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The Super Enrosque – Tango Topics

The Super Enrosque

The Super Enrosque. There are only a small handful of things that a lead can do to ‘decorate’ what a Follower is doing. Usually, as Leads, we tend to leave the ‘decoration’ to the Follower. However we can in a small number of ways adorn what the Follower is doing, while they’re doing it. Doing so, tends to draw attention away from the Follower and towards the Lead, but sometimes that is desirable, sometimes. Today’s Tango Topic deals with one of these pieces of Tango vocabulary that isn’t seen too often (for a variety of reasons, see below), that when executed nicely can have a really nice effect on the dance, and at the same time open options and opportunities for both roles, not just the lead! 🙂

Let’s get this out the way, before another word is read, the Enrosque, and it’s kissin’ cousin of Today’s Tango Topic: The Argentine Super Enrosque is quite simply Lead flash, spectacle, and nothing more than that. Furthermore there’s absolutely nothing here for the Follower to do or to think about. Got it. You do not need to add this to your repertoire of tango vocabulary. It does not need to be executed every 3rd step simply because you believe that it’s cool Nor does every Follower want you to do this. Once or twice is fine in a night and then LET IT GO, move on to something else. Trust that the room has seen it all before, they don’t care that you can do 57 versions in 3 minutes, nor should a single song ever be populated with more Enrosques and Super Enrosques than the time it took for you to read this. Never. Ever. This is flashy vocabulary. It’s fun, to be certain but lord knows you don’t need to execute it!

That said, before we talk about what a Super Enrosque is, we have to define what an Enrosque is and is not!

The word ‘Enrosque’ (pron: ehn-RrOhs-kay - accent on the ‘O’) loosely translated to English from Spanish means ‘Thread’ or ‘Screw’. However, from a Tango perspective it has a very specific meaning. This a Lead based piece of vocabulary that can be done as adornment or accent to what the Follower is doing. It’s usually done with the Follower’s Molinete, but can be done anywhere really. But the place where it shines really is the Follower’s Molinete. So what is it ? The Enrosque is where the lead will cross one foot behind the other (in a clean fashion - there should be no daylight between the feet) and as the crossing behind happens there’s usually a pivoting rotation of the bodily position - This is the ‘Screw’ part of the definition of the Enrosque, not the crossing feet part. An actual ‘pivotmay occur, however where things get flashy and really where the Super Enrosque comes in, is where the Lead engages Applied Disassociation! There is a common misconception that the Enrosque also contains a Lapíz (a lead leg extension) that trails the Follower’s motion. This is not part of the Enrosque! It is it’s own separate thing, and you quite literally must separate these things, one from the other. Doing so will create a greater range of capabilities.

Below you should see one of two videos: Free/Open users will see an Enrosque without any explanation of what should happen, or the paid subscribers should see the Entire Enrosque video from your Lead Technique section which fully explains the technique that generates the example videos. 😉 Without this explanation you're quite literally pissing into the wind!

What is a ‘Super’ Enrosque ? You’re going to ask yourself this question: If an Enrosque is placing one foot behind the other, or in front, both are true where the feet are in a crossed position, AND (the ‘and’ is very important) there is a pivoting bodily rotation that occurs. Then what on earth creates a ‘Super’ Enrosque ? MORE ROTATION! And in specific More Applied Disassociation, as there’s an enormous amount of super rotation that can occur due to the release of all that pent up energy. And that release creates some really interesting options and opportunities. 😉 So without further adieu: The Super Enrosque!

Difficulty Rating: 4.0 Stars4.0 / 5

Following Perspective. To be fair, for you, there’s not a whole lot here for you. This is lead flash. However, 9 times out of ten you’re going to be doing a Follower’s Molinete here in ‘response’. You don’t have to do anything crazy, nothing strange, nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing, nada, not. This is easy stuff for you. However, what you do have to listen to is not to engage your Follower Default behaviors. Meaning ? That the Lead may attempt to slow your Molinete (not with their arms…tsk, tsk, tsk) with their own bodily rotation (that’s the screw part mentioned above). Aside from that, this is Forward, Side, Back. It’s not rocket science, it’s walking. 🙂

As easy as this sounds, and it does sound easy, and it is, the fact is that you’re going to feel a lot of pressure to go faster in the execution of your Molinete. Usually from the Lead’s left hand/arm pulling you, or more commonly from the Lead’s right forearm pushing you. The reason? Your Lead has not learned how to control or contain their own rotation (the screw part) in relation to you! So if you feel the Lead pushing you or pulling you along, it’s not because you’re moving too slow, it’s because the Lead is unwinding in a very controlled manner! There’s not much you can do about this one other than hold on for the ride.

