Is tango easy?

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#62
Or because they're internet savvy, reads forums like this one (or other internet tango forums, blogs, etc that are MUCH more intimidating) and take everything way too seriously, to start.

Just suggesting an alternate possibility. :)
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#63
I led something and she did not follow. "What did you want me to do? Oh, ok, this is what I felt but as I am not familiar with that I did not do it".
Nowadays, I only lead things followers are familiar with. Thanks to followers I am getting worse as time goes by. Once in a while there comes a good follower though, and she asks "Hey you used to lead nice things, where is your tango gone?". Torn to shreds by "good-enough" followers.
Another approach is to try and improve the clarity of your lead with some of those followers. See if you can get some of them to do some steps that they are not familiar with. It's an ego boost when a follower says, "I always wondered how to do that move, and I didn't even have to think about it when you led it".
 

Gssh

Well-Known Member
#64
I dunno...a good vodka gimlet? Om nom nom.
And again i have to be the voice of the one true gimlet, as people who invented it in the 1930's intended it to be: There is no vodka gimlet! The true gimlet is made with gin!

(and now i should get started on my rant about vodka martinis that contain not a single of the ingriedients that make a maritini: no gin, no sweet vermout, no dry vermouth)

:)

Gssh


Back to the practice question: I think it is perfectly possible to work on ones tango when dancing with followers that are less advanced. The trick is for me to not work on things that i can not do/ that are at the outer limits of my abilities. This is the time to make the things that i think i know bombproof. I have come to the conclusion for my dance that if i lead something, and she follows in a way that is not what i expect then i am most likely not just wrong in the move i am trying to do, but i am wrong in the setup and the basics that underly that move, and i have been able to cheat up to this point, and now the accumulation of errors is catching with me. If my timing is off, or my geometry, that is something that practice will fix, but if i think i am ok, and it still doesn't work then i need to go back to the drawing board and review all components of the whole thing. A lot if followers spend so much time fixing bad leads that it has become unconscious practice, and the fact that something works has sadly enough very little to do with the quality of ones lead. It is sometimes depressing to dance with somebody and they are utterly surprised at how different basic things like e.g. ochos or moulinettes feel when they are actually lead even only semi-competently.

Gssh
 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
#65
...if i think i am ok, and it still doesn't work then i need to go back to the drawing board and review all components of the whole thing...
This is standard advise in many areas: sports, music, dance. If it's not working well enough, return to the basics. The best professionals recognize that their basics are not solid enough.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#66
And again i have to be the voice of the one true gimlet, as people who invented it in the 1930's intended it to be: There is no vodka gimlet! The true gimlet is made with gin!

(and now i should get started on my rant about vodka martinis that contain not a single of the ingriedients that make a maritini: no gin, no sweet vermout, no dry vermouth)

:)

Gssh


Back to the practice question: I think it is perfectly possible to work on ones tango when dancing with followers that are less advanced. The trick is for me to not work on things that i can not do/ that are at the outer limits of my abilities. This is the time to make the things that i think i know bombproof. I have come to the conclusion for my dance that if i lead something, and she follows in a way that is not what i expect then i am most likely not just wrong in the move i am trying to do, but i am wrong in the setup and the basics that underly that move, and i have been able to cheat up to this point, and now the accumulation of errors is catching with me. If my timing is off, or my geometry, that is something that practice will fix, but if i think i am ok, and it still doesn't work then i need to go back to the drawing board and review all components of the whole thing. A lot if followers spend so much time fixing bad leads that it has become unconscious practice, and the fact that something works has sadly enough very little to do with the quality of ones lead. It is sometimes depressing to dance with somebody and they are utterly surprised at how different basic things like e.g. ochos or moulinettes feel when they are actually lead even only semi-competently.

Gssh

Fan of gimlets, huh? :wink: :-D

I think that lead and follow is not that straight-forward. The person you're leading is a person. Yes. You can use your weight to put her on the correct foot at the right time and in the right place. But, if she's been dancing with people who can't lead or with people (sometimes teachers) who overcompensate or lead too heavily, etc, then you can be the world's best lead and she may not end up where you expected. No fault of her own. This is not to blame the victim, just to say that it can be a complicated interchange.
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#67
A
(and now i should get started on my rant about vodka martinis that contain not a single of the ingriedients that make a maritini: no gin, no sweet vermout, no dry vermouth)
And I'll add a rant about the wide selection of "teas" sold in the US that have no actual tea in them!
 
#69
Tango beginners are usually more critical of their level than salsa counterparts

I don't know about the salsa scene, but it does seem that tango beginners are unnecessarily hard on themselves.
Seems like we've come full circle now. That would be because they underestimate the challenge of learning tango.

I wonder if comments along the line of "if they are having negative experiences and feeling bad, it must be their own fault" would be made if this were a discusson about women's difficulties (in any context). :rolleyes:

Men are no more critical of themselves in Tango than Salsa, but in Tango, they are made aware of their lack of expertise through feedback (direct or indirect) more often than in Salsa.
Tango beginners may be underestimating the challenge, but that's not why their experience sucks.
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#70
men learning to follow is far more common than the other way around. i suspect serious novices among men often resort to following themselves in order to work things out with other peers.
This must be a regional difference. Around here, there are far more women who lead than men who follow, and they lead at a higher level than the follower level of the guys who follow.
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#71
I wonder if comments along the line of "if they are having negative experiences and feeling bad, it must be their own fault" would be made if this were a discusson about women's difficulties (in any context). :rolleyes:

Men are no more critical of themselves in Tango than Salsa, but in Tango, they are made aware of their lack of expertise through feedback (direct or indirect) more often than in Salsa.
Tango beginners may be underestimating the challenge, but that's not why their experience sucks.
You quoted 3 people who made comments about the way tango seems to prompt self-criticism, especially in beginners, and not one of those quotes included any reference to gender. I wasn't even thinking about gender when I made the comment you quoted in this post. Beginners are very hard on themselves... both male and female. I haven't noticed much gender divide in that.
 
#72
This must be a regional difference. Around here, there are far more women who lead than men who follow, and they lead at a higher level than the follower level of the guys who follow.
Agreed that women who lead tend to be at a higher level than corresponding men who follow. It doesn't contradict my observation that at early learning stages, many men have their leading and following concepts equally well,and know to follow more than corresponding women at similar stages. For learning, being able to understand why something isn't working is crucial, and often it's easier to debug an issue with a follower who is also a leader (than a pure follower). In this context, it's far easier to figure out something with the help of another leader who can follow rudimentarily than a skilled follower. The women who become god leaders often start that training much later.

In part, women hear the "you're no doing it" response because they can't say why it's not working right, and in the absence of that, there isn't a way for leaders to see that there is something amiss. (another part of the reason they hear this kind of response is because a lot of men suck at tactful non adversarial friendly communication...)
 
#73
The basics are not much tougher than other ballroom dances. The lead is harder to learn because the lead has to be very definitive. Beyond basics all dances are hard to learn.
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
#74
No, not really. Whether tango or ballroom, the leader can give a subtle lead and have it followed, if the follower is sufficiently sensitive to feeling a subtle lead. If a follower isn't sufficiently sensitive, the lead won't be followed, or the lead must be less subtle.
 

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