Style comes from Habits

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
#1
Decided to start a new thread on this idea, that personal style comes from an habitual way of dancing. And then, if one is dancing habitually, can they be "in the moment", whatever that means?

We recognize the individual style of many well known dancers, because they have certain movements that they regularly do. I guess you could call that a habit.
 

jantango

Active Member
#2
I think there's a bit more to style than habit. Each person has a style of speaking, mannerisms, dressing, walking, etc. Individuality or personality shows up in tango.

Most well-known (performing) tango dancers were taught by someone, so they have those movements in their repertoire. They all do what everyone else does and practice the choreography. That doesn't leave much for improvising in the moment.

On the other hand, milongueros viejos learned very young by watching and developed personal styles. They dance in the moment.
 

Mladenac

Well-Known Member
#3
I think there's a bit more to style than habit. Each person has a style of speaking, mannerisms, dressing, walking, etc. Individuality or personality shows up in tango.

Most well-known (performing) tango dancers were taught by someone, so they have those movements in their repertoire. They all do what everyone else does and practice the choreography. That doesn't leave much for improvising in the moment.

On the other hand, milongueros viejos learned very young by watching and developed personal styles. They dance in the moment.
When I see some followers dancing I am astonished how they danced until I actually danced with them.
I know some autodidact in tango and in some other areas, and I don't have very positive feelings about them.

AFAIK
Milongueros would always take lesson. I thirties they would learn follower's part for 2 years, leader's for 1 and finally went dancing to milonga.
I don't know where you came from with a fact they they were autodidact dancers.
Some people didn't attend to tango schools cause they were exposed tango at their homes.
I was tall by one Argentinean tango teacher how tango has evolved and he has a problem adjusting to the new wave.
It seems that he was lost in AT evolution somewhere.

Travelling teachers bring tango to other areas of the world. Some of them are good, some bad.
Organizers distinguish their quality and invite them cause they learn from them also.
They usually invite complementary style teachers.

Generally I don't know a much number of people that are autodidact and are good in that area,
that learned by watching others.
 

Mladenac

Well-Known Member
#4
Most well-known (performing) tango dancers were taught by someone, so they have those movements in their repertoire. They all do what everyone else does and practice the choreography. That doesn't leave much for improvising in the moment.
There professional couples that do coreography that is obvious, and there are couples that really dance during their performances.
I believe it's a bit choreograped cause they studied that music piece and the elements, but I wouldn't called it choreographed.
Maybe it can distinguish strongly from weakly choreographed dance.
I can cleary notice when dancers are struggling when dancing, or really dancing. :cool:
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
#6
I hate the new look of the forum.
I think we might expect some fine-tuning of the appearance, but the functionality seems fine. I like the new smilies, but the 'trophies' are a bit daft. I've just won another, for I think that this just happens to be my 1000th post.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#7
I think we might expect some fine-tuning of the appearance, but the functionality seems fine. I like the new smilies, but the 'trophies' are a bit daft. I've just won another, for I think that this just happens to be my 1000th post.
I can't even figure out how to look at my settings to see what I can change (hopefully as much as possible).

 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#8
And we were all waiting for you to figure out how to get around the new limitations Dchester! (sigh... no more blushy smiley!)

How did I end up as a "New Member"? What's up with THAT?
 

newbie

Well-Known Member
#10
Does style have to be taught? Yesterday our female teacher took advantage of the absence of her male counterpart to put the emphasis on what she called "technique". Which was, landing on heel (not on toe), landing with all the weight (no leg projection), landing on the beat, and walking on two lines. To me this was more style than technique,
 

Mladenac

Well-Known Member
#11
Does style have to be taught? Yesterday our female teacher took advantage of the absence of her male counterpart to put the emphasis on what she called "technique". Which was, landing on heel (not on toe), landing with all the weight (no leg projection), landing on the beat, and walking on two lines. To me this was more style than technique,
I would call it tehnique. The way you lead and partner receive is different.
Landing on heel and on toe is very different.
There was a topic about that. ;)
 

Sagitta

Well-Known Member
#12
Style? Habit? Because one sees style and habit correlated does not mean that style comes from habit.

Style is one's interpretation. Style can be seen in habit if one repeats things in exactly the same way, and it can be seen in technique, such as if a person tends to make moves sharper rather than smoother. Style can be seen in how one stitches together moves... Like a pearl that is created from irritating oysters, there are many initiators/irritants that go to creation of personal style.
 
#13
I've been watching a video of myself on youtube.. there are a few habits in there that I don't like.. not sure what my 'style' is though.. I imagine it would continue to evolve, whatever it is..
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#16
I'm reminded of something a teacher said one time when asked about a certain dancer's style: "Bad technique is not a 'style'. "

Anyway, I'm not sure how to completely separate style and habit. If you have a habit of always doing something, it does start to become part of the definition of your own style. However, if it is simply bad technique that is part of your habit, then it isn't a 'personal style'.

I guess if a personal style makes it harder for you to dance with anyone then it isn't a functional style in the first place. Bad technique usually has that effect. If it adds to your dance, then maybe it would be considered a style.

So habits could go either way. Bad habits vs productive habits.

And then there's the difference between habits that are automatic vs habits you practice to develop. I have a habit that I can't seem to stop myself from doing in an ocho cortado. Sometimes it adds an embellishment, but sometimes it just gets in the way of things. I don't think about it.. I didn't practice it... I wasn't taught it... I just DO it.. automatically.

Embellishments that you don't have to work at and happen for you naturally are the best kind, but not if you use them indiscriminately without any ability to stop using them when not appropriate. So my little "habit" is both part of my individual styling (when it is appropriate) AND bad technique (when it is inappropriate).

That to me is representative of the bigger picture of strengths and weaknesses. Our biggest weaknesses come from using our strengths indiscriminately or inappropriately.
 
#17
My search failed, only found a Fat NZ guy´s vid.
Pfhahaha.. the vid's titled "Cecilia Trini & T Tango"..

You're in with the big guys now.
It's from an impromptu demonstration at the end of a free lesson by Cecilia Trini, a local teacher here in Auckland (and imho, the best of them). I enjoy the video from the first demo more ("Cecilia Trini & Anthony Purcell "), but watching myself is useful.. a few poor habits.
 
#18
I've thought about this a bit more.. I'm tending to think that style needs to be on some level intentional.. things you do, and are aware that you do, because you enjoy doing them. A habit is more something that just happens, for whatever reason except intent (influence by others or something inherent to your physical body perhaps). It probably happens regardless of music, or mood..
 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
#19
... I'm tending to think that style needs to be on some level intentional.. things you do, and are aware that you do, because you enjoy doing them. A habit is more something that just happens, for whatever reason except intent (influence by others or something inherent to your physical body perhaps). It probably happens regardless of music, or mood..
Yes, I think that is a good distinction. Your style is conscious, while your habits are unconscious.
 

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