Open post

The Social Lápiz & Enrosque – Tango Topics

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.

.

bsas-prep-title

try these articles

argentineparadas-title

.

ochocortadooptions-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’ – Tango Topics

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.

Open post

Check Steps/Incremental Steps

Check Steps/Incremental Steps

These are simple pieces of tango vocabulary really. It’s a step. Nothing more than that. Don’t get confused or lost in thinking this is overly complex. It’s not. It looks cool but there it’s insanely simple. It is leading and following a step. That’s it, that’s all. To be a bit more clear, there are two piece of vocabulary, one is an extension of the other. The Check Step itself which is an unweighted led extension (the Followers) which can be show with or without a lead’s extension in a myriad of ways (forward, side, back, or around!). And then there’s the Incremental Step which is a continuation of the Check Step idea, only in…increments - hence the title “Incremental Step”.  These are really simple things however, the cool  part of using them comes when you start to apply this stuff to music, and in specific 8th or 16th notes in the music. However these things take on monster significance in Milonga and Sincopa! That said…let’s look at the Check Steps/Incremental Steps.

Check Please! The video above is only a small snippet of the HD video (run time: 16:26). It only shows one important aspect of the Check/Incremental Step the weight transfer, but not the rest of how to construct a Check or Incremental Step! If you'd like you can Download Check Steps and Incremetnal Steps for just 19.99.

FREEMIUM ACCESSget access for free, just register Subscribe for $1.99enter code: "TANGO7-199" 30% OFF DIAMONDenter code: "DIAMOND-30" Get GOLD+VIDEO Membershipget video feedback of your dance!

From A Following Perspective let's be clear about something, there’s not a whole lot here for you that you haven’t already heard, that you haven’t already done. There’s no great surprise here from a technique standpoint. Sadly. This is something that you’ve been led to do a thousand times. It’s walking, and really stepping, not necessarily walking as far as you’re concerned. However there is a tiny, but important twist.  The twist ? Responding to the intent. How’s that ? The amount of the intent that you receive from the lead (the action, not the person) is equal to the size of your step. So a little bit, means a little step. A moderate amount, means a moderately sized step. A lot ? Means that you’re taking huuuuuuge steps. 😉 That’s the key to making these things work for you so that you don't end up stepping too far away from your lead. It’s about ‘listening’ to the amount of intent from your L/lead.

To be fair, a good number of leads are not clear about their ‘intent’ to do something, they're very ‘fuzzy’ actually, an unclear lead. Half heartedly doing something and then when it fails (because they just expect X, Y, and Z to happen), they stop in the middle and try something else, and you're left standing there to fix it so that you both don't look foolish. 

Correction: The key to making the Check Step function properly is clear, direct intent. However, the Incremental Step, is more about continual intent that acts more like a pulse more than anything else. It’s the same impulse for you for the Check Step, but instead it is starting and stopping over and over again. However, the stop in this case is done without a weight transfer until the end of the step! So for you, this is really about the Follower’s Extension and making that extension as long and as clean as possible without a weight transfer at all until you’ve been led to do so.

From a Leading Perspective this thing is all on you. And in this case, it’s all about execution. The cleaner your lead is, the more precise your lead is, the more detailed your lead is without pulling or pushing. Or as a lot of leads resort to using compression (squeezing) their Followers with their right arm/forearm to ‘stop’ them from going too far (with either the Incremental or Check Steps).  The cleaner you make your lead without using force, tension, or resistance, and the more that you employ Intention, the easier that Check Steps and Incremental Steps become.

The Check/Incremental Step functions because of the application of controlled intention, not because you’re squeezing your partner to get them to move and then stop. No. Intention is what makes this thing work, and then the really cool part is the illusion that you can generate with this, by making it appear that they’re going on their own with it, and then the cool part, catching up with them! That’s just one possible application.

One thing to be careful of is not engaging the weight transfer until the end of the step. This part is insanely important. Understand that this is really about leading the Follower’s extension either for a single step (Check) or a continual step (Incremental). Most Leads make two mistakes here with the Check/Incremental step: 1.) Engaging the weight transfer, and then 2.) Pulling back from it. This effectively creates a ‘Rock Step’. This is not a ‘Rock’ Step at all, and it should not be confused with one.

