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Milonguero Turn Trick – Personalized

If you were logged in, you’d see the full free version of this Article which includes the Follower’s, Lead’s, & Dancing Perspectives! Just sayin’… 🙂

 

Milonguero Turn 'Trick' Personalized

You’re out social dancing, and you’ve been practicing your Milonguero Turns with your favorite partner, and you feel like you’ve got it down, so now it’s time to take it of the lab and put it on the floor and try it with other dancing partners. This, by the way, is not how we want to create a good practice regime. We do have a treatise on what to practice and how to practice. But more on that later in another article. 😉 You’ve accepted a request to dance with someone else, it’s a Di Sarli Tango tanda, and you smile, and you walk to the floor with your partner, engaging a the Lead’s Cabeceo! Stepping onto the floor, and engaging in your partner’s embrace, you settle into each other. Readjust, hopefully employing the “The Readjustment Phase” of the dance, a very important component, and then begin to dance, slowly, patiently, cautiously figuring out each other, rather than throwing every known piece of vocabulary at your partner in the first 30 seconds. Or some crazy cool move that you think is cool but your partner may find somewhat ‘annoying’ at best. Especially dancing to Di Sarli. Tsk, tsk, tsk. It’s around this time near the end of the first musical paragraph that your partner initiates their first turn. If you’re Leading you discover immediately that what your partner heard as a turn was in fact the Follower’s Molinete and not the Milonguero Turn that you intended. If you’re Following at this point, you’re wondering why the Lead keeps turning or why the Lead is squeezing the living daylights out of your back and what that’s all about. As far as you’re concerned you’re doing what the Lead asked invoking a Milonguero Turn by default because you know the rule but they keep squeezing and turning. Uuuugh!

Scenario over!

Today’s Tango Topic deals with that moment right there where there is obviously some confusion, a bit of a hiccup in what would have otherwise been a lovely and near perfect dancing experience.

The Milonguero Turn is one of Tango’s underused but extremely elegant turns. However it comes with a tiny little problem embedded in it. The problem ? Default Behavior and Default Expectation. The Default Behavior ? The Follower’s Molinete as the response to a turn. The Molinete/Giro structure is one of the seven basic moves of Argentine Tango that is used so often and with such ubiquity that we almost don’t even think about it anymore. It’s just that we start turning and magically a Follower’s Molinete occurs. However, as in the case above, what happens when the Lead wants to invoke a Milonguero Turn instead ? A hiccup is what happens and from there things get ugly quickly.

That’s what Today’s Tango Topic is all about. So without further yappment, here’s Today’s Tango Topic on The Milonguero Turn TrickPersonalized.

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Have you seen the Walking Systems video ? 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 the Milonguero Turn Trick ? First and foremost, the Trick itself isn’t a ‘trick’, it’s more of a reliance on Follower Default behaviors. Secondly, the ‘Trick’ only solves the first major hurdle of the Turn itself – The Follower’s Back Cross.

The problem with the Milonguero Turn, and it is a problem, is the opening step, the Follower’s Back Cross. By default, the Follower will not want to cross behind or back cross, unless this is their default turn or default behavior. Truthfully there are very few Milonguero Turn default based Followers. Usually the Follower has been trained in the Molinete/Giro structure as their default. So the moment that the Lead starts a turn, the Follower thinks and responds with “Molinete”. This is not desirable. While the Molinete is a very sexy turn, it’s not what we’re wanting out of the Follower at all. We ideally want the cleaner, less stressful, Milonguero Turn for a whole bunch of reasons.

Before you go any further you’re going to ask, “Well, if the Lead led it then the Follower should follow what was led!”. True to a degree but then again, you’re dealing with default behavior, and that stuff is insanely difficult to override, most of the time. That’s why this ‘Trick’ exists.

The opening back cross presents a problem: How to generate it ? And that’s where the Milonguero Turn ‘Trick’ comes in. It says, “Fine…the Follower has default behaviors, one of them is to come to collection, still another is not to a leg fly away from them, still another they have a desire to make things as small as possible, less work”. All of these default behaviors can be used to the Lead’s advantage if properly invoked. And that’s what the Milonguero Turn Trick does, it invokes all three of those defaults and overrides the Follower’s desire to Molinete. It supersedes it almost immediately so that the Follower never, ever wants to Molinete!

