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The Argentine Media Luna

The Argentine Media Luna

In Buenos Aires there is a type of pastry that will blow your mind which is freshly made, hot, and right out of the oven (especially at La Viruta at 5 am - they buy theirs from a local panaderia, con Café con Leche). Truthfully they’re almost like heaven. They’re also insidious, fiendish really, as you can’t have just one! Nooooo. You must have a whole bag of them! No matter how strong your willpower is, trust that you will have several of them, several times a week, and go to your local panaderia (bakery) and you’ll pick them out yourself, and then go to pay for them with a gleeful smile, knowing what’s in the bag! You won’t be able to make it all the way to the front step of your apartment without having one, maybe 3! These pieces of delight are called ‘Medialunas’ and they’re like Crack Cocaine because of their addictive quality! They’re lightly sweet, incredibly fluffy, and soft to the touch…sort of like a croissant but better, muuuuuuch better and oh so delicioso!

Frequently for the Tango dancer they’ll hear this word and think of the pastry. There is however a piece of Tango vocabulary that has nothing to do with the pasty that causes a bit of confusion, and that’s the Argentine Media Luna, and obviously they’re not the same things. One is a pastry and the other…well, the other is one of the 9 types of common turns that we find in Argentine Tango. 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.) Calecitas (coming soon). 6.) Walking Turns. 7.) Single Axis Turns. 8.) Colgada Turns. There’s one more that doesn’t get used a whole lot and the subject of Today’s Tango Topic: The Argentine Media Luna.

What is an Argentine Media Luna ? The words, “Media” & “Luna” when translated from their Spanish to English cognates, translate as “Half” & “Moon” or in this case, “Half Turn”. It is exactly what it sounds like but with a Tango twist. In many ways it resembles the Follower’s Molinete. And if you don’t know any better, you could swear that they’re exactly the same. On paper, meaning technically, they consist of the same basic moves, with one major difference: In the case of the Follower’s Molinete, there’s Applied Disassociation on the Back and Forward steps. In the case of the Argentine Media Luna, there is no Disassociation or Applied Disassociation from the Follower!

The Media Luna is used primarily as one way of turning the couple. Not necessarily the Follower, but the couple, down the line of dance. It is frequently used as a stepping stone or entry point to executing something else, as there are many options out of the Media Luna. However in it’s base form it can and should be used to as a navigational element. It’s also, because of its lack of use, a nice surprise to the Follower and a bit of a change up from the same Follower’s Molinete to the Open Side of the Embrace OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER again! So quite rightfully, this is a great turn to add to your repertoire from a Leading perspective AS WELL AS from a Following perspective.

Difficulty Rating: 2.5 Stars2.5 / 5

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

Purchase! The video above is small snippet of a full HD video (total runtime: 15m:16s). You can purchase The Argentine Media Luna for just $14.99 not including your level discount.

From A Following Perspective the Argentine Media Luna is ‘back’, ‘side’, and ‘forward’ for you. This is not rocket science. It’s tango. By now you’ve done these 3 steps so many times, you’re beginning to wonder if there’s some thing you are missing with this whole ‘walking’ business, yes ? In this case, no you’re not missing anything but there are some things about the Media Luna you want to be aware of, or at least conscious of. Four things (below) that you want to be conscious or aware of going into one.  To be fair, 9 times out of 10 with this vocabulary stuff, you’re not going to know what’s being done to you, you’re just thankful that you’re not screwing up. Right ? Every once in a while you have a flash of awareness of “oh that was a….” and you’ve done them before and hopefully you got it right. But in the case of the Media Luna, this is familiar territory for you so you really can focus on the minutiae to make this is a very desirable half-turn, very desirable.

A few things to be conscious of:

1.) Your Back Step. The funny thing about this is that your back step wants to be linear. However that’s not what’s going to happen. What will occur is because the lead is stepping outside partner, typically to your right (on the open side of the embrace), you’re going to ‘follow’ that, and that means stepping backwards across your body meridian. This is an error for you as well as of the Lead (see lead section below). This is probably the single biggest error you can make with the Media Luna. Put simply while this is classified as a turn, it’s more of a box more than anything else. And it being a box we’d like to hold that box like shape and not turn it into a circular. Now there are people that will argue with that statement, that because it’s a turn it ‘should’ … well ‘turn’. And that’s not the case here. There’s a reason why this thing has structure to it. It is different in name and structure from your Molinete, and this is it right here: The linear stepping pattern!

2.) No Disassociation - None! There is absolutely ZERO disassociation and applied disassociation here in any way, shape, or form. You are however, near the end of this thing (on your forward step), come to resolution to face your lead. There will be a rotation at that point, but it is non-disassociative. It can be, but that’s entirely your choice.  However, doing so, will slow the ‘turn’ down a bit, thereby creating lag.

