Adventures with an IDTA syllabus... :)

sixela

Well-Known Member
so I have arrived at the same conclusion as Eric Jeurissen.. interesting..
I don't know. Eric Jeurissen came to the conclusion that it's better to dance it an a rhythm and with a styl of leading that doesn't disconnect the partners, but that it can be done.

Eric (and I) agree with you that someone who just plonks his follower on the back foot and plonks himself on the back foot, disconnected from his partner --usually across at least two lanes of the dance floor -- and stays there for half an hour (these people will invariably add a couple of barridas and exit in whatever direction they're facing; it's a russian roulette) is looking the perfect idiot.

I don't know whether you arrive at the exact same conclusion or if you think sandwiches are always bad (perhaps you call a brief sandwich that doesn't disconnect the partners a sandwichito instead ;) ?)

I think he decided on the workshop content after having seen all of us dance, just to rid the dance floors of the Awkward Sandwich.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
Aside from that, I'd like to know why the 8CB is taught at all if it's a "bad thing"? Why not start just with forward walks? I once danced almost nothing but walks one night at a milonga and was told by an older gentleman from BA that he really liked my tango.
I'd say most (if not all) of the teachers that use it, do not believe it's a bad thing. I certainly don't believe it's a bad thing. IMO, there are both good and bad teachers who use it, and there also are both good and bad teachers who do not use it.

As for what to start with, I start with hearing the beat, the embrace, and then forward walking. I do eventually use it though, as part of teaching the cross. I'm not saying one has to use it, but that is my preference.
 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
...As for what to start with, I start with hearing the beat, the embrace, and then forward walking. I do eventually use it though, as part of teaching the cross. I'm not saying one has to use it, but that is my preference.
I'm right with you until you get to the 8cb. The cross can be taught without using the 8cb. Teaching the 8cb means you are using class time and students attention, both valuable, to teach something that is not (or shouldn't be) part of dancing tango. I have yet to hear of anything that the 8cb contributes to understanding tango.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
I'm right with you until you get to the 8cb. The cross can be taught without using the 8cb. Teaching the 8cb means you are using class time and students attention, both valuable, to teach something that is not (or shouldn't be) part of dancing tango. I have yet to hear of anything that the 8cb contributes to understanding tango.
Have you ever used a practice embrace, and is that part of tango? I view the 8CB as a teaching drill. It's not the "end all be all", but I don't view it as evil, either. There are plenty other drills, sequences, or patterns that various teachers use. This is just one more.

However, let me repeat from my prior post, I'm not saying that one has to use it.
 
I have yet to hear of anything that the 8cb contributes to understanding tango.
It's a learning exercise. It teaches you to move in 8-beat sequences. It contains, in a single sequence, most of the movements one would ever do in Tango. It provides a handy "hook" for pretty much most movements you want to hang on to it.

That's three obvious contributions, off the top of my head.

Sure, the 8cb it's not one I personally would choose to use, but having both taught it, and been taught it (long story), for the past 4 weeks, I can see some benefits in it.

Personally, I'd probably say that the drawbacks generally outweigh the benefits, but that may simply be my preference.

I know, I know, I'm supposed to be all dogmatic and insist there's only One True Way....
 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
It's a learning exercise. It teaches you to move in 8-beat sequences. It contains, in a single sequence, most of the movements one would ever do in Tango. It provides a handy "hook" for pretty much most movements you want to hang on to it.

That's three obvious contributions, off the top of my head...
Yes, I understand the explanations. You think those things are contributions, and I don't see them that way.

BTW, I began learning tango using the 8cb, and I began teaching with it also.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
Yes, but I think that contributes something to learning.
I'd be foolish to claim to know what did (or did not) contribute to your learning. I can only say that it did help me. Now I will say, (IMO) there is more to teaching with the 8CB than simply learning the pattern. It's done to different rhythms, and then modified slightly to get into cross system, before walking to the cross. Then like all good patterns, it can be taken apart, and just pieces can be used.

To be clear, I'm not claiming this is the only way, as I know some very good teachers who use the 8CB, and some other very good teachers who do not use it. I will only say that I disagree with those who say it is bad, evil, etc.
 

sixela

Well-Known Member
Not to sidetrack the conversation, but where would you sammich in place of an alteration?
Anywhere the alteration starts where the follower would end up after a forward or backwards (non-milonguero) ocho (usually one with the follower pointing more or less in the LOD).

Instead of stepping backwards to the front of the follower and leading an alteration to make the follower move that way, you can also sandwich that follower's front foot and immediately get out of the sandwich, and after the invite to step over (or not step over if you remove that foot fast enough, it's up to the leader) puts you in the same position as after the alteration. Of course, from there you still have to turn 180° to return to the line of dance (or if you weren't in the LOD to begin with, e.g. lead an ocho cortado).

Of course there are still other ways to get out of the sandwich gracefully (including reversing direction yet again, and leading a molinete, from which you can exit in pretty much any direction).

Endless possibilities, but I find I can just splice an alteration and replace it with a sandwich with minimal adjustment at the start, and end up pretty much in the sam position and orientation.

For it to work well, it has to be small, organic and fast: the leaders steps (usually in a fast rhythm) so that the foot sandwich coincides with a strong beat and puts the follower firmly on the back foot (so that he can invade that space and still maintain the embrace), and the leader's weight change on the back foot coincides with the follower stepping forward again (again so that you can maintain the embrace, unless e.g. the leader wants to then step on his front foot again, lead a microcolgada and turn, which by definition slightly changes the embrace, etc.)

Problem #1 for most people is that they make a sandwich into something "dramatic", which usually means it's too large to stay connected. If it's good, it's barely noticeable and usually small.

It's rather hard for me to describe all the possibilities; the positions are in my muscle memory so I usually move according to my gut feeling and navigational imperatives.
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
And does the IDTA have a new member?

I was glancing through this discussion from last year, and wondered whether DB's demo assistant actually completed her 'studies' and took the IDTA ATango Diploma? If so, how does she feel about it (ie the syllabus) now?
 

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