The Booty Misconception

opendoor

Well-Known Member
...relict of "export tango" ….imitated by second level tango teachers, adopted by midfield...
I would not reduce it only to a question of quality and proficiency. It also reflects a generation issue. All those first generation tango teachers in europe used to propagate this style. We also call it kitchen style over here, because those pathfinders figured it out on their own on the basis of rare video material. Milonguero style (narrow sense) came up as a crosscurrent development at the end of the century.
 

ArbeeNYC

Active Member
Also some cultures tend to be more appreciative of women with more badonkadonk:)

I've seen Noelia & Virginia on & off of the dance floor, walking & standing naturally, in heels & without. It does not seem to me that in any of those contexts either is "thrusting her butt out".

Here is Noelia dancing without heels while illustrating a concept that she & Carlitos asked workshop attendees to explore:


Virginia Pandolfi with Jonathan Aguero dancing milonga:

Seems to me that Noelia is simply a curvaceous young woman. I didn't notice any undue exaggeration here. Ms Pandolfi on the other hand, I'm not so sure about. Then again, I'm no expert on posture and alignment.
 

ArbeeNYC

Active Member
I'd recommend that people read the blog post, as then you'll really understand what Melina is saying.
http://melinas-two-cent.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/beanpoles-backbends.html

FWIW, here is the posture that they recommend, and I have no issue with it, (although I'm not claiming it's what everyone should be doing). The embrace has to conform to your body, IMO. This is a good embrace, IMO (even if there are other ways of having a good embrace).

FWIW, what Detlef is doing, is exactly what I try to teach / encourage, (even though it's not exactly what I do).

Looks stiff to me. And I don't like his arm position. And what is with the upright thumb? Also, they're not really "embracing." Close, but no cigar.
 
The social tango dance of the senses has almost no outward show whatsoever... if you want to partner dance tango socially, learn how to dance for your partner.
I realize that this was posted some time ago, but it really gets to the point. I agree that you should learn how to dance for your actual partner, and not for some imaginary audience or some idealized partner who exists only in your head.

THIS is why I only dance club style close embrace, even when the floor is nearly empty: because no respectable woman would ever take pleasure in large athletic movements. Deep volcadas. Huge overturned back ochos or, heaven forbid, a follower back sacada. No decent woman would enjoy the giddy feeling of a well executed series of circular colgadas. Etc.

Wait. Just kidding. THIS is why I have taken the time to learn Susana Miller style close embrace. To learn a "salon" style semi-open V-embrace. To learn a wide open Gustavo Naviera style embrace. It's because, conditions permitting, I want to be able to dance the dance that my partner wants. I do not dictate to my partner that we must only dance the 'dance of the senses', whatever the heck that means. Furthermore, I suspect that the sensory inputs a highly fit former ballerina (such as my wife) enjoys on the dance floor may be dramatically different from those enjoyed by a lovelorn, ice-cream-scarfing, middle-aged divorcee. And there are a million women in between those two extremes. Are you saying that tango is a one-size-fits-all dance? Good luck with that.
 

sixela

Well-Known Member
Are you saying that tango is a one-size-fits-all dance?
You're quoting JohnEm, who likes to order the solutions to a problem by correctness (with only one solution maximalising "correctness") and often seems to think that there is an objective criterion to decide which is "most correct" (although not everyone has Seen the Light and discovered it). Or at least that's the impression I get reading him.
 
Furthermore, I suspect that the sensory inputs a highly fit former ballerina (such as my wife) enjoys on the dance floor may be dramatically different from those enjoyed by a lovelorn, ice-cream-scarfing, middle-aged divorcee.
I feel with you. I get no bonus from my SO (dance therapist, yoga teacher and so on) for a tango "like they did it in Buenos Aires 1945". I shall simply dance well with her - present, connected, musically, pleasant, versatile - however.
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
You're quoting JohnEm, who likes to order the solutions to a problem by correctness (with only one solution maximalising "correctness") and often seems to think that there is an objective criterion to decide which is "most correct" (although not everyone has Seen the Light and discovered it). Or at least that's the impression I get reading him.
And you would be wrong!
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
I realize that this was posted some time ago, but it really gets to the point. I agree that you should learn how to dance for your actual partner, and not for some imaginary audience or some idealized partner who exists only in your head.
And I am very late to this, but real life is more important
than writing on here.
Reading on, you seem actually to miss the real point.