3.) The Weight Change. This is a Media Luna, meaning you’re not going to go all the way around your lead, just half way. And as such, more than likely your lead will invoke a second Media Luna to get back to their line of dance. And that means you as the Follower need to be paying attention to the necessary weight change that happens between the Media Lunas! Without it, you’ll end up in the wrong place and on the wrong foot and wonder what the frak happened.

4.) No Ocho, No Molinete. You’ve been led to Traveling Ochos (Back) so often that they’re second nature to you by now. Further still, you’ve been led your Molinete since the moment go of when you started dancing. And as that is the case by now you have a built in default behaviors that you’re going to respond to X with an Ocho, or Y with a Follower’s Molinete without necessarily thinking about it. In this particular instance, of the Argentine Media Luna, you can’t do that. You absolutely MUST, must, must be aware that what’s being asked of you are linear steps and NOT disassociation and applied disassociation (what you erroneously think of as a ‘pivot’), these are linear steps, meaning straight lines in box step format away from (back), across (side), and towards (forward) your lead. 

One More Thing. This is not hard stuff for you. It really isn’t. The devil here is in the details. And one detail that you want to pay attention to is where you’re going to end up. And more than likely (as shown in the complete video), you’re going to end up in your lead’s armpit. And if you’ve been paying attention to this website, you’ll note how the Arm Pit is not desirable place for the Follower to be. But that’s exactly what happens, and we don’t want to be there, at all…ever. At the same time, there is a solution for this problem. Two actually. The first solution has to do with your side step, something has to change about it (see completed video for this - only a subscriber can see the completed video solution). And the second has to do with how and where you place your forward step. While these two things, might seem logical once you see them, but thinking about them will cause you some consternation.

From a Leading Perspective let’s be absolutely clear about something: This is NOT a Molinete. Not by any stretch of the imagination. You are not leading the Follower’s Molinete. You are not leading a ‘turn’ per se. You are essentially leading a ‘box’. You are asking the Follower to take a series of linear steps, and quite honestly YOU are the one that is turning. They’re stepping in a linear, straight lines, while you rotate to create the ‘turning’ aspect of the ‘turn’. Are we clear ?

Frequently the Media Luna creates a bit of confusion for a variety of reasons because the common go to turn for so many dancers these days is the Follower’s Molinete, so you’re going to get some default Molinetes, if not Ochos, the first couple of times you attempt to lead these.

There are a few reasons why this may occur, one of them is that you are not clear in what you’re leading. You may think you are, but trust that you’re not. If the Follower doesn’t respond as intended, then you know what ? You’re not being clear. Far too often leads have a vague idea in their minds of what they’d like to do, but in actuality they’re very vague in their execution so the Follower has to ‘infer’ what’s being asked of them. At the same time, on the opposite end of the spectrum (and to be clear what’s about to be described is not endorsed by Tango Topics at all, nor a disparagement of someone’s dancing, but it appears that this is generally how a lot of you folks ‘like’ to dance), you’ll have Leads that solve this problem of not being clear by using their arms to force the Follower to do what’s being asked of them. Neither of these things are desirable. The way to solve this problem is obvious, but it’s not something you would generally think of. In the case of the unclear lead that’s asking for X, the solution is to focus on directional information of where they’re sending their intention and to focus on the incremental. Nice words, but not all that helpful. One way that you can translate that statement of how to solve the problem is to treat not just a Media Luna but nearly every step that you lead as an opportunity to see if you can lead a step with exacting and ever increasing incremental precision! A little to the left, a little to the right, a little bit away, and a little bit towards. Shallow, long, whatever. Learn to lead this stuff in the minimal AS well as the extreme ends of the step. It’s good practice. In the case of the forceful lead, better known as Mr. Arm-y, it’s to stop using their arms, and focus on leading intention as in Intention Based Dancing.   

And now a few things you need to be aware of:

1.) Stepping Outside Partner. This is a series of linear steps as stated above and as such we want to create a box like pattern of steps with what the Follower is being asked to do. So therefore we have to be equally clear and clean about what we’re asking from the Follower. In this instance of the opening step of the Media Luna, we’re going to want to step outside partner forcing the Follower to respond by stepping across their body meridian to stay in front of us, which in turn creates an undesirable side effect: It moves the couple askew from each other! And the further that the Follower steps across their body meridian the more that untenable that the Media Luna becomes! So instead, we want to lead the Follower to a linear step away from us!