Leading Perspective. This is all you. It’s all on you. This is the culmination of all your detail work, all your control work, all your practice and this is one of those places where you have to get it right, right from the start. Furthermore this movement is all about the details AND the execution of those details. Get it wrong, and it looks sloppy. Get it right and the dance moves on to the next thing without so much as a blink.

Let’s get some thing out of the way, the Enrosque, by itself, is Lead flash, meaning a spectacle. It’s a spectacle that can easily overwhelm when done too many times in the course of a song or even a tanda. It is one of those things that you should use sparingly, not excessively, like as in once in a tanda. The bulk of your dancing work should be to show off the Follower, and not yourself. The Enrosque is showing off the Lead and how amazing they are, and not the Follower! Got it ? So in other words, not so much with the Enrosque. And if we add in the ‘Super’ Enrosque, it’s even less so! So how often should you employ one ? Once in a blue moon, not every 5 steps! Which is to say that just because you can do one, does not mean that you should do one. Clear ? Good.

In order for a Super Enrosque to function properly, two things must be present before we can even make the attempt:

Disassociation & Applied Disassociation. Think Ochos. Only for the Lead. You thought this was a skill that only the Follower needed to master ? Wrong thinking. This skill must be so ingrained in you that you have mastered your control over the speed, your posture as you rotate - no titling from side to side, you contain the motion (so that you don’t ‘spill’ the motion outside the longitudinal axial line - no wobbling), and most importantly the disassociation and the applied disassociation must be absolutely smooooooth, and not just in one direction, but both rotational directions (to the left - open side of the embrace, and the right - the closed side of the embrace). You must learn to do this independent of your Follower, and to do it slowly. This isn’t about speed but control. Every incremental motion must be smoothed out, no jerkiness. None. At no point along your applied disassociation can you jerk or lose control of the next stage of the rotation. It must all be slow, and controlled disassociation and then applied! 😉 If you think that’s going to take you a while to learn to do, you’d be right. This is not something you’re going to learn to do in 5 minutes, this takes time, patience, and ooodles of practice, hours, days, weeks, months and possibly years of daily practice to smooth out the rough spots in both directions. And remember that you want to be able to execute this stuff without the use of your arms or your Followers. This is independent control! Good luck, you’re going to need it. Gosh if only you had a Primer on this stuff, so that you could re-learn at your own pace in the comfort of your own home and correct your issues. If only there were a resource where you could see how this stuff is actually generated. [Disassociation - $12.99/Applied Disassociation - $12.99]

And just so that we’re clear about something, watching the two videos above is not going to create the necessary clear instruction that you absolutely need. No. You do need instruction on how to generate this stuff. Hence the two links above on Disassociation and Applied Disassociation.

Clean Crosses. You must learn to cross your feet (forward or backwards) in a cleaner manner than you do now. Typically a cross for most people (lead or follow) is to turn the free leg ‘out’ to cross one leg behind the other which as a result creates a ‘pie wedge’ shape with the feet (see video). This is not a clean cross! It’s a pie wedge shape with your feet. So a ‘clean’ cross is where the feet are in a tight collection with the 5th Metatarsals (your baby toes) are touching! Where there is no daylight between the ankles, and the heels are together. This is a ‘clean’ cross. (see The Dirty Cross)

The Super Enrosque Exercises. Assuming that the underlaying technique of the two points above are clean, controlled, and contained. Then a Super Enrosque becomes possible. However, there’s one component that’s missing, and that’s the exercise itself. There is a Super Enrosque Exercise that you want to start to play with that will generate the underlaying skill set.

You’ll notice in these exercises, that the Lead does a complete 360, not a 180 while maintaining a clean cross ? That’s what you want to be able to do, as the Super Enrosque entails this specific skill set.

