Connection -independent of skill level

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#61
I grok what you're saying, but my best dances are when my partner and I also find complementary aspects in the music that, when we leave room for each other's interpretation and even respond to the others. Two voice polyphony, if you want, rather than just simple harmony.

But yeah, it's gotta at least be compatible.
I think I covered that with the paragraph after the one you quoted from:

"The leader may surprise me with a completely unexpected move or use of a musical element I hadn't noticed, but it is a pleasant surprise that still makes total sense, even if it opens up the music to me in a new way. If I "hijack" the lead by using different timing than the leader expected, adding an embellishment, or even stepping differently than intended (deliberately), the leader doesn't think "WTF is she doing?". S/he thinks "I see what you did there! Cool!" and maybe even "Wait a sec! I can do THIS to follow what you did, and I never would have thought of it! We just invented a new thing!"
 

sixela

Well-Known Member
#62
Yup, that pretty much covers it, although I have had excellent "polyphonic" dances where we were _constantly_ surprising each other.

You usually end up completely unaware of what you have both "done". You wish you could remember because it felt great, but you can't.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#64
Hello Tango Student.

Speaking for myself, when I'm dancing with someone who is dancing as sixela described, including
we were _constantly_ surprising each other
and
You usually end up completely unaware of what you have both "done". You wish you could remember because it felt great, but you can't.
It's a very Good thing.
 

sixela

Well-Known Member
#66
Since we have seen neither the original poster or that partner dance, we should probably not assume too much at this point.
 
#69
Speaking for myself, when I'm dancing with someone who is dancing as sixela described, including

- we were _constantly_ surprising each other

and

- You usually end up completely unaware of what you have both "done". You wish you could remember because it felt great, but you can't.

It's a very Good thing.
Good or not, I think that will be the next big thing in tango, even if it's not compatible with the traditional argentine gender role model. But I somehow suppose that already to "follow the follower" was an enhancement.
It looks - for me and here in Germany - as if dancer with very much experience get a bit bored and change the lead or lead equal to have new kicks.
Question is, whether learning both roles can get taught from beginner level. I was at a workshop where the instructor stated, that they do this in all classes. But I can't really imagine that it will go that way.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#70
learning both roles
Influencing the movement of the leader, and embellishing or varying footwork within the context of any particular lead, is not equivalent to exchanging roles within the partnership.
Exchanging roles as beginners is easy to implement when compared to developing follow skills to the point that the woman can consciously influence the leader (and have the smarts to know when to do it, and when not to do it). Leaders have to be open to a more free flowing stream of conscious type dance.
Also, I always tell my partners that if they take a step, but then think, "Is that what he led," they should let me know "where they are" by their weight change, posture, etc, it's all good. (This should not be happening constantly, of course.)
 

sixela

Well-Known Member
#71
even if it's not compatible with the traditional argentine gender role model
Given that porteñas will invariably eagerly use every opportunity left to them to make their mark on your shared dance (as far as I can tell), I'd think that the gender role model is a lot more subtle than might appear superficially.

Especially in tango, despite the cheesy clichés in tango for tourists.

Groupthink can cow some European ladies into thinking they should "not disturb the lead [sic]", and some will suffer through a suffocating tanda, but a porteña may well walk out on an overly bossy leader/Führer well before the end of the tanda. I've seen it happen more than once.
 
Last edited:

Angel HI

Well-Known Member
#72
Influencing the movement of the leader, and embellishing or varying footwork within the context of any particular lead, is not equivalent to exchanging roles within the partnership.
Your entire post (#70) is quite spot-on. This whole concept of sharing leads is not new; it has been done ever since I began AT back in the mid '80s. The thing is that it wasn't hi-jacking. The lady never just did something unintended by or contrary to the lead which she received. She would, indeed, follow the movement led to the end of that movement, and then extend it into another movement or place, not unintended by the leader, but, unexpected by the leader. This is a very different concept. This extension of movement (finishing what was led) would result in the man having to dance something new, creative, or different than perhaps what he had in mind or what might have been perceived as a norm. This higher level of competence and understanding of the dance can be equally as fun as irritating depending upon the expertise of the follow (lady).
 
