Leaders should learn to follow

Subliminal

Well-Known Member
#61
I agree with Peaches point about immersion.

Also, Bastet, I think you're on to something. And it reminded me of what my teacher said to me a few weeks ago. I had just made some big leaps in understanding the walk, and I told her I finally "got" something she'd told me on day one. She just smiled and told me not to worry, the walk was something you work and develop forever, until you have your own style. At that point, after years of study it's all about subtleties. Dancers at that level no longer judge by how their moves look, but by the signature of their walk.

I also think part of the mystery has to do with how new AT is to most of our areas. I mean, how many people in your town have been dancing AT for 20+ years? It's not that there CAN'T be a non-Argentine milonguero, it's just there hasn't been time enough for many to reach that level.
 

bastet

Active Member
#62
I agree with Peaches point about immersion.

Also, Bastet, I think you're on to something. And it reminded me of what my teacher said to me a few weeks ago. I had just made some big leaps in understanding the walk, and I told her I finally "got" something she'd told me on day one. She just smiled and told me not to worry, the walk was something you work and develop forever, until you have your own style. At that point, after years of study it's all about subtleties. Dancers at that level no longer judge by how their moves look, but by the signature of their walk.

I also think part of the mystery has to do with how new AT is to most of our areas. I mean, how many people in your town have been dancing AT for 20+ years? It's not that there CAN'T be a non-Argentine milonguero, it's just there hasn't been time enough for many to reach that level.
that's very true too- most people here haven't been dancing long enough perhaps, to get there.

I think a person also has to be interested in "going there" where ever "there" might be, and that takes a pretty inquisitive and persistent mind/personality if you aren't actually in a place like BsAs 24/7 being bombarded with how something should "feel" or look til it becomes second nature. You may have to work harder at it.

My view on the dance itself relaxed so much 2 or so years ago when I also realized that I would be working on a good looking walk for some time, and that it was OK to do so and feel the dance as progressive layers that I build, deconstruct periodically and re-build.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#63
Can not a non-native love / appreciate / learn / become engulfed in / become adept in / become an accepted member / expert in a foreign culture? Of course.
Well, yes, but...
Recently witnessed Americans trying to do a Nepalese "head waggle" that is a non verbal, sort of luke warm "yes". Then I watched a six year old do it. BIG difference.
And remember that many of us can detect very faint traces of accents in speech patterns and pronunciation of others decades after they've moved to another part of the country.
So, I guess that means I'm willing to admit that there may be at the very least a grain of truth in the myth.
 

bastet

Active Member
#64
Well, yes, but...
Recently witnessed Americans trying to do a Nepalese "head waggle" that is a non verbal, sort of luke warm "yes". Then I watched a six year old do it. BIG difference.
And remember that many of us can detect very faint traces of accents in speech patterns and pronunciation of others decades after they've moved to another part of the country.
So, I guess that means I'm willing to admit that there may be at the very least a grain of truth in the myth.
maybe- but how much of it is "truth in the myth" versus- "didn't get explained properly" because no one knew how to ask the right question?
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
#65
No, you are mistaken about me. Yes, I am in it for the feel..but it's you who calls it "cheap"... Should I marry the woman and make it "expensive"?:raisebro:
I'm saying that if someone said that to me, I would find myself creeped out. I would wonder if they were in it for a cheap feel. I know from your posts that this is not the case with you. But without that added dimension of knowing someone...
 
#66
maybe- but how much of it is "truth in the myth" versus- "didn't get explained properly" because no one knew how to ask the right question?
Actually, this is particularly interesting to me....the 'truth' in the 'myth'...I've spent some very important years studying research papers on second language and 'accent' acquisition. When one does 'ask the right questions' it shows that The process of learning/acquiring is not done consciously at all. It is all as close to an unconscious miracle as one can imagine ..these are the truths..they are not myths..the myths are what they teach in high school language class and you can tell that it's a myth because it doesn't work.:shock:

Actually Peaches, you don't have to soften your opinions for me...I am mainly in this for the feel of a woman in my arms and the flow of the music and dance. The first time I saw a Tango was when a painter friend was visiting and asked me to find him some Tango..I called around and found a woman with a dance floor in her home...when they walked out onto the floor and the music began to play, I was transfixed..I thought that I was in a Fellini movie... months later, when I attended my first Tango class and stood with a beautiful/stranger woman in my arms..I asked myself, why didn't I know this sort of thing was going on, years ago??
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#67
You know- I've thought a lot over the last 4 1/2 years on that "Argentine's have a better embrace" and "No one moves like an Argentine" and have come to some conclusions.

I do like the ease which I tend to see in most of the videos I see of good Argentine couples dancing.

