Open post

The Milonguero Turn

The Milonguero Turn

The Milonguero Turn is a very useful piece of tango vocabulary and yet it is almost never taught anymore, sadly. It has been supplanted by its sexier kissin’ cousin, the Follower’s Molinete. Put simply when you really stop and think about the Milonguero Turn, is nothing more than a back cross, a side step, and a forward cross (from the Follower’s perspective). This isn’t Rocket Science, it’s Argentine Tango. And as such there’s not a whole lot of complexity to this particular well worn and exceedingly useful but highly under rated Tango vocabulary. The fact is that this was the predominant turn for almost 70 years, before Gustavo Naveira came along and changed everything with the sexier Follower’s Molinete, so the story goes.

What is A Milonguero Turn ? First let’s define the words there, as they require a bit of clarity. ‘Milonguero’ is yet another made up word used for marketing purposes that is a bastardization of the true meaning of the word itself. A ‘Milonguero’ is someone who was raised in the milongas, they would pick up discarded tickets to get into the milongas to then watch how people danced and then emulate that, so that they could then dance with the pretty girls. This all happened in a 25 year time period from about 1930 to about 1955. If you were born in that time period and ran with this crowd of dancers, then you could rightfully (and distastefully, because it was a term of disparagement in those days) be called a ‘Milonguero’. There are very few of these men left in the world. Very few.

These men didn’t take classes. They didn’t go to a special Tango schools. No. They didn’t have the money. They learned on the floor, while watching other people dance, and deconstructed what they saw. They then tried to one up each other, trying to outdo each other with tricks and what not. While the game was certainly about getting the girl, it was also about showing off. In a lot of ways the Milongueros of yesteryear bears a striking resemblance to the forerunners of modern hip hop, minus the gang mentality. This is a ‘Milonguero’.

The term, so the story goes, was developed as a marketing tool, as a way to describe what one specific teacher saw in the clubs and milongas of Buenos Aires. This was called ‘Milonguero Style’ dancing.

A Milonguero Turn on the other hand is representative of the type of turn that existed prior to Gustavo Naveira (re)discovering the Follower’s Molinete. Again, so the story goes.

In it’s simplest form, the Milonguero Turn is one of the easiest of turns to accomplish with regards to Argentine Tango. It allows of the couple to stay with each other, and allows for an easeful experience vs. the Follower’s Molinete that is the default turn today. And last but not least, it allows for the partnership to stay facing each other, while at the same time not expending a great deal of energy to ‘turn’ whereas the Follower’s Molinete does precisely that. While the Milonguero Turn is not sexy, it’s easy to see why it was abandoned in favor of it’s sexier cousin. That said, don't discard it simply because it's not sexy, use it because it is insanely functional!

Difficulty Rating:  2.5 Stars2.5 / 5

Linking Notation: All the links on this site are internal definition links, nothing is external (excluding tangotopics youtube channel links), meaning the links are there to create a deeper and richer clarity.

Check Please! The video above is small snippet of a full HD video (total run time: 7m:10s). You can purchase The Milonguero Turn for just 17.99 not including your level discount

From A Following Perspective the Milonguero Turn is insanely easy for you. There’s just a bit of technique going forward but for the most part, comparing this to the Follower’s Molinete, the Milonguero turn is a snap! So let’s first discuss what this is for you. A ‘clean’ back cross, a large-ish side step (which is important for a reason, and then a ‘forward’ cross which resembles the last step of the Linear Ocho Cortado. Simple. Clean. Clear. No ?

There are a few ‘tricks’ which aren’t discussed in the video, one of which is that by default, this turn does not in any way, shape, or form will your hips ‘rotate’. There is absolutely zero disassociation here, and no applied disassociation. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Not. Got it ? However there is a tiny, bodily rotation (not a pivot) about 20 degrees that happens directly after the opening back cross. However for the most part this turn is really simple stuff for you. It’s not really all that complex.

Cleanliness! The fact is that a good portion of Followers that start to play with this stuff, end up employing ‘DirtyCrosses (forward or back), which is not desirable from a visual perspective. We desire to employ ‘clean’ crosses everywhere. This is not a L/lead thing but actually all on you as the Follower and how you invoke your Technique. This is one of those places where you must really strive to create these cleaner structures in your dance, so that when you’re asked to do X, Y, and Z (in this case a Milonguero Turn), you generate ‘clean’ crosses by default without having to think about it. Because if you have to think about it, it’s too late!

The Gargantuan Side Step. The reality is that there is a trade off with the Milonguero Turn to the Follower’s Molinete. And the trade off in ease of use and execution is that you end up having to take a slightly (ok, bigger than usual) large side step. In the Molinete, your forward steps, and your back steps take up space going around your lead, thereby covering distance. Those steps have been removed and replaced with crossing elements. So you have to be very judicious in how big of a side step and that little bit of rotation (20 degrees) discussed above. This is covered in the video!

When ? The question that comes up for a lot of Followers is when do you actually use this turn in place of or instead of your Molinete ? The simplest answer is this, and it’s a qualified one. Mostly everywhere. The fact of the matter is that 98% of your L/leads do not ask for or employ disassociation which ends up as applied disassociation in you, and thereby you just ‘give’ your lead what they implied but not actually what was led! Why ? Because you’ve done it so often and you more than likely had to infer what was being led in the first place as “oh we’re turning and that means I have to do my molinete thingy…”. So the Tango Topics Rule is this: if you don’t feel any disassociation coming from your lead pre-turn, then you know what ? You do not disassociate and then apply that disassociation, thereby invoking a Milonguero Turn instead!

From a Leading Perspective the Milonguero Turn is definitely a challenge for you to learn to lead. Mostly because you’ll be fighting the Follower’s default behavior to want to engage the Follower’s Molinete in response to your Giro! One of the ways that we can set this up, because it really is all about set up, is by invoking a series of “Lazy” or Milonguero Ochos into the Milonguero Turn (this is known as an Ocho Transition, there are 4 common ones) it sets up a natural progression of events. The Milonguero Ochos are a natural complement to the idea of the Milonguero Turn, it’s almost organic in nature and execution. 😉 And that’s because they’re natural outgrowths of each other.

Fortunately for you, you have video on this stuff, not just the Milonguero Turn, but the Ocho Transition itself. So go click the link, read, watch the video, and then come back here. That said, let’s press on to the really important parts:

The 3 Gotchas! There are, as always, some areas of concern with certain pieces of vocabulary that we must be aware of, so that nasty things don’t occur. These are 3 of the more common ones that come up. There are more, which are listed in the videos listed. Please reference those videos and articles for their specific “gotchas”:

One: Leading the Follower’s Back Cross. Truth be told, this is the single hardest part of the vocabulary to lead which is covered in section 2 of the video. So unless you employ the Ocho Transition mentioned above, then you’re going to have to use the Milonguero Turn Trick to fix what is a very unnatural turning idea for the Follower to invoke the backcross you're looking for. Why ? Because it's not natural for someone to cross their feet, this is a trained, learned idea that becomes default behavior over time. So you really do need to understand how and why this stuff works the way that it does. That said, here's a small hint for you: Leading the Follower's Back Cross is not about force, but implication. Meaning ? That you set up the cross, and imply its motion! If you force the cross, nasty things tend to happen. 🙁 

Two: Not Rotating Far Enough. The fact is that while the Milonguero Turn does rotate a fair amount, it just doesn’t go far enough, so unless you fix this little tiny problem, you’re going to constantly have to either walk out of the turn, or be entirely frustrated. By the way, the video does go over this important point.

Three: Armpit Leading. This comes up a lot for most Leads, and they don’t see it or realize that they’re doing it. However, in this instance the Milonguero Turn wants the Follower to be ‘buttons-to-buttons’ with you. If they’re not directly in front of you, the turn becomes slightly unwieldy and the Follower will have to compensate in the moment in their side step, which is already huge enough.

dancing in a small space ? try these articles!

bsas-prep-title

About The Video. This video comes in at 07m:10s in length in 7 Sections. Both lead and follower technique is combined and integrated in the video.

Section 1 - Introduction - 00:00:25
Section 2 - Lead The Backcross - 00:02:41
Section 3 - Follower Technique - 00:00:55
Section 4 - Lead Details - 00:00:38
Section 5 - Follower’s Big Side Step - 00:00:40
Section 6 - Lead Footwork - 00:00:30
Section 7 -Example/End - 00:00:47

It can be purchased for $17.99 or downloaded as part of your subscription with a discount.

From a Dancing Perspective as has been indicated, is not used all that often, sadly. However, when it’s done, it can be a very elegant and useful turn to start to employ especially on crowded social dance floors where you don’t have oodles of space to deploy the Follower’s Molinete. And most especially where in say Buenos Aires you have about 3 or 4 millimeters of space between yourself and the next couple to your left, back, and front. Truth be told, this turn takes a bit of practice to get used to doing, but once you start using it, you’ll find it is a very efficient and useful turn and will become your default turn on multiple levels. From a musical perspective it is also easily slipped into hitting the on beat turns where you need to hit each note, whereas the Molinete can and frequently uses “quick-quick-slow” methodology, that isn’t present here at all. So you can really think about, note/cross - note/sidestep - note/cross, over and over again! It’s insanely musical in it’s application! Now to the downside of this. Are you going to use it ? No. Why because it’s not sexy and it’s not what you were taught. The reality is that it’s not the sexiest thing on the planet. It’s not However, what it lacks in sexiness or wow-factor it more than makes up for that ‘wow’ in terms of ease of use, ease of execution, musical interpretation, and simplicity which all leads to one inescapable item: Elegance! So if for no other reason you want look and be elegant in your dance, start using this turn today.

The Milonga Component! The Milonga Component refers to an aspect of the Milonguero Turn as to where to use this turn specifically. While the Milonguero Turn works equally well in Tango and Vals, it works amazingly well in milonga! Why ? Several reasons: 1.) It takes up far less space, it's also a much tighter turn than it's kissin' cousin - The Follower's Molinete. 2.) The execution time can be muuuuch faster than The Follower's Molinete. and 3.) It is insanely musical!

Whereas most of you reading this, when dancing Milonga, will erroneously employ/use The Follower's Molinete to turn. It is a waste of time that you rightfully do not have in Milonga.

Stop and think about something for a moment: Think of ministrations that must happen in order for a 'good' molinete to occur. Specifically the disassociation and the applied disassociations that must occur on the Follower's forward and back steps. Good in this case refers to the proper execution under ideal conditions. Where there is no pushing, pulling, tension, resistance, or force. Where the Follower isn't using the Lead's left arm as a hitching post on the back step, or stepping away from their leads because there isn't space which the lead has forgotten to account for....and a host of other molinete issues that come. Now imagine a 'bad' one and you can easily see how much work that is! And this is just in your head without music! 

Now we add a musical component in say, Tango for instance ? Tango is 4/4 time (4 beats per measure) at usually 62 to 68 beats per minute. And that is seemingly fast! And even under those conditions, The Follower's Molinete falls apart unless it's been drilled into you 10,000 times. And even then it probably hasn't. Now try the same thing in Vals! Vals, by the way, is written as 3/4 time but typically played in 6/8 time (sharper and faster) and is anywhere between 70 to 85 bpm. As a result of this much faster, and sharper tempo of the music, The Follower's Molinete has to be shortened in order to function, typically the side step is shortened to one quarter of its normal size in order to account for the 'speed' or tempo of Vals. Now imagine trying to do this same turn in Milonga which is 2/4 time or about double the tempo of a Tango (typically anywhere between 90 and 110 bpm)! And it's easy to see just from the mapping laid out here that the Follower's Molinete will not work! You're wasting too much time on the disassociations! The only way The Follower's Molinete can work in Milonga is if it's sped up. And typically doing so it (The Follower's Molinete) becomes poorly executed and unwieldy at best. And yet because the Follower's Molinete is the default turn for so many people they scratch their heads and wonder why Milonga doesn't work for them. This is ONE reason why, it's not the only reason but it's a pretty good one! The reason is simple: It's because they're employing/using the wrong damned turn! Remember that Milonga developed in a simpler environment, Milonga Porteña did, and at that point in time the Milonguero Turn was the predominant turn, so Milonga as a whole functioned much better than it does today because of this very simple way of moving. It wasn't sexy, but it worked! So here's a helpful piece of advice, learn how to execute a Milonguero Turn, properly. Don't just watch the video above, and think that you've got it because you don't. Learn how to properly execute this turn and then start playing with Milonga and see if your Milongas don't become 10 times more enjoyable as a result. 

The Missing Information.  There's a free tip (for registered free users) that's not here because you're not logged in. If you were logged in, you'd see a free tip, but because you're not, you're not seeing it. So ? If you want the free tip, then go register as a free user and login. 🙂 However, if you want the toys, and to see the 07m:10s HD quality video on how to properly lead & follow a Milonguero Turn and all the toys that go with it. Then you have 2 options. 1.) You can buy it. or 2.) You can subscribe!

 Watch It On Youtube ? Why should you pay for this video, or subscribe to this website when stuff like this is available on Youtube ? Because what you'll find on Youtube doesn't explain and walk you through the how a Milonguero Turn works! That’s why! 

So, please, go right ahead, go watch all the presentation videos on youtube all you want. Because that's what they are 'Presentation' videos. The couple's that you're used to seeing are performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they're not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about 'Social Dancing'. So please, go spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that situation. Bend your body this way or that, twist and force this position or that. Place your foot here or there and figure it out.  Which can be a lot of fun, but more than likely it won't help you, because you're missing something: The explanation from an experienced teacher! (ahem) ME!  The goal of youtube videos is to entice you to go study with those teachers in person. The goal of these videos is allow you to work at your own pace, in the comfort of your own space, so that you can play them over and over again to improve your understanding of the vocabulary or technique being described to therefore better your dancing experience. The goal of classes and workshops is to get you to come back over and over and over again, thereby spending more money with that teacher. This website and the videos under it are here to act as a resource for you to help you to improve your dance. Pay once and be done with it. 😉

Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. TANSTAAFL! The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlying technique.