Avoiding the rather facetious next paragraph . . this:
. . . . THIS is why I have taken the time to learn Susana Miller style close embrace. To learn a "salon" style semi-open V-embrace. To learn a wide open Gustavo Naviera style embrace. It's because, conditions permitting, I want to be able to dance the dance that my partner wants.
This rather one-sided interpretation is not what I meant
by dancing for one's partner. It is not a one-way deal that
that is just for men, each partner should dance for the other
by which I mean each concentrates their senses on the other,
to the exclusion of self as far as possible,

I do not dictate to my partner that we must only dance
the 'dance of the senses', whatever the heck that means.
No, you are right that you shouldn't dictate, it has to be
a voluntary decision by both partners. But if you don't know
what it means then I guess neither of you are suitable for it.
That kind of tango is not for everyone but it is its most
popular form socially in Buenos Aires, an improvised dance
of the music in an unchanging embrace

Furthermore, I suspect that the sensory inputs a highly fit
former ballerina (such as my wife) enjoys on the dance floor
may be dramatically different from those enjoyed by a lovelorn,
ice-cream-scarfing, middle-aged divorcee. And there are a million
women in between those two extremes.
Yes, I agree. And ballerinas (former and current) have very
different ideas and expectations because they have experienced
and developed other sensations of moving their own bodies
to the music and have other expectations too. In my
experience they often do not make good partner dancers.

Are you saying that tango is a one-size-fits-all dance?
Good luck with that.
Absolutely I am not.

There are many ways of dancing, even embracing, descriptions
of which are beyond the scope both your post and mine.
Then there are a wide variety of body types and sizes,
tango as a close embrace dance can rather restrict the relative sizes,
proportions and abilities of the dancing partners. Your potential choice
of partner is rather narrower than in other partner dances.
But that is your choice to make (or not),
and that of your partner of course.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
No, you are right that you shouldn't dictate, it has to be
a voluntary decision by both partners. But if you don't know
what it means then I guess neither of you are suitable for it.
That kind of tango is not for everyone but it is its most
popular form socially in Buenos Aires, an improvised dance
of the music in an unchanging embrace
I'm curious, what type of study did you conduct to make this determination, and how long did it take? You must have visited all the milongas in BsAs, to say with such certainty what the most popular form of tango is, socially in BsAs.

BTW, I'd love to see the data, as it might be helpful for my next visit to BsAs, in deciding which milongas to visit.
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
An unchanging embrace is well suited for unchanging music...
I'm surprised you think that, it must be that
you have never tried or have never persevered
or just aren't that interested. All of which is OK
except for your criticism of something you either
don't seem to know or may be do not like.

In my experience it can work for all kinds of music,
after all at a milonga you can dance to Tango, Vals
and Milonga; three different time signatures and tempos.
And in BA you would experience other genres: Jazz
and Tropical (Latin rhythms), Foxtrot (nearer to today's
Quickstep tempo) and even Paso Doble. All can be danced
in an unchanging embrace in a genuinely connected
partnership. I suppose that the overriding caveat is that
both partners have to be able to dance to the music
 
And in BA you would experience other genres: Jazz
and Tropical (Latin rhythms), Foxtrot (nearer to today's
Quickstep tempo) and even Paso Doble. All can be danced
in an unchanging embrace in a genuinely connected
partnership. I suppose that the overriding caveat is that
both partners have to be able to dance to the music
None of that gets usually danced in an "unchanged embrace". Or you use an unusual definition of "unchanged". At the grass-roots level an embrace is not necessary for a connection at all - but it makes it much more easier.

I suppose that praising the unchanged embrace is tempting for settled people with conceivable minor geriatric issues (like me). Accompanied by the illusion that there might be a pride of dance evolution and it's happening just now and stays forever (other than me).

To gain at least mental flexibility back I strongly recommend to look this video again and again:

 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
None of that gets usually danced in an "unchanged embrace". Or you use an unusual definition of "unchanged". At the grass-roots level an embrace is not necessary for a connection at all - but it makes it much more easier.
You don't seem to know much about the wider dance world.
Ballroom might not dance in an embrace but they do dance
Slow Waltz, Viennese Waltz (near in tempo to Vals), Quickstep
(Argentine Foxtrot tempo), Foxtrot and Paso Doble in relatively
fixed "hold". See any video on YouTube.

I've danced them all for some years before I more or less
abandoned ballroom and latin in favour for the freedom
and the feeling of improvised dancing in an embrace.
I still continue with some latin and swing dance.
What's your experience to be so certain?