One More Very Important Piece Of Information. This site and the articles contained herein have a near constant thread for the Lead which is: Do not use your arms to push or pull your Follower, in any way, shape, or form. So what would make you believe that something is about to change simply because the name of the vocabulary changed ? In short, not. So using your arms to a.) Stabilize you. b.) Pushing and Pulling your Follower along in the Applied Disassociation phase is not allowed, ever. c.) Wobbling, Wavering, Collapsing …. again, not allowed. There’s a reason why this move is rated at 4 stars or better and this is it right here. If you have to push or pull your Follower using your arms to ‘lead’ the Follower then there are stability issues going on here that you absolutely must resolve before you even attempt this stuff.

dancing in a small space ? try these articles!

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Dancing Perspective ? The Super Enrosque is really an over rotation that happens in relation to the Follower’s Molinete. While it can be used with the Follower’s Traveling Ochos, which would create some very interesting options and opportunities for both Lead and Follower (from a vocabulary perspective), the place where we’re going to use one is the Molinete. The result will more than likely be an over-rotation which ends up as a Back Sacada for the Lead!

About The Video. This video comes in at 23m:34s in length in 11 Sections. Lead Technique is explained here in the video. No Follower technique is explored. 

Section 1 - Introduction - 00:01:33
Section 2 - Applied Counter Disassociation - 00:00:52
Section 3 - Enrosque with Lapíz - 00:01:48
Section 4 - The ‘Super’ Part - 00:04:08
Section 5 - A Few ‘Gotchas’ - 00:01:41
Section 6 - The Super Exercise - 00:01:40
Section 7 - Super Exercise Notes - 00:02:26
Section 8 - The Enrosque with a Follower - 00:02:50
Section 9 - The Super Part - 00:01:25
Section 10 - The Second Side Step - 00:01:20
Section 11 - A Few More Details/Closure - 00:03:05

This video is ONLY included in a subscription package. Please consider subscribing. 😉 Thank you. 

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 Super Enrosque can function, but not all the toys that are described above. So this is one reason why you want this video series, and more importantly to have this stuff broken down for you from a leading and following perspective. 

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.

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A Useful 8 Count Basic

A Useful 8 Count Basic

A Useful 8 Count Basic. The 8 Count ‘Basic’ is a term and ‘move’ in tango that refers to 2 very different aspects of Tango that are put together. First the ‘8 Count’ which refers to the musical component, which is the counting of 8 beats. The second is a ‘Basic’, which refers to a simple, easily identifiable, and reproducible pattern of steps which can showcase the foundation of a particular dance form. With regards to Tango, our ‘Basic’ is deeply engrained in our DNA (as it were) as a venerable teaching tool.

We frequently use it to teach the very basic structures of Argentine Tango. We use  it to teach a lead to walk, and how to embrace, and how to engage with the Follower. We use it to inform the Follower how to engage an embrace, how to walk, and how to deal with the impulse of a ‘lead’. Furthermore the 8 Count really does force one to start to listen to the music in a very different way, instead of for enjoyment, but rather to learn to be in time with the music, and then to keep time with the music by focusing on the counting aspect of the music, and more importantly the ‘beat’ in very rhythmical, and set or predictable patterns that can easily be managed. Hence the 8 Count of it’s name.

The 8 Count Basic can be, if used properly, a really great primer about Argentine Tango (Aside: The author prefers the Golden Nugget of Tango as that primer but that’s professional bias). The 8 Count Basic goes one step (no pun intended) further, it even teaches both dancers about a rather ubiquitous piece of tango vocabulary: The Argentine Cross! 😉

So while the 8 Count Basic has all this going for it as a teaching tool, as a social dance tool, it has multiple failings! It’s a static pattern or figure! Talk about a yawn fest! Part of the ‘yawn fest’ comes from the fact that it’s repetitive. It never changes, there’s no variation at all. 🙁 However, that’s not it’s only failing. As you’ll see below, it has more than a few! 

However, the title of this Today’s Tango Topic is not a misnomer, it’s a reality. There is a version the 8 Count Basic that is actually quite usable. However, before we can talk about a useable version, we first have to define what an 8 Count is, and what it actually looks like, then identify WHY and HOW the 8 Count isn’t useful before we can actually show you a Useful 8 Count!

Purchase! The video above is small snippet of a full HD video (total runtime: 31m:31s). You can purchase A Useful 8 Count Basic for just $34.99 not including your level discount.

