Do women and men want the same thing from tango?

Peaches

Well-Known Member
Probabally not but some leaders will be noting how and where the lady places her left arm to get clues as to how and where he should place his right arm.
And again, does it matter? If they watch a beautiful entrance to an embrace, does it matter if he initiated it with his left arm or his right?
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
I think in order to create a connection with your partner you must escort her onto the dance floor face her and assume your stance making sure you have proper balance and posture.
That's the American way. It rarely happens in a milonga in BsAs unless one is seated with a partner. This has nothing to do with connection in my opinion.
Now tenderly wrap your right hand around her waist and offer her your left hand now you can bring her closer to you.
Just the reverse. The man offers his left hand first, the woman embraces him with her left arm, and then he bring his right arm around across her back with his fingers placed under her arm.
Jantango, are you embarrassed to be an American? Some of your posts seem to imply that.

I typically start my embrace with my right hand (similar to what HBBoogie said), and did so in BsAs as well. It didn't bother me in the least that people there knew I was an American. Actually, most of the people figured that out before the embrace (when chatting briefly before the first song). Typically when I said something in my rather poor Spanish, most women would respond back, "Ah from New York?", and since I knew most people wouldn't know the city I am from, I would just say, "No, Boston".

:cool:

It just seems odd that you appear to have an issue with Americans acting like Americans, even when in America. Does it bother you if the Brits act British?
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
...Now we've got to have rules about left versus right arm first, as well?
No, o.c., but it is a funny thing to watch how a couple gets into the embrace. Left hand (men´s view) is more like an invitation, right hand like a conquest. It depends on how gritty the guy is, isn´t it?
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
Probabally not but some leaders will be noting how and where the lady places her left arm to get clues as to how and where he should place his right arm.
Yes, I will look to the lady for signs. Some will slowly open up their right arm, and then I'll extend my left hand first. More often than not though, without a clear indication to do something else, I'll start the embrace with my right hand. Some women just want to quickly get into an embrace, while others like to take their time at arranging / negotiating the embrace.

To another point that was made earlier. Sometimes I don't feel a true connection with the follower (whatever that means), until some point into the first song (although this is more true of someone I've never danced with before). From my perspective, sometimes it feels like the follower needs some time to decide if she can really trust my lead before she truly surrenders.
(I realize that "surrender" may not be PC in the US, but it's the only way I know how to describe it).
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
No, o.c., but it is a funny thing to watch how a couple gets into the embrace. Left hand (men´s view) is more like an invitation, right hand like a conquest. It depends on how gritty the guy is, isn´t it?
I can't say I've ever put that much thought into it. Ever. And I've never thought of right-arm-first as a conquest, or considered describing a guy as "gritty." I can't think of how I get into an embrace even now, beyond "arms up and around" on some level. And I'm certainly not going to start getting rules involved with it.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
Yes, I will look to the lady for signs. Some will slowly open up their right arm, and then I'll extend my left hand first. More often than not though, without a clear indication to do something else, I'll start the embrace with my right hand. Some women just want to quickly get into an embrace, while others like to take their time at arranging / negotiating the embrace.

To another point that was made earlier. Sometimes I don't feel a true connection with the follower (whatever that means), until some point into the first song (although this is more true of someone I've never danced with before). From my perspective, sometimes it feels like the follower needs some time to decide if she can really trust my lead before she truly surrenders.
(I realize that "surrender" may not be PC in the US, but it's the only way I know how to describe it).
Yep, sometimes it takes a while. Surrender is as good a word as any, I suppose.

Sometimes it just takes a bit to figure out how to be comfortable (physically...some guys just are harder to get comfy against than others).

Sometimes it takes a while to find the best feel/position for how the guy leads. There is one many I've danced with a few times where I couldn't make heads or tails of his leading at first. Everything felt off. Then, purely by accident, I figured out that if I slid around to his right side a bit more and danced almost perpendicular to him, everything became crystal clear. It went from a nerve-wracking chore to figure out what he was doing, to where we might as well be sharing the same brain. Odd.