Now to the really cool part: Applying this stuff musically. And in specific, in Milonga and any and all instances of Sincopa in Tango, Vals, and Milonga! How’s that ? The Check Step itself is a singular step. However, the Incremental Step allows for there to be 2 to 4 incremental motions which when placed in time to the music, allow for you to appear to accentuate the musical notes in syncopation to them! That’s where this stuff takes on a brilliance all it’s own. And put this in terms of ‘call and response’ where you lead the Follower to extend, extend, extend (that’s the call part), AND THEN catch up with them by extending your leg after the fact (the response part), then you create this wonderful illusionary visual that you’re ‘playing’ with the music.

.

bsas-prep-title

try these articles

argentineparadas-title

.

From a Dancing Perspective the Check Step is used more often than it’s kissin’ cousin, the Incremental Step. The fact is that you see more of one (Check), and less of the other (Incremental).

Check Please! The video above is only a small snippet of the HD video (run time: 16:26). It only shows one important aspect of the Check/Incremental Step the weight transfer, but not the rest of how to construct a Check or Incremental Step! If you'd like you can Download Check Steps and Incremetnal Steps for just 19.99.

FREEMIUM ACCESSget access for free, just register Subscribe for $1.99enter code: "TANGO7-199" 30% OFF DIAMONDenter code: "DIAMOND-30" Get GOLD+VIDEO Membershipget video feedback of your dance!

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.

Open post

Single Axis Turns

Single Axis Turns

The Single Axis Turn is tango specific language to describe a type of turn where the shared axis (that’s the ‘single’ part) movement between the partnership results in a deliberate turn or rotation, more a rotation than anything else. In much the same way that a Volcada is a shared axis movement, the Single Axis Turn is exactly the same in that respect. However, where as in the case of the Volcada, where the partnership goes towards each other, in this case, they go away. There’s a reason for that by the way. To be clear, there are 3 axial lines in a Volcada. The Lead’s, The Follower’s, and the one quite literally between them, that’s the shared axis. In the Single Axis Turn instead of it being rather palpable, it’s more implied than anything else. Things get even more ‘complicated’ when you recognize that the Single Axis Turn (and there’s not just one) is really a Colgada. And that’s because it is one, it’s a variation on a Colgada turn. All Colgadas are Single Axis Turns! That said….let’s look at the Single Axis Turn.

Check Please! The video above is only a small snippet of the HD video (run time: 13:51). It only shows 1 of the 2 included completed vocabulary, but not how to construct it. If you'd like you can download single axis turns for just 19.99.

FREEMIUM ACCESSget access for free, just register Subscribe for $1.99enter code: "TANGO7-199" 30% OFF DIAMONDenter code: "DIAMOND-30" Get GOLD+VIDEO Membershipget video feedback of your dance!

From A Following Perspective, for you, the Single Axis Turn is going to feel awkward for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is the fact that 2 separate things are going on that are going to confuse the hell out of you at the same time. First ? The fact that you’re in close, very close as if you were in Close Embrace (and that’s because you are), in almost exactly the same position for a Volcada. The truth is that the primary type of Single Axis Turn starts out exactly the same way as a Volcada (not all do but the primary type does), so rightfully you’re going to get a little confused thinking ‘Volcada’ and not ‘Single Axis Turn’.  Secondly, is the fact that pre-cue lead for almost any variant of the Single Axis Turn (and there are loads of them) is going to want to make you go away from your L/lead! Remember, this is basically a Colgada, it’s just a very small and tight one!  Those two things alone will drive you right over the edge. And if that weren’t confusing enough, that’s just the descriptive of the gotcha’s from your side of the equation. We haven’t even gotten to nearly everything that typically goes wrong with these things for the lead!

One gotcha that happens in certain versions of the Single Axis Turn and most Colgadas that has to be addressed is the fact of ‘planking’. What’s that ? Planking refers to your bodily posture, as in it being piled up or making your body into a plank, as if it were a board or a piece of cut wood for flooring. As a result, you’ll use your arms and hands to hang on for dear life, when that’s not what has to happen at all. Remember this is about shared balance, not about hanging on. The trick is to find the balancing point between yourself and your lead. Truthfully a good portion of your leads force this, this is going to exceptionally tricky!

