Butt wiggling and flashy footwork are not tango

jantango

Active Member
#1

Would people want to learn tango after viewing this video? What impressions does it give the viewer?

This exhibition looks like what you expect to see at latin dance competition with flashy costumes and lots of wiggles and tricky footwork. Alejandra knows what tango is. She got carried away on this one.

All the unnecessary butt shaking and fancy footwork is leaving the wrong impression on social dancers. These Argentines should be doing something to help the cause of social tango, but instead they are giving a performance that is not tango.

 

Mr 4 styles

Well-Known Member
#2
it clearly a show dance designed to interpret the music in a mickey mousing fashion (discussed elsewhere)

it looks to be at a venue where a ballroom comp was held probably got paid a buttload of cash to dance at this and "wow' the crowd

All the unnecessary butt shaking and fancy footwork is leaving the wrong impression on social dancers.
perhaps but i bet they are smart enough to know the difference between social dancing, showdancing , and competitive dancing if they dont then that is their instructors ( or the communitys) fault

glad you are trying to educate those social dancers that visit this site
 

Mladenac

Well-Known Member
#3
What I noticed is that they are having fun and intepret the music correctly.
It's obvious that tango performances are not suitable for the milongas.
But the performances at least attract people to dancing.

Continuous nagging and dissing others will not attract anybody.
The thing that you are doing is not productive and will not attract people.

Once they are interested will come to real milongas and learn the AT as a social dance.
Or at least will have fun doing tango their way and eventually dance AT socially.
Some cool tricks can be learnt from professionals that are milonga acceptible and
open minded people gladly acknowledge, accept that and use it on the dance floor.
 

twnkltoz

Well-Known Member
#4
I thought it was cute, actually. Performances and social dancing are not the same thing. If all performances were done like social tango, I think far fewer would get interested in it. I was at a fundraiser a couple of weeks ago where the DJ played a mix of tango and ballroom music for the varied crowd. I was there with a ballroom dancer and pointed out the better dancers and talked about how great tango is and why. He couldn't figure out from watching what the big deal was. He needs to feel it and experience it to understand. If he were to see a performance with some flash in it, he would probably find it a little more intriguing...even if he got to class and found out what happens on the stage is really just for the stage.
 

Mr 4 styles

Well-Known Member
#5
I thought it was cute, actually.

so did i :)

there is no doubt that for example the flashy yet poorly danced episodes of DWTS and SYTYCD have brought ballroom people to the studios

message delivered and recieved it is then the instructors and students responsibility to teach/learn forms that are correct

its the old ballet vs jazz discussion.......... whatev i like both (all of it)
and great dancers should be able to do it all
and alejandra looks great to me:D
 

Mladenac

Well-Known Member
#6
IMHO It's important that teachers can do all the flashy stuff besides attracting people.

Doing flashy stuff fluently shows skill and people want to learn from virtuous people.
If learners show interest they could show them and keep them interested in dancing.
Overtime interest will shift from performance to social dancing with a spark of performances.
Dancing is supposed to be fun activity and we cannot dictate others how to have fun as long as they are not danger (physical) to others.

And in addition the teachers should be solid entertainers cause some people cannot grasp AT at first but could come because of fun time at classes. :)
 

jantango

Active Member
#7
What I noticed is that they are having fun and intepret the music correctly.
It's obvious that tango performances are not suitable for the milongas. But the performances at least attract people to dancing.
It may be obvious to you that this performance is full of moves and tricks unsuitable for the milonga, but there are people who don't and cause problems on social dance floor around the world. They think performance tango is fine for the milonga. That is not the case.

These flashy performances do not attract new social dancers to tango, only people who want to do the same. The result is tango as a social dance is being put aside. Exhibition choreography is replacing the improvised dance.
I thought it was cute, actually. Performances and social dancing are not the same thing. If all performances were done like social tango, I think far fewer would get interested in it.
So what's the problem? There are many other dances, and tango is not for everyone. If you don't love the music first, the dance will be just another dance. Some never get what tango is about. And that includes Argentines.

IMHO It's important that teachers can do all the flashy stuff besides attracting people. Doing flashy stuff fluently shows skill and people want to learn from virtuous people. If learners show interest they could show them and keep them interested in dancing. Overtime interest will shift from performance to social dancing with a spark of performances. Dancing is supposed to be fun activity and we cannot dictate others how to have fun as long as they are not danger (physical) to others. And in addition the teachers should be solid entertainers cause some people cannot grasp AT at first but could come because of fun time at classes. :)
The problem is that all that most teachers show is the flashy stuff. Students never learn tango as an improvised social dance because they are too busy memorizing sequences to impress others and then become performers or teachers themselves after six months.

An early diet of flash rarely leads to dedication to learning an improvised dance. Once those steps are firmly embedded, they are difficult to remove.

The real problem is that these flashy dancers never learn navigation and cause injuries on the social floor.