In an hour long class, with the blind leading the blind through rotation of partners (uuuggggh!), you may glean a piece of the information you need and not get the whole thing, and you’ll miss important pieces that you’ll end up having to take a private lesson for to get the finer points. This way, you can watch over and over again, and get all the supplementary materials, and if you want you can still go take the class, only you’ll be better prepared to do so!

The Last Word. Tango Topics is little reminders and snippets of information that your teachers would have told you about but didn’t have time to or didn’t care to remind you for the umpteenth millionth time. Do you need videos like these ? Yes. Why ? Simple…you need as many reminders as possible in as many forms as you can get. In today’s Tango world it does take a village to raise a dancer. And that means having as many voices, reminders, ideas, concepts, perspectives as possible. This video and the rest of the ones that are sitting behind the Tango Topics paywall are that. While what you’re seeing above is only the smallest hint of what’s contained in the actual video. It should be enough for you to make a reasoned and intelligent choice that perhaps there’s something of value in this site and the videos that are here. Considering becoming a Gold, Gold Plus, or Diamond level subscriber today.

Open post

Social Colgadas

Social Colgadas

The Social Colgada is in many ways very similar to the Single Axis Turn. That’s because they’re from the same family of vocabulary. So theoretically, if you know one, ha ha ha, you should be able to execute the other. Not true actually, there are stark differences between the two.  One primary difference from the Single Axis Turn is that the Social Colgada is done with the partnership in a perpendicular position to each other rotating around a singular axis vs. the Single Axis turn where the partnership is facing each other. Still another is the Single Axis Turn rotates the couple 180 degrees without invoking a second step around, typically. Whereas the Social Colgada is typically a 270 to 360 degree turn! 

The Colgada Rap! Before we go any further, truthfully Colgadas are typically manhandling events that most Follower’s want to avoid like the plague. The reason is a.) that they’re poorly executed. b.) they're usually arm pushing and pulling experiences, and c.) someone (read that as the Follower) invariably gets hurt because their back has been wrenched this way or that. Most of this occurs because the Lead in question has not learned how to properly generate a Colgada. Where Colgadas get a bad rap is because of these 3 aspects which turns off a lot of people, obviously. However a Social Colgada on the other hand, while it has all the potential for these things to happen, is much smaller, and exists within solely within Close Embrace. When executed properly it can be one of Tango’s more elegant specialty pieces of spice or accent vocabulary.

What is a Social Colgada ? A ‘Social’ Colgada means that the Colgada itself takes up very little space, that it fits within the line & lane of dance, while the couple is in Close Embrace, and instead of executing the Follower’s Molinete to turn the couple, we invoke a Social Colgada. As to a Colgada aspect ? The word “Colgada” comes from the root Spanish verb “Colgar” which translates to English as “Hang”. The word ‘Colgada’ is the past participle version of the verb which adds an ‘ed’ ending to the word. Which when translated to English is ‘Hanged’ or rightfully ‘Hung’. So ? A ‘Social’ Colgada is a move where the Follower (specifically) is in a hanging state off their Lead, deliberately. More specifically, they’re being placed in a position where they’re going to hang. And that’s where we talk about a shared axis, and more importantly balance.

Ideally the Colgada itself is not about taking the Follower off axis, as you may have been told, but rather about creating a state of shared balance & equilibrium along the shared axis between the partnership. As there is always a shared axis between the dancing couple. Truthfully there are actually 6, not one. There’s the lead’s central longitudinal axis, the follower’s central longitudinal axis, and the shared central one between the two dancers which is created by their relationship to each other. It’s the last one that we’re interested in because it generates the space for a Colgada to exist. 

Difficulty Rating: 4.0 Stars4.0 / 5 Let's be absolutely clear about something. This is not an easy move to perform. A lot of manhandling can occur if it is not executed properly. Use with caution and under the supervision of an experienced teacher. 

Check Please! The video above is small snippet of a full HD video (total runtime: 29m:09s). You can purchase Social Colgadas for just 17.99 not including your level discount.

 

Tango Pre-Requisites: Let’s get this out of the way immediately before another thing is said – Social Colgadas should not be led on or led by the beginner dancer! And if this page is being honest, really not even someone that's been dancing for about at about the 2 to 3 year mark (assuming the following things are true). There's a reason for this limitation on learning to execute one of these things. The limitation is that the dancer's form must not contain: Hanging, pulling, pushing, compression or micro compressions as default behaviors. The Social Colgada requires that you have mastered your walk and in specific your extensions and collections. And/or are on your way to make that stuff as clean and clear as is humanly possible. Secondarily that you have mastered your stability, as a lead and/or as a follow! Meaning that you don't need to hold on to anyone or anything while walking forward AND/OR backwards while engaging and employing forward intention. Factually speaking – the beginner dancer has no idea about any of this stuff just yet, most of it is gobbly-gook, and they're just not ready to wrap their minds around this stuff just yet. They only see the 'flashy' move, and not what has to occur in them before they attempt it. Truthfully they're just figuring this stuff out, and throwing a Social Colgada at them immediately will freak the bejeebers out of them and possibly create injury for either role. 

Check Please! The video above is small snippet of a full HD video (total runtime: 29m:09s). You can purchase Social Colgadas for just 17.99 not including your level discount.

 

From A Following Perspective let’s get this right out of the way immediately: You’re going to fall, backwards or in this case, to the side away from your lead. That's the whole point of a Colgada in the first place, the falling part. There's nothing you can do about it, except to engage the Follower's Kickstand (see above in the video). However understand something that the “fall” is a controlled hang more than anything else, and the control comes from two important aspects 1.) the elasticity of the couple’s embrace, and 2.) body position, placement, and balance between the couple. 🙂

If there is rigidity in the embrace from either partner, nasty things are going to happen. “Elasticity” in this instance is a somewhat relative term, as there does have to be some firmness there, but not to the point where you’re holding on for dear life! That’s not what a Colgada is about. 😉 So yes, dear Follower, you’re going to fall to the side, and quite rightfully it’s going to be a little scary for obvious reasons. No one, absolutely no one wants to fall. However in this instance we actually do want to fall, a bit. Not a lot, just a bit. And that’s where the controlled part comes in. It’s a very controlled ‘hang’ through technique, and more importantly through a shared balance point between the partnership.

Planking: Before we go any further we have to talk about when you “fall”, your desire is to stiffen your body, and then ‘Plank’ it to save it from impacting the floor. But before we get there, we’ll engage the Kickstand Mechanism to prevent that from happening. However, even before the “fall” happens our body stiffens, as Followers, and we ’plank’. What is that ? It means that you’re going to straighten out your body as if it were an elongated piece of wood, falling backwards, hence the term ‘plank’, which refers to a plank of wood. 😉 “Planking” is an error as there is something else we want to do.

Planking is an error when engaging a Colgada. It is however a perfectly natural response to do this. So don’t freak out. However, planking is not what we’re after. We’re actually after something else. This is why we learn the proper position for a Colgada to exist. What’s the more desirable position for us ? For that, you’ll have to see the video. However the descriptive for it is very simple, it’s almost as if you’re sitting, you’re going to send your hips away from your lead, while keeping your torso with them. Or in the case of the Social Colgada, you’re going to be perpendicular to your lead so you want your hips to go away while the side of your torso faces your Lead.

The Controlled Hang: Another aspect of the Colgada is that we want our arms, and hands to a certain degree, to be able to slide almost as if you’re arms were a collapsible telescoping bar. ‘Telescoping’ in the adjective form, meaning that one part slides into another. We do not want rigidity in our arms and/or hands. We also don’t want to hold on for dear life with our hands, like you're grabbing the lead’s bicep with your spiny fingers. Not. Less than desirable. Instead we want arms and hands to be able to slide within the Lead’s embrace - hence the ‘telescoping’ part. 🙂

The Kickstand Mechanism: There is a safety mechanism that is built into each and every Colgada, and it’s called The Follower’s Kickstand. What’s that ? It’s where the Follower’s free leg extends backwards as if they were going to step backwards but there’s no weight on it. The Kickstand in this case occurs under ONE condition. If and only if there is no counterbalance (or counter send) from their lead. If there is counterbalance then the Follower should not release from their invited Mordida (see video above).

From a Leading Perspective the Social Colgada is all about balance. It's the Lead's job, function, to create physiological balance, a state of equilibrium, within the couple. Mistakenly this is done with your arms, but instead we want to employ counterbalance with the Follower with our mass, not our arms. Our arms are there to 'guide' our intention, but the real toy here is counterbalance. Truth be told the Lead (the person not the action) is more than likely going to have more mass than their Followers will posses. And as such the counterbalance point will be slight, while at the same time, the proper ‘sitting’ position of the Colgada will be almost, but not quite planking. So, in other words, the break at the waist, will be slight. 🙂

The Used Mordida: A good portion of Leads, overuse the Mordida usually mistakenly in the Salida Step of the dance. What’s a Mordida ? It’s a ‘foot’ sandwich. Where the lead, traps one of the Follower’s feet and sandwiches it between the Lead’s feet. Far too often once a Lead learns how to create a Mordida they use it everywhere. As a place to stop, as a place to reset the couple, as a place to end the dance. This is know on Tango Topics as The Unused Mordida. It’s ‘Unused’ because the Mordida is an indicator to the Follower that something is about to change, usually entering either a Volcada, a Barrida, a Parada, or in this case, a Colgada. However in this case we actually use it and rightfully need it to set up the Colgada, because without our feet are going to slide every which way, and we obviously don’t want that to happen.

The Arm-y Pushme-Pullyou Colgada: Typically most leads use their arms to generate a Colgada, as has been said, however one aspect of this is that once the Colgada starts the Lead will pull the Follower towards them with their arms instead of directing their intention with their mass. One of these is desirable (mass direction), and one these is not (pulling). This type of error makes almost any Colgada very undesirable. So it’s a good idea to learn how to direct that mass, without pulling or pushing so that the experience is a pleasant one and not one of dread for the Follower! Just a hint, this video shows you how to do that, properly. 

A Turning Social Colgada ? The Colgada gets a really bad rap most of the time. It’s poo-poo’d because most people think of it as ‘Nuevo’ vocabulary or open embrace vocabulary. Frequently this type of vocabulary is poorly executed, thereby making it visually unappealing, not to mention wholly uncomfortable. However, this particular version of the Colgada is far from the unsightly ‘nuevo’ aspects that you're used to seeing, and that's because of its ‘whoosh’ factor. The ‘whoosh’ is a rush of energy that happens because the couple is rotating to one side or the other! Most colgadas are done in linear fashion. This Colgada series is done on the circular, and then to exit the Colgada, the Follower steps, over and (here’s the important part) around their lead!  While this can be done in Open Embrace, and there’s nothing wrong with that, doing so tends to take up way too much space, so instead we want to do this in Close Embrace taking up no more space than a single forward step. Put succinctly, a Social Colgada, when properly executed (hence the video), can be a way to turn the couple down the line of dance! This aspect of the Social Colgada makes it a very useful and powerful turning tool for the lead to use in 2 ways: 1.) Navigationally. and 2.) The Spice Factor (see below).

The 'Flashy' Aspect! Yes this vocabulary is 'flashy'. It has all the earmarks of being 'cool'. However it also has the potential for being very showy. Especially if the hang aspect goes to wide, if it takes up too much space, if there's too much distance between the partnership, etc. Under those conditions, a Single Axis Turn can look very flashy. However, it's not meant to be flashy, It's meant to be sweet, elegant, and a surprise. 😉 

The Single Axis Turn Check. A question that comes up for some people, is when to lead this ? Sparingly. See below for more on that. In the meanwhile, this piece of the topic does require a bit of setup before you actually lead this on a Follower. And while the setup is not covered in the video (for obvious reasons), is of some importance. The setup is more a precursor check to see if your partner is up to the task of a Social Colgada. The setup ? Assuming that said Follower is NOT a beginner dancer, you want to lead a Single Axis Turn somewhere else prior to the Social Colgada (preferably not one right after the other, and not in the same song). The Single Axis Turn will tell you everything you need to know . Like for instance, if your partner completes the Mordida, if they understand send/counter-send, if they have issues of stability in the 'whoosh' phase of the Single Axis Turn. If everything checks out in the Single Axis Turn you're good to go later on. However if it doesn't go smoothly, just don't go there. Just don't. More than likely your Follower will freak right out and you'll end up hurting them and/or possibly yourself. 🙁 

dancing in a small space ? try these articles!

bsas-prep-title

About The VideoThis video is 29m:09s in length in 12 sections. Both lead and follower technique is combined and integrated in the video.

Introduction - 00:01:04
The Mordida - 00:02:28
Balance & Planking - 00:03:06
The Kickstand - 00:01:41
The 3 Linear Cologadas - 00:03:08
The Circular Colgada - 00:01:40
The Colgada Embrace - 00:02:15
The Step Over Colgada - 00:02:56
The 'Social' Colgada - 00:03:03
In The Line Of Dance - 00:03:44
The 'Whoosh' Factor - 00:01:39
A Primary Lead Error/End - 00:01:39

It can be purchased for $17.99 or downloaded as part of your subscription with a discount.

