Feeling the Man's Steps?

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
Yes that's it, as i see it in talking about the man's lead, the Milonguero old guard seem to lift the free leg by jerking it upwards.... then when they shoot it down, the woman has no doubt what, where and when the action occurs... Ricardo Vidort..and Ruben Har.....sp? can be seen doing this..it accents the music, too.:friend:
The accenting the music stuff, I get. I'm less clear on how it's helpful with respect to the lead. By the time his foot hits the ground, it's too late to be a useful lead. Possibly the initial movement of him stepping down could convey some information, but I only (on rare occasion) use this for accenting a beat, (and have wondered if it goofs up my lead, or hurts the comfort of the follower).
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
The accenting the music stuff, I get. I'm less clear on how it's helpful with respect to the lead. By the time his foot hits the ground, it's too late to be a useful lead. Possibly the initial movement of him stepping down could convey some information, but I only (on rare occasion) use this for accenting a beat, (and have wondered if it goofs up my lead, or hurts the comfort of the follower).
If you change the way you walk, whatever the change,and you're connected
at the chest your partner will feel the change even before your foot hits
the ground. Even though I'm unclear exactly what Mario is referring to,
your partner will feel the preparation, the lift and the strike even though
she won't know exactly what it going on. So she will feel the change in
emphasis and hopefully join you in that change if you provide that intention.
That is usually the point of it as a response to the music.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
Speaking frankly, I fear the concept of the center often simply is kind of a smoke grenade to avoid a clear explanation of the lead in detail. And I think I am quite familiar with this concept back then since my TaiJi Chuan days.

José „El Turco“ Brahemcha (one founding father of VU style) once said: You lead with your whole body, head, or arms, or butt, what actually fits best.
I think you have a point (as I don't subscribe to the view that the arms can't be used), but some of the other posts seemed to say that leading the followers free foot requires the leader doing things with his foot or arms. If they are simply saying that's their preference, then of course the point can't be argued. Now since I suspect I don't fully understand ant's point (or what type of move he's talking about that requires this), maybe it's possible that he doesn't understand what I and some other are saying.

In any case, here's an example of a leader moving the follower's free foot without using his hands or feet to do it. Maybe others could provide video of what they are talking about when they seem to be saying it is needed. The example I'm referring to starts at around 2:22.

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BTW, A note to the MODs: It looks like this site is not setup to allow embedding of youtube videos using the (newer) iframe tags (html code) that youtube provides now. I had to convert the html to the older object tags, to embed this video.
 

Subliminal

Well-Known Member
One kind of amusing thing that I've noticed since learning to follow is how it changes my perception of steps. As a leader, I am used to thinking in terms of instant reaction. I move this way, she moves this way. It seemed so obvious to me as a leader, she must know what's going on, she did it! Then I started learning to follow, and I realized which parts actually come across. For instance, I thought it was obvious to the follower when we switched to cross system. But then following, I discovered I wouldn't conciously register cross system untl we've already completed a couple ochos. :-D

What registers to me as a follower is "noise". Am I getting a clear direction? Is there something extra confusing the signal? As Daniel Trenner once told me in a class, as far as the followers are concerned, the leader has four responsibilities:

Go.
Stop.
Left.
Right.

The follower handles most of the work. The leader's primary responsibility is safety and navigation. This all starts from a clear signal. So how does a leader produce a clear signal? He reduces "noise". We've talked a lot about how the leader should step in this thread, but if we try to distill the comments, it really comes down to Stability. Noise is caused by extra muscle movements, above that which is needed to convey the lead. After a leader is able to reduce the noise they are producing through their body, then they can start deliberately adding it back in as a musical element. But it must be DELIBERATE.
 

Subliminal

Well-Known Member
Re: The follower's free foot.

I agree with newbie, to move in a different direction requires two movements. But... I will take it one step farther. Every step requires two movements. First, the leader directs the follower's free leg, then he follows her where she needs to go. If he chooses to follow her in a different direction, that is how you end offset.
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
What registers to me as a follower is "noise". . . . . . .

