The Argentine 'Dip'
The ‘Dip’ is a very common form and expressive move used in most social dances. Argentine Tango has it’s own version of a ‘Dip’, however this version of the Dip looks nothing like what you’ve seen before. It’s almost not worth calling it a ‘Dip’ to begin with but it is in truth of fact, the Argentine version does classify as a ‘Dip’.
Let’s back up a moment and address the possibility that you have no idea what a ‘Dip’ is. A ’Dip’ refers to what is called a Dancing Dip. And it is what it sounds like, a physiological dip in the movement of the couple. Where one partner, the Lead, stops the dance for a moment to express some aspect in the music. Usually that moment is characterized by a long, languid note. At that point the other partner (the Follower in this case) is led into a controlled, but partial, fall within the embrace of the first partner (the Lead). This is a ‘Dip’ in technical terms. Usually this kind of move is very, very dramatic, and done in the extreme to maximize it’s effect. And the effect is very visual, generating lots and lots visual lines, postures, and poses for the couple. One such idea is the ‘Death Drop Dip’ (which Tango does use in Performance Tango) where the Follower is led to almost touching the ground with their back, and one arm stretched out towards their partner The Argentine Social Dance version of this idea is the polar opposite of this extreme idea. The Argentine Dip is more felt than it is dip. That said, let’s talk about the Argentine Dip.
What is an Argentine ‘Dip’ ? Every dance has a form of a ‘dip’ where the Follower is being led to, quite literally, dip their body either forwards or most commonly backward. You’ll see this idea represented in dancing movies from the 1930’s and 40’s, look at the clip below which starts at 01:29, and then wait for it at 01:35! That is a classic dip, more a drop than a dip. But this is the classic dip.
Let’s not make a mountain out of a Mole hill here, after the Follower is led (this part is very important > ‘the follower is led‘, not implied, which frequently happens) to cross their feet in a Normal Cross (See > 256 Argentine Cross Variations) the Argentine Dip can occur at this juncture because it’s an elongated forward step out of the Argentine Cross! There is, however, a catch with this thing. There’s always a catch. And the devil in this case is in the details. And the detail is what specifically is generating the impulse to ‘dip’.
Aside from the devil in the detail, there’s something else you should know. This isn’t a ‘dip’ per se, not in the traditional sense. Truthfully, it’s a misnomer in terms. It’s more of a ‘hang’ for a long moment more than anything else. It’s not a ‘dip’ as in the sense of the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers dip above. It’s not that by any stretch of the imagination. It is however a very, very, very long hang. And even that’s a misnomer, but it’s the closest thing that we can reference that makes any sort of sense.
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There’s a lot more to this Article! There’s the extensive Lead’s Perspective, the deeper Follower’s Technique Perspective, and sometimes we throw in a complete Dancing Perspective part, all of which are only visible to Tango Topics Freemium Registered Users, Gold Subscribers, Diamond Level Users, and Milonga Madness Users. To become a Freemium user, Registration is absolutely 100% FREE, click the button below, and you get access to this article, and over 400 videos, hundreds of articles on a wide range of Tango Topics. So what are you waiting for, go register, then login to your Tango Topics Library page and then select the “ARTICLES” button and you’ll see this article with all that good stuff in there. Easy. No ? 🙂
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The Case For WHY You Need This ? Actually, you don’t need it. Huh? Hmmm…that’s no way to sell videos or subscriptions. You’re right. It’s not. That’s because we’re not in the business of teaching you useless vocabulary that you probably don’t need. Stay with us on this one, it’s not going where you think it is. From a very specific point of view, this is cool vocab. No doubt about it. However, from another point of view, the social dancer who’s been dancing a while, a long while, this is nothing more than vocabulary that doesn’t further the cause of Social Dancing. Now here’s the kicker – Both, yes, BOTH points of view are valid. Here’s why:
From the Social Dancer’s point of view, you’re never going to use this stuff. Maybe once in a blue moon, but in reality the better that you get, the less you use this stuff. From their point of view, it’s four pieces of vocabulary that you need: The 6 Ways of Walking, Traveling Ochos/Milonguero Ochos, The Follower’s Molinete/The Milonguero Turn, and lastly – The Argentine Cross. That’s it. That’s all you need. From the Dancer’s point of view that’s hasn’t mastered this stuff yet, this is cool and you want to play with it, and to be able to master it. To find it’s in’s, out’s, how’s, and why’s, and mostly to have fun with it. Both points have their merits.
And now to the one twist in our point that you probably weren’t expecting. This stuff actually has validity, maybe not from a social dancing perspective, immediately, but more from a movement, and musical perspective. The fact is that this is all about one thing and one thing only: Skillz!
There’s a reason you study vocabulary like this, and it’s not because it’s cool (it can be), or that’s it’s musical (it is), or that it’s fun (it is that), or that it adds a little spice and variety now again (the once in a blue moon methodology). It’s because it’s all about your Foundation. Or put another way, because this vocabulary works your foundation in a really good way, by breaking down the movements to their component elements, so then you can become a much more fluid dancer so that you can use it, or not. It’s about availability, accessibility. Not about using it. Using it is entirely up you. But working the instrument, that’s what this vocabulary does. It works your instrument, … ahem…that’s you in case you weren’t paying attention.
No one wants to admit that they need help. That their dance isn’t stellar. Furthermore, you really don’t know that your dancing skills aren’t absolutely amazing until you see a room full of people all dancing way better than you are. And then you see it and feel like the poor cousin at the kiddie table during a holiday meal. There’s a reason those people have achieved ‘better’. It’s doing work like what you see in the video above. Being able to turn this stuff on and off as if it were a switch. A good portion of the time when we’re dancing we only think about the ‘cool’ toys in our dancing and we neglect the one thing that makes those cool toys possible: Our Foundation. That is, in case you’re not paying attention, this video series and others like it.
About The Video. This video is 13:14 in length in 5 Sections. Both Lead and Follow technique is co-combined.
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Remember that what you’re seeing is a couple that is performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they’re not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about ‘Social Dancing’ or how to make things function on a social dance floor. Social Dance floor ? Your local milonga! They’re showing flashy moves as a presentation! But not stopping and talking about how this works, why you’d want to put that piece of vocabulary there, or how to make things fit. This website is all about those things and more!
You could watch those videos and thereby spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that particular 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. This is known as Tango Twister. 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 showing you how to properly excute this stuff from a Leading Perspective as well as from a Following Perspective!
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