Sometimes it takes a while just to relax. I find this all the time with the first tanda or two of the evening--I've got to get myself calmed and centered, and it shows in my connection. (I've also felt this from several men.)

Sometimes with someone new, it just takes a bit to learn their quirks, and to feel how they hear the music, and to get a sense of how much they'll play or move their body, or any number of things. Perhaps some of that is the deciding to trust and surrender, as you've said. It takes a bit, but then once the connection is established...WHEEEE!!!
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
This description is way too rigid, but the general point is still a good one. I like to take a moment to look at my partner, slowly embrace her and get a feel for her, let her get a feel for me. Even with the same partner, she or I will feel differently at different times, to different music. Take a deep breath, feel her hair on my cheek. And, sometimes I just start right out, but never without her. One can connect quickly or slowly, using whatever manner one likes, but the connection should IMO be created before the first step occurs. The direction of the first step makes no difference.
I agree, since I dance with quite a few intermediate dancers I let them take their time; once they feel comfortable dancing then i push their limits; in most cases they are thinking way to much and to get past that requires moving quicker than they can think, so they respond with the body not the brain and nine times out of ten, VOILA, they go to lightspeed and connection is made.
 
And again, does it matter? If they watch a beautiful entrance to an embrace, does it matter if he initiated it with his left arm or his right?
I agree a beautiful entrance to an embrace is always desirable but I was thinking more in terms of the lady placing her left arm and as a leader noting where on my back she placed it and with what pressure so as best as I can mirror that, especially if I have never danced with her before.

Nothing to do with rules just doing my best to accomodate the lady I am dancing with.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
Huh. I don't think I've ever noticed the guy's hand/arm on my back as mirroring mine. (And I move my arm around a lot, so where I start is not where I generally end up.) What I do notice, and intensely dislike, is when the guy starts doing things with the fingertips of his right hand. Don't ask me why, but for me it crosses some line in the sand wrt intimacy that I just don't like. I notice a change in what he's doing.
 
 


It has many meanings because it hasn't been explained or felt. People have come up with their own ideas of what connection means.

A milonguero's first step is to the left. What can go wrong with the first step when it is done with feeling?



That's the American way. It rarely happens in a milonga in BsAs unless one is seated with a partner. This has nothing to do with connection in my opinion.



Just the reverse. The man offers his left hand first, the woman embraces him with her left arm, and then he bring his right arm around across her back with his fingers placed under her arm.



It's not necessary to "mark" the beat. This isn't done in any other social dance, so why is it done in tango? It's like talking before you have something to say. Women don't need it. They hear the beat and rely on their partners to dance the music. I'd like to know who teaches this and why. It's easy to spot an American in the milongas of BsAs for this bad habit.



I disagree. You label yourself as one who has never danced in BsAs. No preview is required. Women know in the first ten seconds in your embrace how the dance will be. You are either connected or not.




Basic dance floor etiquette should be taught as part of classes. A woman enters the floor first, the man follows, that is if they are seated together. Otherwise, after the cabeceo has been accepted, the man crosses the floor to approach nearby where the woman is seated, making eye contact with her. She enters the floor and positions herself in front of him, waiting for his indication to begin.

Argentine men take their time; American men rush. They begin dancing as if they are in a race to dance more tandas with more partners. Their tango patterns life in the fast lane in the USA. No one can slow down to enjoy the moment.
Jan you didn’t quite grasp what I was trying to say in my last post. If the man takes his time and gives the woman a moment to relax and settle into his embrace her journey might be more enjoyable. This holds true for all styles of tango as you can see in the videos below. Please take note of how all of the gentlemen offer the left hand first and then wrap the right arm around the partner. I think all of these gentlemen are Argentine and you’ve probably danced with a couple of them.
And Jan I’ve not only been to BsAs many times but my wife is Porteño and we look forward to meeting you on our next visit.
Besos
David

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41aEgrY9S1M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baCzhVDofFY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tAUGkBpUtY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6dxTHfQPac
 

jantango

Active Member
Jantango, are you embarrassed to be an American? Some of your posts seem to imply that.
No, I'm not embarrassed, and when asked I tell them I am from Chicago. It is disappointing to see so many will travel to BsAs to dance without opening their eyes and ears to what goes on in the milongas. It shows.

