Tango Argentino > Which leg is free?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by FTL, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. FTL

    FTL New Member

    There are instances where I would get confused or lose track of the follows weight transfer. When this happens my default maneuver is to sidestep in order to reestablish the follows weight bearing leg. As a relatively novice dancer I am not so sure if this is the correct way of handling this confusing situation. What should I do?:confused:
  2. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    You could actually lead her into the appropriate weight transfer. Its very subtle, and it will actually signal your partner where to put her weight.

    For example, when taking your partner into a barrida, once you hook her foot, your arms, and upper torso can position her above her right foot, leaving her left free to sweep, etc.
  3. FTL

    FTL New Member

    Thanks Ampster. I do strive to execute a good lead and in my mind I've led her appropriately. Somewhere between the lead and follow's read and execution something went wrong. The lead and follow technique would take a longer time for me to be proficient, so for now, I am just resorting to some emergency maneuvers while I am in the dance floor.
  4. jhpark

    jhpark Member

    If the mistake gets me in cross-foot system, I go into back ochos, usually without even trying to. (For a while I would avoid leading back ochos because I would do enough of them by accident!)

    If it gets me into parallel I'll just do a couple of walking steps.... Side step, forward, whatever... So I think your recovery is fine.
  5. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    In my experience walking forward alongside the woman allows for being in either cross or parallel system and a simplecross behind as a contra beat step allows you to get back into parallel.
  6. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Yes sometimes her feet are crossed together and I don't know whether she crossed behind or in front and on which foot she is (and maybe her weight is on both) and I can't look because we're in close embrace. Then, without moving my feet I lead a small CCW step around me. If her free leg is the right one then she will do a side step to the right. If her free leg is the left then she will do a backward crossed step. The two possible steps are very different, so I notice the difference. Not too great but better than what I used to do, asking her "On which foot are you?"
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    FTL, this doesn't directly answer your question, but it does (to me) bring up the subject of how Argentine Tango is taught. And before I get into that, I'll just say that I lead several what I hope are very clear weight changes to try and figure out where my partner's weight is when I lose her.
    Now ask yourself why you don't know which foot is free to move, and which has is bearing weight.
    In spite of all the talk about AT as an improvised dance, and there are no pattterns, etc, we are mostly told that we (the men) are supposed to know where the woman's weight is. What is almost always left out is the fact that if the woman has good posture, does clear weight changes, and mantains a forward pressure with her body, it becomes pretty easy to feel where her weight is; even if she is standing still.
    I suspect that one of the reasons that, at least in my town, the men keep taking lessons, often having to practice with each other because there aren't enough women, is that the dance is taught almost completely from the leader's perspective.
    I now tell my partners (at the practica I go to) that I think of tango as non verbal communication, and that the dance is so much better if they communicate to me with their body.
    It would be of interest to me if you (collectively) would ask your instructors about this. I would be interested in their replies.
  8. FTL

    FTL New Member

    It seems like even in confusing situations like this one can just improvise. I really like AT one can never go so wrong unlike ballroom.

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