Tango Topics | Exploring Your Dance

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Tango Building Blocks – Number 2

In Today’s Building Block Episode (#2) we have three pieces of tango vocabulary that are used frequently in most people’s dance:

1.) Follower Linear Back Ochos.
2.) Lead Extensions (sometimes called “projections”). and
3.) Lead Linear Back Ochos.

The first of these elements is used so often that most people don’t even realize they’re employing them. The second gets used with some frequency as accent idea. And the last one does not even get a thought because most Leads never even conceive of it. Today’s Building Block episode discusses these ideas in relation to your dancing experience.

Let’s get something out of the way almost immediately: This video series and everything in that follows is not a steps/patterns/figures video series. We believe that these things have their place but in the long run, they don’t really help you to become a better dancer. While the choreography removes the worry of wondering what to do next. The problem with learning choreography is that it is the same dance constantly with little variation! Tango is an improvisational dance. So it’s important to explore how to improvise, and more importantly WHAT to improvise with. What Tango Topics is offering you in this video is a way to expand your dancing repertoire using the vocabulary you already know today, in ways you hadn’t really thought of, and more importantly for use on a social dance floor.

That said, let’s dive into Today’s Tango Building Block.

Difficulty Rating:  2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

learning tango is challenging. registering makes it easier. 😉

Have you seen the Six Ways of Walking Series ? This video series showcases the Six Ways of expanding your walk in Tango using: Parallel System Walking, Cross System Walking, Three Track Walking, ‘Lazy’ Ochos, The Snake Walks, & Alternate Walking.

Learn > The Six Ways Of Walking

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What is a Tango Building Block ? In many ways, Tango is a lot like a set of Lego™ Building Blocks. With just a few simple blocks you can build very complex and intricate structures. Tango is the same way. With just a few basic moves like forward, side, and back you can build very complex movements that can later be applied in very different ways. That’s what makes Tango so amazing. It’s never the same dance twice even with the same partner and the same music!

A Tango Topic Building Block goes one step further. This isn’t just about showing you a move or a step, pattern, or figure but giving you tools that you can integrate into your dance immediately. Ideas that you hadn’t even thought of or considered.

Frequently when we dance, we get very ‘stuck’ in our repetition of the same piece of vocabulary over and over and over again. This series is designed to give you ideas, options, and opportunities to employ differences to add a bit of spice to your dance using very simple ideas.

Let’s get something out of the way going further: This video series and everything in that follows is not a step, pattern, or figure video series. We’re not going to teach you a series of patterns. We believe that steps don’t really help you. Tango, for lack of a better way of putting it, is a dance that is choreographed on the fly, meaning that it is improvised. While that improvisation has some elements to it that are common (the building blocks) how you put those elements together is where the real artistry is at. Put another way, the dance is not ‘canned’, meaning that it is mapped out precisely in time to the music as though you would choreograph a ballet. That would be a performance. What Tango Topics is offering you is a way to expand your dancing repertoire using the vocabulary you already know today, in ways you hadn’t really thought of, and more importantly for use on a social dance floor.

Hey!!!!! Isn’t there more to this post ???? Where’s the Lead’s Perspective, the Follower’s Perspective, and the Dancing Perspective parts of the Post … ??? These very helpful, extremely descriptive, and FREE parts are still here, and you can see them too, just scroll to the bottom of the page, and register. Registration is a hassle! We know. But it is also free, and who doesn’t like free stuff!!! You get a whole bunch of other stuff that can help you with your dance, and the rest of this post. So go register, then login to your Tango Topics Library page and then select Articles, and you’ll see this article with all that good stuff in there. Just scroll, register, and then read! Easy. No ? 🙂

you can do better, all it takes is practice and time.

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 one of 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.


bsas-prep-title

this video can be purchased through the tango topics store 🙂

About The Video. This video is 3 sections and when combined create a singular viewing experience of 44m:11s.

Part 1 (19:37) – Explains the 3 pieces of vocabulary with options and variations. Part 2 (12:57) is with a Metronome to show you how some of these ideas can be set to a time signature. And part 3 (11:37) is with a piece of music. There is no Technique discussed in the video.

For technique please visit the individual topics.

Part 1 – Explanation (00:19:37)
Part 2 – Metronome Tools. (00:12:57)
Part 3 – Music (00:11:37)

Related Videos Mentioned In This Article: 

Follower Technique Series – Definition/Download
The Six Ways of Walking – Download

DisassociationDefinition/Download
Applied DisassociationDefinition/Download
Linear OchosDefinition/Download
Traveling OchosDefinition/Download

this video can be purchased through the tango topics store 🙂

The Missing Information. Dearest Reader. TangoTopics is glad that you want to read this Topic, so that you can dig a little deeper into your foundation, into the music, into the codigos of the dance. However, you’re missing three important parts to this Article: The Follower’s Perspective, The Lead’s Perspective, and The Dancing Perspective. Which can change your thinking by informing of some important pieces of information that you may not necessarily be aware of. Watching a 5 minute video will not help you to change. Change is a concerted effort and requires a little thinking on your part: Becoming a Freeium User! As the name implies, it’s FREE. Register. You get to see everything above, and a whole lot more! 😉 Have a nice day.

Have you seen the Milonga Madness video series ? Over 2.5 hrs of pure Milonga Instruction GOLD with one of the best Social Milonga Teaching couples alive: Detlef Engel & Melina Sedó! It covers everything you need to know to get you up and running today with Milonga. Don’t delay, subscribe today!

Milonga Madness with Detlef Engel & Melina Sedo

explore your dance with a subscription! 😉

Why should you subscribe instead ?  Several reasons.  1.) Probably the biggest reason is to save a boatload of money. Buying these things outright isn’t cheap. Besides when you buy you only have access to the one video. Subscribing, on the other hand, gives you access to everything else so you can see the foundational material that goes with this stuff. 2.) Even if you’re a Free User, you’ll get access to free tips that aren’t available to anyone just reading the post like this one. 3.) Sometimes there are slightly different versions of the videos, that add a bit more content for the free user vs. an unregistered user. 4.) Because the Dancing Perspectives (Lead, Follow, and Dancing) are hidden to the open user. And that’s where all the information is at, unless you actually subscribe. Until you do, those very important textual descriptions of what’s going on for both Lead and Follow you want to read. 5.) And the real reason you should subscribe ? If you’re used to YouTube videos where you’ll see a performance, those Youtube videos don’t explain or walk you through how these ideas work! That is why! What you’re seeing is a presentation, a performance. Not how things work! And what you really need to see is how things work, and more importantly why they work! This website shows you that and more! 

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!

The goal of YouTube videos is to get you to study with those teachers in person. The goal of Tango Topics videos allows 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 you’re done.

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 of how and why things work, so you can easily reference those things in the corresponding articles that go with the material, and or any language in the Tango Topics Dictionary. 

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