The real key to the Single Axis Turn for you is keeping a very, very, very small and tight physiological profile. The smaller, and tighter that profile, the more successful that the Single Axis Turn will be. Your desire when led to them (properly…ahem…looking at you, Leads!) is going to be to want to let your free leg go away from you, and that’s the problem right there. You can’t. You have to keep your legs together (and really your feet). At the same time, you’re quite literally being told, to go away from your lead! That’s the confusing part. In nearly every Colgada that you’ve ever seen, the partnership is going away from each other. Centrifugal force pushes them away. In this case, the Single Axis Turn appears to go towards the partnership! It’s an illusion! And the kicker comes when you’re being led to one because the feeling is to go away from the lead, when in fact you’re being led to stay right in front of them!

Truthfully what happens for you is that you’re in close embrace (in most of them), and you’re going to stay in close embrace, and from the outside looking in, it appears like you’re staying in close embrace the entire time that nothing has really changed. But you, being on the inside, everything has changed!

From a Leading Perspective, the Single Axis Turn is definitely flashy vocab. No two ways about it. However, don’t let that deter you from understanding how and why this thing works. Let’s get a few things out of the way. First, the Turn itself is more like a rotation than anything else. Don’t get confused by the language. It’s a rotation. Secondly these types of turns (there are many, the video above only shows you 1 of 3 that are contained in the video) should only be done by an advancing dancer, not a beginner, and certainly not someone that’s just walked on to the floor for the first time. You’ll see a small number of Leads that don’t know their collective ass from their elbows pulling this stuff on unsuspecting Followers for a variety of reasons and when it invariable fails (and it does) they blame the Follower and then try to teach them on a social dance floor what they should be doing. For them, this is about control and confusion. Suffice it said, you don’t want to be that Lead, ever. Thirdly, the Single Axis Turn is not something you pick up in a class in 5 minutes. It’s not. This is something that if it’s done improperly can actually hurt you, and more importantly, your partner. It’s for this reason that just watching and analyzing a youtube presentation video (and there are tons of them out there) that just shows you the finished product of a single axis turn (or a type or variation) is about as helpful as a small kitchen appliance unplugged and about as dangerous as a mountain lion. They look cute but can tear your arm off! You need to understand how and why Single Axis Turns work the way that they do before you even attempt to do one! The video above shows you that and more.

That said, the Single Axis Turn is all about shared balance, not support. As in the case of the Volcada where you are supporting the Follower with your torso, the Single Axis Turn is the polar opposite of that. It’s all about shared balance. Which roughly translates as finding the proper balancing point between the partnership and then exploiting the frak out of it. 🙂 Because once you do find that balancing point, there are lots and lots of things you can do to manipulate it, change it, modify it, and retune it to do what you want it to do. And all of that starts with hearing/feeling where precisely the shared axis point is at and then, here’s the kicker, initiating a rotation! And that’s where things go right off the rails for a lot of people. That rotation, the turn part, is where a lot of you reading this are going to want to use your arms to pull, push, and squeeze (compression) the frak out of your partners in order to generate the rotation part that gives the Single Axis Turn it’s namesake. However, here’s the real secret to the Single Axis Turn, all of them: While there is a locking of the Lead’s frame (to a degree), there is almost no compression! There is a tiny, ever so slight use of the lead’s right arm that acts as a cage, but for the most part it allows for the partnership to breathe, not to squeeze the living daylights out your partner! And watching a whole bunch of Youtube videos on the topics of Colgadas and Single Axis Turns, you’ll never see this. Ever! That’s because 98% of what you’ve seen, you’ll never hear the person that’s presenting those turns to you, talk about what they’re doing. That’s because you actually have to pay for the class folks! Watching the video is to entice you to go and study with that couple, not to steal their work! At least here, you know exactly what you’re getting, that if you want the toys, subscribe! Or download the product!

The real key to the Single Axis Turn, all of them, is all about foot placement. Place your feet in the right zones and you get a Single Axis Turn. Put them in the wrong place….and you’re going to get either an oblong confusing forward ocho, or the Follower will misread everything and give you their free leg to swing around!

Lastly it should be noted that while there are many, many, many varieties of Single Axis Turns, they’re all variations on a theme - The Colgada. So if you understand how a Colgada works, then the Single Axis Turn is a variation on a theme of that idea.

.

bsas-prep-title

try these articles

argentineparadas-title

.