I typically start my embrace with my right hand (similar to what HBBoogie said), and did so in BsAs as well. It didn't bother me in the least that people there knew I was an American. Actually, most of the people figured that out before the embrace (when chatting briefly before the first song). Typically when I said something in my rather poor Spanish, most women would respond back, "Ah from New York?", and since I knew most people wouldn't know the city I am from, I would just say, "No, Boston".
I taught basic ballroom dance courses when I lived in Chicago. In the first class, the men learned to raise their left arm offering the hand to their partner to begin dancing. This indicates to the woman to raise her arm so he can embrace her. This detail has been overlooked in tango classes in the USA, although it is standard procedure in BsAs. It only reflects on the fact that Americans like to do things their way rather than learn how it is done in Argentina.

Think about it. If a woman is going to look over her partner's shoulder during the dance, she can't see where his left hand is unless she connects with it first.


It just seems odd that you appear to have an issue with Americans acting like Americans, even when in America. Does it bother you if the Brits act British?
The subject is a dance that originated in Buenos Aires. Today there is no excuse for not knowing what the local codes and customs are relating to tango. The internet has lots of information.

I quarrel with the Americanization of tango without any regard for the culture that goes along with it. Americans have convinced themselves that they are dancing Argentine tango. So then it must be so. They have no idea how embarrassing it is to Argentines when they disrespect their dance.

I talked the other day with a milonguero who had given a private lesson to a European couple. He said, I couldn't do much with them in an hour. They dance European tango, not Argentine tango. At least the woman's dancing improved, but they both stick their butts out. That's the way they are being taught there.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
...reply deleted...have headache (from banging head against wall)...

Are we seriously debating this nonsense again? Really? For the love of god, can't this damn subject be closed? No one here is ever going to agree--months and years of posts have made that pretty clear.

Can't we actually discuss something, I dunno, useful? Technique? Musicality? Problem solving? Music? With actual contributions instead of tearing people down and sniping?

Anyone taking any lessons they'd like to share? Puzzling experiences? Lightbulb moments?
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
I quarrel with the Americanization of tango without any regard for the culture that goes along with it. Americans have convinced themselves that they are dancing Argentine tango. So then it must be so. They have no idea how embarrassing it is to Argentines when they disrespect their dance.
I've tried to stay out of this discussion, but I did want to respectfully point out something in response to the above comment

It is not that Americans have convinced themselves of anything.. it is that Americans are convinced by their teachers, most of whom are Argentine themselves.

How would an American know that they are "embarrassing to Argentines" when they are doing what they were taught by their expatriate Argentine teachers?

I doubt there is anyone on this forum who has never had an Argentine teacher. I have had predominantly Argentine teachers, but I learned more about dancing in BA from my 1st teacher who was an American. After him, I would say that the teachers I've had who gave the most instruction of BA style salon dancing were an American couple who now reside in BA and travel back to the US to teach once or twice a year. (you may know them) FEW Argentine teachers I've had even taught close embrace, much less techniques for crowded traditional milongas.

You will respond that many of the Argentine teachers are show dancers that didn't dance in the milongas.... possibly so, but you are still blaming the student for not knowing what you feel constitutes "true Argentine Tango" when you should be holding the Argentine dancers who leave BA to make money in the US and Europe responsible.

