Leading - different philosophies?

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#81
Presumably the object in tango is to keep moving, not stop at stoplights. You want to stop while dancing? Turn off onto a side road. :)
Yes... But in a typical BA milonga, "moving" can be at a snail's pace and very confined. In the Milongas I've been to in the US, people want to do very large "stagey" moves and travel alot. If faced with someone moving slowly and intimately, they get impatient. Social tango was not meant to be like ballroom sweeping around the floor with grandness.

There may not be any stoplights, but its not the autobahn that some people would prefer.
 
#83
See, and I'm thinking 3 lane road...pokey people in the middle and right lanes, left lane wide open...currently in middle lane behind some blasted Sunday Driver...why not switch and continue on with your day. Not sideswipe, not clip the back corner of the car in front of you...change lanes and go about your business.
I took a great class the other day where the whole time was spent teaching floorcraft. The instructor used taped and marked out small circles at various points on the floor. She also used objects to delineate a very small area i.e. much of the dance floor was closed off to us. When the music started, the student couples were directed, at various times, to dance in a fixed location (within the marked circle), or to be able to move ahead. Plus, the instructor and her partner started dancing, and purposely danced in an obstructive way. The leaders had to adapt to all these conditions.

It was a very helpful simulation of a crowded milonga. Unfortunately there were only a few students taking this class. Naturally, the rest of them pack this other class where they are more likely to learn the cool, flashy move of the week. And then of course, they proceed to hold up traffic at the milonga while they try out the move. :rolleyes:
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
#85
This is one of those situations where I can see both sides of it. If some leader keeps stalling and stopping the flow, IMO he is the one causing the problem. The question then becomes what does the leader(s) behind him do about it. Your point is well taken that you can disrupt someone without hitting them.

Still, passing seems to be a better solution than "taking it outside".

:argue:
The answers is found in Regents Park on the boating pond; a man with a megaphone:
In the milonga you need someone with a Gardel/Melingo voice bellowing
" Couple with lady in blue dress Move along PLEASE!"
Man Leading with white Tuxcedo, back in lane please.
Lady with silver CIFs: Boleo violation. 2min40s penalty.
Man teaching his follower on the dance floor: Yellow Card; final warning"

Sung to Por Un Cabeza
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
#86
The answers is found in Regents Park on the boating pond; a man with a megaphone:
In the milonga you need someone with a Gardel/Melingo voice bellowing
" Couple with lady in blue dress Move along PLEASE!"
Man Leading with white Tuxcedo, back in lane please.
Lady with silver CIFs: Boleo violation. 2min40s penalty.
Man teaching his follower on the dance floor: Yellow Card; final warning"

Sung to Por Un Cabeza
Lol I like your idea.
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
#87
See, and I'm thinking 3 lane road...pokey people in the middle and right lanes, left lane wide open...currently in middle lane behind some blasted Sunday Driver...why not switch and continue on with your day. Not sideswipe, not clip the back corner of the car in front of you...change lanes and go about your business.
Don't watch NASCAR much, do you? :mrgreen:
 
#89
The answers is found in Regents Park on the boating pond; a man with a megaphone:
In the milonga you need someone with a Gardel/Melingo voice bellowing
" Couple with lady in blue dress Move along PLEASE!"
Man Leading with white Tuxcedo, back in lane please.
Lady with silver CIFs: Boleo violation. 2min40s penalty.
Man teaching his follower on the dance floor: Yellow Card; final warning"

Sung to Por Un Cabeza
and... "The prat in the flares. Yeah you. That's the 3rd time now you've insulted your follower. Gather your belongings and leave the building. Now."

I received an email yesterday from one of the teachers who teaches in North London. Apparently some major accident took place at a weekday milonga resulting in the callout of an ambulance. A follower got her leg kicked so hard (don't know if by a lead or follow) that it ripped into her flesh drawing blood. I told said teacher that I was taking part in a similar debate on DF re. floorcraft/navigations etc and I offered him my suggestion of how organisers of London milongas should keep announcing throughout the night on a mike the reminders to not do this, not to that etc etc. He said that was a good idea and that from this Sunday he would start doing same at his own milonga and would suggest to others to same. (Some "others" I just know won't) but yep, a start.
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#90
Re: Autobahn

... There may not be any stoplights, but its not the autobahn that some people would prefer
Hi Zoopsia,
this reminds me when I first visited a milonga in a dance studio called La Yumba. I was introduced that there were three invisible tracks on the dancefloor round the columns in the middle like an arena. Slow couples should take the outer track, the inner was for overtaking and the space between the columns for dancing figures.

:D
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
#91
Yes... But in a typical BA milonga, "moving" can be at a snail's pace and very confined. In the Milongas I've been to in the US, people want to do very large "stagey" moves and travel alot. If faced with someone moving slowly and intimately, they get impatient. Social tango was not meant to be like ballroom sweeping around the floor with grandness.

There may not be any stoplights, but its not the autobahn that some people would prefer.
Fine. When in Rome...

If you're in BsAs, feel free to shuffle along. Don't take those habits along with you when you travel.
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#92
Fine. When in Rome...

If you're in BsAs, feel free to shuffle along. Don't take those habits along with you when you travel.
You don't have to be in BA to be in a crowded milonga. And the thicker the traffic, the slower it goes. (or should, judging from the crashes I've seen and the accidents reported here) And what about the older people? Or the ones who are learning and can't move with lightning speed?