#73
Currently I often dance with a lady that prefers another, outright revolutionary, concept: that I simply dance with her. ;)
At least if she enters her flow, she doesn't like to bother with complex considerations regarding lead and follow. If there is a good connection that has to be enough.
Sometimes I can follow her into that flow, and then I don't really know what we dance. But somehow I manage it to keep the lights on so we do not to bump into other couples... :nurse:
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#74
Your entire post (#70) is quite spot-on. This whole concept of sharing leads is not new; it has been done ever since I began AT back in the mid '80s. The thing is that it wasn't hi-jacking. The lady never just did something unintended by or contrary to the lead which she received. She would, indeed, follow the movement led to the end of that movement, and then extend it into another movement or place, not unintended by the leader, but, unexpected by the leader. This is a very different concept. This extension of movement (finishing what was led) would result in the man having to dance something new, creative, or different than perhaps what he had in mind or what might have been perceived as a norm. This higher level of competence and understanding of the dance can be equally as fun as irritating depending upon the expertise of the follow (lady).
This is more what I was trying to co"step differently than the leader intended, I don't do so in a way that is so totally contrary to his intention that it could create a navigation problem. There's a need for having a leader, so that one person is always paying attention to floorcraft.

"Stepping differently than intended" for me usually involves going WHERE he is trying to send me, but not necessarily HOW he intends. Perhaps I'll vary the timing in a molinete. Or substitute some little quick steps all forward for the usual pattern (as long as the embrace is flexible or if we are open...) These variations are easy if he is allowing me to pivot him anyway, and don't change the overall lead. The follower can often have a fair amount of leeway in molinetes.

Or he'll indicate a gancho and I'll slow it down to an unwrap... or do the opposite to punctuate the music. The least jarring way to suggest something for the "next thing" is either (as Angel suggests) doing it at the end of a led move, or doing it at a point when the leader is waiting for the follower to finish something anyway, such as the front ocho on my right leg after the cross, to parada/pasada combination. I play with quite a bit of unexpected things there because it is such an overused step that I've grown bored with it. (So bored, that I don't even teach it to leaders anymore.. I don't need to; they'll get it somewhere anyway)

Another instance where I will "hijack" is an actual takeover due to floorcraft issues. I'll refuse to take a step that I don't feel is safe. Or I'll be led to do the pasada, but there isn't a safe place for me to go, so I'll use my ability to see the other direction to say "let's go THIS way" and initiate a step elsewhere which the leader will usually pick up on immediately (because he's been trying to figure out what to do about the problem too, but has already reached the point of the parada/pasada where he's waiting for me to step over and isn't sure whether he should initiate a different lead at that point).
 
Last edited:

snapdancer

Well-Known Member
#75
In the West Coast Swing is an elementary pattern called a side pass. When a guy is starting out, he may lead a side pass. A side pass leads the follow from one end of the slot to the other. But a new guy in particular is not going to lead the "how" of getting through the slot, so a creative lady will invent a number of interesting ways to get there. But in the end, she's still reaching the end of the slot and at the count of "six" is there and prepared for the lead on the following count of "one".
 

sixela

Well-Known Member
#76
Quite, but in tango, which doesn't have any strict guideline as to the position you want to be in at the end of a phrase or semiphrase°, the lady can decide to change the tempo and invite the leader to change plans _completely_ (since he is supposed to still come up with something that still makes sense musically). That's possible since tango is quintessentially polyrythmic: the follower can "disagree" on which rhythm she wants to move and challenge the leader to come up with a decent but unexpected plan.

She _can_ even change direction by resisting movement along one direction more than along another one, though that is indeed backled through the connection (and requires a sensitive leader, who is supposed to continuously remain aware of where his follower is).

--
°Which doesn't mean you are allowed to cavort through the end of the phrase with the set rhythmical pattern of figure #23 just because you started want to "finish that" even though you didn't time the start properly. That will invite an inner facepalm in the mind of the DJ.
 

newbie

Well-Known Member
#77
some followers who are very good at AT.(technically great) ..yet I find it very difficult to connect with them when I dance with them
Is this common ?
Happens to me all the time. I see a new face, ok this one seems quite good, I invite, uh oh you're a teacher aren't you? The teacher tends to take precedence over the follower, and being a teacher she's used to being in charge, correcting, making it clear that the lead was not in line with her teaching.

It's not specific to tango. I remember in my ballroom days inviting for a cha-cha a lady who happened to a former national champ. To me it felt like I had entered the territory of a big predator, who was barely tolerating my presence.
 

Dance Ads