They create legions of "Argentine Tango" dancers through classes and workshops that emphasize show dancing or non-traditional moves. It is actually quite hard for NON-Argentine teachers to compete with them and therefore have any substantial influence, unless they are as well-known as someone like Homer Ladas. Hardly anyone took lessons from my 1st teacher because there were Argentine alternatives here, which is sad because (having now had lessons from all of them) I can say without a doubt that he is the best instructor around here of fundamental principles of lead & follow as well as basic technique. When I teach using his teaching as my model, both leaders and followers who I've worked with look at me like I've told them some amazing tidbit they've never heard before despite the length of time they've danced. (things I started learning about in lesson ONE)

Even in Buenos Aries, people know that show dancing is what sells. No one performs salon dancing in the shows of BA unless they are doing a demo at a milonga. Its hard to get decent instruction in salon even in BA since so many teachers are show dancers. My teacher complained of this because he tried lessons in BA FIRST (he was there for something else) and when he went to a milonga, he couldn't use ANYTHING he was taught, and he wasn't taught ANYTHING he needed. He threw himself on the mercy of some older milonguero for some hints, and then later went back to BA with a tour put together by Daniel Trenner and got instruction from Tete and some others... people he might never have had access to on his own.

If the Argentines are so embarrassed by what the world has done to their tango, they have mostly other Argentines to blame. The rest of us are their students, not their masters..
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
Please take note of how all of the gentlemen offer the left hand first and then wrap the right arm around the partner. I think all of these gentlemen are Argentine and you’ve probably danced with a couple of them.
Actually, that's exactly what Jan said, and it the the opposite order than what was indicated by the wording of your post to which she responded.. ("Now tenderly wrap your right hand around her waist and offer her your left hand now you can bring her closer to you.") I inferred from your post (and possibly so did she) that you were suggesting embracing the lady with the right arm first, and only after that, offering the left hand.

Personally, I couldn't even tell you how I get into an embrace... with most leaders, its either automatic based on our prior knowledge of each other, or slowly non-verbally negotiated bit by bit. I will say however, that most often (not always) the LAST thing that occurs is that I softly drape my left arm over his shoulders, down his back, or wherever seems most natural with how we've connected in our bodies. Sometimes, I don't even do this until after we've taken teh first step or two, depending on how soon we start to actually move together. My left arm is not important for the connection, and I've had leaders tell me they like the way it arrives to them "softly" rather than immediately.

So I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with you or Jan. I'm just pointing out that your earlier post possibly reads backwards from what you meant, and that's why Jan responded about the leader's left hand needing to come before the right arm. Then you actually AGREED with her about the left hand being first even as you sounded as though you meant to disprove her point with video.

I actually got a chuckle out of it all....;)

I did however, feel that the bigger picture of your meaning was about taking some time to settle into the embrace and not rush things, but rather create a mood even from the first movements of coming together. Until it got discussed, I actually ignored your specifics while getting the "flavor" of what you were trying to say.... which I agree with.
 
Actually, that's exactly what Jan said, and it the the opposite order than what was indicated by the wording of your post to which she responded.. ("Now tenderly wrap your right hand around her waist and offer her your left hand now you can bring her closer to you.") I inferred from your post (and possibly so did she) that you were suggesting embracing the lady with the right arm first, and only after that, offering the left hand.

Personally, I couldn't even tell you how I get into an embrace... with most leaders, its either automatic based on our prior knowledge of each other, or slowly non-verbally negotiated bit by bit. I will say however, that most often (not always) the LAST thing that occurs is that I softly drape my left arm over his shoulders, down his back, or wherever seems most natural with how we've connected in our bodies. Sometimes, I don't even do this until after we've taken teh first step or two, depending on how soon we start to actually move together. My left arm is not important for the connection, and I've had leaders tell me they like the way it arrives to them "softly" rather than immediately.

So I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with you or Jan. I'm just pointing out that your earlier post possibly reads backwards from what you meant, and that's why Jan responded about the leader's left hand needing to come before the right arm. Then you actually AGREED with her about the left hand being first even as you sounded as though you meant to disprove her point with video.