What is an actual 8 Count Basic ? Put simply, it is a series of 8 steps done in Parallel (shown below) or Cross system, that start out with 1.) The Lead stepping backwards with their Right, and the Follower stepping forwards with their Left.  2.) The Lead stepping side with their Left, and the Follower matching that step with their Right. 3.) Here we can invoke either cross or parallel system, by the Lead stepping Forward with their Right outside partner (in Parallel) or changing weight and stepping with their Right (Cross), for now we’ll keep this in Parallel system, and the Follower stepping backwards with their Left. 4.) The Lead continues Forward with their Left, and the Follower Backwards with their Right. 5.) The Lead comes to Collection as the Follower crosses their left over their Right (The Completed Argentine Cross). 6.) The Lead steps forward with their Left, and the Follower steps backwards with their Right. 7.) The Lead passes through collection and steps side with their Right, while the Follower passes through collection and steps side with their left. 8.) Both partners come to Collection!

The 3 Flaws of the 8 Count Basic. There are 3 built-in ‘flaws’ or errors to the 8 Count that may seem innocuous but really aren’t they’re for lack of a better way of putting it, social dance “no-no’s”. These ‘flaws’, as we’ll call them, aren’t related to the Follower in any way, shape, or form, this is all on the Lead baby. 😉 These ‘flaws’ have everything to do with navigation and floorcraft, and really maintaining the Line and Lane of Dance.

Timmy from Idaho writes in and asks, “Gosh Mr. Tango Topics, what on earth is the Line of Dance ?”.

Mr. Tango Topics Responds: “Gosh I’m so glad you asked Timmy! The Line of Dance is a term that we use in Argentine Tango that describes how the progression of couples is supposed to move in relation to one another, as if it were a driving along a road, that we maintain the direction that traffic flows (in Argentine Tango), which is counter clockwise.

Sheila from Arizona writes in and asks, “Driving along a road ? You mean like lanes of dance ?”

Mr. Tango Topics Responds: “Yes Sheila exactly that. Besides the Line of Dance, we also have what’s called the Lane of Dance. Which refers to ‘tracks’ of dancers as if they were in a racing lane, on a race track. That we ideally want to keep to our specific lane of dance, contained, so that we don’t impact others experience with our own dancing.

Flaw #1. This flaw refers to the very first rule of Leading Tango as a Social Dance. You do not step backwards in the line of dance! The first step of the 8 Count does precisely that! Cue the Wrong Answer Sound.

Flaw #2. This one occurs on step 2 of the of the Basic 8. It’s the Side step. Usually out of one’s Lane of Dance.

Flaw #3. This flaw is generated on step 7 of the Basic 8. It’s the another Side step back into the originating Lane of Dance.

For these three reasons the 8 Count Basic can not be used as a social dancing tool. 🙁

What is a Useful 8 Count Basic ? Put simply it is a modification, and goes further by actually adding for variations on a theme. The modification has to do with orientation, and then actual rotation. That if you modify the orientation of certain steps and you rotate the resulting steps in certain ways then the 8 Count Basic becomes more than useful, it’s actually a lot of fun in nearly any embrace that you can come up with (including the Berlin Embrace)! Not only that there’s a possible surprise at the end that you weren’t expecting that’s sitting there!

Difficulty Rating: 2.5 Stars2.5 / 5

The Specific Steps of A Useful 8 Count ? 1.) The Lead curves their back step with their Right. Instead of stepping straight back which would break the first rule of Argentine Social Dance, we curve it so that it doesn’t impact the oncoming dancing couple! The Follower matches that curve by stepping forwards with their Left into their lead. This, one, simple change is quite possibly the game changer for the entire Useful 8 Count!  2.) The Lead steps side with their Left, and the Follower matches suit with their Right. 3.) While a Cross or Parallel version is possible here by invoking a simple weight change, let’s keep things in Parallel Walking System - the Lead steps Diagonally Forward with their Right and incidentally stepping outside partner, and the Follower stepping Diagonally backwards with their Left. 4.) The Lead continues Diagonally Forward (the diagonal part is very important, because it continues the rotation of the couple) with their Left, and the Follower Diagonally Backwards with their Right. 5.) The Lead rotates at 90 degrees perpendicular to the lane of dance (and pivots, and it actually is a pivot) and comes to Collection as the Follower crosses their Left over their Right (The Completed Argentine Cross) matching the rotation of the Lead! 6.) The Lead steps Diagonally BACKWARDS with their Left, and the Follower steps Diagonally Forwards with their Right. 7.) The Lead passes through collection and steps side with their Right, while the Follower passes through collection and steps side with their left. There is another option that’s sitting here, a very important option! 8.) Both partners come to Collection.

