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Milonguero Ochos into the Follower’s Molinete

Milonguero Ochos into the Follower's Molinete

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

see parts 1 & 2 of the series

see part 1 of the series

 

see part 2 of the series

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

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

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

The Missing Information.  There's a free tip (for registered free users) that you can not see because you're not logged in. 🙁 If you were logged in, you'd see the updated free tip, but because you're not, you're not seeing it. So ? If you want the free tip, then go register as a free user and login. 🙂 However, if you want the toys, and to see the 12:37 HD quality video on how to properly lead and follow a Ocho Transitions - Lazy Ochos to a Milonguero Turn and all the toys that go with it. Then you have 2 options. 1.) You can buy it. or 2.) You can subscribe!

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

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

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

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

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

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Ocho Cortado Options

Ocho Cortado Options

Ocho Cortado. The word ‘cortado’ translates into English as ‘cut’ or cutted (which isn’t a word) or an Ocho that is Cut. In today’s version of the modern Ocho Cortado it rarely resembles its ocho variations or ocho roots. It’s no wonder when people say the words for the first few times they get a little confused and can’t see the embedded ocho properties that are sitting there. When we think of ochos, we tend to only think of BACK (Traveling) Ochos, not their forward variety which is where the confusion comes from. Further still it’s the interruption that of the ocho (hence the ‘cut’ part) that people don’t see which creates more confusion. Today’s Tango Topic takes the idea of Ocho Cortado and adds a few nuances to it that you wouldn’t ordinarily think of or consider, this particular variety of the Ocho Cortado are considered variations on a theme, or ‘Options’. Think of these ideas as what you can do with the Cortado before, during, and, after you execute one. This is nuance vocabulary, variance vocabulary. Ideas to give you a starting point to expand on and to play with. Hence today’s topic, Ocho Cortado ‘Options’.

Check Please! The video above is only a small snippet of the HD video (run time: 14:31). It only shows 2 very small pieces of the overall video. If you want more, you can purchase the video itself for the sale price of $14.99. purchase access

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From A Following Perspective, the fact is that while you may believe that you have absolutely ZERO control over the execution of an Ocho Cortado, you’d be very, very, very wrong. You, in the role of the Follower, have an inordinate amount of control. Specifically in how and where you cross your feet. How and where your side step goes. How and where your forward step goes. All 3 of those steps have variances built into them, and those variances give you far greater control than you might realize. Just a few millimeters this way or that way is a difference between a lead choosing to go one way, or choosing to go another simply because you’re ‘not’ in the right position for them to execute their next idea. As a result they have to think quickly and come up with something else, or more to the point they have to Follow where you’ve gone! Some might consider this to be highway robbery and inciting the Follower to not be cooperative. Some might say that the polar opposite is true, where we’re creating an egalitarian dance of equals. While the latter in the real world is a pipe dream for a variety of reasons, the former is the hard cold fact – that’s how most Lead’s see the Follower having any initiative. Sadly. Regardless of which side you come down on the fact remains if they may lead it, ultimately YOU, as the Follower, have a choice in how and where you Follow it! That’s power right there dear reader! That said, there are two options that you can start doing today that add nuance to the Ocho Cortado: 1.) Decorate the 3 steps outlined on either side, either as the step begins or ends. But there is a caveat -> it must be in time to the music. If there’s no accent note, then there shouldn’t be a decoration. If there’s no musical flourish, then no decorations. If there’s no musical counter point, then no decoration. You can not just willy nilly throw in decorations because they look pretty. No. You must decorate with purpose! The purpose is that if it’s in the music, then there is a decoration! 2.) Go here. Watch that, and then set about to doing it, religiously.