I actually got a chuckle out of it all....;)

I did however, feel that the bigger picture of your meaning was about taking some time to settle into the embrace and not rush things, but rather create a mood even from the first movements of coming together. Until it got discussed, I actually ignored your specifics while getting the "flavor" of what you were trying to say.... which I agree with.
Oops it’s the dyslexia kicking in again.
Reminds me of the agnostic suffering from insomnia and dyslexia
Lying awake all night wondering if there really is a DOG
 
Re: order of embrace:
Just the reverse. The man offers his left hand first, the woman embraces him with her left arm, and then he bring his right arm around across her back with his fingers placed under her arm.
To be honest, I haven't really thought about the order I do things with the embrace. I suspect it varies, however.

And I also suspect that if you attempt to formalize it too much, it may lose spontaneity - you'll sacrifice the end (establishing a connection with your partner) for the means (doing it In The Right Order).

It's not necessary to "mark" the beat.

It's not always necessary. Sometimes it helps.

This isn't done in any other social dance,

Untrue. It's actually done - if needed - in many social dances. If not needed, it's not done. But it's a common technique - if needed - in some of the dance forms I have some years experience in.

Some of us need a helping hand to get started.

so why is it done in tango? It's like talking before you have something to say. Women don't need it.

Some do.

They hear the beat and rely on their partners to dance the music.

Some don't.

I'd like to know who teaches this and why. It's easy to spot an American in the milongas of BsAs for this bad habit.
I assumed it'd be easy to spot them because they'd be the ones wearing really loud shorts.

What? What's that you say? I'm "stereotyping an entire nation based on unfair generalisations"? Ooops.

I disagree. You label yourself as one who has never danced in BsAs.

You say that like it's a bad thing. :tongue:

In fact, I'm tempted to get a T-shirt printed with that... "One
who has never danced in BsAs"... :D

Basic dance floor etiquette should be taught as part of classes.
I agree.

As for, again, the order:

A woman enters the floor first, the man follows, that is if they are seated together. Otherwise, after the cabeceo has been accepted, the man crosses the floor to approach nearby where the woman is seated, making eye contact with her. She enters the floor and positions herself in front of him, waiting for his indication to begin.
Well, it's one way to do things.

Argentine men take their time; American men rush. They begin dancing as if they are in a race to dance more tandas with more partners. Their tango patterns life in the fast lane in the USA. No one can slow down to enjoy the moment.
Blimey, you might as well say Argentine men are all sexist, nationalistic, and have poor choice in leaders.

What? What's that you say? I'm "stereotyping an entire nation based on unfair generalisations"? Ooops.
 
The subject is a dance that originated in Buenos Aires.
And Uruguay, officially. So presumably we should adopt 50% Argentinian and 50% Uruguayan customs?

(What are Uruguayan customs? I barely know where the place is...)

I quarrel with the Americanization of tango without any regard for the culture that goes along with it.
It's a point. But then, cultures are different. Something that works in one culture won't work in another culture, or at least not in the same way.

I talked the other day with a milonguero who had given a private lesson to a European couple. He said, I couldn't do much with them in an hour. .
He can't be much good as a teacher then.
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
I honestly think a lot of women want excitement; I hear constant complaints about the deathmarch traditional music played at a local practilonga; the dj says he can brainwash the people who come into liking tango music but he's having the opposite effect by playing whole cds of one orchestra. I really like a lot of traditional music and i dont think its rocket science to mix up different orchestras into tandas, and keep it mostly instrumental ( with the exception of Tanturi Campos) so the flavours keep changing, along with some vals and milongas say one tanda of these per hour.
Women seem to like Poema but it seems pretty unique amongst tango music.
Then I always use Di Sarli to give people some clear structured music. Felicia :Alberto Carabelli version is another song that more advanced dancers like.
 

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