The Argentine Soltada
The Argentine Soltada falls into that category of ‘flashy’, some might say ‘cool’, and/or ’nuevo’ tango vocabulary, that depending on your point of view may or may not be tango. For those people that are in the may be tango camp, you don’t really care, you just think it’s the bees knees and want to understand how it works, how to generate it and what other cool things you can do with it. For those people in the not tango camp, you have a point. You’re right, it’s not tango. It’s technically a borrowed turn from Salsa. Today’s Tango Topic is for the first group of people that are interested in expanding their ideas of what’s possible. While it’s true that this kind of vocabulary and exploratory of tango’s dark magic can be, if poorly executed, can be a navigational nightmare and dancing hazard, the feeling is that if you have access to good, clean, clear information, then there’s really no reason in the world why shouldn’t at the very least explore The Argentine Soltada.
What is an Argentine Soltada ? In simple terms it’s a tiny little turn, almost a spin, that has been borrowed from Salsa, and made functional in Argentine Tango. The almost-a-spin part is what the Follower does, and the lead kinda stands there leading the-almost-a-spin part. I say ‘almost’ because quite rightfully, it’s a led rotation really. If this were a true spin, then the Follower would stay over the same axial rotation point, but in this case, does not. The Argentine Soltada is really the rotation part not what you do with it part.
Check Please! The video above is only a small snippet of the HD video (run time: 27:32). It only shows one important aspect of the Argentine Soltada, but not the rest of how to construct an Argentine Soltada. This is a video in 14 parts, with 7 sections on optional vocabulary including a Soltada with a Gooey Gancho! If you'd like you can Download Soltadas for just 24.99.
From a Following Perspective, thankfully this is not another one of those pieces of vocabulary that you don’t really have a whole lot of control over. Unlike the Americana Embrace, here you have control over both where and how you enter and exit. You even have a great deal of control over the execution of how it’s led! While this point is not covered in the technique video that unless you’re a paid subscriber you can’t see, it is implied in several points in the resulting 29 minutes of video. Truthfully though, this is really fun piece of vocabulary for you, because it isn’t too often that in Argentine Tango you get to spin as in other dances. To be fair a good number of people find this turn to be … shall we say ‘awful’ and not elegant and that’s because how it’s executed. It’s sometimes viewed as ‘cheesy’ vocabulary and not all that elegant and there is some validity to this claim. The really key for you is the stability of the rotation itself and more importantly recognizing that you do in fact have to allow for the rotation to occur and not to add to it at all. Adding energy to the rotation creates an instability that we do not desire. On the entrance to the Argentine Soltada, it is typically done from your Forward Ocho, which opens up options and opportunities for you to display a trailing or dragging planeo embellishment ? or a ‘needle’ adornment ? There are a world of possibilities to dress this up and make it even more flashy a move than it already is. The trick here is learning the tell-tale signs that you’re being led to one and then to add in either the embellishment or the adornment or…if you’re quick enough, both! The same thing is NOT true on the exit though, as you really only have one, maybe two possibilities on step out…but you do have control over where you go, and how slow or how fast you execute the step out. And that gives you an inordinate amount of control enough to effect what happens next!