In its simplest form the Trick is a Simple Sacada, but a fully unrealized one. The reason this is said, is because a Simple Sacada should and would take the place of the Follower, but it doesn’t. In its more complex form, it overrides the Follower’s default behavior to Molinete and replaces it with a back cross.

Remember that the turn trick only solves ONE problem – Initiating the Follower’s Back Cross. It doesn’t solve the entire Milonguero Turn, you still have to learn to lead and follow those things.

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Why this video exists ? It exists for 3 reasons. 1.) It was part of a longer lesson for this particular student on the Milonguero Turn, and Elements of Turning itself. 2.) To give the student  a reminder tutorial for when I wasn’t there. 3.) I taught a Milonguero Turn class rather recently and then discovered this a few days after the class, and realized that this is actually a perfect reminder for anyone that wants to play with the Milonguero Turn on how to build it and what should happen.

Further this video exists with the student’s consent. So don’t get all persnickety that we’re showing you a private lesson without the student’s knowledge. They’re fully aware of the video and fully endorse it.

There’s a lot more to this ArticleThere’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 Reality of WHY You Need This: There are many moves, steps, patterns, and figures to Argentine Tango that are really cool. What you may not realize is that most of that stuff is ‘fluff’, they’re nice to have, they’re nice to know, but honestly, you’re not going to use them that often! Mind you this is one side of the argument. This ain’t that! This piece is one of the more venerable selections of Argentine Tango that you will use frequently like Walking, Milonguero Ochos/Milonguero Turns, The Follower’s Molinete/Traveling Ochos, or The Argentine Cross. Tango Topics take this stuff very seriously, and we say that because we use this stuff ALL – THE – TIME! Our case is that you need this stuff because > This is all about foundation, or one of the Seven Foundation Steps that we use all the time to create the dance that we know as Argentine Tango. That’s why! 🙂 That said, you do actually need to watch this stuff. You can learn what you need from this video and then apply it. No lie. No gimmick. As always YMMV and to remember that the video itself is only a stepping stone! You will need some private lessons to go along with it to get the ‘feel’ of things. That is the reality of WHY you need this stuff. So subscribing for a few months to TangoTopics to get what we’re on about wouldn’t kill you. Further, it would probably help to hear another person saying what your current tango teacher has been saying all along. Think of this stuff as one more reminder that you absolutely need to hear.

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Have you seen our Ocho Transition Series ? This important four-part series covers the four important transitions between the two common type of Ochos (Traveling & Milonguero), and the 2 common types of turns (Molinete/Giro, and Milonguero). Each one is a challenge on its own. And each one can seriously up your dancing abilities.

Learn > Ocho Transitions

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Have you seen the Milonga Madness 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!

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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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8 Types of Turns 2019

If you were logged in, you’d see the full free version of this Article which includes the Follower’s, Lead’s, & Dancing Perspectives! Just sayin’… 🙂

Notation: The video above is only a 15-minute sampler of the full 40-minute video. Only paying subscribers can see the full 40-minute video with the footwork. However, the real toy is in the Tango Topics archive of videos on Turns. This video is only a taster of what’s actually there.

 

The Eight Turns of Argentine Tango

In today’s Tango world, the Turn has become a necessity. We would like to believe that Tango is the lovely and amazing walking dance that we have heard said it was. The reality is a little different. Tango is no longer a walking dance. Don’t mishear that as the walk is unimportant or that you don’t have to study how to walk. Not true. You absolutely must study your walk: How to extend your leg (forward, side, or back), how to land your foot in a step (forward, side, or back) in relation to specific vocabulary, when to flex or bend the knee and why, what part of the foot is required and when (and why), what muscles to use and why, when to use your toes, how to strengthen the foot, etc. This is the technique of walking and that stuff is extremely important in order to begin to move efficiently, and effectively. This is not something that should be left to watching a 5-minute video on YouTube but actually, spend months and literally years learning and then re-learning, and refining. Because the study of your walk, and its refinements, absolutely makes for Today’s Tango Topic to exist. One can not even begin to study this topic unless one has mastered one’s walk. And by ‘master’ we mean to infer not perfection but rather well beyond functional so that it comes fluidly from you. Without wobbling, wavering, or using your partner for stabilization in any way, shape, or form. Today’s Tango Topic deals with the next most important element beyond the walk and goes right to the heart of the statement above that Tango is no longer a walking dance. In fact, today’s modern tango is more of a turning dance more than anything else. And the reason why isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. It’s a series of factors that generate the state of affairs in Tango. For more on what those factors are, and why they exist and how to fix it, look at Floorcraft 102 – The Incomplete Turn, it explains those details in spades. So the turn has become the defacto, go to element that one must study with as much diligence as one studies one’s walk.