From a Dancing Perspective the Social Colgada can be a very beautiful, elegant, and useful tool. But let’s be absolutely clear about something, the Social Colgada is spice. It is Accent Vocabulary. Meaning ? This is not something that you whip out every ten seconds in the line of dance. It should be used sparingly, like as in once or twice in a night as a surprise, and nothing more than that. The vocabulary itself should be used solely as variance, not as the goto turn. Never that. One of the reasons we use this stuff is solely to add a little variety to our dance, nothing more than that. It is important to practice it, to smooth out the rough spots of it, to keep yourself current with leading and following one when they happen, however it should be reinforced in your head that this is accent or spice vocabulary! Which means that you use it once and then let it go! Do not repeat this 17 million times in the space of one tanda, nor every variation of this, but once and let it go. Got it ? 🙂

It should be noted that some people will find this piece of vocabulary somewhat Tango offensive for a variety of reasons, most notably is that it breaks certain long held beliefs or conventions about the dance. Such as, once you're in Close Embrace you stay in close embrace (mind you it doesn't break that rule but the possibility for it exists). Still another is that the Follower's feet leave the floor (they do, but only for an instant). And others. Let's be clear about something, the Social Colgada can be poorly executed, and/or it's possible that the dancer can create flashy aspects in the execution of the vocabulary. In either case, there is a belief that one shouldn't execute a Social Colgada. And that belief has some validity to it. It's a good practice to execute this vocabulary with a partner that you have danced with previously, this is not something that should be whipped out and danced simply because you've watched a 29m:09s video on topic. No. This stuff requires patience, practice, and then more practice, practice, practice, practice, practice. And when you're done practicing this stuff ? Practice some more. And then about 6 or 8 months from now, when you're dancing with your favorite partner, it's near the end of the milonga, and you have lots of space to move around in, you pull this out once, and then you let it go. YMMV. 

The Missing Information.  There's a free tip (for registered free users) that's not here because you're not logged in. If you were logged in, you'd see a free tip, but because you're not, you're not seeing it. So ? If you want the free tip, then go register as a free user and login. 🙂 However, if you want the toys, and to see the 22:14 HD quality video on how to properly lead & follow a Social Colgada and all the toys that go with it. Then you have 2 options. 1.) You can buy it. or 2.) You can subscribe!

 Watch It On Youtube ? Why should you pay for this video, or subscribe to this website when stuff like this is available on Youtube ? Because what you'll find on Youtube doesn't explain and walk you through the how a Social Colgada works! That’s why! 

So, please, go right ahead, go watch all the presentation videos on youtube all you want. Because that's what they are 'Presentation' videos. The couple's that you're used to seeing are performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they're not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about 'Social Dancing'. So please, go spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that situation. Bend your body this way or that, twist and force this position or that. Place your foot here or there and figure it out.  Which can be a lot of fun, but more than likely it won't help you, because you're missing something: The explanation from an experienced teacher! (ahem) ME!  The goal of youtube videos is to entice you to go study with those teachers in person. The goal of these videos is allow you to work at your own pace, in the comfort of your own space, so that you can play them over and over again to improve your understanding of the vocabulary or technique being described to therefore better your dancing experience. The goal of classes and workshops is to get you to come back over and over and over again, thereby spending more money with that teacher. This website and the videos under it are here to act as a resource for you to help you to improve your dance. Pay once and be done with it. 😉

Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. TANSTAAFL! The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlying technique.

In an hour long class, with the blind leading the blind through rotation of partners (uuuggggh!), you may glean a piece of the information you need and not get the whole thing, and you’ll miss important pieces that you’ll end up having to take a private lesson for to get the finer points. This way, you can watch over and over again, and get all the supplementary materials, and if you want you can still go take the class, only you’ll be better prepared to do so!

The Last Word. Tango Topics is little reminders and snippets of information that your teachers would have told you about but didn’t have time to or didn’t care to remind you for the umpteenth millionth time. Do you need videos like these ? Yes. Why ? Simple…you need as many reminders as possible in as many forms as you can get. In today’s Tango world it does take a village to raise a dancer. And that means having as many voices, reminders, ideas, concepts, perspectives as possible. This video and the rest of the ones that are sitting behind the Tango Topics paywall are that. While what you’re seeing above is only the smallest hint of what’s contained in the actual video. It should be enough for you to make a reasoned and intelligent choice that perhaps there’s something of value in this site and the videos that are here. Considering becoming a Gold, Gold Plus, or Diamond level subscriber today.

Open post

Argentine Rock Steps

Argentine Rock Steps

The Argentine Rock Step is a very venerable piece of tango vocabulary it’s used quite often as a way to avoid a hazard, and infrequently as a what is primarily supposed to be used for as musical interpretation. More often than naught for a lot of people the addition of the Rock Step is where they stop developing kinesthetically. This becomes their experience, their go to move, and they don’t realize that this is the case.  So let’s talk about Today’s Tango Topic: The Argentine Rock Step.

What is A Rock Step ? First let’s define what the word ‘Rock’ means. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the English word ‘Rock’ in this case is being used as a verb. It has a noun form, which means “a mass of stone”. In it’s verb form it means “to sway back and forth”. Next when we apply that idea to Dancing, a Rock Step means that you have a step that is going to go from weight transfer to weight transfer, very quickly.

An Argentine Rock Step is a little different. It refers to a very specific construct, and is not swaying to from side to side, but actually weight transfer to weight transfer (usually back and forth) sometimes with a Resolution (more on that later). In a lot of ways a ‘Rock’ Step appears to look like (operative word) as if the couple dancing are a Rocking Chair. The Argentine Rock Step is in the family of ‘Alterations’ of Tango Vocabulary. Meaning that due to a possible Resolution, the Follower’s direction (orientation) changes as a result. One more thing: There is a distinct and clear difference between an Argentine Rock Step and a Check Step and/or Incremental Step as shown in the video below.

The video above shows the difference between the two (and one possible error that happens quite frequently). A Check Step has no weight transfer forward (for the lead) and backwards (for the follower). In the case of the Rock Step there is a clear, and definitive weight transfer backwards AND THEN forwards. 🙂

Difficulty Rating: 2.0 Stars2.0 / 5 

Check Please! The video above is small snippet of a full HD video (total run time: 14m:16s). You can purchase Argentine Rock Steps for just 15.99 not including your level discount.

 

From A Following Perspective there are two things that are going to confuse you about a Rock Step. 1.) The Rocking Motion itself. And 2.) The desire to collect your feet. Let’s deal with the second item first, as it’s the easiest to describe. You’ve been taught to ‘collect’, ‘collect’, ‘collect’, and then along comes the proverbial Rock Step that says, “don’t collect…not just yet”. While there is a collection there, that collection is in fact, a led collection. And that’s the part that will confuse you. Why ? Because a good portion of the Leads you’re currently dancing with will not lead it, and more over they expect that you’ll ‘follow’ them. This is better known as reading their minds. You’re not a mind reader are you ? Hmmmm, probably not.

Now let’s deal with the first of these issues, the ‘Rocking’ motion itself. First and foremost it is actually much like a rocking chair motion, only we don’t actually lift our feet off the ground. It’s more like a weight transfer back then forward more than anything else. Now for the confusing part, we actually want to add a tiny bit of ‘spring’ to the motion itself. Truthfully the rocking motion is kind of dead, there’s no energy to it. And that’s the problem with it right there. You’ll transfer your weight back, and then forward and it’s like a ’thud’. But we don’t want to that to happen, and instead we want a tiny bit of a ‘spring’ motion to happen on the back step. So for this, you’re going to bend your knee and launch into the forward rock.

The advice above, covers the Linear and Parallel/Cross System Rock Steps. However, when we make the step Circular and not Linear, and then make them Parallel or Cross System Rock Steps, and then the possible resolutions out of the Rock Step, this is where things get interesting for you.

Resolutions ? First we have to talk about resolutions. What’s that ? A Resolution means that you want to get back in front of the Lead. Usually facing the lead, your torso plane facing the lead’s. However when we make the Rock Step Circular and Cross system based, your rock step resolution (just the resolution part) is not back in front of your lead, but rather turned perpendicular to them (not shown above but in the Rock Step Video)!

This Circular Cross System Rock Step and Resolution part is a little confusing at first and the reason is that it’s an unusual motion for you, it’s not back to facing your lead. Most of your Tango life to this point has been about resolving back in front of your lead. “Stay in front of your lead” is what you’ll generally hear. The Circular Cross System resolutions specifically breaks that convention. Because you’re not, in certain cases, going to end up facing them, but rather perpendicular to them. 🙂 And you’re going to think to yourself that you missed something, or that you’re behind, or that you’ve ‘disconnected’, and that’s less than desired thinking. If you followed what was led, then you’re not wrong. The fact is that the resolution is awkward, fun, but awkward.

The Caveat of the Rock Step. A good portion of your leads are going to jerk you around with their arms and hands. They’re going to believe that they have to ‘stop’ you. And thereby they’ll feel that they need to pull you towards them. This is an error on their part, they haven’t quite mastered intention based dancing. Neither have you for that matter. So as a result their going to squeeze, or compress, the embrace with their right forearm to stop you from going any further. This is not desirable on their part, but they don’t know it. And since no one has complained about it, they see no reason to change their behavior. Unfortunately this stopping motion has an undesirable visual side effect. It make the couple look ‘choppy’, as if the lead is jerking the Follower around. Truthfully, there’s not a whole lot you can do about this. Sadly. You’ll just have to survive until the end of the song, at which point you can say “thank you” and move on. But that’s your choice. Best practice ? If the squeezing is really painful, switch embrace types, and then if that still doesn’t change anything, you can always say “Thank you” at the end of the song (and not the tanda). Remember to take care of you! There’s one more fix here and that’s to start saying “No” to these leads that Rock Step endlessly, and jerk you around, as shown in the video below.

From a Leading Perspective the Rock Step is over used. Once a Lead learns this stuff they lose their proverbial mind, and it becomes their go to vocabulary for every possible resolution. Further still they have a distinct and clear, unconscious in most cases, desire to squeeze their partners bodies in order to stop them from continuing backwards or forwards or resolving cleanly. It’s an evil thing really. Quite honestly the Rock Step is usually performed without any level elegance unless by a trained professional and sometimes not even that. However, most of the time it’s overused, and executed in a manner that makes the couple appear sloppy and inelegant. 🙁

That said…

Now we get to the good parts of the Rock Step. There are some really cool things that we can do with a Rock Step. And the fun parts really begin with the Cross System and Circular versions. Because in both cases they’re door openers to other ideas and other pieces of vocabulary. Basically they’re transition elements. If nothing else, they’ll act like glue between one idea and the next. And it is for this reason that they’re over used. There are other ideas that don’t get used at all that can take their place such as turns, ocho cortados and the options, wraps, colgada turns just to name a few.

One more thing: Stepping backwards in the line of dance. The Rock Step seemingly breaks the convention of stepping backwards in the line of dance, and that’s not necessarily the case. If done properly, it should take up no more space than a single walking open step. However, if you’re concerned that you’re taking up too much space, here’s a free tip: Angle the resolution step, backwards against the line and lane of dance!

About The Video. This video comes is 14:16 in length in ONE section broken up by markers. Both lead and follower technique is combined and integrated in the video.

Marker 1 - Introduction - 00:00:48
Marker 2 - Lead Technique/Follower Technique - 00:01:15
Marker 3 - Side Step Resolutions - 00:02:06
Marker 4 - Parallel Linear Rock Steps (Example: Close Embrace) - 00:00:20
Marker 5 - Parallel Linear Rock Steps/Resolution (Example: Close Embrace) - 00:00:18
Marker 6 - Cross System Rock Steps - 00:01:27
Marker 7 - Cross System Resolutions - 00:02:38
Marker 8 - Cross System Examples with Resolutions - 00:01:20
Marker 9 - Linked Rock Steps (Multiples) - 00:01:50
Marker 10 - Chained Rock Steps with Resolutions & Closure - 00:01:57.

It can be purchased for $15.99 or downloaded as part of your subscription with a discount.

From a Dancing Perspective as has been indicated, it’s over used, far too often. There are other ideas that we want to engage. However, from a dancing perspective you’re going to see it every where and think that there’s nothing wrong with it until, after reading this article and seeing the requisite videos that you start to recognize that you use them far too much. Is this article going to change your mind on the topic ? No. Are you going to continue to use them ? Yes. Are you going to continue to over use them and thereby squeeze the living daylights out of your partners ? Yup. So why bother wasting breath on this stuff ? Simple. Awareness. The fact is that the more voices out there telling you not to do something hopefully it will start to sink in. And that, friends, is the point at which change has happened or can occur and that’s part of the reason why this page and the site and the videos under exist. So that change can and does occur, that you begin to think differently about the dance than you have.

The Missing Information.  There's a free tip (for registered free users) that's not here because you're not logged in. If you were logged in, you'd see a free tip, but because you're not, you're not seeing it. So ? If you want the free tip, then go register as a free user and login. 🙂 However, if you want the toys, and to see the 22:14 HD quality video on how to properly lead an Argentine Rock Step & Resolutions and all the toys that go with it. Then you have 2 options. 1.) You can buy it. or 2.) You can subscribe!

 Watch It On Youtube ? Why should you pay for this video, or subscribe to this website when stuff like this is available on Youtube ? Because what you'll find on Youtube doesn't explain and walk you through the how an Argentine Rock Step & Resolution works! That’s why! 

So, please, go right ahead, go watch all the presentation videos on youtube all you want. Because that's what they are 'Presentation' videos. The couple's that you're used to seeing are performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they're not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about 'Social Dancing'. So please, go spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that situation. Bend your body this way or that, twist and force this position or that. Place your foot here or there and figure it out.  Which can be a lot of fun, but more than likely it won't help you, because you're missing something: The explanation from an experienced teacher! (ahem) ME!  The goal of youtube videos is to entice you to go study with those teachers in person. The goal of these videos is allow you to work at your own pace, in the comfort of your own space, so that you can play them over and over again to improve your understanding of the vocabulary or technique being described to therefore better your dancing experience. The goal of classes and workshops is to get you to come back over and over and over again, thereby spending more money with that teacher. This website and the videos under it are here to act as a resource for you to help you to improve your dance. Pay once and be done with it. 😉

Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. TANSTAAFL! The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlying technique.

