Tango Argentino > Why some women are not asked to dance

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Ampster, May 1, 2007.

  1. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    This is EXACTLY why I started the class series I am doing now, and got interest in it (the original idea was to do something ONLY for followers, but the studio didn't want to limit enrollement) The followers in my area were simply not getting enough instruction in group classes and they each slowly realized it. In a few recent classes, (not mine) the class was short of women because they all gave up going. Usually around here dance classes have too many women.
  2. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I always resented that. I saw no reason in switching teachers (to the more "popular" one) and paying for classes where I wasn't going to learn anything just to get to know the other students. To me, that's part of what a milonga is for... to socialize and get to know the other dancers who come. Paying $12-15 per class just for the social aspect, and not even a "getting to know you" aspect at that.. more of a "becoming accepted by being part of the tecaher's inner circle" aspect.... very annoying.

    Luckily, things are evolving here and the community is feeling less and less like High School and more like a dance community
  3. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    yes- we have the same problem in our own area. Very cliquish and annoying and disheartening, especially for the "fringe" people.
  4. calandra

    calandra New Member

    I agree that taking regular classes is a good way to meet people who then might dance with you at a milonga. However, I've often wondered if the same is true for the classes they offer before the milongas. A lot of times, I've had great dances in the classes before the milongas, and then noticed that the guys seem to ask more the ladies who skip the class and come in later. Maybe they think that the women who 'don't need the classes' are better. Maybe they are, but it's impossible to generalise, I guess.
  5. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    There are more male 'skippers' here than females. Generally they're worse leaders because they think they know what they're doing, when in fact they have some pretty bad habits
  6. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Why hold the lady's right hand in your left? Why not hold her left hand in your right?
  7. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    I'd love to see someone try to do a close embrace with crossed hands... How do you hug someone then?

    And what is this, Silly Questions Week?
  8. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Who said aught about crossed hands?
  9. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Convention. Tradition. Makes floorcraft easier when everyone else is doing it the same way. I imagine it would be kind of tricky if the guy is faced out to his right, when the LOD is moving counter-clockwise.

    Why is it done that way in ballroom? Certainly, the steps and figures could have evolved to hold her left hand in your right, instead of the other way around. But, it didn't, and now guy's left/lady's right is just how it's done. It just is.

    It would be an interesting exercise,though, to reverse the hold like that and see what happens. I've seen the hold reversed, but in that case it was because the guy and girl were switching lead/follow roles.
  10. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    Someone- can't remember who- explained to me about the direction of the hand hold and rotation of the floor having some sort of origination with something military conventions...like the guy having his sword stapped to his left side becasue he would be drawing with his right hand. So dancing (and I guess having a dress sword on) his right side would be open and so the lady ended up on that side...or soemthing like that...

    Homestly, there's so many stories about what came from where (or what came first) in both tango and other dances, the truth is we'll probably never really know, even though we have inherited all the customs and we can guess al we like so I 'm really confused about the continued posting of "why not this and why that" unless you are just trying to make a point or the joy of debate.

    "The way things are" didn't really change all that much over the decades up until the late part of 1800's. Society changed by leaps and bounds after that, and we may never know why the relics of past times we maintain are the way they are now.

    And Peaches is correct, LOD would be a nightmare going the other way, since the guy would not be able to see. The lady would need to be on the other side which, as the story goes, was already taken up by the gentleman's dress sword...

    Now...to see if this would stick, maybe you'd have to do a cross study of the habits of contry (as in- folk style) dancing to see if the theory holds water.
  11. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Didn't we talk about that somewhere already? Swords and such....
  12. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    ok- you're the second person whose said something about swords...maybe it does have a grain of truth...
  13. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Well I got it from this forum somewhere, so I'm probably only quoting the first person. I'd never really thought about it. In the other place we were discussing it, I noted that even skating rinks have a counter clockwise travel pattern and people are usually NOT skating in any kind of dance hold (or even together) I'm wondering if it has as much to do with people mostly being right handed and therefore rotating counterclockwise feels more natural.
  14. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Oh, right - sorry, was getting my lefts and rights confused :)

    I don't know - tradition, basically. I'm left-handed and I don't find it a problem.