We see the turn as one of the 7 Basic Moves of Tango Vocabulary (see link) that is used in every dance by every dancer at every Milonga in the world. It is almost as ubiquitous as the Argentine Cross. So much so that one may lead or follow a turn and not even be aware that they’re doing it. The primary turn that is taught and then danced is the Molinete/Giro structure. From a Leading perspective, this primary or basic piece of vocabulary is one of the ways that we can create navigational structure as well as generate musical structure. And it also has the obvious ability that allows to use it as filler content until we’re ready to do something else that may lead up to something else. From a Following perspective, it is one of the very first things we are taught to master and must become facile with because our very tango lives depend on it for a whole host of reasons which will become obvious later on down the line.

However, ‘The Turn’ isn’t a singular turn. There are in fact EIGHT, yes you read that correctly, EIGHT types of Turns in Argentine Tango. And that’s what this video is all about.

That said, let’s take a deep dive into the 8 Types of Turns for Argentine Tango.

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Have you seen the Walking Systems video ? 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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Three Techniques To Turning. Before we get into the Eight Types we have to look at a few foundational tools that must be present before we can even begin to talk about turns. While some of the turns in the Eight Types do require the study of item 2 below, it’s not required for the other turns. In fact, what you’ll find is that items 1 and 3 are far more common than item 2 on the list.

1.) Walking Technique.
2.) Disassociation/Applied Disassociation Technique.
3.) Crossing Technique.

Walking Technique can loosely be described as how one extends one’s leg and lands one’s foot on the floor, either in response to or initiation to movement. The study of one’s walk is absolutely required before you can even attempt any of the turns in today’s Tango Topic. Why ? You need only look at the following short 3 videos to see why this is an issue that must be resolved before you make the attempt. And if watching the videos below is just too much for you and you want to skip them, the simple answer is: STABILITY. Now go watch the damned videos! 🙂

Two Extension Errors

Thud

More Extension Errors

Disassociation/Applied Disassociation is really the preferred method of motion for a wide variety of reasons. Most notably because it allows for fluid and seemingly natural movement not to mention it also allows for greater precision control, which in certain cases of the type 7 turn, is absolutely required like where if you don’t complete the turn things are definitely going awry!

Just so you know, there are two videos on this topic in the archive. And while it’s lovely to sit here and yap about this stuff, you really do need to see it. So here’s a not so subtle plug to actually go and subscribe so you can see those two videos. They’re in the Ochos section. The first two videos. Please, for the love of God, go look at them. They’ll tell you everything you need to know about this fabulous and lovely technique that really are the bee’s knees!

So here’s a bit more detail about Disassociation and Applied Disassociation, in the case of Disassociation, the feet (are in collection), the knees (are together), and the hips do NOT move forward or back or rotate under the spinal column. If the hips move or rotate in any way, it will ruin the torsion that is being built up by upper body’s rotation or disassociation. The upper body, the arms (see: Arm Collapse – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rERBb-Fsh7M), shoulders, and torso move as one unit rotating around the entire spinal column from the 7th, 8th, and 9th vertebrae, while keeping the hips from “Slipping”. If you allow the hips to move even a degree or two it will rob you of Torsion. What you’re doing is very similar to what you’d with a rubber band by twisting it or winding it up. Eventually, the rubber band can not twist any further and will either break or unwind itself due to the amount of torsion that is being generated. That’s what we call a release of torsion. That same action occurs in Applied Disassociation. The upper body has Disassociated. Now the lower body (hips, knees, and feet) will unwind or release the energy that’s been built up.