In an hour long class, with the blind leading the blind through rotation of partners (uuuggggh!), you may glean a piece of the information you need and not get the whole thing, and you’ll miss important pieces that you’ll end up having to take a private lesson for to get the finer points. This way, you can watch over and over again, and get all the supplementary materials, and if you want you can still go take the class, only you’ll be better prepared to do so!

The Last Word. Tango Topics is little reminders and snippets of information that your teachers would have told you about but didn’t have time to or didn’t care to remind you for the umpteenth millionth time. Do you need videos like these ? Yes. Why ? Simple…you need as many reminders as possible in as many forms as you can get. In today’s Tango world it does take a village to raise a dancer. And that means having as many voices, reminders, ideas, concepts, perspectives as possible. This video and the rest of the ones that are sitting behind the Tango Topics paywall are that. While what you’re seeing above is only the smallest hint of what’s contained in the actual video. It should be enough for you to make a reasoned and intelligent choice that perhaps there’s something of value in this site and the videos that are here. Considering becoming a Gold, Gold Plus, or Diamond level subscriber today.

 

Open post

Ocho Cortado Wrap

Ocho Cortado Wrap

The Ocho Cortado is a venerable piece of tango vocabulary used primarily for cutting turns, adding accents to the ends of musical paragraphs, or just to add a bit more ‘fun’ to the dance. It’s great in open, fabulous in close embrace, and just delish when led and followed slowly. There’s nothing crazier than an Anti-Ocho Cortado (reversing the Cortado, lead doing the follower’s steps & the follower doing the lead’s), while going against the music as counter point. 🙂 However, far too often a fair number of Leads, and a good number of Follower overuse it as if it were going out of style and they just have to get all they can in, before the end of the Ocho Cortado. After about the 3rd time most Followers yawn and yearn for something else, a little nuance, a little spice, a little…something else. While this belief could make most Leads (the person, not the action) cop to the ‘more vocabulary is better’ philosophy that pervades most leading classes, there is another way to go here. And that’s the add nuance. The nuance in this case is today’s Tango Topic: The Ocho Cortado Wrap.

What is An Ocho Cortado Wrap ? Put simply it’s a Follower’s leg wrap....

mixed with an Ocho Cortado (the ‘Cut’ Ocho).

To be fair the Ocho Cortado is not really an Ocho, not by any stretch of the imagination, nor is it a broken one at that. It is more akin to the Follower’s Molinete more than anything else.

Difficulty Rating: Ocho Cortado: 2.0 Stars2.0 / 5 Wrap/Enganche: 3.5 Stars3.5 / 5

From A Following Perspective you’re going to do a fair amount of work for this one. And most, if not all, of that work comes in the form of awareness on your part in 3 distinct areas below, and then their execution. This mixed move requires you to execute with some level of deftness and clarity what’s being asked of you so be prepared.

1.) Recognizing the Cortado. The Ocho Cortado itself is an easy piece of vocabulary for you to execute in Close or Open embrace. There’s really nothing crazy about it. The fact is though that you do actually have to recognize that this is a Cortado that’s being executed and not your Molinete. And the key component to that recognition is the opening check step that happens at the beginning of every Ocho Cortado. That motion tells you 2 things: a.) An Ocho Cortado is in your immediate future and b.) Something else could happen along the same lines, using an Ocho Cortado as the basis for that the other movement. 😉

2.) The Wrapping Indicator. Speaking of other things…. this particular piece of vocabulary for you is all about the nuance of the Wrap (Enganche) itself. So you ideally want to listen for something very specific: The invasion of the lead’s leg into your space, against the fleshy part of your thigh. That invasion tells you that this is no longer going to be an Ocho Cortado but instead, a Wrap!

and 3.) Your Side Step. Because you have already determined that it’s not going your Molinete, but instead of an Ocho Cortado, you need to make a small change in the execution of your side step: Instead of it being circular, it wants to be a linear side step. The reason being that if you’re too close, then the Wrap that the lead is looking for will not happen or become too unwieldy because you’re too close (circular side step).

Your awareness of these things regardless of whether or not you’re being led to an Ocho Cortado or a Wrap is can literally change the quality of its execution from one of “oh shit” (as in surprise) to “that’s cool” which will open up doors for you in terms adorning the Wrap itself, as there are a few places within the Wrap you have an inordinate amount of control over: the Leg up, the Leg/Calf Wrap itself, the Exit Wrap, and the Leg down. Lots of places to add a bit of ‘flash’.

The difficult part for you will be in the Wrap itself, your desire is to displace your leg (sending it out and away) unless you’ve have been trained to respond to a wrap specifically. And beyond that, the next major difficulty for you will be making the Wrap elegant and not gaudy. 🙁 The gaudy part is easy as it comes in many forms. The elegant part ? That takes time, patience, and practice. As there is a method to making the Follower’s Wrap actually work well regardless of who you are dancing with. For that to happen, look at 10 Wraps in the Tango Topics Archive. It’s full of Follower Technique on this topic.

From a Leading Perspective the Ocho Cortado Wrap is all about clarity for you. You need to be absolutely clear that you are leading ‘X’ and not ‘Y’. Otherwise the Follower will default to an Ocho Cortado. This axiom assumes that said Ocho Cortado is in their vocabulary, and they’re not suffering from Autopilot Following. 🙁 So what does “Clarity” look like from your perspective ?

1.) The Wrap Invasion. Every Lead that tries a wrap makes one of the few following errors. a) Stepping too deep. b.) Compressing the Embrace (Pulling). c.) The ‘Straight’ leg syndrome. d.) Watching the Follower’s feet. e.) Stepping too shallow. or what seems like a personal favorite -> f.) Stepping into the middle of the Follower’s space and just ‘expecting’ them to “Wrap”. Better known as not actually leading a damned thing. 🙂

2.) Leading the Linear Side Step and not a Circular one. 

3.) Opposition as you enter an Ocho Cortado. The oppositional forward step across you, is absolutely crucial to the success or failure of an Ocho Cortado. This is what will differentiate the move from the Follower's Molinete.

Without these three things being absolutely crystal clear in you, this nuanced variance becomes a lot like a watching a gymnastics tournament, and about as pleasurable from the Follower’s perspective, sadly. Mostly this stuff comes down to actually leading this stuff but not over-leading it. That’s a fine line. You have to suggest, but not force. You must indicate, but not use your arms to do it. You must invite without resistance in any way, shape, or form. Resistance is Less Than Desirable. Period.

One thing that should be obvious is that the ending vocabulary, how you exit, mostly will be Traveling Ochos more than anything else. Why ? Because the ending step of the Wrap is set up for just that! 

dancing in a small space ? try these articles!

bsas-prep-title

About the Video: This video comes is 21:44 in length in 14 Sections.

Section 1 – Introduction – 00:00:20
Section 2 – Ocho Cortado Review – 00:00:48
Section 3 – Lead Reminders – 00:02:22
Section 4 – Follower Reminders – 00:03:23
Section 5 – Ocho Cortado Both Roles – 00:00:23
Section 6 – The Wrap For Leads – 00:01:33
Section 7 – The Wrap for Followers – 00:01:42
Section 8 – Wrap and Cortado Together – 00:01:43
Section 9 – The Open Embrace Version – 00:00:50
Section 10 – The Close Embrace Version – 00:01:14
Section 11 – The Open Side Cortado Wrap – 00:00:40
Section 12 – Why This ? – 00:01:56
Section 13 – A Double Wrap – 00:01:53.
Section 14 – Adding a Lead Gancho – 00:01:19.
Section 15 – Closing.

It can be purchased for $15.99 or downloaded as part of your subscription with a discount.

From a Dancing Perspective truthfully this is nuance vocabulary. Nothing more, nothing less. And it should rightfully be used as such. Spice. Accent. Think of adding the wrap to this as a little tiny surprise. A change of pace. Nothing more than that. It’s a variation on a theme of Ocho Cortado Options with a clear fixation on the Wrap as the exit possibility. Are you going to see this a lot ? No. Is the Follower going to expect it ? No. Is the Lead going to not push or pull in this or use their arms ? That remains to be seen. In reality this stuff does fit within the line and lane of dance, and can be a very useful too in accenting certain singular accent notes in say Di Sarli, Fresedo, or Caló. De Caro, Tanturi, or Rodriguez may not work unless the wrap is more of an enganche more than anything else, a quick ganchito. So really, more late Di Sarli more than anything else.   

The Missing Information.  There's a free tip (for registered free users) that's not here because you're not logged in. If you were logged in, you'd see a free tip, but because you're not, you're not seeing it. So ? If you want the free tip, then go register as a free user and login. 🙂 However, if you want the toys, and to see the 22:14 HD quality video on how to properly lead a Ocho Cortado Wrap and all the toys that go with it. Then you have 2 options. 1.) You can buy it. or 2.) You can subscribe!

 Watch It On Youtube ? Why should you pay for this video, or subscribe to this website when stuff like this is available on Youtube ? Because what you'll find on Youtube doesn't explain and walk you through the how an Ocho Cortado Wrap works! That’s why! 

So, please, go right ahead, go watch all the presentation videos on youtube all you want. Because that's what they are 'Presentation' videos. The couple's that you're used to seeing are performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they're not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about 'Social Dancing'. So please, go spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that situation. Bend your body this way or that, twist and force this position or that. Place your foot here or there and figure it out.  Which can be a lot of fun, but more than likely it won't help you, because you're missing something: The explanation from an experienced teacher! (ahem) ME!  The goal of youtube videos is to entice you to go study with those teachers in person. The goal of these videos is allow you to work at your own pace, in the comfort of your own space, so that you can play them over and over again to improve your understanding of the vocabulary or technique being described to therefore better your dancing experience. The goal of classes and workshops is to get you to come back over and over and over again, thereby spending more money with that teacher. This website and the videos under it are here to act as a resource for you to help you to improve your dance. Pay once and be done with it. 😉

Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. TANSTAAFL! The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlying technique.

In an hour long class, with the blind leading the blind through rotation of partners (uuuggggh!), you may glean a piece of the information you need and not get the whole thing, and you’ll miss important pieces that you’ll end up having to take a private lesson for to get the finer points. This way, you can watch over and over again, and get all the supplementary materials, and if you want you can still go take the class, only you’ll be better prepared to do so!

The Last Word. Tango Topics is little reminders and snippets of information that your teachers would have told you about but didn’t have time to or didn’t care to remind you for the umpteenth millionth time. Do you need videos like these ? Yes. Why ? Simple…you need as many reminders as possible in as many forms as you can get. In today’s Tango world it does take a village to raise a dancer. And that means having as many voices, reminders, ideas, concepts, perspectives as possible. This video and the rest of the ones that are sitting behind the Tango Topics paywall are that. While what you’re seeing above is only the smallest hint of what’s contained in the actual video. It should be enough for you to make a reasoned and intelligent choice that perhaps there’s something of value in this site and the videos that are here. Considering becoming a Gold, Gold Plus, or Diamond level subscriber today.

Open post

The Social Lápiz & Enrosque

The Social Lapiz & Enrosque

The Spanish word ‘Lápiz’ (pron: lah-pees - emphasis on the 'LAH' and not the 'pees') translates to English as Pencil, and the word ‘Enrosque’ translates to English as ‘Screw’ or ‘Thread’. From a Tango perspective these are primarily ideas that relate solely to the Lead’s side of the dancing equation. Mostly. 🙂 A Follower can and does engage in a version of the Lápiz when applying a needle turn in ochos, or a planeo but as it relates to the Enrosque, it is very infrequently done by the Follower on their own. That said, let’s talk about the Social Lápiz & Enrosque.

What is a Lápiz & Enrosque ? Let's take those words one at a time. A Lápiz is a leg extension (and pointing of the foot/toe) done in circular fashion in response to what the Follower is doing. Usually this is a leg extension out away from the body (Forward to 12 O’Clock), then around to the side (at Nine O’Clock), and then the back (at Six O’Clock), and then back to collection. The Lápiz is usually done to the Follower’s Molinete or Traveling Ocho on their resulting back step.

What makes it ‘Social’ is that it is very small, very tiny. Meaning that the footprint (no pun intended) should not take up anymore space in the line of dance than say another step forward would. In other words ? No space.

And what about the Enrosque ? An Enrosque is essentially the lead crossing one foot behind the other without space between the crossed feet (better known as a 'clean' cross) and then, here’s the hard part, unwinding that cross back to collection without wobbling, wavering, or using the Follower to do it! Typically the Lápiz and the Enrosque Follow each other. First a Lápiz and then the Enrosque.

From A Following Perspective to be fair, there’s not a whole lot here for you from a technique standpoint. For you, there is quite literally no difference in what you’re doing, nor how you’re doing it. Why ? Because nothing that the Lead is doing should affect your dancing in any way, shape, or form. Quite truthfully, actually what they’re doing should enhance what you’re doing from a visual perspective. Assuming that they execute the Lápiz and enrosque with any level of deftness and cleanliness, you shouldn’t actually be able to tell that they’ve executed one! You shouldn’t necessarily feel anything at all except probably the lightest of taps on the back of your heel, as the toe of the their shoe touches the back of your heel, and that’s about it. Other than that, there’s should be no indication that said Lápiz or Enrosque has occurred in any way, shape, or form. This is a decoration for them. It’s the lead’s side of an embellishment for you. The whole reason they do this stuff is to decorate what you’re doing. Specifically on your back steps of either a Linear Ocho (infrequently used), Traveling Ocho (more likely), or the Follower’s Molinete (most likely). And really the Lápiz is there to accentuate the line of your back step. And the Enrosque ? It’s Lead flash! Meaning that it serves no earthly purpose except to say ‘look at me’. And again, assuming that the lead has done their job properly, the Enrosque shouldn’t be felt on your part. The lead shouldn’t need to hang on you, to pull, or push, or to employ/use resistance, tension, or force in their embrace in any way, shape, or form to stabilize themselves against you. So in short, this is all on the lead.

However, there are 3 things that you should be aware of with regards to the Lápiz and a possible resulting Enrosque.