From a Dancing Perspective the Single Axis Turn looks cool. And it is. When done properly, it can be very elegant and clean. Not to mention, it also has the added benefit of what I call the “Whoosh & Wheeee” Effect. What’s that ? It’s where the Lead initiates said cool vocabulary, and the couple goes ‘Whoosh’ and Follower more than likely (assuming said vocabulary has been executed properly) goes ‘Wheeeeee!’. E.g. It’s FUN. This is one of those rare times when I say that Tango can be fun, and it’s right here in this piece of vocabulary. It’s quite literally one of the more fun things that you can do on a social dance floor, and still look insanely cool, and elegant at the same time. When does that happen ? Almost never. This variation on a theme does that very, very nicely. elegance and cool at the same time. Truthfully though, without proper instruction lots of things can go wrong here, and that’s what this video is all about. It shows you how to construct a Single Axis Turn safely, clearly, cleanly from both sides of the equation! The reality is that you’re going to read to this point, or just watch the video above (the free version, the paid version you actually get to see the whole video) and then be unsatisfied, and then go watch other youtube videos for the ‘answer’ on how-to-do a Single Axis Turn. And that’s a mistake. I can not stress this enough, this is not something you learn in a 3 minute presentation video that you think you can analyze your way out of. You must understand the underpinnings of why this stuff works. But a good portion of you reading this will not head this advice, and think that this is just sales talk and fear mongering. It’s not. It’s for your safety and your partner’s safety. So I implore you: ‘learn how to do a single axis turn properly’ otherwise you are going to hurt you and your partners!

Check Please! The video above is only a small snippet of the HD video (run time: 13:51). It only shows 1 of the 2 included completed vocabulary, but not how to construct it. If you'd like you can download single axis turns for just 19.99.

FREEMIUM ACCESSget access for free, just register Subscribe for $1.99enter code: "TANGO7-199" 30% OFF DIAMONDenter code: "DIAMOND-30" Get GOLD+VIDEO Membershipget video feedback of your dance!

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 a Single Axis 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, 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.

Open post

Argentine Barridas

Argentine Barridas

The word ‘barrida’ translates into English as ‘swept’. And that’s exactly what it is. A sweep. From a Tango perspective this is a somewhat ‘worn’ piece of tango vocabulary that most people see sort of schlock tango schtick. Most people start out with doing it a few times, and then disregard it because they’ve moved on to something else that’s more ‘flashy’. The Barrida is, in common vernacular, a ‘drag’ of the foot (either role can initiate it). And does have a useful application in the dance which is purely musical if not entirely navigational. With that thought in mind, let’s talk “Barridas”, what they are and how they’re useful for both roles of the dance.

From A Following Perspective, the Barrida for you is ‘foot’ play. If you don’t like people touching your feet, then this is gonna drive you absolutely batty. You’re not going to see much use in the Barrida at all. Why on earth do you need to learn this thing ? It’s dragging your foot, right ? Yup. Where’s the difficulty in that. You dragged your feet as a kid, you dragged your feet growing up, it’s not that hard. So what’s the point of this ? Going a step (no pun intended) further, what’s the point of having some L/lead possibly step on your foot, and then ruin your nice open toed shoes, and possibly chip that nice pedicure that you just had done so that your shoes would match! And then along comes some oaf who not only steps on your feet (OW!!!), but chips your pedi! Seriously ? How wrong is that ? What’s the point ?

The Barrida it’s not about the Lead really. It’s about you! The Barrida is a sweep of the foot, yes, but it’s also an expressional statement of the articulation of your leg, and really that pretty pedicure you just got to show off those amazing feet you have! As Followers we are constantly looking for every possible avenue to express our articulation in the shoe, everywhere, with every step. So the Barrida, for you, is all about presentation and an opportunity to shine visually, to present your technique, and really to show off your skills. So yeah, it has a use! And boy does it ever!

At the same time, you’re going to think from what you’ll see above that the Barrida, that it’s all about the Lead. And that’s not the case. The Barrida can be, assuming the Lead is open to it (and that’s the kicker, right there) about you taking the initiative and engaging one of your own. The problem with this is that it’s considered ’stealing the lead’. The real problem with it is the attitude that it’s stealing the lead. Not the fact that there’s any stealing going on but that’s the perception. Quite rightfully as Tango evolves for the modern age, there has been a fair amount of equalization of the roles. More and more vocabulary is being left in the hands of the Followers. This is one of those pieces of tango vocabulary where the expectation is that you’ll just go along with it. Well not only can you go along with it, but you can make it your own, and then go one step (no pun intended) further: Give as good as you’re getting! Which is to say that when the Lead initiates a Barrida, assuming there is a musical call and response lick that happens (and that’s a key to understanding when to do this), you can give it right back to the Lead, thereby engaging a Follower’s Barrida (this is covered in the video).