Come to the Buenos Aires Preparation Workshops in Hamburg, Germany either Jan 30-Feb 6 or Feb 15-Feb 22

From a Leading Perspective, full disclosure here – there are two options that are not covered specifically or shown in this video: The first is the Cortado Wrap - Meaning a Cortado that turns into a wrap as either the entry or the exit from the Cortado. The second is the Multiple Cortado, meaning multiple Ocho Cortados. For those items you must see their respective videos on Wraps and Ocho Cortado. There is one thing about the Cortado that does come up quite frequently and it’s here as a reminder more than anything else that you as a Lead must be aware of, and to start to adjust for. What is that ? As the Follower takes their side step they’re going to end up in your arm pit and then stay there as they cross their feet. The key is to not to allow that to happen and to quite literally adjust the Follower’s body position so that they don’t end up there. And by ‘adjust’ that does not mean to use your arms and to force the Follower into position. No. We’re talking about 2 millimeters to the left (not to the right) that would make the Cortado comfortable for the both roles and more important than that, no body contortion is required. Far too often when performing these things (like an Ocho Cortado) you end up contorting your body to do X, Y, and Z. And while you may not realize that you are in a state of contortion, you are contorted, and you’re making the Follower contort even more! The contortion is the result of you not understanding how X, Y, and Z is also due to the poor application of your underlaying technique. So as wonderful as it is to have options and cool entrances and exits, it far more important than you work on your foundation. Specifically your walk must be stable, clear, steady. Your embrace should be effortless everywhere, specifically in turns where you don’t need to hold onto or more importantly squeeze your Follower with your forearm and/or your hand in order to stabilize yourself or to execute or indicate a leading element.

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try these articles
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From a Dancing Perspective, the Ocho Cortado happens. Sometimes it happens with great frequency, and sometimes not. However what is true is that with a little bit of variation here and there, the same ole - same ole can be be very very nice and welcomed addition. And that’s primarily what this video is all about - providing different entrances and exits, nuances to how to engage the Ocho Cortado for a series of commonly used pieces of vocabulary and some not so common and a few new ideas that you probably haven’t seen before. There is one aspect to the Cortado that is generally not talked about, and that’s the fact that it really is close embrace vocabulary for tight, small spaces. It’s compact enough that it can be executed on a dime without a whole lot of movement. This is aspect is shown in the video Preparing for Buenos Aires. Which is really dancing in small spaces. And the Ocho Cortado is perfect for that. These Options that are shown here display a few more nuances that can be added to dancing in small or compact way.

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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Traveling Ochos into The Follower’s Molinete

Traveling Ochos into The Follower's Molinete

Traveling Ochos are probably the 3rd most used piece of tango vocabulary right behind Collection and the Argentine Cross. First a bit of clarity as to what a ’Traveling’ Ocho is and is not. A ‘Traveling’ Ocho is an ‘Ocho’ that goes down the line of dance. As shown below:

It is one of 8 Ocho types that we use quite frequently, and it is the one that most people think of when you say the word. However, there are others, just so you know! Moving on. What is it not ? It’s not a Lazy Ocho (sometimes rightfully referred to as a ‘Milonguero’ Ocho), nor a Circular Ocho, nor a Linear (just to name a few). No this Ocho, is the venerable one that most Followers are forced to do on day one of Following regardless of whether or not they have been properly trained to do them or not. Usually it’s more the ‘not’ variety than anything else. Why are we talking about ochos ? Because this particular variety of Ocho is so venerable that we use it for nearly every kind of transition there is. It is for this reason that today’s topic is not really about the Ocho itself, but about the Transition between one piece of vocabulary and the next, or Ocho Transitions Part 2 - Traveling Ochos into the Follower’s Molinete!

Check Please! The video above is small snippet of a full HD video (total run time: 23:52). You can purchase Ocho Transitions - Traveling Ochos into The Follower's Molinete for just 24.99 or the entire series of 3 (59.99) on sale until May 1st, 2017.

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

From a Following Perspective, you have your work cut out for you in this one. The fact is that a good portion of your Leads (the person, not the action) are going to squeeze (compression) the living daylights out of you in Traveling Ochos making it damned near impossible for you to invoke any level of actual disassociation and applied disassociation (what you think, erroneously, as a ‘pivot’). And because the lead is squeezing you, and your default behavior (and their’s by the way) of staying in the armpit, you’ve got problems. Now when we actually get to your turn, you’re quite literally running behind your lead to catch up. And unless you do something you’re going to

a.) Feel like you missed something (you didn’t by the way - see “the lazy man’s turn” below). and
b.) making it impossible for you to do anything other than hold on for dear life. And god help you if the lead (the action, not the person) is going fast! You’re done!