The Other Options ? The video talks about, near the end of the sample above, that there are other options sitting here. There are loads of them, this video only touches on 4 of them. 2 surprises and 2 options. But those surprises are astounding, and the options are implied from the title image: Sacadas! There are in fact 2 Sacadas that are embedding the modified version of A Useful 8 Count Basic. Truth be told one of those Sacadas is right there at the beginning of the non-useful version too!

The Active Follower! This topic doesn’t get talked about a whole lot for a variety of reasons most notably is that it’s frightening to a lot of people, still another is that it is highly misunderstood as to what an Active Follower actually means. While there is an definition on this website of what the Role of the Active Follower actually is and is not, in this instance this particular video only touches on ONE very important aspect of the Active Follower, and that’s ‘energy’. Energy ? Meaning adding more than a little “vim und voive” (liveliness) to what the Follower is doing in respect to this particular piece of vocabulary. However this aspect is an important one going forwards because we want to embed this idea everywhere that the Follower is engaging. Why ? Because far too often they are passive, they are ‘waiting’ for something to happen, instead of something else: Listening! This isn’t simple word replacement by the way, but a completely different state of mind. Put simply when you are ‘waiting’ you are giving up control of what you can and will do! When you are ‘listening’ you have complete control over what you can and will do! And yet this idea of ‘waiting’ for the L/lead is precisely what happens with most Follower from the first moment they step on the floor. As a result it creates in them, and we as Leads come to expect this out of them, a state of being ‘passive’. Which should not be confused with the Passive Follower definition on this site. Passive in the state of giving up their control of what they can and may want to do in relation to the music. The passivity of the Follower in this instance is not only energy based but also in options and opportunities. The Follower tends to shut down as result of being told to ‘wait’ so often. They may hear things in the music but don’t act on them because they don’t want to disturb their lead, and/or interrupt the Lead’s idea of what’s supposed to happen according to the Lead. Well what about the Follower’s idea ? Tango can be a cooperative experience, almost bordering on egalitarian if the Lead creates the space for that to occur. Doing so creates a much more responsive, and rightfully thoughtful Follower that can add interesting ideas and options for the couple to engage in. When a Lead does not create space for the Follower, it’s nothing short of a Monologue of the Lead’s ideas. And while that can be fun to experience how a Lead hears the music, it does get a bit monotonous. There are other ideas, and the role of the Active Follower is just one place. The reason why it’s relevant here is that it can and does show that a piece of executable vocabulary, when engaged with an Active Follower is far more preferable to the lackluster Following aspect that happens far too frequently. To be fair this is not Follower Bashing. Not by any stretch of the imagination. It is in fact LEAD bashing! And while these ideas may seem heretical, almost bordering on insubordination, they’re not. However this is a topic for a different day. More on this later.

About The VideoThis video comes in at 31m:13s in length in 16 Sections. Both lead and follower technique is combined and integrated in the video.

Section 1 - Introduction - 00:00:49
Section 2 - The 8 Count Basic - 00:01:10
Section 3 - Why It’s Useful - 00:00:26
Section 4 - Three 8 Count Flaws - 00:01:53
Section 5 - A Useful 8 Count - 00:02:01
Section 6 - Leading Perspective - 00:01:43
Section 7 - Following Perspective - 00:01:58
Section 8 - The Open Embrace Version - 00:00:40
Section 9 - The Close Embrace Version - 00:01:37
Section 10 - The First ’Surprise’ - 00:02:41
Section 11 - The Inverted ’Surprise’ - 00:03:39
Section 12 - The Basic with Sacadas  - 00:02:31
Section 13 - Follower Technique - 00:02:43
Section 14 - with Follower Adornments/Embellishments - 00:00:52
Section 15 - with the Active Follower - 00:04:20
Section 16 - Closure - 00:01:31

You can purchase the video for the kingly sum of $34.99 from the video store and whole bunch of other items that can improve your understanding and application of technique.

dancing in a small space ? try these articles!

bsas-prep-title

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 1hr:13m HD quality video on how to properly engage A Useful 8 Count Basic and all the toys that go with it. Then you have 2 options. 1.) You can get a $3.00 discount if you register as a free user, and then buy it with the discount code contained here that you can't see yet. 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 A Useful 8 Count Basic can function with Surprises, Sacadas, Rotations, and Engaging the role of the Active Follower! That’s why! Correction. You will find one or two videos that walk you through the a version of this idea, but not all the variations that are described above. So this is one reason why you want this video series, and more importantly to have this stuff broken down for you from a leading and following perspective. 