A teacher's job is to teach basics of any dance so adults can dance socially. The most important part of the basiic training for tango is the music.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#8

Would people want to learn tango after viewing this video? What impressions does it give the viewer?

This exhibition looks like what you expect to see at latin dance competition with flashy costumes and lots of wiggles and tricky footwork. Alejandra knows what tango is. She got carried away on this one.

All the unnecessary butt shaking and fancy footwork is leaving the wrong impression on social dancers. These Argentines should be doing something to help the cause of social tango, but instead they are giving a performance that is not tango.
There were a few things I didn't like about that performance (like when she was kind of squatting), however I was fine with the butt wiggle.

:)
 

Bailamosdance

Well-Known Member
#9
One time I went to a Salsa dance locally here in NYC. I was having a great time, enjoying the music and the moment, and then a woman came up to me and too k me aside. She critiqued my dancing, telling me that it was not in 'the salsa style' that was what was the ny thing, and proceeded to start talking about everything from the soul of salsa to the history of the clave. Now, throurougly disheartened, I slunk out, feeling that I did not belong. As I walked away, I remembered that not only was my business a music producer who specialized in Latin music, but also that I made some of the very music they were dancing to that day. The person who decided that what I did was not authentic enough for her was correcting someone who had spent maybe 20 years creating most of the reprertoire she thought was the real thing. I resolved a .t that time to never judge someone's dancing, and certainly never make someone feel that what they felt when they danced was wrong.

I do not dance Argentine tango but other dances, and I sort ofmfeelmthat making this particular stylistic dance frozen in a rigid moment defeats not only the serious dancer, making it impossible to add new elements or at least elements that are felt, but makes the casual dancer feel that unless they had some intense relationship to this art form they might as well pack it in. I dance by the way in a related art form, as old as Argentine tango, and in our dance world people are praised for bringing new elements in and furthering the art form. Music that inspires is welcomed and yes, we always do figures and lines that are indicative to the past and the classics, we are encouraged to use that as a stepping off point, not the ending.

I will now back away, but I must say that any dancers that can inspire, challenge, or entertain are ok in my book, and get props. These dancers in the video will inspire folks to dance... And that is the best part...
 

LKSO

Active Member
#11
I'm also fine with the wiggling. That was what I paid attention to most of the time. Did I notice that it wasn't social tango? Umm... I was still paying attention to the wiggly parts.

Seriously, newbies will think that is what tango is all about: fancy footwork and butt wiggling. Like the elbow up embrace, they got it from watching Youtube videos. It's uncomfortable for the man to be embraced like that and requires extra effort on the woman's part to do it, but since they saw it on Youtube, then that's the way it must be done.

Wiggling butts is also detrimental to technique as it makes leading so much more difficult. But women who do this don't know it. I can feel them wiggling it when I dance with them. And they aren't very good dancers, anyway.
 

LKSO

Active Member
#12
These flashy performances do not attract new social dancers to tango, only people who want to do the same. The result is tango as a social dance is being put aside. Exhibition choreography is replacing the improvised dance.
...
A teacher's job is to teach basics of any dance so adults can dance socially. The most important part of the basiic training for tango is the music.
Tango is starting to become salsa.

Salsa used to be the way tango is the way you and I understand it: about the music. But when people wanted to learn it, they started looking for teachers thinking that dance was only about movement. The best social salsa/mambo dancers at the time weren't very good teachers because they danced to the music. So they eventually found teachers who taught them what they wanted.

Teachers got paid to teach. Their students wanted in on the money so they decided to teach. Their students then taught... and after a couple of decades, salsa is what it is now: entirely academic. No one dances to the music anymore and it's pretty disgusting when you 1)hear the music and 2)see what they are doing with their bodies.

This is why the 8-count-basic is taught by many teachers: it's easy and an absolute beginner can teach it immediately. How do you think the 8CB became so popular? Because the teachers have no real social tango experience. Does it have anything to do with tango? No. But students feel like they are progressing.
 

Mladenac

Well-Known Member
#13
@Jantango
I don't like that you bolded some of my text and make complete new meaning out of it.

And I don't share your opinion about the teachers and professionals.
I am sure that some of them teach sequences but my experience shows that a lot of them are very skilled of what they do
and teach how to get relaxed and teach technique for various simple and complex elements and I was on several musicality classes
and I found them very helpful since I don't have musical education and even who had find those lessons helpful.

As I already stated several times that I learned from professionals, but I was watching the ones I like and appreciate.
And overtime I started to see beauty of dancing in more couples that inspired me as I matured and my perspective became broader
during festival.

IME Primary teachers teach basics, some advance stuff and they organize events with professionals.
And then the professionals hone dancers skills and even show new combinations of familiar elements.

Please save your bitterness for yourself and share joy with others
 

Mladenac

Well-Known Member
#14
Tango is starting to become salsa.

Salsa used to be the way tango is the way you and I understand it: about the music. But when people wanted to learn it, they started looking for teachers thinking that dance was only about movement. The best social salsa/mambo dancers at the time weren't very good teachers because they danced to the music. So they eventually found teachers who taught them what they wanted.