And yet this transition between Traveling Ochos, and your Follower’s Molinete is used so often and by so many leads, you keep wondering is it you ? It must be you. Something’s not working. You’re right that something isn’t working but mostly it’s not you. It’s the lead. To be fair and not to L/lead bash here, you do have issues going on. If you’re not stable, and if your applied disassociation isn’t clear, and if you’re crossing your body meridian on your back steps, or if you’re using your Lead for stabilization, and/or needing to be pushed around the floor, or pulled around the floor, and/or pushed and pulled into and out of disassociation and then applied disassociation then you have issues that are not related to Lead at all and they need to be addressed ASAP!

From a Leading Perspective, put simply, you’re going to use this a lot and probably don’t realize that you’re using it right now in your dance. This is such a venerable transition that one hardly wonders about it anymore. And there's a reason why it's used so much it's because both pieces of the assembled vocabulary are used so ubiquitously. It’s almost as overused as the Argentine Cross is. However, the issue on the table is not that it’s used, it’s how it’s used or more importantly what happens within the transition itself. To be clear, a good number of Leads (the person, not the action) employ the Lazy Man’s Turn which was detailed in Truism 1159 and 1185 of Volume 3 of Tango Truisms.

  

Neither one of the videos above clearly detail this issue sufficiently for my taste, because it only shows the problem from a static position, and furthermore where it happens and/or how to resolve it. The Ocho Transition Series shows those solutions. There is one thing here that is absolutely key to making this transition function properly. And it has everything to do with the relationship of the couple, and your job as a Lead. Part of the key has to do with the fact that you are the center of the circle, and that you can not move from that center point. You must be like a rock, and not move, not tilt, not waiver in any way, shape or form. Failure to do this and quite literally your transitions will fail. Still another toy is that leading the closed side ochos you must in fact do something that feels all wrong but is absolutely required of you. And the reason it feels all wrong is a.) because you’re just not familiar with it. and b.) you’ve forgotten about it. Your teachers (assuming they had their collective shit together) did show you this tiny little toy but you seem to have forgotten it. And what’s the toy ? Going with the Follower’s motion! There are a few other toys that you need to remind yourself of but those will do for starters.

see parts 1 & 3 of the series

see part 1 of the series

 

see part 3 of the series

From a Dancing Perspective, this particular Ocho Transition is never discussed, never shown, and almost never taught properly for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it’s boring as the day is long! It’s not sexy. It’s functional. The functional stuff never gets people into classes and workshops. It’s the flashy stuff that you respond to. Yet it’s this stuff that is quite literally the glue that holds the dance together. This transition in specific is what makes tango work. Get it right and you get to move on to the next thing. Get it wrong…and well, you’re going to be apologizing a lot. The fact of the matter is that both roles have a responsibility here and that’s to work on their foundation, and smooth out the issues that are causing problems in their dance, and yet that’s not what happens. You contort, cut short, compress, squeeze, push, and pull to make things fit and work within the construct of the embrace and the dance. And that is precisely what you can not do especially here with this transition. You must do so much with this transition that relies on default behaviors to allow both partners to do their jobs without compromising the rotation, without comprising their foundations, without the use of force, while allowing body position and body placement to happen and to make it happen when it doesn’t come out exactly right.

About The Video. This video is 23:52 in length in 1 section.

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

The Missing Information.  There's a free tip (for registered free users) that you can not see because you're not logged in. 🙁 If you were logged in, you'd see the updated free tip, but because you're not, you're not seeing it. So ? If you want the free tip, then go register as a free user and login. 🙂 However, if you want the toys, and to see the 23:52 HD quality video on how to properly lead and follow a Ocho Transitions - Traveling Ochos into the Follower's Molinete and all the toys that go with it. Then you have 2 options. 1.) You can buy it. or 2.) You can subscribe!