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.

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The Argentine Calesita

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

The Argentine Calesita

The Argentine Calesita. Tango consists, surprisingly so, of an almost dizzying array of ‘steps’ that it quite honestly boggles the mind. Really when you stop and you think about it, it’s just 2 feet, well 4 really, and you can’t even begin to imagine what you could do with 4 feet. The possibilities are nearly endless! Which brings us to Today’s Tango Topic: The Argentine Calesita.

Calesita is not a word that you hear all that often, and quite frankly even if you look it up to translate it, you’ll more than likely be more than a little confused. In the annals of Tango Vocabulary this is one of those things that quite literally have to ask, “What on God’s green earth is a Calesita ?”.

The Argentine calesita is a type of turn. One of the 9 Types. 1.) The Follower’s Molinete (open embrace, and close embrace). 2.) The Milonguero Turn. 3.) The Rock Step. 4.) The Ocho Cortado. 5.) Argentine Media Luna. 6.) Walking Turns. (El Giro de Caminando). 7.) Single Axis Turns. 8.) Colgada Turns. and 9.) The Argentine Calesita.

What is an Argentine Calesita ? The word “Calesita” roughly translates as 'Carousel' or in English, a ‘Merry-Go-Round’. Anytime the you see a ‘sita’ or 'cita' ending on a Spanish word, it means that whatever object is being modified is small, or made smaller, tiny. So this is a small carousel, or a small ‘Merry-Go-Round’. The Argentine Calesita is a basically a small turn! It’s nothing more than a variation on a El Giro De Caminando or The Walking Turn with a 'twist', there's always a twist!

Difficulty Rating: 2.5 Stars2.5 / 5

Purchase! The video above is small snippet of a full HD video (total runtime: 01h:14m:13s). You can purchase The Argentine Calesita for just $34.99 not including your level discount.

From A Leading & Following Perspective the Argentine Calesita is really simple for either one of you. This is nothing more than walking really. It’s just that this one of you (the person receiving the Calesita) will stay in the center, while the other (the person walking the Calesita) will walk around the other! While there are several versions of the Calesita, such as a Lead Forward Calesita (in the video), The Lead Back calesita (in the video), The Follower Side Calesita (in the video), and the Lead Molinete Calesita (not in the video) the one that you’re going to lead and follow over and over again, because of its simplicity, is the Follower’s Forward Calesita. This is where the Follower is going to walk forwards around the lead, as shown in the video above. While this is the common form of the Calesita that you’ll both be exposed to, there are the more interesting ones where you’re going to want play with (which is what the video is for). However, before you get to see that stuff (you can subscribe or purchase it), there are some things you may want to be aware of, read that as ‘issues’, that are common to both roles.

1.) Stepping Away. While this should be obvious, for a lot of people, it’s not and they wonder why the calesita fails. This is the primary reason why it will fail. Whichever partner is walking the Calesita, if you step away from your partner, you’re going to create an instability. The further away you step, the more instability you’re going to generate. And to be clear, you’re not the one that’s unstable. It’s the person in the center of the Calesita that becomes unstable because they can’t move! Most especially if it’s the Lead’s Forward or Back Calesita around the Follower!

2.) Stepping Too Close. The other primary issue that happens with the Calesita is stepping too close to the person that’s receiving the Calesita! This is sometimes known as stepping too shallow. In other words, your step is so close to their feet that you’re almost toppling them over.

3.) The ‘RigidEmbrace. Still another failing of the Calesita is an embrace where either the Lead, or the Follower, creates a state of rigidity with their arms and hands, and quite literally (if not factually) holds onto (seemingly for dear life), the partner that is receiving or generating the Calesita. That rigidity creates more problems than it’s worth. Ideally we want our embrace, in this case, to be somewhat fluid and very soft, think ‘air’, and then do 'air'. We’re looking for either ‘air-to-air’ physiological contact, or ‘air-to-skin/fabric’ with our embrace and/or somewhere in between. This is better known as  Level 1 and Level 2 of Tango Haptics.

