Milonguera to me: "You have a ballroom frame"

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
While I'm sure those people are having fun, I don't find the video a convincing argument for bad posture. :p
I'm not trying to get you to change anything about your dance, (be it posture or anything else). You know what works for you, much better than I would.

What you stated previously about posture, I agree that it looks good, and I once bought into the idea, that it's what people should always do. However, I do not agree (at least not any longer) that it feels the best for everyone (or with every partner).
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
Wonder if this is the video that made me think I would fit in at Lo de Celia?

Is that JohnEm over there by the door?
You're definitely too tall for Celia . . .

Could be my double, but not me.
This video was uploaded in January 2011, long before my visit
though I now recognise some of the people in it.
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
Between this thread and the workshop I attended, I'm definitely considering dropping AT from my program at the BR-centric studio. Although I'm not excited about signing up for *another* lessons package elsewhere for AT instruction, I realize now that although I like the pattern-based syllabus for BR styles, the way they're teaching AT seems horribly inauthentic (I probably shouldn't use that word to avoid opening a Pandora's box of arguments) or at the least more focused on showiness as opposed to dancing for dancing's sake.
I don't think that anyone, here, (not any of the regulars, anyway) would argue with you over the authenticity point.

I wouldn't entertain wanting to learn AT from 90%+ studios. the very fact that they sell packages of lessons at all would tell me all I needed to make that decision. If by showiness, you mean using elements of Fantasia or stage tango to make the 'moves' more exciting (for which, read saleable), then that's about what I would expect, but of course, that style of dance has really nothing at all to do with social tango, where even boleos and ganchos may not be appropriate for much of the time (depending upon where you dance).

Take a step back, and review your goals. If you want to be able to dance with the members of your own local tango community (and not tango at your studio parties), then you need to find out where they dance. Go along, and find out about the local scene. Ask the organiser of the event what tuition options there are. Most people are pretty helpful in this way, and want to grow their local communities. You may find that there is a whole network of dancers that operates completely outside the dance studio model, and it may be a world of which you have previously been quite unaware.

Joining it may be hard work. People can be very intimidating, and I think tango is not very welcoming to beginners. There seem to be a good number of initiation rites which have to be faced and worked through before anyone will take you seriously. BR dancers have a hard time: possibly this is because they tend to think that they know it all already, and just have to adapt a bit (wrong!), more likely because they have not really acquired much proper technique and they've learned the BR equivalent of the 8CB way of dancing tango (ie they can sort of stumble around the floor, but with no understanding of how things work, and no proper foundation of technique). They adopt a sort of pastiche BR posture (rightly, an object of derision for most ATers), but know no better. It is a real obstacle to making early progress, not least because the tango dancers don't know anything about BR technique, either, and the things about which they express opinions very freely are things about which they know next-to-nothing. Attempting the crossover is hard: you're on your own.

Tango is very pattern-based, but not in quite the way you might expect, if you come from the world of the standardised dances. There is a whole range of opinion about what is good and what is not, and it is very confusing to the beginner to know where to begin in terms of whose advice you might trust enough to invest your own time and effort in following. Your best guide will be the scene local to you. Generally, I would expect you to find that the tango community will have come together around a fairly narrow band in the broad spectrum of styles, and what is danced by the locals is what you will have to dance, if you want to dance tango in the company of others.

Later on, you can (and should) find your own style, which may be more of the same, but may be different. If the latter, there are other communities around that will be just as ready to intimidate you as you seek to join them. It's all part of the experience.
 
Let's see if I can make this simple enough for even those with beer bellies to understand:

[image]

Ballroom on the left, tango on the right. As you can see, the ballroom point of contact is convex at the center. The tango POC is convex at the top.
Below is a link to an illustration of a reasonably typical ballroom foxtrot posture.

i44.tinypic com/afhm9u.png

This is a static image of course and it should be remembered that the frame will shape and breathe during the dance- A static frame makes for an uncomfortable dance. A ballroom tango frame will have more compact arms and a slightly different weight distribution (I've heard different opinions on where in the foot the weight should be for ballroom quickstep and tango). But the main purpose of me sharing this image is to point out that the leader in standard ballroom has a vertical spine, not an arched one.

i44.tinypic com/fl9ifk.png [just for completeness, a possible AT posture]
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
I switched from AT to BR and the most important thing I've noticed so far is that AT dancers lack of power. Speed is ok for quite a few really advanced dancers but accels are not good at all. That results in their dance being disconnected with the music.

...

However, don't try BR style with bad BR techniques. You'd better use bad AT techniques than BR ones. I know some that tried to copy my style without success.
I hesitate to comment, but I know what you mean (I think). The mechanics of the walk proper to the BR swing dances (not tango, ironically) enables the dancer to power around the room in a way that would have the average AT dancer having to run to keep up. BR tango has a different technique, but one that still develops fast foot speeds and the ability to change direction and pace very quickly. The key is the point of bodily contact being lower in the body, and the way that the standing leg is used to drive and push the body as it moves.

AT doesn't work in the same way, and such movement isn't wanted, wouldn't sit with the style, and most tango dancers seem to find the whole idea of BR tango comical, bordering on farcical. If you think that a different style of movement necessarily means that one group is disconnected with the music, then I would say that you are quite mistaken (although there are plenty of AT dancers that are, but that fault is by no means restricted to AT), and you would have to allow that much tango music as well as styles of dancing does not put rhythm (and certainly not a driving rhythm) at the heart of the dance. There are other ways to express musicality, but someone who gravitates from AT to BR as a preference is not likely to be very atuned to them.