    Well, if the hold were reversed, the LOD would be also I imagine.
  15. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Only if you change the head with the arms.

    For instance, when I dance close embrace, I look over my partner's right shoulder. In other words, we are each looking to our own left. He is looking towards the held hands, I am looking away from the held hands. This is what often happens in the ballroom dances as well, right? The posture of both people looking the same side towards the held hands is somewhat unique to AT. (unless the couple is traveling towards their held hands such as in a promenade)

    So if the leader took the body position that I have as a follower in C.E., but was facing line of dance, he would be looking INTO the room, not away from it, and therefore he would be able to see.

    In other words, he would now be looking away from the held hands (which are to the outside of the room), and the follower would be looking towards them. Its basically the same relative position that would happen if you simply rotated the normal couple and had the follower traveling forward without changing the arms. Except the person traveling forward would be the leader.

    (My partner and I do something like this briefly sometimes as we dance. We rotate, and HE goes backwards and I do the leaders steps, but I don't "take" the lead by switching arms. We just stay as we were except I am going forward down line of dance for a short while til he rotates us again. I can see where I'm going just fine)
  16. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    it would only seem natural that the head would change as well and become the mirror image onthe other side.
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Exactly. I suppose you could keep everything in the embrace the same except for the arms, but that seems like it would be uncomfortable.

    Presumably, yes. But after however many years of going counter-clockwise, everyone's gotten used to it, the hold has adapted to it (or whatever), it's how people learn it...so reversing hold and LOD I don't ever really see happening. It's the way it is now, so it's just easier to perpetuate it...especially given the lack of a compelling reason to change. (Unless it's just to quibble with Joe. ;-) )

    I'm guessing that the joy of debate plays a strong role in this. ;-) Also a love of quibbling. And, probably, a fundamentally different way of looking at things, coming from a Standard background.
  18. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    And yet, that IS the position the woman often dances in in Close Embrace. (ie, looking towards the arm she has around him rather than the hands) Its even MORE awkward for her, because her arm is up around his neck. If it were the man, and his arm was low around her back, it wouldn't be any more uncomfortable than what she dances all the time.

    Hmmmm.... I'm going to try this out, just for the fun of it. I really can't think of a reason why it wouldn't work. In fact, it might be more comfortable for the follower than the usual, because she wouldn't have to look in the direction of the arm she has up around his neck. Thus, less chance of twisting or raising her shoulder.
  19. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Why? I don't think its more or less natural.. its just what we've all gotten accustomed to. If you watch new dancers who aren't used to anything and aren't at all familiar with ballroom style social dancing, they sometimes have to think about which way the arms go and which hand they hold up. Its only "natural" if its your pattern. When I first started ballroom, I'd never done anything like it when I was younger and couldn't remember the embrace automatically untiil I'd had a few lessons.
  20. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    I think the reason it would tend to be natural is because we would probably (probably) have a tendancy to want to face the open area of the embrace (or frame, if you are in ballroom), no one likes to feel constricted...at least I'd be surprised if anyone did.

    I generally only use the "look towards the leader" head position if I am in a "v embrace, I don't tend to use it in a full on close embrace. At least, that's how it was taught to me...."v" embrace with head towards leader. It's not overly comfortable in a close embrace. Seems like it would push too much on the leaders head when you are that close and the bodies are flat on insteadof angled.

    I do turn my head to the right if I am dancing with someone very tall in close embrace (better that than nose in armpit), but my head wouldn't be pushing on them in that case anyway, but I don't ever look away from the leader even in close embrace, ie...I'm never looking toward my arm that is around him. I try to keep my head straight on, either slightly down depeding on height or hext to his head but not turned away if he is closer to my height. (Note- this works better if the leader has been taught to be nice and keep his head slightly turned left, opening head space and leaving the follower- usually shorter- a more comfortable position so she doesn't hve to crane her neck sideways and end up at the chiropractor.)

Share This Page