Disassociation. (pron: dis-uh-a-sow-she-shun) According to Webster’s Dictionary the word is a verb (and noun) and a distant derivation of the word ‘dissociate’ which means “to break or cause to break the association between people, places, or things”.
Usage. Disassociation from a Tango Perspective isn’t that far from it’s dictionary cognate, because there is a break from the whole, as in the whole body. Typically when we talk about Tango Disassociation we are referring to the top half of the body (head, torso, arms, shoulders) rotating to the left or to the right, as one unit, around the spinal column of the dancer, independently of the lower half of the body (hips, thighs, knees, ankles, and feet). This motion is the precursor to most, if not all, ‘refined’ circular or rotational motion in the dance. It is typically used in Forward or Back Traveling Ochos, Forward or Back Circular Ochos, Forward or Back Over-Rotated Ochos, the Lead’s or Follower’s Molinete, and a certain class of Circular or Over-Rotated Sacadas (see ‘Organic Back Sacada’).
Clarity. The motion itself, and it is a motion, is not and should not be confused with a ‘Pivot’. It’s not a ‘Pivot’. This is a rotational motion to the left or the right around the spinal column of the torso of the dancer, nothing more than that.
Lead, Follow, or Both ? Both in this case. Either role can engage in ‘Disassociation’. This is not a Lead/er thing, nor is it a Follower thing, it’s a Dancer thing. Both roles use it, or should use it. However, a Follower will typically engage this idea more often than a Lead, unless the Lead is employing a lot of Lead Back Sacadas in their dance which is where you’d typically see this kind of motion.
The Tango Topics Opinion: Tango Disassociation is a skill that we should all develop and deploy on a regular basis however it is frequently overlooked and underused and yet it is the one skill that absolutely sets a dancer apart from the run of the mill dancer’s skill set. There is a proper technique for the development of this skill, and it starts with learning to rotate one's torso independent of the hips (that's the 'disassociation' part). It should be noted that this motion will by its very nature build up an enormous amount of torsion around the lower lumbar of the spinal column, and that build up is absolutely required because at some point we're going to release it as ‘Applied Disassociation’ in Ochos, Molinetes, Circular Sacadas, and a host of other places. #SocialDance #ArgentineTango #TangoDancing