1.) Continuity of Steps: For you, your Molinetes, have to be consistent. Meaning that you can not step away from your lead, and the size of your steps must be the same. The size of the Forward step must be equal to the back step which must be equal in size to the Side step and so on. So you must develop a sense of continuity to your steps. Without that continuity, a lead can not and should not attempt to play with the Lápiz. Why ? Because of the consistency problem. If the lead can’t rely on the size of your steps, that they’re all over the place or they’re small one time and large the next, then they can not trust that what you’re doing, and thereby can not and should not use the Lápiz to draw attention to your steps.

2.) Pop The Knee: On your back steps, you really do want to create a long clean line. And that means ‘popping’ the knee backwards to generate that line. Anything less than this, and you’re really doing yourself a visual disservice. 🙁

3.) Stepping Around: With regards to your Molinete (not necessarily to the Traveling Ocho), you ideally want to step ‘around’ your lead in the Molinete, not away from them on your back step. The problem with this is that most Leads, in the Molinete in Close Embrace specifically, do not make space for this to happen. So getting ‘around’ your lead becomes problematic at best. Each step of the Molinete must, must, must be around your lead, not away from them. If you step away from them, it breaks the possibility of a Lápiz occurring that can accentuate the line of your back step.

Quite truthfully the Lápiz could be employed on your Forward step and it’s really cool when that happens, but it’s usually done in response to your Back step!

From a Leading Perspective this is the epitome of Lead flashy embellishments. However, before we go any further, it is strongly advised that you review the proper Lead Technique for the Lápiz and resulting Enrosque (see Lead Technique) before you attempt this sort of thing. That said, let’s dive in.

This is a very flashy illusion for you, and a very challenging one at that. Quite possibly for most of you reading this the hardest part about it will be rotating over one foot, while extending the free leg. It’s a difficult thing for a lead to do, and then to do well. That last part (“do well”) must be practiced with all due diligence, over and over and over again. Most Leads can do these things poorly, or just barely, but not all of them can do them well. And to make it ‘Social’ ? That takes skill, time, practice, and patience. Most leads erroneously believe that this is just sticking your leg out there, and swinging it around or that the Follower is moving the Lead. Not so. The Lápiz and Enrosque are independent motions of the Follower’s motion. Completely independent.

That said, there are 5 things that you want to focus on with these things. Three things that can and will force you to think about how you execute everything else from this point forward.

1.) Pointing Your Toe. This is one of those things where you may think that you’re doing it, and it certainly feels that way, but when you watch the video you don’t see it happening at all. And that’s happens for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is failure to properly articulate your foot and the shoe appropriately.

2.) Cleaning The Leg. ‘Cleaning’ ? What does that mean, it means elongating the leg itself, without breaking at the knee or the waist, as your send the leg out away from the body (12 O’Clock), to the side (9 O’Clock), and back behind the body ( 6 O’Clock). We want a straight leg along the curved circle!

3.) Applied Disassociation. While this has been shown ad-naseum at this point from this site, and there’s virtually nothing left to talk about (follow the link above), it should be important to note that most Leads believe that they don’t need this stuff. That it’s Follower’s that have to study this stuff. And that’s just not the case. Both roles must discover and employ this stuff on a regular basis.

and 4.) The ‘Clean’ Cross. Meaning ? That there is no space between your feet as you bring one foot behind (or in front of) the other. Inside 1st metatarsal touching inside 1st metatarsal, and outside left heel touching outside right heel. And there is no ‘gap’ between the knees! And as you unwind from an Enrosque, that there is no space either.

5.) Watching The Follower’s Feet. It almost goes without saying that you can not, should not, and will not watch the Follower’s feet at all, in any way, shape, or form. Poor form, poor posture, and a bad idea all the way around. Why ? It breaks the entire visual illusion. Not to mention it also does not develop Proprioception! Which you sorely need to develop.

For you this is all about the attention to detail in the 5 things above. Failure to do that, and the Lápiz and potential resulting Enrosque aren’t worth the effort. They look ‘sloppy’. Now we add the ‘Social’ part where they have to be smaller, much smaller, and effortless, and that’s where things take on almost mythical proportions.

The Meat of the Lápiz 🙂

The reason this is Lead flash is because you are accentuating the Follower’s Back Step. Nothing more, nothing less. You’re embellishing their movement, that’s all. It’s an illusion because if done properly it can ‘appear’ as if you’re drawing their foot/leg backwards. When in fact, that’s not the case. It just so happens that it’s all about timing. Do this in the right place, and you create the illusion of this happening. Do it wrong, and well you’ve blown the illusion. While the video shows only accentuating the Follower’s Back Step, you can do this with the Follower’s Forward step of their Molinete as well, it’s just not done all that often. So start with the Follower’s Back Step of their Molinete, muuuuuuch easier.

One Caveat that you need to be aware of as indicated above, but which can not be stressed enough is that your Follower’s Molinete’s and Traveling Ochos must be clean and consistent for you attempt this stuff. If they’re not, you’re going to have a bitch of a time trying to employ this stuff. At the same time, you must be stable, and you can’t rely on them to stabilize you at all. If the Follower steps away from you, you have a problem. If the Follower steps too close to you, you have a problem. If the Follower pulls on your left arm, you have a problem. If the Follower leans on your left arm, you have a problem. If the Follower hangs on your shoulders in any way, shape, or form, you have a problem. If you employ resistance, tension, or force in any way, shape, or form, you have a problem. If all of these things are negated you still have a problem, and it’s probably the biggest problem of the Lápiz: Your rotation! Rotating your body in a Pivot that starts as Disassociation (and then applying that disassociation) OR engaging the Pivot instead (rotating all at once) is a major pain in the ass! While the video doesn’t show you how to do this, that’s what the underlining videos on the site are for, it is precisely what has to happen. This is something that you must train your body to do independent of the Follower’s motion!

One Important Thing: You must, must, must, must, and one more time with feeling, must have mastered your own stability independent of the Follower’s motion before you can even attempt this stuff. This is not a move that you can muscle your way out of to stabilize yourself against the Follower’s stability. The fact is that a good portion of Follower’s are not stable in their motions. They tend to step away from their Leads, and both of those things lead to problems with the Lead initiating and then executing a stable Lápiz and clean Enrosque.

.

bsas-prep-title

try these articles

argentineparadas-title

.

ochocortadooptions-title

About The VideoThis video is 14:03 in length in 7 Sections

Section 1 - Introduction - 00:00:12
Section 2 - Basic Technique - 00:01:29
Section 3 - Close Embrace Exercise - 00:02:22
Section 4 - Executing The Social Lápiz - 00:03:34
Section 5 - Adding The Enrosque - 00:02:45
Section 6 - The Social Version - 00:04:17
Section 7 - Closing - 00:00:19

It can be purchased for $15.99 or downloaded as part of your subscription with a discount.

From a Dancing Perspective truthfully while it takes forever for this stuff to be engrained in the body, in reality we’re talking about 2 seconds of time, that when executed nicely can be a nice embellishment to the Follower’s motion. In reality there’s a whole lot of stuff that needs to happen before it can even be attempted by a Lead. The reality is though, and it should be seen as the cold, hard reality, it’s flash. Nothing more than that. Do you need to do this stuff ? No. Is it cool ? Yes. Does it up the level of your dancing ? Yes. Does it make the Follower look even better ? Yes and no. The fact is that it is an accentuation and nothing more than that. You’re really, just for an instant, showing off the Follower. Do you need to do this ? Yes, at every possible moment. Do you need to add an embellishment to do this ? No, you do not. You can and should just walk with your partner. That is showing them off, everything else is just flash! That said, you can and should play with this stuff, until it is in you. Until you have mastered all the things above. Until it comes out of you on social dance floor with effortlessness. And then you should promptly forget all about it. Why ? For all the reasons above. But mostly because it is not the meat of the dance. Walking, Ochos, Turning, Crossing (the Follower’s Cross), is the meat of the dance in time to the music. The rest, is just accent and should be used to accent a note in the music and then we move on to the main course of the meal…walking with your partner!

The Missing Information.  There's a free tip (for registered free users) that's not here because you're not logged in. If you were logged in, you'd see a free tip, but because you're not, you're not seeing it. So ? If you want the free tip, then go register as a free user and login. 🙂 However, if you want the toys, and to see the 14:09 HD quality video on how to properly lead a Social Lápiz & Enrosque and all the toys that go with it. Then you have 2 options. 1.) You can buy it. or 2.) You can subscribe!

 Watch It On Youtube ? Why should you pay for this video, or subscribe to this website when stuff like this is available on Youtube ? Because what you'll find on Youtube doesn't explain and walk you through the how a Social Lápiz & Enrosque works! That’s why! 

So, please, go right ahead, go watch all the presentation videos on youtube all you want. Because that's what they are 'Presentation' videos. The couple's that you're used to seeing are performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they're not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about 'Social Dancing'. So please, go spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that situation. Bend your body this way or that, twist and force this position or that. Place your foot here or there and figure it out.  Which can be a lot of fun, but more than likely it won't help you, because you're missing something: The explanation from an experienced teacher! (ahem) ME!  The goal of youtube videos is to entice you to go study with those teachers in person. The goal of these videos is allow you to work at your own pace, in the comfort of your own space, so that you can play them over and over again to improve your understanding of the vocabulary or technique being described to therefore better your dancing experience. The goal of classes and workshops is to get you to come back over and over and over again, thereby spending more money with that teacher. This website and the videos under it are here to act as a resource for you to help you to improve your dance. Pay once and be done with it. 😉

Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. TANSTAAFL! The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlying technique.

In an hour long class, with the blind leading the blind through rotation of partners (uuuggggh!), you may glean a piece of the information you need and not get the whole thing, and you’ll miss important pieces that you’ll end up having to take a private lesson for to get the finer points. This way, you can watch over and over again, and get all the supplementary materials, and if you want you can still go take the class, only you’ll be better prepared to do so!

The Last Word. Tango Topics is little reminders and snippets of information that your teachers would have told you about but didn’t have time to or didn’t care to remind you for the umpteenth millionth time. Do you need videos like these ? Yes. Why ? Simple…you need as many reminders as possible in as many forms as you can get. In today’s Tango world it does take a village to raise a dancer. And that means having as many voices, reminders, ideas, concepts, perspectives as possible. This video and the rest of the ones that are sitting behind the Tango Topics paywall are that. While what you’re seeing above is only the smallest hint of what’s contained in the actual video. It should be enough for you to make a reasoned and intelligent choice that perhaps there’s something of value in this site and the videos that are here. Considering becoming a Gold, Gold Plus, or Diamond level subscriber today.

 

Open post

Gooey Ganchos

Gooey Ganchos

The are multiple varieties of Ganchos. We have explored the 4 most common ones, today we’re exploring a variant of the idea known as the ‘Gooey’ Gancho. Specifically what makes it ‘Gooey’ and how does it get it’s name. The reason this variety of Gancho is called ‘Gooey’ has everything to do with the speed of the Gancho itself, but it also has to do with the choice of the Gancho in certain respects, as you’ll see. That said, let’s talk about ‘GooeyGanchos.

What is a ‘GooeyGancho ? In specific it means that while this particular variety is usually executed from the Follower’s position, the Lead can and should under certain conditions engage in the same variation but not for the same reasons that the Follower will. So what is it ? In specific it is a slow motion Gancho, and in particular the ‘Launching’ leg of the dancer who is being “Gancho’d”. Everything prior to the Gancho happening is not the ‘Gooey’ part. The ‘Gooey’ part comes when the leg that is being lifted moves to engage the hooking action of the Gancho in a very slow, but very deliberate way. Very slow. 🙂

Tango Warning: Before we go any further, it is strongly recommended that you watch the 4 Common Ganchos first and have practiced them religiously before attempting these. This is not something a beginner should attempt in any way, shape, or form. This is clearly very advanced material. The material in this video should only be attempted by someone who has mastered their walk (sans wobbling or wavering, or needing to hold on to anyone in any way, shape, or form, and that includes forward steps, back steps, and side steps for both roles). And so that we’re absolutely crystal clear here because every beginner lead asks this question “how long should I have been dancing before I try these ?”. There is no rational answer to this question because time is not the factor that makes a damned bit of difference. Time on the floor is what makes a difference! So 6 months ? A year ? Two years ? No. Not that kind of time. However a good telltale sign that you may be ready for leading these movements is you have stopped watching the Follower’s feet, you have stopped using your arms to lead things, you understand and can employ a ‘no’ (or null) lead, you can employ disassociation without thinking about it.

From A Following Perspective while you’re not going to get led to these things all that often, there are a few things that we want to be aware of when engaging any Gancho. But before we go any further with what those things are. We have to talk a little bit about Gancho safety.

First and foremost, if you do not feel safe being led to a Gancho, don’t go there. While said Lead may ‘ask’ for a Gancho that doesn’t mean that you should do one! The Gancho is always, always, always your choice. And when we’re talking about the Gooey variety this is even more true than the 4 Common Ganchos! Secondly it should be noted that while the Gancho is your choice, you do have to make a decision about the Gancho. And that decision is based on what is sometimes referred as the ‘impatient’ lead. This is a kind of Lead/er that insists upon using vocabulary (like a ‘Gooey’ Gancho) without really understanding it, or having practiced it until the cows come home. They lead this stuff without a care in the world for what it looks like or how they’re doing it. The problem is that they’re going to lead this thing over and over and over again until you give in. Sometimes, more often than naught, this type of Lead/er will use their arms to insist that you Gancho. And until you do, you’ll get no peace. So this is the decision you’ll have to make, either you ‘give’ the Lead/er the Gancho or you risk paying the price for excessive use of force, repetition, and shall we say less than desirable Tango behavior. A good rule of thumb with this stuff (and really any advanced vocabulary) is always do you feel safe with this person ? If the answer is ‘no’, then don’t go there. And as it relates to any Gancho (and in specific the ‘Gooey’ variety), don’t Gancho. It’s that simple. This is your body, and quite honestly without you there is no dance. Be smart, listen to the lead (the action, not the person) and if you’re not being taken care of physically in the action or activity of the dance or the lead for X/Y/or Z, and being respected physiologically, then a Gancho (any variety) is quite literally out of the realm of possibility. Take care of you!