2.) Your Rotation. You are the one that’s rotating here, not the Follower. The Follower is moving in linear fashion, straight lines, ‘around’ you…what you could loosely call a ‘revolving’ as to create a box around their lead. However, you, as the lead, are rotating within that box. And as such you are going to employ a number of toys to do this. One of them, is disassociation! Still another is you’re going to employ applied disassociation (again, what you erroneously think of as a ‘pivot’, it’s not in this case) especially on the resolution forward step. There’s a certain amount of bodily rotation that’s going to happen, and if you want to make this clear, clean, and kinda cool, you can employ a bit of applied disassociation giving the appearance of lead lag. As a result of that lag, what can happen is a series of lead back crosses, as well as super enrosques! 

3.) Going Against The Line. The ending of the vocabulary is the Follower’s Forward step. That ending point is going to place you going AGAINST the line of dance. This is obviously NOT desirable. So it is at this point you have a choice to make, either to do something else to get you back in the line of dance, going in the proper direction, perhaps a series of Rock Steps ? (NOT BLOODLY LIKELY!!!!!!) No. You’re going to employ as 2nd Media Luna!

One More Thing. Let’s be clear about something, and while this isn’t necessarily just about the Media Luna, it’s more about what happens with every piece of Tango vocabulary for a lot of leads: This is your issue, not theirs. Read that again. You are responsible for what and how the Follower executes, if you’re not clear, they’re not going to clear. They are a the reflection of what’s in your mind. So if you step outside partner in the way that’s described above, then don’t blame them for what they did, you led it! Which also leads to another thing that happens frequently the Follower apologizes for your mistake. Wait, if you led it, what are they apologizing for ? For not reading your mind ? Seriously ? Dude. Man up! Take responsibility for what you created, instead of letting that apology stand.

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From a Dancing Perspective the Argentine Media Luna as has been said an under used turn. And ‘turn’ is not exactly the right word here. While the L/lead is turning (rotating really) the Follower isn’t doing that at all. So it’s a misnomer that creates some level of confusion. Because it’s under used it has the quality of being a ‘surprise’ when put into the context of the dance. Any lead that adds this to their repertoire will get instant points for variety, and instant points for variation on a theme. Any Follower that follows the implications of them will get the same browny points for being a diligent and aware Follower! Truthfully the Media Luna turn is a very, very cool piece of vocabulary, it allows for a lot of options (see soup section below) and opportunities to create other ideas. It can be a great stepping stone to other ideas. From a musical perspective it’s perfect for Vals, because it adheres to a 3 step pattern! It’s great in Milonga as well because of it’s linear nature, although truthfully it does require a tiny modification (see the soup section below for that…oh wait, you’re not a subscriber. Only a subscriber, can see that part). It’s also great in Tango. Basically it’s great musically anywhere, slow, fast, long stringy notes, short and choppy 8th or 16th notes….it’s perfect everywhere! It’s just such a pity that its just so under used. 🙁

About The Video. This video comes in at 15m:16s in length in 11 Sections. Both lead and follower technique is combined and integrated in the video.

Section 1 - Introduction - 00:00:25
Section 2 - The Vocabulary - 00:01:43
Section 3 - The Turning Component - 00:00:45
Section 4 - The 2nd Media Luna - 00:01:13
Section 5 - Without The Lead Back Step - 00:00:37
Section 6 - With The ‘Embrace’ - 00:01:15
Section 7 - The Close Embrace Version - 00:01:14
Section 8 - Media Luna Examples - 00:02:55
Section 9 - The Dark Side Media Luna - 00:02:18
Section 10 - The Shorter Side Step - 00:00:37 (edited version in the sample)
Section 11 - The Dark Side Solution/Wrap Up - 00:01:03

You can purchase the video for the kingly sum of $14.99 from the video store and whole bunch of other items that can improve your understanding and application of technique. 

 

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 015m:16s HD quality video on how to properly lead & follow an Argentine Media Luna 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 the Argentine Media Luna 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.

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Lead Ganchos

Lead Ganchos

Lead Ganchos. 9 times out of 10 when you think of a Gancho, assuming you think of one at all, unless you’re a Lead in your Gancho phase, your thought immediately goes to the visual of the Follower doing some crazy sh*t with their leg to the Lead in this seemingly (more often than not) crazy, twisted bodily position - Un Gancho! However, there are a whole swath of Ganchos where the Follower is the one being Gancho’d, hence why they’re called Lead Ganchos!