Another way to think of Disassociation is as if it were a globe and we split that globe in half at the equator line, and rotate the northern hemisphere of that globe 45, 90, 180, or even 270 degrees ahead of the southern hemisphere. Applied Disassociation is where that southern hemisphere of that globe must rotate to catch up with the northern hemisphere’s rotation. The method by which that Applied Disassociation is generated is ‘torsion’.

Why is this stuff important in a type 7 turn ? Because the motion itself creates the illusion of natural fluidity. We say ‘illusion’ because in this instance that naturalness is actually something that’s been slowed down and stylized. This is a wholly unnatural action you’re asking your body to do. But in learning the action and then practicing it, the results speak for themselves. Sharp, crisp, clean, and controlled body rotation that is segmented and precise to within a degree or two.

The other reason why this stuff is important going forward is that in either role, the dancer is NOT dependent on their partner in any way, shape, or form for rotational movement. They can feel the intention of the rotation coming and then invoke the necessary motion. As a direct result of that motion now being controlled by the dancer and not the dance partner, that frees up the dancing partner to do other things. It also frees up the dancer to add and/or subtract embellishments and adornments to the Applied Disassociation as part of the equation.

Crossing Technique, you would think that this technique would be easy and you shouldn’t have to think about it. Wrong. The reason is that what we have is what’s known as a “Dirty Cross”. This is where the feet have crossed for a variety of reasons, and there’s space between the crossing feet. We have an entire topic video on just this item alone. Why does this apply here ? Because of Eight Types of Turns in Tango, two of them rely heavily on Crossing Technique!

Once these three techniques are embedded in the dancer, one can now progress towards the Eight Types of Turns. However, it should be noted that these are not the only things that need to be addressed before progressing. There are also a host of other things: Posture, Embrace, Body Position/Body Placement, Music, Application of Music, and more than this article can not talk about, otherwise, this thing would be a tome! For that, please read the rest of what Tango Topics is on about….it covers all of that stuff and more!

Difficulty Rating: 1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5) to 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Notation: When the “What is … ” section of an article is blue, that means that the article is freely available to registered, users. When the section is yellow, the article is still free, but the video is for paid users. 😉 

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Have you seen our Full Musical Course ? It covers the Beat, On Beat, Off Beat, The 5 Musical Pauses, Tango Music History, What to Listen for, How to Listen, and includes 14 Days of Tango Music, then 30 Days of Intensive Music, and more! For Leads & Followers! Take Your Musical Understanding To A Whole Other Level!

Try > Our Tango Music Course

bob was mr. boleo. he subscribed. now he walks & his partners love him.

What are the Different Types of Turns ?

Type 1The Walking Turn. (Freemium) In this type of turn, which has been showcased before in different videos, the couple essentially walks in a very tight circle. What makes this turn unique is that not only is it functional, but it’s also insanely musical, and on top of that, exceptionally easy! However, like everything else on this list, it has a “Gotcha”, and it’s a pretty big one too. There’s a reason why this turn is almost never taught, and it has to do with the rule that we’re all taught as dancers, “Never walk backwards against the line of dance”. Never. Ever. Which is to say that this turn, after about the 2nd or 3rd steps, will have the couple going against the line of dance.  Which as you can imagine creates problems for everyone. However, there is a solution to this problem of walking against the line of dance, and that’s to angle the turn a bit, and keep the turn tight (a small walking circle) to that the effect and timing is absolutely minimized. This turn can be done in open or close embrace, or any embrace format really. It’s best case use is in Close Embrace for a wide variety or reasons. There are multiple variations to this turn, and those variations come in the form of Walking Systems or The Six Ways of Walking. You can add loads of variations to this turn simply by changing the walking system. So while you can use a walking turn as often as you like, it does tend to get a little old after about the 2nd time through, not to mention if you don’t manage the line of dance issue you’re going to be holding up the line of dance. So it is for this reason that once you’ve got this thing down as a couple. You may want to look at Walking Systems in order to add about 18 different ways to vary the Walking Turn. 🙂

Types 2 through 6 are (Subscriber Only) 

