Tango Argentino > Whilst learning?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Melody58, May 6, 2013.

  1. Melody58

    Melody58 New Member

    Whilst learning were you/are you a person that needed/needs every step broken down and learnt abc etc or are you one of the people that finds that more difficult and can just be shown a few times in dance form, then copy and learn it that way. I am of the latter, break it down for me and I'm duh!!!! but just show me and am away, also always like the music to accompany.
  2. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    I (leader) need everything broken down, best broken down to any single muscle, degree of axis, torson, momentum and percental weight distribution. I leave a class when a teacher cannot afford it.
    On the other hand, I learned simply by doing, because I had no money for classes. For two years I went to milongas, often every night of the week. But everything I´d learned I tried to penetrate cerebrally at the same time.
  3. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    probably both. I see the way someone dances and I intuitively feel it in my body, but to make it happen I have to work on all the mechanics before the dynamics start to happen.
  4. NZ_Guy

    NZ_Guy Member

    For a topic that's new to me, I use an iterative process which combines letting the topic rattle around in my head, physically trying it out, and breaking the mechanics of it down. It takes a while, but I get there most of the time (unless I decide that it's really not that useful/usable and thus not worth the trouble). All the while I'll also be trying to adapt it to my own style rather than learn it verbatim, as it were.
  5. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    For me, I'd say it depends on how similar the move is to anything I've done before.
  6. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I started out the former, but as my vocabulary has increased I've become better at picking things up by sight the first time.
  7. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    I don't know where my method of learning falls. I pick up things easily by sight, but am adamant about learning WHY a movement happens and what the underlying principles of it are, which means I must also dissect it to some degree. Generally someone teaching put your foot here in position a followed by B then D (ie...step 2 times outside then she crosses) does not impress me or help me understand why a movement works the way it does.

    For leaders, I think some basic vocabulary has to be addressed because I have yet to meet a beginner lead who can completely assess the intuitive improvisation possibilites that someone with more experience might have. That's something that develops, but I don't think the understanding of why a step works should be left out either.

    For a follower, like yourself, I personally think the WORST thing that could be done would be to be forced to learn a step by rote to repeat. What happens when you get out on the dance floor and a leader leads something you don't understand? Do you just buckle and freeze? What if you've learned that if he leads a rock step and then leads you past his right side you are automatically assuming ocho cortado because that's the step you learned in class and what if instead he manages to turn the movement in to a way to get you in cross system in to ochos? What then?

    To me, the most important things a follower needs to work on at the beginning is understanding what it feels like when she is being asked to pivot, staying in front of her partner, and what a weight change feels like and how to be calm when led something you aren't familiar with.

    In the example you gave in the other thread, you had trouble with a giro and the teacher reminded you of the rote side, back, forward, side pattern. However, if instead of memorizing the step, you think of doing what you need to with your body and your feet to stay in front of your partner and over your own center of balance as the leader opens his chest in the direction of the turn he intends, there are a certain number of possibilities at each step the follower can take, and some of them will take you away from your partner, and some of them will keep you roughly in front of him. Same idea when a cross is lead. You could make a couple of different choices in how to step, but chances are, the one that keeps you in front of his lead (assuming he is actually leading it) will be a cross.
    stanthemanc and bordertangoman like this.
  8. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    that does happen, in my experience, even with some more experienced dancers ( 2 yrs or so) some just seem to have gaps particularly in walking turns; she does a giro around you for 3 steps and when you follow around her she is flummoxed- because she hasn't experienced that before.

    Another problem is the double weighted followers turn, where it isnt part of an ocho cortado; because they haven't learned to feel the subtlety of lead that it requires. but I guess this is a fairly rare problem.

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