"But that's how they do it in BsAs..."

Ampster

Active Member
#21
As for the toe v. heel leads--most of the very good dancers I've seen will switch between them depending on what they're doing. I've heard toe leads make for prettier lines, heel leads make for a prettier walk, heel leads are more natural, heel leads give better stability, heel leads make for a smoother walk/weight transition. Whichever. If you can do it nicely, that settles it, IMO.
I agree with these sentiments. Children use their toes when they start to walk and I understood that this was the "natural" way to walk even if its not "normal" or habitual. Since AT requires a reasonably strong foot to carry the weight forward over the ball of the foot and the 'caresssing' of the floor. I can't see any good reason to do it any way you please, (provided its elegant)
Yes! :cheers:
 
#22
First of all: Hi CeeCee!!!!:peace:
ooh, thank you Ampster
that said, i'm starting to learn the heel lead way of walking for two reasons. one is peer pressure -- i'm tired of it being the first thing to come out of teachers' mouths, and their mostly stupid justifications for it. the only good justifications i've heard so far are that it looks more natural ...

I agree and it depends on the dancer. We had a visiting teacher from BsAs who teaches toe leads because he dances that way. He certainly looks natural and manages to elegantly extend his leg creating a smooth walk.

Another visiting teacher from BsAs teaches heal leads because he dances that way. His style is very different and he doesn’t seem to look for leg extension and smoothness but he does look natural.

They both caress the floor and they both have convincing arguments about why their way is the right way. They don’t seem to switch but their choice of heel or toe lead seems to suit their style.
 
#23
the visiting teacher who did toe leads -- did he keep his foot sliding on the floor as he walked, or would he lift his foot off the floor and then step toe first? i've seen that difference too

thanks
 
#24
the visiting teacher who did toe leads -- did he keep his foot sliding on the floor as he walked, or would he lift his foot off the floor and then step toe first? i've seen that difference too

thanks
Oh yes, he kept his foot sliding on the floor, apparently all of the time. His forward walks were very stylised and while he made it look natural, somehow other people looked unnatural, uncomfortable and in pain trying to copy him.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
#25
And you're sure it was a genuine toe lead?

I'm not trying to be contradictory, I'm genuinely asking. My teacher almost always keeps his feet in constant contact with the floor, and I could see where it could look like he takes toe leads. He slides his foo forward with the inside edge of the ball of his foot to the floor, and it does look something like a toe lead, but then actually transfers the weight onto his heel.

I'm just wondering, based on what you said about others having such a hard time executing the same technique, if there was a disconnect between what was actually going on vs. what it looked like was going on...
 
#26
And you're sure it was a genuine toe lead?



I'm just wondering, based on what you said about others having such a hard time executing the same technique, if there was a disconnect between what was actually going on vs. what it looked like was going on...
You may be right, perhaps it wasn't a genuine toe lead. Perhaps we were fooled by what we saw.

Equally, there may be a genuine communication problem here. We have a lot of visiting teachers in London who come from BsAs and it appears that the poorer their English, the more authentic they are considered to be.

He told us that he was leading with his toe.
He told us to lead with our toe.
We tried to lead with our toe.
We couldn't do it without looking ridiculous and hopelessly losing balance. I have to say again though that he looks really good, sliding along the floor with his flexible, extended legs and rotated ankles.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
#27
I wasn't trying to suggest that it didn't look good, or that you were wrong. I was just asking.

But, yeah...language barriers can make for some interesting (and amusing) isntruction.
 

Ampster

Active Member
#30
You may be right, perhaps it wasn't a genuine toe lead. Perhaps we were fooled by what we saw.

Equally, there may be a genuine communication problem here. We have a lot of visiting teachers in London who come from BsAs and it appears that the poorer their English, the more authentic they are considered to be.

He told us that he was leading with his toe.
He told us to lead with our toe.
We tried to lead with our toe.
We couldn't do it without looking ridiculous and hopelessly losing balance. I have to say again though that he looks really good, sliding along the floor with his flexible, extended legs and rotated ankles.
On a side note, and with all due respect to our friends from BsAs.