Type 7The Molinete/Giro Structure. (Freemium) This is the turn that everyone thinks of when we say “Tango Turn”. It is the ubiquitous turn made very popular by Gustavo Naveira and Fabian Salas back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The structure itself is actually 2 structures in one. There’s the person in the center of the circle, and that’s the Giro structure. And then there’s the person on the outside of the circle, and that’s the Molinete structure. From the Molinete position, this person takes 3 steps (Back-Side-Forward, or Forward-Side-Back, or … etc). Typically it’s the Follower that does the Molinete part, and the Lead that does the Giro part. But that’s only half of the equation. The other half is when the dancers switch roles as it were, and the Lead does the Molinete part, and the Follower does the Giro part. There are lots of places where this thing can and does go wrong. One them is in the Back step of the Molinete. The person doing the Molinete part, steps away from their partner on the Back Step. When in fact we want that step to go around the Lead and not way.

This is easier said than done in open embrace, but not in close embrace because the Lead’s hips will continually be in the way, and they need to accommodate the Follower. This is known as the Molinete Problem.

That’s just one of many possible gotchas that happen with this turn. And yet it is the predominant turn and has been for the last 30 years.

Type 8The “Milonguero” Turn. (Freemium) The last item on this list is by far the simplest and easiest as well as what we believe to be the sexiest one, if not the most elegant. From the Follower’s point of view, it’s a back cross, a side step, and a forward cross (sometimes called cross-in-front). The turn is usually done in close embrace for a wide variety of reasons, as this was the predominant turn that was danced for almost 70 years until Gustavo Naveira and Fabian Salas came along and turned (no pun intended) the Tango world on its ear with the Type 7 on this list. There is a gotcha to this turn, and it’s that the Follower more than likely has the Type 7 turn in their heads and getting them to do anything else (this is known as fighting default behavior) is nothing short of like going to dentist, like pulling teeth and just as painful for both parties.

Hey!!!! Wait!!!! Where at the other 5 turns ? What happened to them ? They’re here. But if you want to see the textual descriptions and all of the gotchas, and basically the rest of the article….which is extensive, you’ll have to register (it’s free).

There’s a lot more to this ArticleThere’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 Reality of WHY You Need This: There are many moves, steps, patterns, and figures to Argentine Tango that are really cool. What you may not realize is that most of that stuff is ‘fluff’, they’re nice to have, they’re nice to know, but honestly, you’re not going to use them that often! Mind you this is one side of the argument. This ain’t that! This piece is one of the more venerable selections of Argentine Tango that you will use frequently like Walking, Milonguero Ochos/Milonguero Turns, The Follower’s Molinete/Traveling Ochos, or The Argentine Cross. Tango Topics take this stuff very seriously, and we say that because we use this stuff ALL – THE – TIME! Our case is that you need this stuff because > This is all about foundation, or one of the Seven Foundation Steps that we use all the time to create the dance that we know as Argentine Tango. That’s why! 🙂 That said, you do actually need to watch this stuff. You can learn what you need from this video and then apply it. No lie. No gimmick. As always YMMV and to remember that the video itself is only a stepping stone! You will need some private lessons to go along with it to get the ‘feel’ of things. That is the reality of WHY you need this stuff. So subscribing for a few months to TangoTopics to get what we’re on about wouldn’t kill you. Further, it would probably help to hear another person saying what your current tango teacher has been saying all along. Think of this stuff as one more reminder that you absolutely need to hear.

bsas-prep-title

learning tango is challenging. registering makes it easier. 😉

Have you seen our Ocho Transition Series ? This important four-part series covers the four important transitions between the two common type of Ochos (Traveling & Milonguero), and the 2 common types of turns (Molinete/Giro, and Milonguero). Each one is a challenge on its own. And each one can seriously up your dancing abilities.

Learn > Ocho Transitions

mark found the habanera in gold madness. you can too! 🙂

Have you seen the Milonga Madness 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!

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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!

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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Walking Systems for 2019 – Tango Topics

If you were logged in, you’d see the full free version of this Article which includes the Follower’s, Lead’s, & Dancing Perspectives! Just sayin’… 🙂 Notation: The video above is only a 22-minute sampler of the full 1hr and 14-minute video. Only Gold Subscribers and above can see the full video with the footwork. However, Freemium Users can read the full article for free!