4.) Poor Posture. The Argentine Calesita relies on having ‘good’ posture. Meaning that you’re not tilting towards or away from your partner, or breaking at the waist, or your head is pointing at the floor (watching your partner’s feet…tsk, tsk, tsk). Doing so, creates another instability that you do not want in a Calesita from either a Leading Perspective OR a Following Perspective.

5.) The Unstable Walk. If you’re used to walking on the 5th Metatarsal of your foot (your baby toe, which is actually the 5th Phalanges), you’re going to create yet another instability, thereby creating, and generating an instability in your own walk and really your partner’s stability to maintain the center of the Calesita.

One Gotcha! There is one particular Calesita, which for a variety of reasons (2 actually) that will be nearly impossible to pull off unless you know a tiny little trick that can create it. The problem child ? The Follower’s Back Step Calesita. This particular Calesita is generally not done due to two Follower default behaviors that occur. So if you’re looking for that in the video, and how to generate one, then you’ve come to the right place. The video talks about and then shows you a method to generating the Follower’s Back Step Calesita!

These are just some of the more common issues that can and do happen with the Argentine Calesita that are common to both roles, as both roles can and do engage in a Calesita.

There are two common components to the Argentine Calesita, and they’re the primary reason why you need a video like this.

a.) The Common Entry points. There are several places that we can enter a Calesita from. The first and more common of them is a simple side step in either direction (to lead left, or to lead right). A Calesita can be generated in either direction. However there are multiple entry points that you’ll want to consider (see the video), that can create a dynamic ‘wow’ moment, and relaxing of the embrace.

b.) The Common Exit points. There are really only 3 common exit points that we want to engage in. While there are a host of options and opportunities for us to start to play with, the more esoteric items such as Sacadas, or any of the Colgada options, ideally we want to stick to the simplest exit points. And there’s a reason for that: Simplicity. Learning the exit points and understanding why they’re insanely important to keeping not only the dance moving but the ronda (the room) moving is not only good floorcraft, it also just makes good sense.

One More Thing. This stuff is really not that hard to envision but there’s one overriding reason why we actually want to add this into our dance, and it has everything to do with heat. Heat ? Yes, bodily heat. Typically the dance can generate a lot of body warmth and as such, things can get overheated quite easily. So engaging the Argentine Calesita tends to release that heat trap temporarily. Ok, that’s not a real reason but it sounds like one, no ? A good reason that we want to engage the Argentine Calesita is purely a musical one. A good Calesita can be used in any number of ways to accentuate the upbeat, the downbeat, dropping a beat, playing with 8th or 16th notes (almost patter like). This is the primary reason why we use them!

About The VideoThis video is 01h:14m:13s in length in 15 Sections. Both lead and follower technique is combined and integrated in the video.

Section 1 - Introduction - 00:01:10
Section 2 - Caveats - 00:05:35
Section 3 - Lead Set Up - 00:07:01
Section 4 - Lead Forward Calecita - 00:02:49
Section 5 - Follower’s Forward Calesita - 00:07:40
Section 6 - with Close Embrace - 00:05:23
Section 7 - with Milonguero/Lazy Ochos - 00:03:47
Section 8 - Calesita with 2 Turns - 00:03:42
Section 9 - Close Up - 00:05:09
Section 10 - Errors - 00:11:42
Section 11 - Footwork - 00:03:11
Section 12-Follower Technique - 00:05:15
Section 13-Lead Back Step Calesita - 00:05:54
Section 14 - Follower Back Step Calesita - 00:05:13
Section 15 - Closure - 00:00:42

You can purchase the video for the kingly sum of $34.99 from the video store and whole bunch of other items that can improve your understanding and application of technique. 

dancing in a small space ? try these articles!

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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 1hr:13m HD quality video on how to properly lead & follow a Calesita and all the toys that go with it. Then you have 2 options. 1.) You can get a $3.00 discount if you register as a free user, and then buy it with the discount code contained here that you can't see yet. 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 Calesita works! That’s why! Correction. You will find one or two videos that walk you through the Follower's Forward Calesita, but not all the variations. So this is one reason why you want this video series, and more importantly to have this stuff broken down for you from a leading and following perspective. 

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.