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point, but if you want to see AT at a milonga move along with the speed that occurs on a ballroom floor in a Viennese Waltz or Quickstep, you would be missing out on the very things that make social Argentine Tango a different dance than the ballroom dances. There are dances that are designed by definition to zip around the floor. I love them. But Argentine Tango isn't one of them.

You can always do stage tango and move as fast as you want and go anywhere you want... but not at a crowded milonga.
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#93
Hi Zoopsia,
this reminds me when I first visited a milonga in a dance studio called La Yumba. I was introduced that there were three invisible tracks on the dancefloor round the columns in the middle like an arena. Slow couples should take the outer track, the inner was for overtaking and the space between the columns for dancing figures.

:D
Hmmm... that's intersting.. I was always told that the tracks increase in speed as you move to the outside. Therefore the outside lane is the fastest, the middle lane slower, and the center, for doing figures more or less in place. That always made sense to me because why would you want to cross a fast lane to get from one slow lane to another? (of course, I was also taught that you aren't supposed to change lanes, much less TWO, during a song)

More importantly, since the outside is the only lane where the leader in close embrace doesn't have dancers in his blind spot (to his right), its the easiest place to move faster.
 
#95
I've been working on a theory as to why I occasionally have problems (or get complaints) leading certain followers (most often they are intermediates), and actually have less trouble with leading either beginners or advanced dancers. I've mostly assumed that it was mainly due to me being inconsistent and sloppy at times. However, I'm now starting to believe that another cause for this may be that there are different ways (or philosophies) for how the lead and follow are supposed to work.

In talking to various teachers (and taking classes or lessons), I've heard what I would categorize as three distinct ways for how to lead turns. The three categories I would list are: Leading with the chest, Leading with the shoulders, and Leading with the frame (the technique I mostly try to use).


Obviously, there's some overlap with things from these philosophies, but at the expense of overly simplifying it (and since I don't feel like writing a book), here's how I see them (in this case I'm mostly talking about turns).
  • Leading with the chest: The leader signals where the follower should go/turn, by rotating or moving his chest.
  • Leading with the shoulders: The leader signals by moving his shoulder (or sometimes both shoulders) where or how he wants the follower to move/turn, and the chest is used as well.
  • Leading with the frame: The leader uses (together as a unit, and not independently) his chest, shoulders, and arms to signal where he wants the follower to go/turn.
So here is my theory:
  • With a beginner (for the most part), they will take (and be happy with) any kind of signal (lead) that they can get, and also assume that anything going wrong is their fault.
  • With an intermediate, they have a fairly clear understanding of the system (or philosophy) of their main teacher, but may not be aware that their teacher's techniques and philosphies aren't the only ones that people use.
  • With an advanced dancer, they have experienced pretty much all the common techniques and philosophies, and can easily accomodate any of them, even if they have a preference of one style over another.
So does anyone think this theory of mine holds any water, or am I simply all wet?

:confused:
Here I am with my two penn'orth a bit late in the day.

In my opinion teaching that you just lead with movements of the shoulders is incorrect. Tango leading is all about using the whole upper body isn't it? I don't think I could pick up a lead if the man had an ironing board torso and was just wiggling his shoulders.

Leading with the frame is not really 'leading with the frame', it's more that it's the framework necessary for picking up said body leads.
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
#96
Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point, but if you want to see AT at a milonga move along with the speed that occurs on a ballroom floor in a Viennese Waltz or Quickstep, you would be missing out on the very things that make social Argentine Tango a different dance than the ballroom dances.
Who said anything about Viennese Waltz?

If it's a crowded milonga, there will be no passing, and thus no one can complain about being passed.
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#98
Who said anything about Viennese Waltz?

If it's a crowded milonga, there will be no passing, and thus no one can complain about being passed.
I'm not trying to argue with you Joe. I'm trying to get a frame of reference for what you mean when you say that if you are being passed you are going "too slow".

Without some reference point neither of us knows what the other means by "fast" or "slow". I injected Viennese Waltz and Quickstep as reference points for speed on a dance floor. I also said (and you quoted) that maybe I'm misunderstanding your point.

But I do have to totally disagree that there is no passing in crowded milongas. There seems to always be some hotshot who gets impatient about not being able to do their favorite stagey move and tries to pass when they really shouldn't, just as there are hot shots who try to lead high inline boleos when its too risky. Not everyone follows the "rules" or has any concept of dancing with "the room" instead of just with themselves. If that were the case, this discussion wouldn't have even come up.

I don't know you at all, so I can only go by what you write. And when you write stuff like "If you are being passed, then you are going too slow" it makes you sound like you may be one of those impatient hotshots. I have no way to know how you dance.

It simply isn't true that someone being passed is nessesarily going "too slow". The slower couple may be dancing completely appropriately for the conditions and the person passing is just plain wrong to attempt passing or any of the other things they are doing.
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
#99
Once I'm gonna liken it to the highway for you. There's the speed that most cars on the highway are going, there are slower cars, and there are faster cars. (Well, not cars, but drivers.) When the cars stick to the lane appropriate for them, everything works. The slow cars should stick to the right lane, the fast cars will spend most of their time in the left lane. Where the system breaks down is when a slow or medium-speed car decides to camp out in the left lane. Then you get all kinds of stacking.
 

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