The 6 Ways of Walking

In today’s Tango world when we talk about the foundations of Tango, we talk about “how” to walk. Or actually the mechanics of how we walk, how we extend our legs, what happens to the knees, what happens to the ankles, what happens to the feet, and how we land our feet as a Lead or as a Follow. These things are vitally important as to how to move efficiently, effectively, and with ease. Suffice it said that these things, the how-we-do parts are a matter of opinion in some cases, an informed opinion in others, and still this stuff is not a settled issue at this point almost 100 years on going forward. The reason we mention these things is because this video is not about how to walk, or how to land your foot, or even how to extend your leg. But rather it’s about the different ways, 18 in fact, in which we walk in regards to Tango. And these things are insanely important for two reasons as it relates to Argentine Tango: 1.) Because these 18 ideas are the foundation of everything that you will ever do with regards to tango. They’re the step into and out of every piece of vocabulary. 2.) These 18 ideas are very nature of versatility and really they’re the foundation of improvisation! If you study and practice these ideas to the point of mindful repetition, then you will have the ability that we all seek: Improvisation. That’s not a sales boast to get you to register. That’s a fact. These 18 ideas comprise the pathway that we all seek as Leads or as Follows, to inspire, enhance, and generate a creative interpretation of the Music, or to improvise to any piece of music regardless of genre, or partner, using nothing more than forward steps and back steps! That said, let’s dive into what Tango Topics calls “Walking Systems for 2019“.

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What are Walking Systems ? These are the many different ways that we can walk in Argentine Tango. Not the how-we-walk but the multiple methods to the ways in which we might want to walk, first canonized by Gustavo Naveira & Fabian Salas, and then expanded upon here for your edification. The ideas comprise a composite or overall vantage point that no matter what situation one is in, there is a walking solution for that situation. One example of this is the Walking Turn. Most Leads, when they hit an obstacle in their pathway, will invoke a Rock Step as a way to solve that problem. It’s their go-to move. A Walking Turn on the other hand, is another more creative way to solve the same problem while at the same time creates far more options and opportunities for both roles to engage in musically as well as from a vocabulary perspective and a navigational perspective. Tango Topics Walking Systems provide a way into any situation and any number of ways out of a situation that does not include a piece of specialty vocabulary (Volcada, Sacada, Colgada, Parada, Pasada, Boleo, Gancho, Calesita, Rock Step/Resolution, Single Axis Turn, etc) as a possible resolution, or for that matter any of the 7 of the 8 Types of Ochos, OR any of the 8 Types of Turns, or for that matter an Argentine Cross as a potential resolution! No. Walking Systems are the Resolution! They’re the solution to each and every issue that you can come up with. Not to mention they also solve an age old problem for most Leads, “What do I do next ?”. Walking Systems is one of the simplest yet most powerful answers to that question! Because not only do Walking Systems answer the question they go far beyond it!

Years ago when Gustavo and Fabian came up with a way of describing Walking Systems, as they pertain to Argentine Tango, it was a way of systemizing or standardization of the dance. Meaning that if you could look at something and describe what was happening with a simple phrase, then you could also repeat it and build on it! Those standardizations became what we now know today as the two predominant ways in which we talk about Tango Vocabulary and the dance as a whole: Either a piece of vocabulary is done in Parallel System, or Cross System.

Tango Topics Walking Systems for 2019 encompasses these two primary ideas and adds a bit more to them each, and then goes far beyond them to encompass 4 other ideas which on the surface may appear to not be one or the other, but in reality is both at the same time as you’ll see especially when you get to the section on “Alternates”!!!

Walking Systems expands on these ideas by using Orientation changes, Changes of the Embrace, and lastly a completely new idea (for some of you) that almost never gets talked about but is in fact quite revolutionary in our opinion!

These are Walking Systems for 2019 going forward as Tango Topics sees them.

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Important Notation: In 2015 we originally shot this video, and because our language has changed, and a few more ideas were added, it was absolutely necessary to reshoot this with the updated content. That version is still in the archive and will remain there as ancillary material for all subscribers of the service. Secondly above we stated that there are 18 ideas here. There are. However, the video’s subtitle is the Six Ways of Walking! So what’s that all about ? There are 6 primary ideas and under each idea, there are 2 or 3 variations on the primary, so 18!

