Tango Argentino > Whats the best way not to forget combinations?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by wadpro, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    I agree with sub.

    but movements (combinations) without body awareness of himself and his partner would be only exercise not tango.
    when I do not dance I visualize figures and possibilities of sequence of figures according to the music.
    So learning essentials first and later use imagination.

    I danced with ladies that know figures but not how to dance. It is more like wrestling.
  2. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Agree wholeheartedly.

    I also have this theory that there's a progression in learning. You learn the basic steps (forward, side, back, diagonal, pivot), you learn patterns as patterns...and then if you keep dancing you get to really understand how the patterns are nothing more than the very most basic steps and pivots. I would argue that this probably happens even if the teacher does not mean to teach the pattern as a pattern (or actively tries to teach it otherwise). Because, really, in showing how the basic steps can be linked together, the teacher will show a pattern. Human nature says that people will probably learn it in that sequence. Only after comfort with that sequence happens, and comfort with other aspects of the dance happens, and full understanding of the dance and blah blah blah, will people be able to see it for what it is...that is, one of the most basic steps and pivots. When that happens, I would imagine it becomes easier to pull sequences apart and make new things and truly improvise.

    Big grain of salt to note: I'm not a leader and have never taught, so all of this could be complete rubbish. Feel free to disregard entirely or tell me how completely off-base I am with these thoughts. :D
  3. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    I noticed that some teachers take care more about patterns than improvisation.
    So you have robot follower and leaders.

    figures and combinations are not so important as connection between partners.
    Having connection on both sides leading and following is much easier.
    When leader feels comfortable enough he will be able to improvise.
    He will be able to feel partner more, music, himself and that will make him a great dancer.
  4. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Naturally, you are right Mladenac, but, for a pose final or a fine eye catcher inbetween one has to learn and remember steps.
  5. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    steps in tango are consequence of torso movement (linear or circular).
    So as many other I do not learning steps in tango.

    He said about memorizing combinations

    Many people has already written that he should not memorize.

    There are building blocks in tango, that are extending last one.
    When he learn to control his body and feel his partner he can play with musicality.

    When he is not dancing he can explore by visualization of dance with old and new possibilities and relation of his and partner's body.

    BTW it seems that he has pattern based teacher.
  6. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    One has to learn movement; the steps will come naturally.
  7. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    I agree with you Peaches. First you must learn the steps and practice them until muscle memory takes over then you can improvise. I always see novice dancers improvising before they take time to learn the basics.
    You can build a better mouse trap but first you need to understand how the old one works.
  8. tndance2008

    tndance2008 New Member

  9. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the DF

    Firstly, welcome to the DF. Secondly, normally newcomers would not be allowed to post active links, but this was allowed b/c it is relevant to the thread. Lastly, Though this is an extensive list of steps, it does not accurately depict AT. It is inevitable that steps/patterns become such by rote, but either of these may be altered/improvised into something else at a whim, which is the essence of the dance. It is w/ this that I defer to an earlier post....

    Originally Posted by opendoor [​IMG]
    ...in between one has to learn and remember steps.

    One has to learn movement; the steps will come naturally.
  10. tangonuevo

    tangonuevo New Member

    I've found that combinations can actually be quite disadvantageous for me. I may be slow and stupid, but by the time I've mastered the technique required to do any 'move', I've cemented the knowledge of surrounding opportunities presented by the move. However, if I learn 'combinations', I find that I delude myself into thinking that I can actually lead them in a comfortable and clear manner. Not so.
  11. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Except that there are only 5 moves in Tango. Pretty much any sequence you practice is a combination of those moves. So isn't it better to get those moves sorted, then you will be able to put them together any way you want?

    I was doing a demonstration (of musicality) on Sunday, and afterwards one of the students asked me how I'd done "that move". I didn't have a clue what he was talking about. He'd seen a sequence, where none existed. I couldn't repeat the sequence either.

    It's a constant desire from beginners to learn lots of Cool Moves. And it's a lucrative way of teaching also - you certainly get more students if you show off some fancy sequences than if you just focus on the simple stuff.

    But that, basically, is the Dark Side.

    Unfortunately, you can say "it's not about sequences" until you're blue in the face. If you teach sequences, your students will assume they need to learn sequences, no matter what verbal caveats you add.

    I've cut out the middle man, I write the notes up myself and send them out.
  12. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

  13. larrynla

    larrynla Member

    Good point. The way one of my teachers handled the sequence problem was that he showed the sequence first with his partner. Then he'd say "Now let's break this down" and led us through each part separately. Once we could do the separate parts he had us put them together and practice the sequence. Finally he would say "Here are other ways you can put the parts together."

    As a result, without ever saying verbally not to memorize sequences, he got the point across.

    Another teacher taught sequences, all fairly short and compact, and broke them down into Spanish terms which I translated as "getting in", core, and "getting out" parts.

    The number of steps for the three parts was often 2, 4, and 2; fairly small, in other words. Easy to remember and practice.

    Oftentimes the core was a giro (turn) such as the molinete (wheel, with the man as the hub and the woman as the rim). You could (for instance) get into it with two steps that led the woman into the first part of a backward ocho. You could get out of it with two steps along the line of dance (to keep up with the flow of the LOD).

    So both the teachers taught sequences as made up of very simple parts which you mixed together according to your artistic desires, the way the people around you were moving, and your partner's limitations. What might be called the Lego approach.

    And eventually, carrying this approach to its ultimate limits, I learned think of the basic "step" as a single step. And then not to think at all, just to do them.

    I suppose you could try to get to the "no think just do" stage in other ways. But the smaller and smaller sequences method worked for me.

    Laer Carroll - ShapechangerTales.com

Share This Page