The follower handles most of the work. The leader's primary responsibility is safety and navigation. This all starts from a clear signal. So how does a leader produce a clear signal? He reduces "noise". We've talked a lot about how the leader should step in this thread, but if we try to distill the comments, it really comes down to Stability. Noise is caused by extra muscle movements, above that which is needed to convey the lead. After a leader is able to reduce the noise they are producing through their body, then they can start deliberately adding it back in as a musical element. But it must be DELIBERATE.
Beautifully clear explanation!
 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
...The leader's primary responsibility is safety and navigation. This all starts from a clear signal. So how does a leader produce a clear signal? He reduces "noise". We've talked a lot about how the leader should step in this thread, but if we try to distill the comments, it really comes down to Stability. Noise is caused by extra muscle movements, above that which is needed to convey the lead. After a leader is able to reduce the noise they are producing through their body, then they can start deliberately adding it back in as a musical element. But it must be DELIBERATE.
I think this is a good explanation.

When I began learning tango I would often ask teachers how to lead various steps. (If I didn't know that, I didn't know the step.) Their answers were often, "Well, you just lead it". I didn't get that for a long time, but I gradually figured out that that was the correct answer.

Sometimes I think of leading as pushing a shopping cart through a crowded store. All the leader has to do is establish a good connection and guide it in the direction he wants to go. (You could even do it to the background music, if you wanted to). No one would have to ask where to put their feet. Of course, the leader would have to focus attention on the cart, and not just give it signals as to where to go.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
The leader's primary responsibility is safety and navigation. This all starts from a clear signal. So how does a leader produce a clear signal? He reduces "noise". We've talked a lot about how the leader should step in this thread, but if we try to distill the comments, it really comes down to Stability. Noise is caused by extra muscle movements, above that which is needed to convey the lead. After a leader is able to reduce the noise they are producing through their body, then they can start deliberately adding it back in as a musical element. But it must be DELIBERATE.
I've always felt that the leaders main responsibilities were clarity (of the lead), and comfort (of the follower). Those actually relate pretty close to your navigation (clarity) and safety (comfort).
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
. So how does a leader produce a clear signal? He reduces "noise". We've talked a lot about how the leader should step in this thread, but if we try to distill the comments, it really comes down to Stability. Noise is caused by extra muscle movements, above that which is needed to convey the lead. After a leader is able to reduce the noise they are producing through their body, then they can start deliberately adding it back in as a musical element. But it must be DELIBERATE.
this is interesting...last night I managed to creat my own noise...I had a mouthful of cake
when a pugliese track came on and i wanted to dance, but i found I couldnt chew and listen to the music and dance at the same time......so I chose slow movements to swallow the cake then everything got much much better....
 
Speaking frankly, I fear the concept of the center often simply is kind of a smoke grenade to avoid a clear explanation of the lead in detail. And I think I am quite familiar with this concept back then since my TaiJi Chuan days.

José „El Turco“ Brahemcha (one founding father of VU style) once said: You lead with your whole body, head, or arms, or butt, what actually fits best.
It's interesting that you mentioned Taiji Chuan. I was told by a friend that having learned Taiji before must have helped me with Tango.
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
TaiJi and Tango and TaiJi

It's interesting that you mentioned Taiji Chuan. I was told by a friend that having learned Taiji before must have helped me with Tango.
Hi, I don´t know what it means concerning the follower´s role. But for me it means the loose and untensed muscles of the arms and shoulder, then the core projection to somewhere in my breast (in TaiJi the center is located deeper), and finally the independent hip and leg section with it´s deep muscle layers that alway seeks for grounding and foundation.
If in TaiJi someone strikes and hits you, you try to discharge and conduct the energy through the hip into the ground. The same with volcadas, the woman does not transfer the energy onto arms or shoulders, its transfered through spine and upper body into the ground. As with colgadas: the idea is not to equilibrate the (horizontal) transfugal forces, but to stretch oneself and to imagine a linear line from your foot up to your head.
 
Hi, I don´t know what it means concerning the follower´s role. But for me it means the loose and untensed muscles of the arms and shoulder, then the core projection to somewhere in my breast (in TaiJi the center is located deeper), and finally the independent hip and leg section with it´s deep muscle layers that alway seeks for grounding and foundation.
If in TaiJi someone strikes and hits you, you try to discharge and conduct the energy through the hip into the ground. The same with volcadas, the woman does not transfer the energy onto arms or shoulders, its transfered through spine and upper body into the ground. As with colgadas: the idea is not to equilibrate the (horizontal) transfugal forces, but to stretch oneself and to imagine a linear line from your foot up to your head.
I didn't think this deep. I thought it gives me better sense of balance.
 

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