A lot of us here have a back ground in Ballroom (myself included). We have to take into consideration that their (teachers from BA) idea of a toe lead is not what we (BR exposed people), would consider a toe lead.

They don't do BR in BsAs. What they we both consider as toe leads have a different method of execution--with the same name.

Originally Posted by CeeCee

I have to say again though that he looks really good, sliding along the floor with his flexible, extended legs and rotated ankles.
The preceeding quote is their idea of a toe lead, and (if I may add) the inside ball of the foot (right behind the big toe) is the point that is always in contact with the floor.

It takes A LOT of practice to do this and look natural without falling over. You basicaly have to build up enough strength in your calves, quads, and glutes combined with smooth deliberate motion to be able to sustain this for a whole night's milonga.
 

FTL

New Member
#32
that's How It's Done In Buenos Aires
I heard this once from my instructor and she's an Argentine who used to teach in Buenos Aires. I've never taken her remark seriously. If I see something that looks good technically and aesthetically from others, Argentine or not, I will try to learn it and use it. Nowadays, whenever I ask my instructor on what she thinks about a new technique or pattern I've learned outside her class, she'd say, "looks good, tango is improvisation". If it looks bad she tries to modify and refine it.
 
#34
I'm very much a beginner, but I've encountered this phrase a lot when discussing technique with some people.

Typically, it's the last argument used in defence of something which I know to be wrong - for example "followers automatically cross on Step 5, that's How It's Done In Buenos Aires (so it must be right)".

Anyone else come across this?
Yep. I've been told my year of learning, going to classes in different places in the UK, didn't count as much compared to someone else who had 2 lessons - because I didn't learn in BsAs. :rolleyes:
 

Ampster

Active Member
#35
Yep. I've been told my year of learning, going to classes in different places in the UK, didn't count as much compared to someone else who had 2 lessons - because I didn't learn in BsAs. :rolleyes:
Hello Lynn :D Welcome to our world!

FYI: When I hear stuff like this (directed at me), it kinda makes me :evil: . Yes, there is value in going to BsAs to learn. However, this is simply an imposition some people's ethnocentric perception. As a Manager who does "Global" stuff regularly, I know for a fact that it is all a matter of "Quality Knowledge Transfer."

Find a local quality teacher who has learned and mastered the intricate nuances of AT, and who knows how AT should be. Bolster this by attending a few workshops by reputable teachers from BsAs. Combine that with your own mastery of the dance. Then, it makes no difference if you learned AT in the US, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, etc.

To illustrate my point, I have several friends from Buenos Aires. They cannot dance (even if their lives depended on it). After seeing me and my wife Tango, they decide to follow our lead and take it up to. They've been with my teacher AND they've been to BsAs (their hometown) to learn it. They have made their comparisons. Ethnocentricity aside, the value they got from either was the same. They just had to pick the right teacher.
 
#37
I think that going to buenos aires can be valuable, not because of better teachers but because there are so many dancers to be inspired by. And the environment in the milongas is so different (but then I've yet to dance anywhere else apart from the UK, so I don't know what it's like in other places...). You can learn a lot just by watching.

Of course I wouldn't say that someone who's been to Bs As has to a better dancer or know more about tango than someone who hasn't, that's ridiculous and annoying. But it's an experience that can change your perception of tango.
 

newbie

Well-Known Member
#38
Being in BsAs atm, I'd say that different teachers say different things (yesterday at Cordoba one said that you don't lead with the chest). So whatever you're doing, there is most probably some people in BsAs who also "do it this way".
 
#40
Being in BsAs atm, I'd say that different teachers say different things (yesterday at Cordoba one said that you don't lead with the chest).
:confused: I thought we were supposed to lead with our "centre" (wherever that is...)

So whatever you're doing, there is most probably some people in BsAs who also "do it this way".
I like it!

Hmmm... I guess I could just lie and say "Well, when I was in BsAs..." - after all, they're being dumb, why shouldn't I be also? :grin:
 

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