From a Leading Perspective, this is flashy vocabulary at it’s highest level. It’s also got a certain amount of cheese factor to it. Which should give you pause enough not to trifle with this stuff until you have mastered it and even then, not so much with this piece of ‘flash’. Like I tell all my students when learning the flashy stuff and I drill it into their heads: You’re going to use this late at night, or near the end of the milonga, with a partner you’ve danced with multiple multiple multiple times, ONE TIME and then you’re going to let it go and never use again for another 6 months. Quite honestly this is ‘spice’ vocabulary that should only be used as an accent and not the entire meal. Too much spice and you ruin the meal. Got it ? Ok so the key focus for you as a Lead is to do 3 things. 1.) Creating a stable rotation element for the Follower - That’s you’re arm and hand. 2.) Creating enough space that the Follower doesn’t feel constricted (think Bullwinkle - “…Guess I don’t know my own strength”) - again, you’re arm and hands (both in this case). and 3.) Being the center of the rotation element and not moving from it. A good portion of leads make a monstrous error when leading this stuff…they wander over a single, unstable point. Thereby moving the center of the circle. And then they add insult to potential injury by whipping the Follower around (this point is covered in the advice section of the video - which you have to be a subscriber to see) with the turning arm. There is a desire, unfortunately, to add more rotation than is necessary here, and you can not do that! Not ever. Doing so, creates an unstable turn with way too much inertia for the Follower to handle, thereby spinning out of control and creating more problems for both of you. In other words ? Less is more! Arm position is key for you here, creating the proper space when generating the entry point and the multiple types of exits here are absolutely crucial to a successful Argentine Soltada. Failure to accomplish this and you’re just asking for trouble. Truth be told, you can get away with pushing and pulling your Followers into and out of a Soltada (because you’ve watch youtube videos on the subject thinking that you’ve got this), but the reality is that without proper instruction (which is what the video above gives you, if you were a subscriber) you’re going to hurt your Followers by jerking their arm out of their sockets! The Follower my giggle afterwards and say “oops, I’m sorry” but they’ll be rubbing their shoulders afterwards and think twice about dancing with you any further.
From a Dancing Perspective, the reality is that while the move is fun, and it does create lots of air or space for the couple the fact is that its really not necessary and can and does take up an inordinate amount of space even when executed properly. That’s the reality. Reality is also that you’re not going to listen anyway, and keep doing things like this without proper instruction and just ‘wing it’. Well winging it in this case can cause problems, mostly for the Follower. For the Lead in question it just makes you look bad. But you don’t know that. So you’ll keep doing it because it’s fun and you think that Followers are enjoying your jerking them around. And because no one says anything you’ll think or believe that you’re doing wonders. When in fact that’s not the case. Yes it’s flashy vocabulary and can be a wonderful accent or spice to piece of music, but that’s about it. It should not be the entire meal.
About The Video: This is a combined video that is 27: 32 in length in 14 sections:
Section 1 - Introduction - 00:01:51
Section 2 - Hand Holds (Lead/Follow) - 00:02:26
Section 3 - Exits (Lead/Follow) - 00:01:31
Section 4 - Review - 00:00:26
Section 5 - Footwork (Lead/Follow) - 00:02;27
Section 6 - Soltada Advice - 00:03:48
Section 7/8 - Soltada Ideas - 00:05:00
Section 9 - Soltada with a Sacada - 00:01:12
Section 10 - Soltada with Single Partner Walk - 00:01:04
Section 11 - Soltada with an Forward Lazy Ochos - 00:01:12
Section 12 - Soltada with an Anti Molinete - 00:01:57
Section 13 - Soltada with a Gooey Gancho - 00:00:57
Section 14 - Soltada with a Linear Boleos (Lead and Follow Boleos - 00:02:56
If you'd like you can Download Soltadas for just 24.99.
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Watch It On Youtube. Why should you pay for this video or subscribe to this website when stuff like this is available on Youtube ? Because what you'll find on Youtube doesn't explain, with real world examples, of how this stuff works! That’s why! And furthermore, what you may see from some of those videos is shall we say, less than desirable social tango technique. So, please, go right ahead, go watch all the presentation videos you want. Spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out from the single camera angle how things might work in that situation. Which may help you, and more than likely it won't, because you're missing something! The explanation from an experienced teacher! Which is precisely why those videos exist on Youtube. The goal of those videos is to entice you to actually go study with those teachers in person. Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlaying technique. Which in an hour long class, with the blind leading the blind through rotation of partners (uuuggggh!), you may glean a piece of the information you need and not get the whole thing, and you’ll miss important pieces that you’ll end up having to take a private lesson for to get the finer points. This way, you can watch over and over again, and get all the supplementary materials, and if you want you can still go take the class, only you’ll be better armed to do so!
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