What does No connection at grass roots level mean?
No physical connection is a training exercise, preparation
and practice for actual partner dancing, especially useful for men
but sometimes misleading for women as preparation for dancing
in an embrace. But there is a connection, albeit a visual one.

I suppose that praising the unchanged embrace is tempting for
settled people with conceivable minor geriatric issues (like me).
You are pushing your luck here:
From Oxford Living Dictionary - Usage of GERIATRIC:
. . . referring to the health care of old people (a geriatric ward;
geriatric patients.
When used outside such contexts, it typically carries overtones
of being worn out and decrepit and can therefore be offensive
if used with reference to people.


For me it is the very opposite. The best dance in a committed
embrace is by people who are fit and connected with their own
bodies and thus can physically connect with each other.
"Minor geriatric issues" as you rather rudely call them are best
overcome as far as possible. The fitter I am the better I dance,
and the same applies to my partners. Close embrace was once
the dance of the young and naturally fit in Buenos Aires
even though it is not now.

To gain at least mental flexibility back I strongly recommend
to look this video again and again:
Why would I need to look at it "again and again"?
I largely agree with dance evangelism if it can encourage
non-dancers to dance.
Unfortunately must such messages fail as does this.
I wish I had an answer but I do not. Social dancing has
declined and from what I see it continues to do so.

So I have "mental inflexibility" in need of treatment.
You have a nerve. I have opinions based on experience,
some of which was learning all kinds of different tango,
and watching a video repeatedly isn't going to change them.
You dance how you will, I'm not telling to do anything else,
but I am objecting to you parodying how most dancers in
Buenos Aires dance. Read and watch tangoandchaos.org.
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
I'm curious, what type of study did you conduct to make this determination, and how long did it take? You must have visited all the milongas in BsAs, to say with such certainty what the most popular form of tango is, socially in BsAs.
This is social dance not an academic study.
It's quite clear from the many milongas I've attended
that, repeating my post, an improvised dance of the music
in an unchanging embrace is its most popular form in Buenos Aires.

Firstly the in-line or parallel embrace chest to chest, once exclusively
a risque dance style of the centre, has spread everywhere in BsAs.
And then there are many individual interpretations. Four of us once
ventured to Club Bohemia in La Boca (only a walk from the centre
in daylight) and we found an almost universal different embrace
amongst the regular Saturday night diners. But they embraced,
they danced to the music - jointly rhythm first, melody after.
So I would say that if we are seeking absolutes that the only commonality
I have found is that the main BA way of partner dancing is in a body lead
embrace. Here I am excluding academic and choreographed dancing.

But go to Club Chicago in Mataderos on the edge of Capital Federal,
the last post before Buenos Aires province, you will find again many
dancing chest to chest but also other varieties too. I did not see
what some call Tango Salon, nor Nuevo nor Escenario. Take a Sunday
trip to Feria Mataderos and visit Club Chicago; tango in the afternoon,
mixed rhythms in the evening.

For completeness, many people say you can find every style in BsAs,
and that's true but the number of places is small and by the very nature
of those relatively expansive varieties, only small numbers of people
can dance on the floor at time. Those "milongas" are often late night
and the social throng don't go. Often the expansive dancers wait until
even later when numbers have diminished and more space is available.

Do remember these descriptions are not absolutes. For instance go to
Salon Canning on Wednesday and Sunday you will find close embrace.
Go to Parakultural at Canning on a Tuesday or Friday you would find a
mixture. Similar at El Pial where the floor is huge.

And finally - here is a recent Facebook post from the partner
of a twice weekly city centre milonga:
Los que bailamos tango somos considerados loco por aquellos que no
pueden llegar a sentir su musica y comprender las razones de sus letra
s

which means:
Those who dance tango are considered crazy by those who cannot feel
the music and understand the reasons for the lyrics.


I know its not conclusive at all but it is an insight to how those
who regularly dance feel. And by the way this particular dancer,
who is coincidentally a friend, dances more in a vee embrace
(but unchanging) rather as we found at Club Bohemia in La Boca.
 
"Unchanged" means to restrict the dance to something one feels safe and can handle.

At the end everyone is free to feel well at such an event:


or at such an event


No one is better or worse, it's just the personal perception of tango. The old people in the milongas of BsAs today will not dance like the young people in the golden era of tango. And hopefully they all don't they care about the "right" posture, just embrace their partner and walk counterclockwise to the music through the room.
 

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