From a Leading Perspective, let’s get a few things out of the way. 1.) Do this ONCE maybe TWICE in a night and then for the LOVE OF GOD, let it go! 2.) I know you think you’re being cool, I know you think that the Follower is in love with this thing, and they just love the ‘expressiveness’ of multiple Barridas. But as you’ve just read a.) One word: PEDICURE! b.) Stepping on their feet. and c.) OW! 3.) The Barrida should be used as a musical expression of the long, stringy note, and only that, and then…follow #1 above. That said, the Barrida can be and often a schlocky move, or piece of tango vocabulary that is often seen as a flashy move that classifies you to the more experienced dancer screaming ’beginner’. So let’s dispense with the need to do this 10,000 times and move on from there. There are far more important thing to do.

The actual technique of the Barrida (which is covered in the video) is really quite simple, it’s a lite pressure tap on the outside of the foot (either the 1st or 5th metatarsal) of the follower’s shoe of the Follower’s free leg. There’s nothing special to it. No magic. It’s a drag. However, the key here is to (as was indicated above), not to step on the Follower’s feet while at the same time, not injure their pedi as you ‘drag’ or ‘sweep’ the foot to forward, side, or back. Truthfully while there are multiple ‘sweeps’ here there’s really only 2 that you’re going to end up playing with. Side (the more common), and Back (usually done from the side step as a 2nd or multiple Barrida (as shown in the video example).

As indicated above, there is another aspect that you, as a Lead, have to be aware of, it’s to allow for there to be space when the Follower decides to get ‘feisty’ and initiates a Follower’s Barrida. And instead of getting all persnickety about it (which a good number of Leads do because the Follower has interrupted ‘their’ artistic expression - ahem), allow for it to happen and then move on. The effect that this has on the Follower is two fold: 1.) It creates the reality that they have a voice in the dance and that you’re open to it. and 2.) It gives them license to play too! And that tiny little thing, especially #2 actually has more power than you can possibly imagine. Why ? Because every Lead that they’ve danced with until you come along doesn’t allow for there to be any form of deviation from what they’re being led to do. And then you come along and you want there to be play, you want there to be engagement, you want the ‘conversation’, and this is one way to express that conversation!

.

bsas-prep-title

try these articles

social-volcada-title-300

.

WalkingTurns-Title

The Missing Information.  If you were logged in, you'd see a free tip here instead of this paragraph reminding you to sign up and to become a registered user, 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 33 minute HD quality video on how to properly lead and follow a Barrida and all the toys that go with it. Then you have 2 options. 1.) You can buy it. 2.) You can subscribe

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, Gold+Video, or Diamond level subscriber today.

Open post

Milonguero Ochos into the Follower’s Molinete – Tango Topics

Milonguero Ochos into the Follower's Molinete

Lazy Ochos into The Follower’s Molinete. This is an odd transition to be certain. It mixes two very different types of tango styles or ideas into one way of dancing. Typically the ‘Lazy’ or Milonguero Style Ocho is done in Milonguero style of dancing, that means that the Lead is not leading the Follower’s hips to rotate at all, ever. And then, all of a sudden, and it is all of a sudden, we ask (note the language here…’ask’) the Follower to engage their Molinete. Not a Milonguero Turn, but a Close Embrace Molinete. Talk about confusing! Oy. So let’s get into L/leading and Following Milonguero Ochos into the Follower’s Molinete!

Check Please! The video above is small snippet of a full HD video (total run time: 22:40). You can purchase Ocho Transitions - Milonguero Ochos into the Follower's Molinete for just 24.99 or the entire series of 3 (59.99) on sale until May 1st, 2017.

FREEMIUM ACCESSget access for free, just register Subscribe for $1.99enter code: "TANGO7-199" 30% OFF DIAMONDenter code: "DIAMOND-30" Get GOLD+VIDEO Membershipget video feedback of your dance!

From a Following perspective, the thing that’s going to throw you is the sharp transition between these two ideas. First you’re doing one thing where you’re not transitioning your hips and then the next you are. Crazy! The only precedent for this stuff is the inconsistent lead that gets half way through leading something and then changes their mind abruptly taking you along with them for the ride, and that abruptness is usually unpleasant. Only in this case, it’s not unpleasant, when led properly. It’s just a little jarring. Ok, more than a little jarring. Especially if you’re used to dancing ‘milonguero’ style, and then you’re being asked to do a close embrace molinete.