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

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

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

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

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

The Arm Pit Dancer

The Armpit Dancer

For most dancers their embrace is theirs and theirs alone. It's what separates them from everyone else. It is their signature. Regardless of whether or not that embrace is desirable or not. Mind you they may not realize that their embrace is not desirable, they may not realize that the quality of their embrace is desirable. We like to believe that our embrace is the finest thing since sliced bread, and yet it is that embrace that causes more problems than it's worth for a greater number of dancers. Take for example an aspect that is frequently passed onto dancers learning close embrace (which turns out to be a grand fallacy) that the Follower must apply 'Resistance' (which generally ends up as 'Rigidity') in order for the Lead/er to feel them. Or still another that the Follower should wrap their left arm around their Lead's shoulders.

Each of these issues, and many more that aren't listed here create physiological stresses on the couple that we don't want. And as a result we end up having to compromise our natural bodily structure to compensate for what essentially amounts to an uncomfortable embrace.

To be clear, and fair, the embrace is not the only problem child here. The other major component to nearly every issue that you can think of comes from one other place, it's the walk. Or more importantly, one's stability in one's walk. Do not discount what you'll hear in the videos above, and this article as "Ahhh I just need to fix my embrace and then all will be magical!". Nope. You must, must, must, must, must ... let's stress that one more time with feeeeeling -> you must work on your walk, and in specific, your stability in your walk. And there are loads of exercises you can do to correct for that, one of which has already been covered here "The Ballet Rise".

The Problem: The embrace is massive component to the dance being successful on any level, and yet there is another component is just as important but very infrequently talked about. What's that ? Body Position and Body Placement for both Lead and Follow! Body Position is where you place yourself within the construct of the embrace, Body Placement is what you do with it (e.g.: vocabulary). The issue is that getting this topic right is the dividing line between 'ease' and 'work', between 'pain' and 'pleasure', between "ouch" and "aaahhhhh". And yet, no one talks about this thing. So what specifically is the issue ? The fact that a good 90% of the time both Lead and Follow will enter into an untenable embrace structure based on their respective Body Positions right from the start of the dance where the Both dancers will quite literally either place the Follower into their Lead's Arm Pit, or the Lead will readjust to have the Follower there from the start. And in that we have what is known as "The Armpit Dancer". 

From a Following Perspective, this issue is as much yours as it is the Leads' issue! You either went directly to the Lead/ers arm pit or more importantly you drifted there by means of every cross, turn, and ocho you were 'asked' to execute. In short, you are just as responsible for this as the Lead is for allowing the problem to happen in the first place. Let's go on the theory that you went there by comfort, not by drift, that will happen later anyway. By comfort means that you don't know anything else. You went right into the armpit of you Lead because you don't know any thing different. It's all you know. And quite honestly no one has probably told you that you have a responsibility to be actively ontop of being in front of your lead, and being in their armpit is not that place. Placing yourself in the armpit is less then desirable on several levels: 1.) You're making work for yourself. 2.) You're instantly behind on everything that is being asked of you. 3.) You're more than likely going to end up in long forward steps because of your position.

Let's be clear about something, there are certain aspects to the Modern Follow that did not happen 50, 30, and maybe even 20 years ago that does happen today. One of those things is that certain pieces of vocabulary mentioned above are all yours. The Lead may ASK (operative word) for it, but you're the one that has to execute it with some degree of precision and awareness. And that means that while there's nothing that you can do about the speed of one of these pieces of vocabulary, there is something you can do to change how things are executed because you're the one that's doing the execution! Put simply you are responsible for Forward, Side, & Back, and just how much disassociation you engage to execute X, Y, and Z that is being asked of you. You must place yourself in the right places at all times to allow for these things to occur. That means a.) Execute. b.) Get there in a timely fashion (read that as being on beat). This part is optional, but mostly quite desirable c.) With elegance! Generally the problem is that you have allowed yourself to 'slip' in any one of those three steps, in specific the back and forward steps of your Molinete as well as the back step prior to the crossing step of the Argentine Cross.