What is a Lead Gancho ? Put simply it’s where the Lead, lifts/and then wraps their free leg around the Follower, on the Follower’s Forward, Side, or Back Steps. More lift then wrap, as a ‘wrap’ is something entirely different. However the lift is quite accurate. As the Lead is factually lifting their leg, knee, and foot to ‘Gancho’ the Follower instead of the other way around. More than likely you’ll end up seeing these done on the Follower’s Side Step first and foremost as they are the easiest of the bunch, and less frequently on the Follower’s Forward step next to their lead, and very, very infrequently on the Follower’s Back Step next to their lead.

The Red Warning Label: Before another word is written and understood by you the reader, let's get something clear right from the start. A Lead Gancho should not be attempted by a beginner Lead with '5 Minutes' of dancing under their belt. No. This is complex vocabulary that can hurt or injure you and your partners, and not to mention the people dancing around you! And by '5 Minutes', this page means that you should have been dancing a long while. A very long while. And most certainly more than 5 Minutes. Here's a few benchmarks: Until you have mastered your walk, where you are not THUDding when you walk, pushing, pulling, or compressing the frak out of your partners on a regular basis, when you have mastered the line of dance in the incremental, when you have clearly mastered close embrace dancing constructs and it has become a near 'fluid' embrace construct when you want to change things up a bit, that is when you can start to play with a Lead Gancho, and not before. You may not like to hear that but thems is the facts. This isn't about how quickly you've progressed, or the number of classes you've taken, or who you've studied with! None of that stuff matters. What matters is how you have integrated a stable, secure, safe dancing model into your typical dance! That's what more than '5 Minutes' means. 

Difficulty Rating: 3.0 Stars3.0 / 5

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.

Purchase! The video above is small snippet of a full HD video (total runtime: 8m:31s). You can purchase Lead Ganchos for just 15.99 not including your level discount.

From A Following Perspective for you this is forward, side, and back. There’s nothing special you have to do here. There’s no trick here for you. There’s no special hidden information that you need to know about. There’s quite literally nothing for you to do here except the following 3 things that you have to be aware of:

1.) Hearing/Feeling. The funny thing about the Lead Gancho’ing you is that you need to be able to ‘hear’ or ‘feel’ a ‘null’ or no-lead, on all 3 steps. What’s a ‘null’ lead ? It’s where the lead will quite factually not lead you to do anything, and yet they’re still in motion. And you’re going to wonder if you missed something. You didn’t. It’s just that there wasn’t anything there to ‘hear’ (feel). The problem with the Null or No Lead is that it’s very easy to miss. Why ? Because you’re used to hearing (feeling) constant information coming at you in a myriad of different ways, so a lead throws the ’null’ lead at you and you’re like …. “what’s the hesitation for ? why did they stop, wait…they’re still moving, I should be moving shouldn’t I ?”. But you feel nothing coming from them. It’s a juxtaposition that will throw you.

2.) The Common Gancho. 9 times out of 10, the common Lead Gancho is going to be to your Side Step. As you step side, this is when a Gancho is likely to occur. Usually from the Closed Side of the Embrace, mostly because it’s the easiest and closest one. And more than likely, it will be with the Lead’s right leg because it’s the one that easiest. To be fair the 2nd most common one is after you’ve executed an Argentine Cross, and then execute a Forward step across your lead to your Lead’s right on the Closed Side of the Embrace, this would be a Lead Gancho on your Forward step. In both of these cases, the Lead’s Gancho of your step will be a quick in/out. Nothing slow. And it will almost be a shock to you like “WTF was THAT!?!?!?!?”. Don’t freak out. This is one of the very few ways in which a Lead accent what you’re doing.

3.) Autopilot or Follower Default Behaviors. In every case of the Lead Gancho’ing you, you’re going to be tempted to proceed onwards as if nothing happened. True. However, you’ll also be tempted to execute X without there actually being a lead for said X to occur. Where X could be, but is not limited to, an Ocho, or your Molinete. So it’s important to stay vigilant and hyper-aware. However let’s be clear about something, the Lead Gancho can ONLY occur when you have a space between your legs. If you close or bring your legs to collection, no Gancho! If there’s space for one, there’s a possibility for one. Which could quite possibly give you an out if you don’t want a Lead to do this to you, and that means quickly collecting everywhere! That get’s tiresome after a while. There’s another way and that’s just to say ‘no’ at the outset but that’s a different topic for a different day.

One More Thing. In either case of a Forward, Side, or Back Step. You want to treat these as if you were being led to your Molinete. Which is to say that you want to step not away from your Lead, but around them! This is especially important on the Forward step out of a Cross, or to the Open Side of the Embrace. If you step away from the lead, the Gancho becomes somewhat challenging for the Lead.