Moving On…

In every Gancho we have the Launching Leg or the ‘Free’ leg. Instead of just ‘throwing’ your leg up and behind, this is more like striking a matchstick more than anything else. Now enter the ‘Gooey’ Gancho part! With a normal Gancho we want that matchstick Free Leg to be quick, fast, and sharp. We want the back of our knee to come into clear, direct contact with our Lead’s thigh. We want the engagement of the leg to be full on contact, not dainty. With a ‘Gooey’ Gancho we still want the matchstick strike to happen, but the rest of the motion is slow, deliberate, and most importantly controlled!

The question that comes up for most Follower’s when being led to a ‘Gooey’ Gancho is how do you know that it’s a ‘Gooey’ Gancho ? There are 2 telltale signs that you’re expected to engage the ‘Gooey’ hook of your leg.

1.) The Music. La musica will tell you what you need to know. Specifically the ‘long’, stringy notes of Fresedo, Laurenz, D’Agostino, late DiSarli (50’s), late Calo, or very late Pugliese, or even (grrrrr) Piazzolla (uuuugh!). Tanturi, Canaro, Rodriguez, Malerba, Donato, Firpo, OTV, Demare, D’Arienzo, Troilo, Lomuto, and any early De Caro just isn’t going to cut it here. The compositions, musically speaking, are too ‘choppy’. So a ‘Gooey’ Gancho really isn’t possible musically speaking.

2.) The Speed. It’s all about the speed at which this variety of Gancho is led. If you’re feeling a slow motion to begin with, chances are, that the Lead (the person, not the action) is expecting a slowed motion, or a ‘Gooey’ Gancho.

From a Leading Perspective in every Gancho you’re leading, there is, to coin a phrase, a “need for speed”. In this instance, just the opposite is true. We want to move very, very, slowly. Deliberately. Controlled. Your motion here, or the lack therein is what creates the speed. The slower you move, the more that you’ll ensure a ‘Gooey’ Gancho!

That said, before we go any further, we have to talk a little bit about Gancho Safety and Gancho Sanity. Let’s start with the Sanity part first. Repeat this line before attempting this or any Gancho depicted on this site. Ready ? “I will lead this once with an experienced Follower, and then I will let it go”. Now the safety bit: Do not push, do not pull, do not use your arms in any way, shape, or form. You’re going to hurt someone, specifically your Follower! Do not force the Follower into a Gancho, ever. It’s not a pleasant experience. Further still do not try this with a novice, someone that’s just starting out either. They have no idea about this stuff, and it’s not your job to show them or introduce this stuff to them, that’s what a teacher is for. You are not one, you’re a social dancer, so….dance. Which is to say that teaching a beginner Follower on a social dance floor while at a Milonga makes you look bad. You’re not helping anyone out, you’re not doing that Follower a favor at all, ever. This is not what you want to hear but facts is facts, and as cool as a Gooey Gancho is, performing this because it’s fun for you, is no reason to do this with a beginner Follower who doesn’t know right from wrong, up from down, etc. It’s just not cool. Got it ?

Moving on…

This series of Ganchos, rightfully can be done from any of the 4 Common Ganchos, but they work really well from the Follower’s side step, or their Forward step! The trick to this Gancho series is the speed at which you lead it. Lead it slow, and you get your Gooey Gancho. Lead it quickly and it defeats the entire purpose of the Gooey part. There’s one caveat, among many, that we do want to focus on, there is a desire to compress, or pull the Follower into you, or to hold onto the Follower in the Gancho, and you can not do this. This creates an unstable Gancho. Truthfully the connection point of the Gancho, where your legs are touching is the support point, the arms don’t really matter all that much. They act as a visual frame not an actual one.

.

bsas-prep-title

try these articles

argentineparadas-title

.

ochocortadooptions-title

About The Video. This video is 22:09 in length in 10 Sections.

Section 1 - Introduction - 00:00:35
Section 2 - Gooey Gancho Setup - 00:02:33
Section 3 - Possible Follower Exits - 00:02:45
Section 4 - Rotational Gooey Gancho - 00:03:25
Section 5 - Review - 00:01:31
Section 6 - The Missing Gooey Gancho - 00:03:51
Section 7 - Employing The ‘Launch’ Aspect - 00:02:00
Section 8 - The ‘Right’ Way - 00:01:12
Section 9 - The Real ‘Gooey’ Part - 00:02:20
Section 10 - Closing - 00:01:25

It can be purchased for $15.99 or downloaded as part of your subscription with a discount.

From a Dancing Perspective truthfully this particular variety of Gancho can be a little creepy or can appear that way. There’s a reason for that justifiable creepiness. And it has everything to do with where the Lead is placing their body. Too close and it’s creepy, too far away and the Gancho fails. So there is a sweet spot of bodily position. Think of it as a comfort zone. Factually speaking the whole Gancho thing to begin with stretches the idea of the comfort zone, and this Gooey Gancho really stretches it to its breaking point. Having said all that, when this series of Ganchos is done they can appear quite elegant, and honestly speaking…they’re really cool. They do tend to show off the Follower, and this series of Ganchos are the quintessential ‘flashy’ move. Realistically you’re not going to see this variety all that much, but when you do take a moment to examine the precision of the dancers technique, that will give you an indicator of just how much time and effort they’ve spent on this stuff. 😉

The Missing Information.  There's a free tip (for registered free users) that's not here because you're not logged in. If you were logged in, you'd see a free tip, but because you're not, you're not seeing it. So ? If you want the free tip, then go register as a free user and login. 🙂 However, if you want the toys, and to see the 49:29 HD quality video on how to properly lead and follow a Close Embrace Sacada and all the toys that go with it. Then you have 2 options. 1.) You can buy it. or 2.) You can subscribe!

 Watch It On Youtube ? Why should you pay for this video, or subscribe to this website when stuff like this is available on Youtube ? Because what you'll find on Youtube doesn't explain and walk you through the how a Gooey Gancho works! That’s why! 

So, please, go right ahead, go watch all the presentation videos on youtube all you want. Because that's what they are 'Presentation' videos. The couple's that you're used to seeing are performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they're not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about 'Social Dancing'. So please, go spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that situation. Bend your body this way or that, twist and force this position or that. Place your foot here or there and figure it out.  Which can be a lot of fun, but more than likely it won't help you, because you're missing something: The explanation from an experienced teacher! (ahem) ME!  The goal of youtube videos is to entice you to go study with those teachers in person. The goal of these videos is allow you to work at your own pace, in the comfort of your own space, so that you can play them over and over again to improve your understanding of the vocabulary or technique being described to therefore better your dancing experience. The goal of classes and workshops is to get you to come back over and over and over again, thereby spending more money with that teacher. This website and the videos under it are here to act as a resource for you to help you to improve your dance. Pay once and be done with it. 😉

Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. TANSTAAFL! The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlying technique.

In an hour long class, with the blind leading the blind through rotation of partners (uuuggggh!), you may glean a piece of the information you need and not get the whole thing, and you’ll miss important pieces that you’ll end up having to take a private lesson for to get the finer points. This way, you can watch over and over again, and get all the supplementary materials, and if you want you can still go take the class, only you’ll be better prepared to do so!

The Last Word. Tango Topics is little reminders and snippets of information that your teachers would have told you about but didn’t have time to or didn’t care to remind you for the umpteenth millionth time. Do you need videos like these ? Yes. Why ? Simple…you need as many reminders as possible in as many forms as you can get. In today’s Tango world it does take a village to raise a dancer. And that means having as many voices, reminders, ideas, concepts, perspectives as possible. This video and the rest of the ones that are sitting behind the Tango Topics paywall are that. While what you’re seeing above is only the smallest hint of what’s contained in the actual video. It should be enough for you to make a reasoned and intelligent choice that perhaps there’s something of value in this site and the videos that are here. Considering becoming a Gold, Gold Plus, or Diamond level subscriber today.

 

Open post

Four Common Ganchos

Four Common Ganchos

Gancho. The word in Spanish translates to the English word, roughly, as ‘Hook’. From an Argentine Tango perspective it has a very specific meaning. You’ve seen these things hundreds of times, and while the vocabulary itself has a connotation as being somewhat ‘cheesy’, and only done by beginner leads who don’t know any better, the reality is a that it is a venerable piece of Tango vocabulary that do have a valid place off the main trunk of the Tango history tree. The story goes that while the Gancho existed long before NorbertoEl Pulpo Esbrez came along, his contribution to its storied history is where creativity meets innovation, specifically with regards to ‘elasticity’ and the Enganche. He is/was credited with pioneering and exploration the ‘invasion’ of the standing leg, the response of the free leg, as well as the space in between the opening of a step, and quite factually (if not literally), the intersection of these ideas.

What is a Gancho ? In it’s simplest form, in the modern vernacular of Tango, it is a hooking of the free leg around your partners leg or thigh. It is an interruption of the extension phase of the step, which can (not always) result in the lifting of the respondent’s leg either as a result of, or by deliberate intention.

Today’s Tango Topic deals with just Four of the most Common Ganchos and a few of their issues that happen for both roles. While there are many, many, many types of Ganchos to explore and play with these 4 explored below only scratch the dancing surface of them. They are the foundation for nearly every other Gancho that comes after them. The Rotating Gancho, the Gooey Gancho series, the Follower’s Gancho series, the Ganchito, the Lead’s Gancho series, the Volcada Gancho, just to name a few, owe their foundation to the Four Common Ganchos in Parallel and Cross System.

From A Following Perspective before we go too deep into this, there are some issues that you need to be aware of. 1.) While you have almost ZERO control over the initiation of a Gancho, the response to the lead for the Gancho is all yours! Factually speaking you have complete control over whether or not a Gancho is performed at all. Ganchos are entirely optional for you. Contrary to what you may have been told, you are under no obligation to perform one. Ever. None. And don’t let some Lead/er tell you differently either. 2.) The Four Common Ganchos are all about simple technique for you. It’s really an interrupted back step. Nothing more than that. The hard part about them for you is controlling the leg extension up (the hooking part) while balancing on one foot, and then…the leg extension out of them. Why ? What typically happens, unless properly trained and strengthened is that you, as the Follower, will drop your leg away from the Gancho almost immediately. 🙁 3.) Contrary to what you might believe, you are not going to hurt your lead (as much as some of them deserve it sometimes). You don’t want to hit anyone, or step on anyone, and you certainly don’t want to lift your leg! That’s just crazy! You can’t see what’s going to happen, and you quite literally freak out.

Your part in this is - Your Back Step. And in specific, your extension without a weight transfer. The key component for this series of Ganchos, because once you have the technique for one, it applies to the other three, is that you do want to raise your leg. However, there are some things about that leg raising that you want to be aware of. a.) It’s not done because you want to. No. It’s done as a result of the interruption of the lead’s leg (their thigh) in your way. That interruption is what causes your leg to ‘wrap’ or ‘hook’ around your lead’s leg. b.) Frequently Follower’s just ‘give’ the Gancho to their leads for any number of reasons, when in fact while the Gancho has been led, it is done so improperly. Thereby creating a bit of confusion in you as the Follower, “Was that a Gancho ? Screw it, just Gancho!”. c.) They’ve been over-led so many times to these things that you’ll just do it without really understanding what’s really supposed to happen. The reality is that the Gancho is a learned piece of vocabulary and unless you learn to feel the proper conditions, and or see what those conditions are for one to exist, you’re going to continue to ‘give’ the lead the Gancho and thereby look like you don’t know what on earth you are doing. 🙁

The Sweet Spot and Two Mistakes. Mistake #1: Stepping Away. Mistake #2: Stepping Too Close. In this variety of Common Ganchos these two mistakes are so common one would think that there’s a class on this stuff. However the reason these two mistakes occur at all is due to the Follower having not mastered finding The ’Sweet’ Spot. What is the ‘Sweet’ Spot ? It’s a very specific distance around your lead. Truthfully the ‘spot’, really it’s an appropriate distance, happens around every lead. And while each lead is physiologically different from one to the other, there are some similarities. One of them is the distance that you can be from them, while ‘walking’ around them that will not impair your motion, or theirs, or the combined motion of the couple. Or in this case, one of the Four Common Ganchos. Finding that spot is a bit tricky, but there is a rule of them to doing it. Something so obvious that you’ll wonder why no one ever mentioned it before. Truthfully they did, and it’s usually buried in talking to the lead as an after thought. Sadly.

Lastly this series of Ganchos are all based on mastering your Circular Ochos. Not Traveling, not Linear, not Milonguero, not Over-Rotated, and certainly not Milonga Ochos. No. These Four Common Ganchos are married to Circular Ocho which requires you to go ‘around’ your lead with your back step. Typically what happens for most Followers when they extend around their lead like this, they tend to step away from them. They tend to believe that they’ve stepped around their lead, when in fact, no they have not. That stepping away can and does cause the Gancho to fail. 🙁 Which quite truthfully at some Leads invoke these things, isn’t such a bad idea!

From a Leading Perspective the Gancho is accent or ‘spice’ vocabulary and should only be used sparingly. However, and this is where we go right off the rails, that’s typically not what happens. Some of you go a little Gancho Crazy (read that is ‘Gancho! Gancho! Gancho!) and tend to over do and over lead and repeat the same Gancho 4 or 5 times, and/or more than a few times in a song. Talk about annoying! Is it ever. No one likes to repeat the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over … you see the point here ? No one likes it, any more than you did reading that series of ‘over and over and over’ statements. So if you don’t like it, what on god’s green earth would make you believe that doing the same Gancho 4 or 5 times within the length of 10 seconds, and then to repeat it 10 steps later, wouldn’t drive someone absolutely batty ? The fact is that repetition of ANY piece of tango vocabulary is annoying. And this is where the Gancho has gotten a bad reputation - Repetition. So here’s a free tip for you - Lead it once, and then let it go for the love of Gardel! Lead it once, and then let it go! That said…

There are 5 Common Errors for the Gancho that you need to be aware of.