To be clear, a good portion of your leads, say 90% of them are going to enable your defaults, and not be aware that there even other options here. And really, up until this moment in time, you didn’t realize that there was a different kind of ocho (there are 8 in fact). You’re just used to the one kind, traveling ochos, the ones where you’re supposed to ‘swivel’ your hips. That ‘swivel’ isn’t a swivel, it’s applied disassociation. But that’s a topic that has been discussed ad nauseum, I only mention it here to illuminate that there are other forces at work that you want to consider. I digress. Most of your leads will be unaware, as you are, that there are other options. Further, the ones that do know that there are other options tend to squeeze the living daylights out of the Follower and thereby not allow the applied disassociation in the Molinete. The want the Molinete but they don’t want to allow you the movement of your body that they’re asking for. It’s nearly impossible. Oy.

The thing that you absolutely need to be aware of is that these are LAZY ochos first and foremost. Why ? Because the Lead that actually knows what they’re doing will end up having to drop beats to accommodate your default behavior of TRAVELING ochos (applied disassociation), and thereby possibly have to make changes to their line of dance, what will come next, and end up having to modify the dance as a whole because you’re responding with the wrong damned ocho! Listen carefully for the difference in the lead. Truthfully, again, only 10% of your leads will lead these but they’re absolutely delish when they’re led.

From a Leading Perspective, you need to be crystal clear in what you’re leading. Absolutely crystal clear. Rotate your chest even 2 degrees to the left or to the right and you’ll get TRAVELING ochos out of the Follower. For the LAZY ocho you must remain still! At the same time, you must allow the Follower space to move within the construct of the embrace. That said, the biggest issue here is the 3rd LAZY ocho prior to the Follower’s Molinete. This is all about allowing the Follower the space to move, and then you actually leading the over-rotation. Failure to do this, and the Follower ends up in your arm pit, and then they fee like they’re rushing around behind you never able to catch up. Part of the issue here is that you must ‘mark’ and match their rotation with yours. Remember that you’re the inside of the circle, and the Follower is the outside of the circle. For you, every degree that you turn, it’s 10 for them! Just a lot more work for them, especially on the over-rotated backstep!

Truthfully as was stated above, this transition isn’t mixed and matched all that often because you’re so used to leading (and really the Follower just responding with) TRAVELING ochos, that you don’t even think about it. However, the major problem with TRAVELING ochos is that you end up having to either drop a beat or having to rush the ochos to match the beat. It’s harder work for the Follower to do this. Their ochos have to become very tight, and very small, almost milonga style ochos…almost.

The question may come up, “why employ/use this transition at all ?”. The reason is really simple. It’s the fact that Lazy Ochos are all about hitting the beat, every beat, and they’re great for that. That’s it right there. Traveling ochos, you end up having to drop beats. So instead of every beat, it’s every other beat. Which can be kinda fun for a while…but gets kind of old later on, and typically doesn’t go with the music. Typically.

see parts 1 & 2 of the series

see part 1 of the series

 

see part 2 of the series

From a Dancing Perspective, quite honestly you’re going to go and do what you’ve been doing forever, which is traveling ochos into the Follower’s Molinete, and just think that this is easier. It’s not easier, it’s just what you’re used to doing. This idea, and this construct requires clarity and an amped up listening and execution skills and quite honestly it a lot more fun for a variety of reasons. Most notably among those reasons is the fact that not the fact that it’s unusual, or that you’re hitting every beat whenever you want to, nooooo! The fun part ? The precision. Believe it or not the precision part is what will give you an enormous amount of satisfaction to be able to execute X,Y, and Z on demand. And being able to hit either Traveling OR in this case, LAZY ochos as you see fit (from a leading or following perspective). That’s the fun part. Precision.

About The Video. This video is 12:37 in length in 1 section.

It can be purchased for $24.99 or downloaded as part of your subscription with a discount.

The Missing Information.  There's a free tip (for registered free users) that you can not see because you're not logged in. 🙁 If you were logged in, you'd see the updated 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 12:37 HD quality video on how to properly lead and follow a Ocho Transitions - Lazy Ochos to 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 Ocho Transition 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.

Posts navigation

1 2 3 4