 

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Why do you need this stuff ? Think of Walking Systems as what you do AFTER you’ve learned the foundations of how one walks as a Lead or Follow. Walking Systems are what you can do with that walk. Hence the ‘ideas’ part above. Another reason why you need this topic in your understanding of Tango is Versatility. And still, another is, and a longer answer, Improvisation. The fact is that you could do worse by just studying this stuff alone. If you did nothing else except studying walking and walking systems, you’d already be ahead of the game but the reality is that most people study the mechanics of walking for about  5 minutes and then move on to the vocabulary that they see everyone else doing, Ochos, Turns, Crosses, and then the specialty vocabulary which is studying all the crazy stuff they think that Followers want so that their Follower’s don’t become bored (Volcadas, Colgadas, etc). This is commonly known as Lead Mindset. This mindset a false belief system that, erroneously, believes that the Lead must perform all sorts of vocabulary and have a dizzying array of said vocabulary that will keep the Follower entertained in the course of dancing with said Lead. This is, of course, not true but no one wants to hear that fact.

Versatility means that these 18 ideas by themselves are just that, ideas. Implying that on their own they’re not going to do much for you. However, when you place one idea behind another and continually swap them out for the next, something very interesting begins to occur: Facility. You begin to have ease, a comfort with exploring the “What If…” realm. At the same time when you put them together, they can form an entire dance all on their own without doing anything else! We know, we’ve spent entire nights doing nothing but these ideas just to prove a point to see how successful or interesting this stuff can get. Versatility means that as a Lead, or as a Follow, you become so conversant with these ideas that variations of these ideas start to emerge on their own! And there are more here that we haven’t even begun to touch on.

Now to the longer answer, is that while no one has said anything about how to put things together, meaning that a Lead must choreograph an entire song on the fly right from the moment they step on the floor. That ‘choreography’ has to come from somewhere, right ? One place it could come from is steps, patterns, and figures. There is a certain comfort in employing steps, patterns, and figures. It gives one a false sense of competency. The real test comes when you run out of figures to employ, lest you repeat one’s self (which we do not want to do), and then you’re stuck with the problem you had when you started. What do next ?!?!?!? Again, you’ve run out of figures and you don’t want to repeat yourself. And this is where Walking Systems comes into play. They replace the need to invoke figures. Completely. It should be noted that another problem with the steps/patterns/figures solution is that somewhere about 10th or 15th figure, and after you’ve danced with every Potential Partner in the room, they all have your number and what you’re capable of doing! Further still is that in order to keep yourself from being ‘stale’ you absolutely must learn new material constantly and pepper in an ever-dizzying array to one-up yourself. How do you spell work ? We spell it “steps, patterns, and figures”. Which is to say, “Not so much with that idea!”.

Improvisation refers to two things: 1.) It refers to creation on the fly of singular or individual steps not a group or pattern of steps or figures but nothing more than walking forwards or backward. But it’s how you do that, hence the walking systems themselves which creates variety. 2.) It refers to the musical interpretation of one note for one step. Which gives you greater levels of granular control over what you’re doing in a dizzying array of possibilities.

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Have you seen our Ocho Transition Series ? This important four-part series covers the four important transitions between the two common type of Ochos (Traveling & Milonguero), and the 2 common types of turns (Molinete/Giro, and Milonguero). Each one is a challenge on its own. And each one can seriously up your dancing abilities.

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The Walking Systems

Before we get into the systems themselves, it’s important to recognize that we walk on paths or ‘tracks’. Meaning that our feet (ankles, and 1st metatarsals) pass very close to each other (slide next to). This is known as “passing through collection”. These tracks do not cross over each other except in very specific circumstances. Think of train tracks, that are very close to each other. Typically there are 2 tracks of walking paths, sometimes there are 3, and sometimes there are 4. Sometimes, as you’ll see, their “Orientation” changes, meaning that in order for some of this stuff to work, either the Lead or the Follower must change their orientation towards or away from their partner in the line of dance. And sometimes that orientation change may invoke an embrace change. That said, on to the Walking Systems:

1.) Parallel System. This walking tool comes in 3 flavors, 1 of which we use all the time. It is the staple of the dance. This system is walking with a partner using opposite feet.

Example: If Follower is led to step backward with their Right leg/foot, the Lead steps into that space that has been vacated with their Left leg/foot, and then continue on with the Lead stepping with their Right leg/foot into the space that Follower just vacated with their Left leg/foot.

