they have natural toys? - well, first i don't think there are true nr2 dancers (outside of "leading/following without touching each other" exercises) - there is always some degree of mechanical coupling. They can use ALL the toys, and it doesn't require them to step outside their framework. It also requires them to be very sensitive, because while 1 and 3 use energy consistently they have to work with constantly shifting impulses and hints from each other. Otoh, i feel that some of the toys loose a lot of their omph when done using independent energy instead of counterbalancing. E.g. i feel that a nr 1 ocho cortado or a nr 3 gancho are (to me) very viscerally satisfying moves, while in nr 2 they are more adornments than something that explores the way the couple moves as a unit and reacts to changing geometries.
  16. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    Yes I know the axis-axis line and I have used that image too when I was teaching. I became aware now of the fact that I trained those dancers to be good members of the first category exactly according to your image.

    On other hand I remember how one of the local instructors was shouting to the followers GIVE me the BACK! He must have been demanding the follower to perform a 3. This must have been somewhere 2000-2004.

    I wonder if there are some differences between different generations of dancers?
  17. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    On a workshop I had an opportunity to walk with the visiting teacher who was an experienced follower. Afterwards my peers asked how it had been and I answered that I could not remember. There had not been any feeling of resistance and there was no feeling of losing her so her response for my caminata lead must have been exactly the same as my lead had been. I was deeply impressed. She must be a skillful 2!

    I think a skillful 1 can give a strong feeling of presence in a caminata.

    I am not sure I am skillful enough to enjoy a caminata with a 3. Whirling giro or a golgadas Yes!
  18. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member


    I'm open to both possibilities when I lead this. I even dance with women who will do this differently (forward crossing step followed by forward crossing step vs. collect/change foot and sidestep) depending on the music and the cadencia of my lead.

    Same thing when you lead an "ambiguous" ocho cortado that can become two slow (half-)ochos or can be interpreted as a cortado. I _can_ make it unambiguous but I don't always _want_ to. It's my job to cope with whatever happens...
  19. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I was going to write about how well-intentioned but ultimately how pointless
    all this very complicated discussion is. Especially as the way I dance is
    the Buenos Aires dance of the senses (which doesn't seem to fit into
    any one of your three constructs) rather than this methodically,
    technically constructed dance you are talking about.

    Until I read this:

    Yes indeed and the "World Championship" is furthering
    and spreading it around the World.
    Since I dance a dance which can claim to have a certain relationship to Salsa,
    to a certain extent I agree.
    I wish you would drop the technologies term, this isn't a technology at all.
    The Buenos Aires way you say is disappearing came about naturally
    from the need to dance the music in a partnership on a crowded floor.
    You've lost me again, how is belly dancing "leading from the back"?

    Never mind, I'll throw something else into the melting pot.
    You've talked about Salsa as a guide. I've often thought that one way
    to look at dancing in an embrace is to start as a free form, freestyle
    improvised solo dance of the music and then continued in the embrace
    of two bodies forming a natural partnership of one body and four legs.
    jantango likes this.
  20. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    Well, i don't really see a dissonance between experiencing "the Buenos Aires dance of the senses" and asking myself what the reasons are why the dance looks like this, or what it looks like, and - perhaps more importantly - what we want it to look like, and why.

    There is the milonga, and the practica, and then there is the time before the practica when we think about what we want to work on. The practica is not the "crowded floor" - and time spent with a teacher or a partner or a student alone on in a studio is even less so. So, what are we doing there? Just be doing an exercise, by practicing anything we have accepted a method, a theoretical construct. If we are reflecting about it, if we are talking about it is a completely different story, but there is ALWAYS a method, a technical construction.

    I don't think that the dance is methodically, technically constructed - i think that it makes sense and there are reasons for things, and that it comes from somewhere. When you say that the buenos aires way comes about naturally from the need to dance the music in a partnership on a crowded floor you are actually more optimistic than me about how teleological this is - i believe that there were a lot of choices made at different times, that a lot of things were fashionable (or not) for random reasons, and that some of these things stuck around randomly and others didn't - equally randomly - and just because things look natural in retrospect it doesn't mean that there is only one possible path. And i think that today there are multiple tangos that exist parallel - just like in the past. I have been told that it used to be possible to tell which neighborhood of BA people came from by how they danced, and even today you sometimes see somebody who is e.g. much more canyuenge influenced. And while i am not too fond of this wide angle between the partners - i prefer parallel - i can still acknowledge that in some ways their style is more correct/natural for the milongas that have canyuenge influences than what i dance.
    And i am trying to learn from these "milongas of the other neighbourhoods" - i am not trying to do something new, i just want to see, and understand what is danced.

    Maybe you are right, and talking is not the right way to approach it - but we are on a internet forum, so there is not much else we can do .

    What alternative would you suggest? I have actually struggled with this for a while - in my head it is mostly something like "the default way a dancer moves, leads,follows, and relates to the music based on his expectations/experiences of how the dancefloor looks like, what music is usually played, how they move, and what their partners tend to move like" - but that is a bit long even for somebody as verbose as me ;)

    It isn't at all, sorry, this was just a random thought that popped in my head when i was writing, but i had the experience that the way that belly dancing approaches the way the body moves, and which people who have studied for a long time have ingrained in their body, works very well with the way that "leading from the back" approaches the body.

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