Teachers got paid to teach. Their students wanted in on the money so they decided to teach. Their students then taught... and after a couple of decades, salsa is what it is now: entirely academic. No one dances to the music anymore and it's pretty disgusting when you 1)hear the music and 2)see what they are doing with their bodies.

This is why the 8-count-basic is taught by many teachers: it's easy and an absolute beginner can teach it immediately. How do you think the 8CB became so popular? Because the teachers have no real social tango experience. Does it have anything to do with tango? No. But students feel like they are progressing.
People don't want to spend two years on basic walk in tango.
You can always drown a student with details.
They want to have a feel of dancing.

If some sequence at start give them a feel why not. And if they are still interested.
It quite difficult to keep interested a beginner with a details that are mind bogging.

The biggest problem for teachers at the beginning is to keep beginners interested and how to relax them.
It not as easy as we think to run a dancing school.
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
#15
These flashy performances do not attract new social dancers to tango, only people who want to do the same. The result is tango as a social dance is being put aside.
I think that you are quite wrong about that.

If you come from a dance background, you may have a relatively accurate idea of what tango is as a social dance, find it attractive, and want to acquire sufficient skill and experience to join the tango community. But many, many others find the idea of dancing attractive but have no context or reference point to judge whether the flash they see is something that they could actually do for themselves. Performances can be (and often are) the impetus to explore the dance, and then only a particularly obtuse student is not going to notice that the dance as generally taught, and then danced, in a social setting is a different beast from the performance variety. Many come into tango this way, as people can only begin from where they are.

A teacher's job is to teach basics of any dance so adults can dance socially. The most important part of the basiic training for tango is the music.
That is a rather narrow view of a teacher's role. As a gross simplification, I could teach you the basics of tango in about two minutes flat: it's a very simple dance. It isn't easy, though, and teachers work (often for extended periods of time) with dancers of all abilities or degrees of experience (frequently none). Many teachers don't focus either exclusively (or even at all) on social dance: why should they? On the whole, though, experienced dancers who no longer feel any need for continued instruction, are the very last people whose opinions about teaching and learning dance should be canvassed.

As for music being the most important thing to train for tango, I'd say that is wide of the mark too. Connection is what counts: both to your partner(s) and to the music. You can't dance tango without both in more-or-less equal measure.
 

LKSO

Active Member
#16
I'm watching it again and for some reason, it's really difficult to even hear the music because their movements have nothing to do with it. "Oigo tu voz" (I hear your voice) is a sweet and sad song. They look like they're dancing to a happy, upbeat swing.

What's really strange, and maybe some of you have experienced this as well, is that when I watch something like this, it really warps my perception of the music. I somehow can't hear it as well if I listen to just the music again without the bad dancing. It doesn't just affect this particular song but other songs I listen to immediately after. It eventually fades but I hate this feeling.
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
#18
I'm watching it again and for some reason, it's really difficult to even hear the music because their movements have nothing to do with it. "Oigo tu voz" (I hear your voice) is a sweet and sad song. They look like they're dancing to a happy, upbeat swing.

What's really strange, and maybe some of you have experienced this as well, is that when I watch something like this, it really warps my perception of the music. I somehow can't hear it as well if I listen to just the music again without the bad dancing. It doesn't just affect this particular song but other songs I listen to immediately after. It eventually fades but I hate this feeling.
Agreed: it happened to me last week with a Pugliese song: not one of his best, but one I know quite well. I didn't actually recognise it at first.
 

LKSO

Active Member
#19
Some people take a dance class to exercise and lose weight. Others take it to find a BF/GF. Others as a social opportunity. Most won't become social dancers nor are they interested in dancing socially. They just like taking classes.

The people whom I took classes with aren't good dancers in any respect but they're still taking classes because they think learning steps and embellishments is tango. When they do dance socially, some of them have difficulty getting dances because they are older and aren't very attractive. In these instances, they would need really good dancing skills but don't have them because of the way they were, and currently are still, taught.

I've told them on a couple of occasions this, but even though they listen, they don't hear what I'm saying. They still think tango is about embellishments and steps and the more of it they know, the better dancers they will become.

This is the problem with these kinds of teachers and these kinds of videos.
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#20
Mladenaz said:
All the unnecessary butt shaking and fancy footwork is leaving the wrong impression on social dancers.
It's obvious that tango performances are not suitable for the milongas. But the performances at least attract people to dancing.
I´m with Mladenaz: show dance brings people to dance. The cost-benefit ratio still is positive. Even those competition shows on TV like DWTS will help at least. As a matter of fact I could also argue that your puritanical point would be detrimental.
The problem is that all that most teachers show is the flashy stuff.
Only that´s actually their job. We do not need any teacher for learning social tango, at all. I´m not the only one who started on the milonga floor first. I had my first lesson when I already was a good and sought-after social dancer.
 

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