1.) Using Your Arms. The fact is the at good number of Leads use their arms to push, or pull their Followers around the floor, and while there are some good reasons why it may seem like it’s necessary to do this, it’s never ‘ok’, period. Under no circumstances should one pull or push anyone around the floor….ever! The use of arms as a way to communicate your intention to lead any of the Four Common Ganchos is absolutely verboten! Never. Nunca. Not.

2.) Watching The Follower’s Feet. Watching the Follower’s feet is a failure of Proprioception. It’s that simple. Why is this important in any of the Four Common Ganchos ? Because doing so, you break the illusion of mastery of the vocabulary. Not only that but it breaks the visual lines of the couple.

3.) Failed Articulation! A good number of Leads will fail to Articulate their legs into the proper position to be able to receive the Gancho and instead extend a straight leg into the walking path of the Follower. Thereby effectively giving the Follower nothing to Gancho! 🙁

4.) Resistance! This issue happens for a lot of people that dance Resistance Based Dancing. It’s work. It’s painful. And quite honestly, you have to overpower your Follower for them to hear the ‘lead’. Oy. In short, you don’t need it. Ever.

5.) The Arm/Hand Issue. This move is all about allowing the Follow to disassociate through their Circular Ochos but typically what happens is that you stop that motion by either squeezing the living daylights out of them, OR by placing your hand right hand along their side and applying pressure thereby stopping any rotation motion. 🙁

Ok, now to the actual Common Ganchos. There are 4, as indicated, 2 Parallel and 2 Cross system ones. To be fair all are easy and doable for both roles, there’s nothing confusing or strange about either one. Typically what happens when learning this stuff is that one side gets used a lot more than the other and then it becomes ingrained behavior. It’s an illusion really. Both sides (open and closed) are accessible and easy to get to. Why ? Because these Common Ganchos are typically done in an Open Embrace variation. That’s why. The one that we want to start out with however, is the Closed Side Parallel System one. It will allow you to learn and then use the structure of these 4 Common Ganchos all that much easier.

.

bsas-prep-title

try these articles

argentineparadas-title

.

ochocortadooptions-title

From a Dancing Perspective truthfully, when executed a.) in time to the music. b.) as an accent piece of vocabulary, to an accent note. and c.) when none of the issues noted above are present to mar the Gancho…they can be quite lovely to watch. However that’s rarely what happens. What tends to happen are all the things mentioned above, and a few more that have not been mentioned. Part of the reason why Ganchos have the reputation of being ‘cheesy’ or less than desirable is that a.) they open the embrace. b.) they have a historical connotation with ‘Nuevo Tango’ (which is a misnomer of terms, ‘Nuevo Tango’ actually refers to the style of music that Astor Piazzolla founded in 1960 - 62 when he was living in Paris) and lots of legs flying everywhere because of that. c.) they tend to take up a lot of space. and d.) They’re typically poorly executed, very sloppy, making them appear (and actually are) like they’re an exercise in acrobatics. Oy. However, most of that can be tastefully, and judiciously removed by having good, clear instruction that clearly illustrates what and how to initiate and receive a Gancho, hence this video series.

About The Video. This video comes in Six (6) Parts, for easy digestion of the topic (and download - Total Run Time 49:29).  What you're seeing above is only the introduction to the topic before we dive into the topics below. The one you probably want to see is #6 as it contains all 4 of the Ganchos. However, the rest of the videos make that last video possible. They're all about set up, proper technique, and really the underlying method of how a Gancho works and where things can go terribly wrong, and how to correct for it. 

Part 1 - Introduction (08:12).
Part 2 - Lead Technique - 04:02.
Part 3 - Follower Technique - 05:39.
Part 4 - Gancho Exercise - 05:36.
Part 5 - Gancho Set Up - 06:43.
Part 6 - Four Common Ganchos - 19:27.

The Missing Information.  There's a free tip (for registered free users) that's not here because you're not logged in. If you were logged in, you'd see a free tip, but because you're not, you're not seeing it. So ? If you want the free tip, then go register as a free user and login. 🙂 However, if you want the toys, and to see the 49:29 HD quality video on how to properly lead and follow the Ganchos and all the toys that go with it. Then you have 2 options. 1.) You can buy it. or 2.) You can subscribe!

You're Not Logged In: If you were free user of this site you could login to your account, you'd see a different video from the one above! You'll see the part 4 on the Setup for a Gancho. Furthermore this is only the first 4 Ganchos of a much larger Gancho series of 21 other possible Ganchos - Rotating Ganchos, Volcada Ganchos, Lead Only Ganchos, Follower Only Ganchos, and Gooey Ganchos. 

Watch It On Youtube ? Why should you pay for this video or subscribe to this website when stuff like this is available on Youtube ? Because what you'll find on Youtube doesn't explain and walk you through the how a Gancho works! That’s why!

So, please, go right ahead, go watch all the presentation videos on youtube all you want. Because that's what they are 'Presentation' videos. The couple's that you're used to seeing are performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they're not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about 'Social Dancing'. So please, go spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that situation. Bend your body this way or that, twist and force this position or that. Place your foot here or there and figure it out.  Which can be a lot of fun, but more than likely it won't help you, because you're missing something: The explanation from an experienced teacher! (ahem) ME!  The goal of youtube videos is to entice you to go study with those teachers in person. The goal of these videos is allow you to work at your own pace, in the comfort of your own space, so that you can play them over and over again to improve your understanding of the vocabulary or technique being described to therefore better your dancing experience. The goal of classes and workshops is to get you to come back over and over and over again, thereby spending more money with that teacher. This website and the videos under it are here to act as a resource for you to help you to improve your dance. Pay once and be done with it. 😉

Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. TANSTAAFL! The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlying technique.

In an hour long class, with the blind leading the blind through rotation of partners (uuuggggh!), you may glean a piece of the information you need and not get the whole thing, and you’ll miss important pieces that you’ll end up having to take a private lesson for to get the finer points. This way, you can watch over and over again, and get all the supplementary materials, and if you want you can still go take the class, only you’ll be better prepared to do so!

The Last Word. Tango Topics is little reminders and snippets of information that your teachers would have told you about but didn’t have time to or didn’t care to remind you for the umpteenth millionth time. Do you need videos like these ? Yes. Why ? Simple…you need as many reminders as possible in as many forms as you can get. In today’s Tango world it does take a village to raise a dancer. And that means having as many voices, reminders, ideas, concepts, perspectives as possible. This video and the rest of the ones that are sitting behind the Tango Topics paywall are that. While what you’re seeing above is only the smallest hint of what’s contained in the actual video. It should be enough for you to make a reasoned and intelligent choice that perhaps there’s something of value in this site and the videos that are here. Considering becoming a Gold, Gold Plus, or Diamond level subscriber today.

Open post

The Dark Side Salida

The 'Dark Side' Salida

The Salida. The Spanish word ‘Salida’ translates in English to ‘Exit’ or ‘Left’ as in the past tense of the verb to ‘Leave’. However when we apply this to Argentine Tango it means something else entirely different. It is a process that includes Cabeceo/Mirada, and the Entrada in the line of dance, as well as the Exit (Salida) from the dance, and walking your partner back to where you found them. In BsAs, or more formal Milongas in the world (including Encuentros), this means walking them back to their table. This is the process known as ‘Salida’. However with regards to the dance we typically only equate the word Salida with Entrada phase of the dance, and this is known as a ‘Salida’ Step. An entry (or exit) into (or from) the line and/or lane of dance. There is typically only one that gets talked about and or shown, and that’s the very typical couple side step into the lane of dance. There are, as you might imagine, loads of others. Today’s Tango Topic talks about a very specific and special one referred as the Dark Side Salida.

What is a Dark Side Salida ? It is a Salida step that is entered into from the ‘Closed’ side of the embrace. Typically any piece of vocabulary that is referred to as such is a Dark Side ‘X’,  where ‘X’ is the vocabulary is the mirror copy of the Open side of the embrace. This has nothing to do with walking systems, or embrace formats. It only refers to the bi-lateral bisection of the body or in this case the couple’s embrace.

A Dark Side Salida on the other hand is a whole different ball of wax. It’s not your typical side step into the lane of dance, because … because doing so would step you out of the lane of dance and off the floor.  🙁 That would be bad. No. A Dark Side Salida step uses very simple, or basic, tango vocabulary put together to form figure in order to accentuate the ‘Closed’ side of the embrace AS the opening step of the dance! To be fair, while you can use this piece of vocabulary at nearly any point in the dance, employing as the Salida step has certain benefits, one of which is that it has incredible musical properties (not shown in the video).

That said, let’s take a look at one particular variant of a Dark Side Salida, and some issues that surround it.

From A Following Perspective for you this is employing three of your seven foundational elements. Foundational elements ? Forward, Side, Back, Embrace/Posture, Disassociation (including Ochos), Turns, and Crosses. The three you’ll be using ? Back, Forward, and walking to the Cross. However, for you, there is a tiny little trick that we want to be aware of. But before we get there we have to talk about the dreaded “Armpit Dancer”. Eeeeek! In this instance, you as the Follower are going to be specifically placed in the lead’s armpit.  And you actually want to be there, strange as that may sound. This is one of the few times (there are only 4), where this is completely desirable, because you’ve been led to do so. Every other time (aside from the 4) you want to be buttons-to-buttons, or in front of the lead. In this instance you don’t. There is an instance of transition where for just an instant (as you can see in the splash shot above), where the Follower ends up in the lead’s armpit and this is desirable. But, and here’s the kicker, it only happens for an instant.

Now to the little caveat of this piece of vocabulary for you. In nearly every piece of Tango vocabulary there is an aspect of going ‘around’ the lead (the action, not the person - hence the lowercase ‘l’). The Dark Side Salida Step reinforces this idea, specifically on the Follower’s forward step (not shown in the video above unless you’re a subscriber).  It is absolutely necessary for you to take a long forward step around the lead. Far too often the Follower takes a smaller forward step (known as the Non-Forward Step) where they end up in front of the lead OR they step away from their lead in linear fashion. Neither of these two states are desirable. Instead we, was Follower’s want to step towards and around the lead! To be fair, stepping too close to the lead will create an instability, stepping too far away creates another kind of instability, but it’s an instability none the less. Ideally there is a ‘sweet’ spot for how far or close you can step towards or away from someone. This is slightly different for each person based on height and girth as mitigating factors. 😉

There’s one more thing about this particular Dark Side Salida Step, it’s going to throw you a bit, it’ll feel awkward in the moment. The reason is that you’re so used to doing the typical Salida step that it’ll be a bit of a surprise as in, “WTH is this guy doing ?”. You’re going to have that moment of fear that the lead is going to pull out some crazy, wild, strange piece of vocabulary that they just learned 10 minutes earlier and haven’t really practiced all that much except in their heads. And rightfully you should worry or concern yourself with this, be ever vigilant. However, that’s no reason not to ground yourself in your foundational elements (forward, side, back, etc). Doing so will help you to survive those moments of ‘WTH!!’.

From a Leading Perspective this is a pattern. No doubt about it. So let’s dive right into it. Like all patterns, it has some areas where it works, some areas where it doesn’t, where you should use it, where you shouldn’t and so on. The upside to a Dark Side Salida Step is that they’re insanely easy to do and create lots of space for variation instead of the same ol’ same ol’. Even the variation has variations on top of variations. Still one more, is that it does create a bit of a surprise for the Follower (as indicated above) from the standard ‘side step’ - let’s dance thing that happens. The down side is that it can get old very quickly, and rather repetitive. It is for this reason that we want to study Enganches (Wraps), Ganchos, Cross variations, and Walking Systems! That last one is insanely important especially in a Dark Side Salida Steps!

This particular Dark Side Salida Step has three components to it that does require some thought and some practice. What are they ? 1.) The opening weight change. 2.) Leading the Forward Step around. 3.) The Capture!

1.) The Opening Weight Change. Far too often we, as leads, force a weight change onto the Follower by either pushing (or pulling) them into weight shift, typically it’s done by Compression (read that as ‘squeezing the living daylights out of your Followers’…tsk, tsk, tsk). The more you compress, the more the Follower has to go with. It’s not desirable and yet it’s done all the time. This weight change has to be done a completely different way, and that’s why we reinforce learning 2 different kinds of weight changes. a.) the WITH Weight Change. and b.) the WITHOUT Weight Change. The ‘With’ weight change is exactly what it sounds like, you change weight WITH the Follower. Pretty simple, no ? However, the WITHOUT weight change is where all the fun is at. This where you change which foot the Follower is on, WITHOUT changing you at all. And here’s the kicker, you can not use force or compression to do it. It doesn’t work. It is for this reason that it’s insanely important to learn the secret of executing a WITHOUT weight transfer (clearly demonstrated and explained in this video on this site) without the use of force because it doesn’t work in all situations under all conditions. This is also another reason to learn to dance with ‘intention’ and not ‘resistance’. An intention based dancer has far more options and opportunities than a resistance based dancer does. And the only way that you’ll know that is by studying with an Intention Based Teacher (Hint, hint, hint).