As for your last point, I wholeheartedly agree, but would say that AT isn't about copying anyone's style (except in the classes of second rate teachers), but of developing your own, and being the master of it.
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
... But the main purpose of me sharing this image is to point out that the leader in standard ballroom has a vertical spine, not an arched one.
That's a very good BR illustration, and you are, of course, right. The AT couple are perhaps a bit too upright for most styles, but the comparision is telling.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
I don't think that anyone, here, (not any of the regulars, anyway) would argue with you over the authenticity point.

I wouldn't entertain wanting to learn AT from 90%+ studios. the very fact that they sell packages of lessons at all would tell me all I needed to make that decision. If by showiness, you mean using elements of Fantasia or stage tango to make the 'moves' more exciting (for which, read saleable), then that's about what I would expect, but of course, that style of dance has really nothing at all to do with social tango, where even boleos and ganchos may not be appropriate for much of the time (depending upon where you dance).

Take a step back, and review your goals. If you want to be able to dance with the members of your own local tango community (and not tango at your studio parties), then you need to find out where they dance. Go along, and find out about the local scene. Ask the organiser of the event what tuition options there are. Most people are pretty helpful in this way, and want to grow their local communities. You may find that there is a whole network of dancers that operates completely outside the dance studio model, and it may be a world of which you have previously been quite unaware.

Joining it may be hard work. People can be very intimidating, and I think tango is not very welcoming to beginners. There seem to be a good number of initiation rites which have to be faced and worked through before anyone will take you seriously. BR dancers have a hard time: possibly this is because they tend to think that they know it all already, and just have to adapt a bit (wrong!), more likely because they have not really acquired much proper technique and they've learned the BR equivalent of the 8CB way of dancing tango (ie they can sort of stumble around the floor, but with no understanding of how things work, and no proper foundation of technique). They adopt a sort of pastiche BR posture (rightly, an object of derision for most ATers), but know no better. It is a real obstacle to making early progress, not least because the tango dancers don't know anything about BR technique, either, and the things about which they express opinions very freely are things about which they know next-to-nothing. Attempting the crossover is hard: you're on your own.

Tango is very pattern-based, but not in quite the way you might expect, if you come from the world of the standardised dances. There is a whole range of opinion about what is good and what is not, and it is very confusing to the beginner to know where to begin in terms of whose advice you might trust enough to invest your own time and effort in following. Your best guide will be the scene local to you. Generally, I would expect you to find that the tango community will have come together around a fairly narrow band in the broad spectrum of styles, and what is danced by the locals is what you will have to dance, if you want to dance tango in the company of others.

Later on, you can (and should) find your own style, which may be more of the same, but may be different. If the latter, there are other communities around that will be just as ready to intimidate you as you seek to join them. It's all part of the experience.

Thanks, UKDancer. I found this to be a very well thought out and empathetic post with a lot of food for thought. :-D
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
The bullet fired horizontally from a gun hits the ground at exactly the same moment as the one just dropped from the same height at the same moment (all other things being equal).
only if you miss the other cowboy, and if you miss you'll never know...
 

bastet

Active Member
I don't think that anyone, here, (not any of the regulars, anyway) would argue with you over the authenticity point.

I wouldn't entertain wanting to learn AT from 90%+ studios. the very fact that they sell packages of lessons at all would tell me all I needed to make that decision. If by showiness, you mean using elements of Fantasia or stage tango to make the 'moves' more exciting (for which, read saleable), then that's about what I would expect, but of course, that style of dance has really nothing at all to do with social tango, where even boleos and ganchos may not be appropriate for much of the time (depending upon where you dance).

Take a step back, and review your goals. If you want to be able to dance with the members of your own local tango community (and not tango at your studio parties), then you need to find out where they dance. Go along, and find out about the local scene. Ask the organiser of the event what tuition options there are. Most people are pretty helpful in this way, and want to grow their local communities. You may find that there is a whole network of dancers that operates completely outside the dance studio model, and it may be a world of which you have previously been quite unaware.

Joining it may be hard work. People can be very intimidating, and I think tango is not very welcoming to beginners. There seem to be a good number of initiation rites which have to be faced and worked through before anyone will take you seriously. BR dancers have a hard time: possibly this is because they tend to think that they know it all already, and just have to adapt a bit (wrong!), more likely because they have not really acquired much proper technique and they've learned the BR equivalent of the 8CB way of dancing tango (ie they can sort of stumble around the floor, but with no understanding of how things work, and no proper foundation of technique). They adopt a sort of pastiche BR posture (rightly, an object of derision for most ATers), but know no better. It is a real obstacle to making early progress, not least because the tango dancers don't know anything about BR technique, either, and the things about which they express opinions very freely are things about which they know next-to-nothing. Attempting the crossover is hard: you're on your own.

Tango is very pattern-based, but not in quite the way you might expect, if you come from the world of the standardised dances. There is a whole range of opinion about what is good and what is not, and it is very confusing to the beginner to know where to begin in terms of whose advice you might trust enough to invest your own time and effort in following. Your best guide will be the scene local to you. Generally, I would expect you to find that the tango community will have come together around a fairly narrow band in the broad spectrum of styles, and what is danced by the locals is what you will have to dance, if you want to dance tango in the company of others.

Later on, you can (and should) find your own style, which may be more of the same, but may be different. If the latter, there are other communities around that will be just as ready to intimidate you as you seek to join them. It's all part of the experience.
This is such a nice post. I hope it helps you leee.

BTW- about the question you don't want to ask. You might check through the archives if you're afraid of opening a can of worms. It's probably in there somewhere....
 

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