To 'slip' means that you are out of alignment with your lead. While the video above talks about the Follower's Molinete where this occurs repeatedly, it also occurs in the Argentine Cross, and you as the Follower need to take control so these things don't happen. One of the things in your way, unfortunately is a Lead's embrace that is restrictive that won't allow you the freedom to move across and around your lead's body. If the embrace isn't restrictive, you have the tools you need to accomplish your goals! Technique, and Space! Now the only thing you need to do is execute.

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From a Leading Perspective, this one is as much your issue as it is the Followers! Why are you responsible for this issue ? 1.) It's your embrace. 2.) You have control. 3.) You're the one that's choosing vocabulary, not the Follower. 4.) Navigation! 5.) One of your jobs as a Lead (you have 3), is Music. Your job is to select the beat that the couple is dancing to and on. That is why you are responsible.

Let's go on the theory that you are ignorant of why placing the Follower in your armpit is not desirable. That you're doing what you're doing out of your own physiological comfort and ignorance:

Put simply, the Follower has a ton of physical work to do. You, my friend, have a different kind of work to do. While the role of the Follower is all about the physical, your role is intellectual - it's all about planning. You think, they do. Mind you if you think and do for them, there's not a whole lot for them to do except look nice and smile. Which is precisely what Tango was for many decades. That's not the case in today's Tango world, it's changing...slowly. The role of the Follower has expanded more over the last 2 decades. And as a result, they have more to do, and you have less to do. The more ? They're essentially being asked to execute a turn - the how the turn is done, but not when that turn is done (that's still your job). Still another instance is that they cross their feet automagically because you're not leading it 90% of the time. Still another is that in traveling ochos (what you call 'back ochos'), they're deciding how to ocho and how far that ocho goes, constantly. Put simply, they're doing the heavy lifting, while all you're doing is thinking about what should be done in time to the music.

Those three things (and there are more, these are just the prominent ones) are physical labor for the Follower. Specifically the 1st and the last. Why ? Because they require disassociation and applied disassociation (what you mistakeningly think of as a 'pivot') on the Follower's forward and back steps of their Molinete, and their ochos. 9 times out of 10 you'll start a turn to the Open side of the embrace (Lead left), using the Follower's backstep as the opening step either from a stop (bad idea by the way, see a future WHIC video on this topic), or from an ocho (better idea). That disassociation (from you) and applied disassociation in your follower tends to land them right in your armpit and thereby makes it difficult for them to get around you (for a variety of reasons which are not discussed here) for the remaining steps of the turn. The same is true of the ocho! In short, this stuff is work for them, and every time they move from the armpit, they're having to stretch to go further around you just to end up in the same place. What makes that even more challenging is that you compress the embrace, you turn away from them in turns and in crosses you place them in your armpit deliberately, and you move the center of the circle or you close the distance in crosses, and/or pull them with your left arm, your head is in the way of the turn or cross (watching their feet). Each and every time that you do this it makes their job harder and harder.

The Dancing Reality. The reality is that this stuff is going to continue to happen. And these words will make no difference. You'll keep doing this stuff and stressing your heads, bodies, and dances to the breaking point. The reality is that you like dancing like this. You like dancing in pain. You like working harder than you have to. You like force, tension, compression, and resistance. That's the reality. You see other people doing it and seemingly having fun and think, that's what I should be doing. What you may not realize is that these people are ignorant of what's supposed to happen. It's only after they start rubbing muscles and tendons, that are seemingly strained for some odd reason (!!!!!), and they need a massage or a chiropractic visit the next morning that they realize that Tango is the cause! So 'no' you shouldn't be doing that. What you should do is fix it!

Paying For The Soup. Change can happen, but only if you want it to happen. And 'want' is the key word. First and foremost you have to see that this is an issue. If don't, then so much the better, that means less work for you. But the reality is that this is a ton of work for both Lead and Follower. Further still you are contorting your bodies to make it happen, and then you wonder why you're paying a chiropractor every few weeks for an 'adjustment'. There's a reason for that, and that's because you're contorting your bodies to dance like this. Here's a helpful hint - STOP DOING IT! As arrogant as that may sound, and quite frankly the whole thing is arrogant, the fact is that it's not arrogant if you see it as a helpful bit of advice that can stop you from being in pain. 

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