2.) Leading The Forward Step Around. This is another place where most leads fail. Why ? Because they forget that they actually have to rotate their upper torso (along with their arms!) and not just push and pull with their arms. Most male Leads don’t necessarily understand or comprehend their own physiological pressure that they place on their Follower’s bodies with their arms and hands via physiological compression, force, tension, hand pressure, forearm pressures, and the like. It’s not exactly desirable or a pleasurable experience, and yet this is exactly what happens for most male Leads. The only way that they’ll feel this and really understand what’s going on is first by dancing with a Resistance Based Lead that uses pressure and compression to ‘move’ them. And then immediately afterwards, to see the sharp comparison, dancing with an Intention Based Lead. How does this relate to the Forward step around themselves ? Because most male leads don’t realize intention based leading exists, and almost never realize it, and end up pushing and pulling their Followers, not around themselves, but actually away from themselves in linear fashion (on a line away). When instead what they want to do is rotate their Torso (specifically employing T7, T8, T9 of their upper spinal column) around their spine by use of intention. Slowly going with the Follower not pushing them. Indicating but not pushing. The problem here is that most leads forget this stuff and rush through X, Y, and Z and just expect that they Follower will haphazardly just ‘follow’ the lead. When in fact the lead itself is unclear and doesn’t allow for the Follower to ‘just follow’ but instead rushes them through it. 🙁

3.) Capturing The Follower. This one is probably the trickiest of the bunch caveats above. Because your want is to stop the Followers motion and redirect it. And that means using your arms. However in this case, you do not want to use your arms. You actually want to use your motion, or in this case your not-motion! This is referred as a ‘Null-lead’ or a ‘No-lead’ where the arms (specifically the Lead’s right) acts as a structural element and nothing more than that. Far too often when learning this particular Dark Side Salida Step most Leads compress the hell out of their Followers with their right arm around their Followers, and this is a major no-no. The Capture in this case is very gentle and entirely non-compressive!We want fabric to skin contact and nothing more than that.

This particular Dark Side Salida Step employs a weight change, a cross system walk, then a capture (!!!), then leading a circular forward step, and then finally walking them to the cross! It can be used anywhere inside the dance not just as a Salida step, it’s great in place of an Alteration step, where you want to change the direction of the Follower. It’s also great musically because it has so many possibilities attached to it. It’s also a lot of fun to execute and has lots of variance to it. Lots and lots actually! With a small modification it could be turned into a ‘Gooey Gancho’, an Enganche (for either role), a force back cross on the Step around, or even a Soltada! Just to name a few. There are so many options here that it’s mind boggling. You could literally use this Dark Side Salida Step as the gateway to opening your dance to do a whole variety of things, not just the step itself.

dancing in a small space ? try these articles!

bsas-prep-title

From a Dancing Perspective it’s cool. There’s no doubt about it. However, 98% will not dance it, mostly because they don’t know it exists. That and there is always the tried and true Simple Open Side Salida Step as their entrada. This is what you’ll see 98% of the time dancing. However, pay attention when you see a different Salida step, it means that that particular lead is thinking outside the box. It means that someone want to do something different not because it looks cool, but because they’ve been thinking about how to surprise their dance partners and make the dance that much more inviting and exciting than the run of the mill Salida step that permeates every single tanda. Side step, begin dancing, side step, end dancing. Over and over again. With a Dark Side Salida Step it’s anything but that! And the world is your oyster

The Missing Information.  There's a free tip (for registered free users) that's not here because you're not logged in. If you were logged in, you'd see a free tip, but because you're not, you're not seeing it. So ? If you want the free tip, then go register as a free user and login. 🙂 However, if you want the toys, and to see the 13 minute HD quality video on how to properly lead and follow the Dark Side Salida and all the toys that go with it. Then you have 2 options. 1.) You can buy it. or 2.) You can subscribe!

Watch It On Youtube. Why should you pay for this video, or subscribe to this website  when stuff like this is available on Youtube ? Because what you'll find on Youtube doesn't explain, with real world examples, of how this stuff works! That’s why! And furthermore, what you may see from some of those videos is shall we say, less than desirable social tango technique. So, please, go right ahead, go watch all the presentation videos you want. Spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out from the single camera angle how things might work in that situation. Which may help you, and more than likely it won't, because you're missing something! The explanation from an experienced teacher! Which is precisely why those videos exist on Youtube. The goal of those videos is to entice you to actually go study with those teachers in person. Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlaying technique. Which in an hour long class, with the blind leading the blind through rotation of partners (uuuggggh!), you may glean a piece of the information you need and not get the whole thing, and you’ll miss important pieces that you’ll end up having to take a private lesson for to get the finer points. This way, you can watch over and over again, and get all the supplementary materials, and if you want you can still go take the class, only you’ll be better armed to do so!

The Last Word. Tango Topics is little reminders and snippets of information that your teachers would have told you about but didn’t have time to or didn’t care to remind you for the umpteenth millionth time. Do you need videos like these ? Yes. Why ? Simple…you need as many reminders as possible in as many forms as you can get. In today’s Tango world it does take a village to raise a dancer. And that means having as many voices, reminders, ideas, concepts, perspectives as possible. This video and the rest of the ones that are sitting behind the Tango Topics paywall are that. While what you’re seeing above is only the smallest hint of what’s contained in the actual video. It should be enough for you to make a reasoned and intelligent choice that perhaps there’s something of value in this site and the videos that are here. Considering becoming a Gold, Gold Plus, or Diamond level subscriber today.

Ochos – Transitions – Lazy to Molinete

Ochos - Transitions - Lazy to Molinete - + Admin JavaScript warning: I'm sorry, your JavaScript appears to be broken. Please use "Check template" in plugin settings, read our troubleshooting guide, troubleshooting guide for programmers or order our pro support and we will get it fixed for you.

13603627_10154280489294890_1771950696935629219_o
Hi! The page you requested is premium level content. In order to see it in all it's tango glory :-), and get rid of this annoying message, you have to register for free, and then upgrade your registration to a paid subscription to either a gold, gold+, diamond, or milonguero level user. Or you should see a login form below so you can login.

Thank you for reading, and I look forward to seeing you in class!

Open post

The Argentine ‘Dip’

The Argentine 'DIp'

The ‘Dip’ is a very common form and expressive move used in most social dances. Argentine Tango has it’s own version of a ‘Dip’, however this version of the Dip looks nothing like what you’ve seen before. It’s almost not worth calling it a ‘Dip’ to begin with but it is in truth of fact, the Argentine version does classify as a ‘Dip’.

Let’s back up a moment and address the possibility that you have no idea what a ‘Dip’ is. A ’Dip’ refers to what is called a Dancing Dip. And it is what it sounds like, a physiological dip in the movement of the couple. Where one partner, the Lead, stops the dance for a moment to express some aspect in the music. Usually that moment is characterized by a long, languid note.  At that point the other partner (the Follower in this case) is led into a controlled, but partial, fall within the embrace of the first partner (the Lead). This is a ‘Dip’ in technical terms. Usually this kind of move is very, very dramatic, and done in the extreme to maximize it’s effect. And the effect is very visual, generating lots and lots visual lines, postures, and poses for the couple. One such idea is the ‘Death Drop Dip’ (which Tango does use in Performance Tango) where the Follower is led to almost touching the ground with their back, and one arm stretched out towards their partner  The Argentine Social Dance version of this idea is the polar opposite of this extreme idea. The Argentine Dip is more felt than it is dip. That said, let’s talk about the Argentine Dip.

From A Following Perspective you are going to be the one who is being ‘dipped’ here. And unlike other social dances where the dip is exceptionally overly dramatic that borders on the athletic gymnastic display, the Argentine version of this for you is more about a ‘lag’ than anything else. The key component for this dip to work for you is where it is done. Usually, you’ll find yourself led to this out of an Argentine Cross. Specifically a forward step across your Lead. That forward step IS the Argentine Dip for you. However, it’s how it is done that makes this very unique. There is no back bending, no acrobatics here for you. None. This is all about a lag in response time for you. The more that you lag on taking the forward step across your the Lead, the more that you ‘Dip’. That lag is the dip itself. However, let’s be clear about something. This is entirely a led move for you. Meaning that this is not something that you ideally want to initiate on your own. Doing so would create unintended consequences for both roles, mostly confusing the hell out of your Lead. Not to mention it would violate the guidelines of an Active Follower (yes, there are guidelines). That said, while this site is all about the role of the Active Follower, initiating an Argentine Dip out of the Argentine Cross on your own can create more problems for you than it’s worth.

That said, you do have an aspect that is totally under your control: Your technique of the Forward step out of the Cross. 1.) How and where you place your foot. 2.) how you extend your leg. 3.) Where you place your foot. and 4.)  The speed at which you do these things. These 4 elements are all under your control. Executing any 1 or all 4 of these things creates options and opportunities for you. Further you can actually control where the partnership is going just by moving that leg/foot by 2 or 3 millimeters towards or away from your Lead.

There’s one place where the Argentine Dip can be employed that is not in the video, and in this case it’s all about you. It’s from your Molinete, and in specific your side step, into your Forward step around your lead, which is a resolution to come back to face your Lead. That resolution IS the Dip! You have so many options to ‘dip’ at that juncture it’s not even funny anymore.

So while the Argentine Dip doesn’t give you the ability to initiate it. It does, once led to do so, give you an inordinate amount of options and opportunities to do something else that makes both partners look absolutely fabulous!

From a Leading Perspective, like everything else in Tango, you’re responsible for initiating this one. It also falls on you to do something that you’re not going to want to do. And that’s allow the Follower some space to play with this one. You can lead the Argentine Dip to be certain, however, the real beauty of this lay in allowing the Follower play with the lag time a little bit, specifically on their Forward step.

To be clear, you’re going to lead the Follower to an Argentine Cross in either Parallel or Cross system, and after such instead of leading them to walk out of it, or to side step (tsk, tsk, tsk) you’re leading them to a Forward step across you. In the transition from the cross step to the Follower’s forward step is where the Argentine Dip actually happens. The trick in how this is done is in the video itself. You’re not going to see it specifically no matter how many times you slow it down to frame by frame, you have to have it explained in exactly what the Lead is doing to generate this ‘lag’ in the Follower. There is a toy here, and the toy once understood can be applied nearly everywhere! One really cool place where it could be applied is in leading the Follower’s Molinete. Specifically their Side Step into their Forward step around you, which ends up as a resolution. That resolution IS the dip as was pointed above. However there’s one little trick here that you want to use here, and again it’s something you’re going to have to fight yourself on. It’s creating space for their resolution. You’re going to want to pull them closer and you can’t do that here. You have to allow them the space to ‘lag’. That space IS the dip!

Where are you going to use this stuff ? The answer is musical. You just don’t throw these things in their willy-nilly, haphazardly. No. They’re done in time to a particular point in the music. Where you might ask ? Think late Pugliese (before he left Argentina for Paris) 1950 - 54, that time period of his music. Think Miguel Calo, almost anything later. Think D’Agostino’s “Trasnochando” (the ’43 version), or “Cafe Dominguez” (the ’55 version, there’s only one out there). What you’re listening for is a place in the music where the bandoneon has a long ‘stringy’ note and stretches out for a beat or two. That beat or two is where you would place the ‘Dip’.

.

bsas-prep-title

try these articles

argentineparadas-title

.

ochocortadooptions-title

From a Dancing Perspective the Argentine Dip is not seen, it’s felt. The moment you see it you’re going to think, what’s the big deal ? It’s easy to miss. Really easy. It just looks like a hesitation really. That hesitation is the ‘dip’ itself. However to the dancers this is something that is clearly felt. Specifically on the crossing step and coming around to lead the Forward step across the Lead. That transition is where the hang/lag/hesitation happens, however the dancer feels that  as a sharp shift in inertia, it almost feels like a tilt-a-wheel, where you’re being throw apart from each other and yet at that moment, the hang that occurs is a ‘whoosh’ and that whoosh happens for just an instant and it’s probably one of the better moments in a tanda, like a ‘wheeeeee’ moment when you were a kid flying down a hill on your bicycle. Only this happens for just an instant. It’s insanely cool! 

The Missing Information.  There's a free tip (for registered free users) that's not here because you're not logged in. If you were logged in, you'd see a free tip, but because you're not, you're not seeing it. So ? If you want the free tip, then go register as a free user and login. 🙂 However, if you want the toys, and to see the 13 minute HD quality video on how to properly lead and follow the Check Step/Incremental Step and all the toys that go with it. Then you have 2 options. 1.) You can buy it. or 2.) You can subscribe!

Watch It On Youtube. Why should you pay for this video, or subscribe to this website  when stuff like this is available on Youtube ? Because what you'll find on Youtube doesn't explain, with real world examples, of how this stuff works! That’s why! And furthermore, what you may see from some of those videos is shall we say, less than desirable social tango technique. So, please, go right ahead, go watch all the presentation videos you want. Spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out from the single camera angle how things might work in that situation. Which may help you, and more than likely it won't, because you're missing something! The explanation from an experienced teacher! Which is precisely why those videos exist on Youtube. The goal of those videos is to entice you to actually go study with those teachers in person. Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlaying technique. Which in an hour long class, with the blind leading the blind through rotation of partners (uuuggggh!), you may glean a piece of the information you need and not get the whole thing, and you’ll miss important pieces that you’ll end up having to take a private lesson for to get the finer points. This way, you can watch over and over again, and get all the supplementary materials, and if you want you can still go take the class, only you’ll be better armed to do so!

The Last Word. Tango Topics is little reminders and snippets of information that your teachers would have told you about but didn’t have time to or didn’t care to remind you for the umpteenth millionth time. Do you need videos like these ? Yes. Why ? Simple…you need as many reminders as possible in as many forms as you can get. In today’s Tango world it does take a village to raise a dancer. And that means having as many voices, reminders, ideas, concepts, perspectives as possible. This video and the rest of the ones that are sitting behind the Tango Topics paywall are that. While what you’re seeing above is only the smallest hint of what’s contained in the actual video. It should be enough for you to make a reasoned and intelligent choice that perhaps there’s something of value in this site and the videos that are here. Considering becoming a Gold, Gold Plus, or Diamond level subscriber today.

Posts navigation

1 2 3 4 5