From a Leading Perspective this is all on you.  So without further adieu, a few gotchas:

First and foremost, understand that you are invading the Follower’s intimate space with your leg. Read that again, ‘Invading Their Intimate Space’. This is not something you want to do to a woman in a short skirt that you just met. No. Not now, not ever, not unless she’s your wife and even then not so much with that. There are more than a few of the older Milongueras that would chide you for placing your leg between the legs of a woman that is not your wife for obvious reasons. So ideally we want to execute these with care, grace, and most importantly with someone that is wearing pants and that you know really, really well. Got it ?

And now a few things you need to be aware of.

1.) In and Out. If you’re going to execute a Gancho, get in, and get out quickly. Don’t linger and don’t take your sweet frakkin’ time doing it either in the execution. You are Gancho’ing them. Got it ?

2.) The Important Thing. As indicated above, the Null or No-lead is absolutely important here especially on the side steps!

3.) Gently. You are more than likely bigger, stronger, and more bulky than your Followers, and as such you can generate far more inertia than they can with their Gancho to you. Your Gancho to them can be far more forceful. Don’t. Use. Force. Gently….gently…gently invade the Follower’s space with your free leg.

4.) Position, Position, Position. In an ideal world we have ooooodles of space to execute one of these things. However the reality is that we don’t. We only have a certain amount of space to execute this stuff, and that certain amount of space is limited to the width of line of dance that you’re in. So as a result we generally do not want to angle a Lead Gancho backwards or against the line of dance or directly into the line of dance ahead of us. So ideally we want to angle it on the Followers’s Forward or side step so that they’re parallel with either, so that you don’t interfere with the progression of the line of dance.

Two Ideas. Part of the reason that the Gancho gets a bad rap is that they’re frequently poorly timed AND poorly executed, and usually together! The execution is something that the video above can help with. However, it’s an imperative that you understand the foundation of what to do with the lead’s free leg here and what you specifically need to practice on a regular basis so that this stuff becomes fluid in you! For that, you’ll need to look at the 4 Common Ganchos, section 4 which covers The Free Leg Launch. While that can help with the execution part, what it can’t help with is the timing part. So what is a good place to execute a Gancho ? Well there are 2 places we want to use them:

a.) The Accent Note Idea. In this instance, because the accent note is probably near the end of a musical paragraph, we actually have oooodles of time to execute said Gancho slowly and carefully. So the idea of getting in and out, doesn’t necessarily apply. (see 02:42, 02:52, 03:01, 03:19 in D’Arienzo’s Cumparsita below)

b.) The Musical Pause Idea. You want to accentuate the pause, and freeze the Gancho in the pause. There are many pieces of music where this can happen. Juan D’Arienzo’s Cumparsita (1982 remastered) for example where you could quite easily ‘freeze’ the Gancho.



listen for a type 1 pause (stops) at 00:08, 00:59, 01:06, 01:38 (short), 01:41 (short), 02:42, 02:52, and 03:04

dancing in a small space ? try these articles!

bsas-prep-title

From a Dancing Perspective the Lead Gancho can and does appear not to be the most elegant thing in the world to do to a Follower. However, when executed properly, and without jerking the Follower around to do it (no pushing, pulling, or compressing them is allowed…none, zero, zip, zilch!), a Lead Gancho can be very nice accent. However, just like the in the case of the Follower’s Adornment Craziness, or the Lead Colgada, or the Lead Rock Step everywhere issue, where you’re engaging the same idea, over and over and over again (tsk, tsk, tsk), a Lead Gancho can and frequently overused. So for that reason alone, we want to use them very sparingly. Hence the Two Ideas Above that you really should think of as rules and not ideas. That there are really only 2 places we want to engage these ideas. The accent note and the frozen or elongated musical pause. Otherwise, you know what ? Skip them. You don’t need to execute them on every step, everywhere. Truthfully they tend to be executed in a jarring fashion and they tend to disrupt the line of dance because they’re angled improperly! All in all this is accent or spice vocabulary. Not the stable of one’s dance, nor should it be. It’s there as a variety element. A nice surprise, not the main meal.

About The Video - The Video is 08m:31s in length, and in 6 sections. 
1.) Introduction - 00:57
2.) Parallel System Gancho - 03:18
3.) Cross System Gancho - 00:38
4.) Follower Cues - 00:24
5.) Lead Ganchos on Forward Steps - 02:00 
6.) Review & End - 00:46

The Missing Information.  There's a free tip (for registered free users) that's not here because you're not logged in. If you were logged in, you'd see a free tip, but because you're not, you're not seeing it. So ? If you want the free tip, then go register as a free user and login. 🙂 However, if you want the toys, and to see the 07m:10s HD quality video on how to properly lead & follow a Lead Gancho 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 Lead 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.