If you recall the whole clap trap threads we've had about Argentine tango and "mysteriousness". I think it fits in with that, but not because there is something inherently "mysterious" that only an Argentine could master, but it comes down to immersion, to some degree, and what I have found as a distinct lack of ability of Argentine teachers I have had to be able to verbalize a nuanced point.
Maybe it was never verbalized to the Argentines. From their perspective, it's just something natural, although they likely picked it up (subconsciously) by immersion, as you stated. Thus they've never had to verbalize it, as it is all done at the subconscious level.

BTW, I'm making an assumption that the "it" you were referring to, is what soome people call "cadencia".

The embrace was my latest experience with this. My other half and I were having lessons with an Argentine couple who dance socially in BsAs, and we wanted to finesse our embraces a little more.

I spent 3 days trying to get them to explain a point in the embrace that they didn't explain to my other half, but that I could FEEL every time I got in to an embrace with either one of them.
Can you describe what it is that you FEEL in an embrace with one of them?
 

bastet

Active Member
#68
Maybe it was never verbalized to the Argentines. From their perspective, it's just something natural, although they likely picked it up (subconsciously) by immersion, as you stated. Thus they've never had to verbalize it, as it is all done at the subconscious level.

BTW, I'm making an assumption that the "it" you were referring to, is what soome people call "cadencia".

Can you describe what it is that you FEEL in an embrace with one of them?

I think you are quite possibly right. From what I understand of a lot of the traditional Argentine teaching methods, it is visual and not verbal. Those who learned that way still teach that way, I find. They tend to teach a pattern that emphasizes a concept (but forget to tell you what the concept is)...thus- it gets picked up by immersion. Even an Argentine had to be a beginner at some point. They had ot learn just like anyone else- they are just surrounded by it more.

On the embrace- when I am in a nice (close) embrace, I get this nice gentle "up" feeling in my upper body. Not grabby, but gently supported in in a light "upwards" fashion. And I can really feel the connection through the core much better than with many people I generally dance with with someone who does have a nice close embrace (except for a few masters I have been lucky enough to find myself in an embrace with who also feel that way). (Trust me- both of these can be taught, if you're willing to work.)

We were quite lucky that the leader of the couple we took lessons from is fairly tall, so I could see that something was happening with him that wasn't happening with my partner, as well as feel it. But they never explained it, until I hounded them about it for 3 days. We finally figured it out and as I figured, it was a pretty subtle upper body motion thing that doesn't show visually but is quite important and very hard to explain well enough for someone to "get" and then harder to put in muscle memory because you have to adapt it to every partner without misusing it.

And that was just one couple.

Another person I learned close embrace from taught it a little different, but the end feeling of the connection was similar but the body positioning was different....so mytery can be taught- but you kind of have to get good at asking questions the right way.
 

bastet

Active Member
#69
I'll add one last difference between these 2 methods of close embrace I learned.

The 1st one works better when the lead is a little taller than the follow, because of the "up" feeling he gives.

The second works best with people whose heights are not too disparate (liek 6" or less). It would probably be a good choice for a leader who is slightly shorter than his follow...I'll have to think about that.
 

Angel HI

Well-Known Member
#70
I guess that means I'm willing to admit that there may be at the very least a grain of truth in the myth.
I am certainly not saying that a native will not have an advantage over a non-native re language, customs, idesyncracies, etc. I am saying that it is not an improbability, or impossibility, for a non-native to, sincerely, accept/acuqire such values of a chosen/foreign people/culture.
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
#71
I am certainly not saying that a native will not have an advantage over a non-native re language, customs, idesyncracies, etc. I am saying that it is not an improbability, or impossibility, for a non-native to, sincerely, accept/acuqire such values of a chosen/foreign people/culture.
i had an observation from a female Danish friend who came to my classes for a while but just regarded English men beginners as hopelessly inept and unmusical and Danes would have been far more appreciative of my teaching skills. she give up for that reason, although she said she loved dancing with me ( who wouldnt)
 
#78
A person can swap roles for generally one of two aims. To understand their own role better or to learn to do the other role.

In order to learn their own role better it is ideal to dance with good and less so skilled of that role. So a male lead that follows good and bad men will feel the many things he could subject his own followers to. With good and bad side by side hopefully he can distingiush which would be better to do and so learn.

In order to learn the opposite role better it is generally only good to dance with those good at your normal position. A male learning to follow would learn much less about following correctly from a poor lead than a good one.

So given my view above it depends on your aims who should help you learn the opposite role. For me an occasional follow to help with refining leading is enough. I am not interested in becoming more than just an adequate follow. I would learn nothing of leading if I could not atleast maintain presence forward when I follow.

Observationally I see no motivation for guys to be great follows. Socially guys are not going to be asked to dance as a follow. Even if men are equally happy to lead a guy, why would they when there are more abundant and much nicer follower skilled women. Most leading women would lead women for the same reason. Equally alot of women would find it embarrassing to ask any guy to follow who is not already a friend.
 

Dance Ads