This walking system can be done on 2 or 4 tracks without an orientation change and is done without crossing over the body’s natural meridian. As well as on 2, 3, or 4 tracks with an orientation change. However, in the case of 3 or 4 track, these variations can only be achieved by changing the position or orientation of the Follower by use of an “Americana” Embrace either to place the Follower to the side of the Lead or directly in front of the Lead!

The 3 flavors of Parallel Walking are:

Type 1a – 2 Track Parallel walking (with and without an orientation change).
Type 1b – 3 Track Parallel with an orientation change. And
Type 1c – 4 Track walking with and without an orientation change.

2.) Cross System. This complex walking tool comes in 3 flavors, as well as 3 different types of entry variations, and 2 different exit variations. This system is walking with a partner uses the same feet.

Example: If the Lead steps with their Left leg/foot, the Follower is led to step with their corresponding Left leg/foot, and then continues on with the Lead stepping with their Right leg/foot, and the Follower stepping with their Right leg/foot at the same time.

This walking system can be done on 3 or 4 tracks walking without an orientation change (not shown in the video above), and 2, 3, or 4 tracks with an orientation change. 2, 3, or 4 track these variations must use an “Americana” embrace format either to place the Follower to the side of the Lead, or directly in front of the Lead!

The Two Flavors of Cross System Walking are:

Type 2a – 3 Track Walking without an orientation change using 1 of the 3 entry methods below.
Type 2b – 4 Track Walking with an orientation change.

3 Types of Entry Points to Cross System:

a.) Step/Half-Step. (see video) This method can only be used while in motion walking down the line of dance.
b.) Weight-Change/Step. (see video) This method can only be used from a standing position and is ideally used or invoked from one of the 5 Musical Pause types.
c.) Cross Behind Method. (see video) This method is used as the ‘flashy’ version and can be used from a  standing position or while in motion.

2 Different Exits from Cross System:

a.) Step/Half-Step. (see video) In this method, the half-step is on the same side that you entered on with step/half-step.
b.) Inverse Half-Step Method. (see video) In this method, the half-step is on the opposite side of the foot that you entered on with step/half-step.

3.) ‘Lazy’ Ochos. This walking tool comes in 2 flavors, the common Follower’s version, and the less common Lead version. This walking tool is where the Follower (or Lead, self-lead’s themselves) is led to stepping across their natural body meridian with each step.

Example: If the Lead steps with their Right, the Follower is led to step with their Right diagonally across their body meridian at a 45-degree pathway angle, while keeping the foot in alignment with the floorboards and not allowing the hips to rotate in any way, shape, or form.

All 3 types of entry points and both exit types can be used with ‘Lazy’ Ochos. It should be noted that Lazy (sometimes referred as to Milonguero  Ochos) are both a Walking System and an Ocho in their own right.

Type 3a – “Lazy” Follower Ochos.
Type 3b – “Lazy” Lead Ochos.

Surely that’s not all the walking systems, right ? You’re right. It’s not. This is just a taste. 😉 An informed tease. Nothing has been left out of this first 22 minutes of video, including footwork. However, the thing we did leave out was the other ELEVEN walking systems! If you want to read about the other walking ideas, and see examples of them, especially the Type 6 Walking System, which in our opinion is the Bee’s Knees, then you’ll need to register as a Freemium User which costs nothing and you get to read about the other eleven Walking Systems for 2019! If you want to go one step further, no pun intended, and actually Subscribe to Tango Topics, meaning to spend a few dollars/euros/rubles/pesos…then you can see the entire 1hr and 22-minute video on Walking Systems as Tango Topics sees it! Plus you get access to over 400 videos on a wide range of topics and techniques. What have you got to lose ?

Oh and one more thing, a further incentive for you register, is the Follower’s Perspective on Walking Systems, and the Lead’s Perspective on a wide range of “Gotcha’s” and things you need to be aware of with Walking Systems! If you become a Freemium User today at no cost to you, you get access to this valuable resource immediately. 🙂

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Have you seen our post on the Seven Basic Moves of Tango ? Quite possibly one of the more educational pieces of our yappage that really breaks down what the vocabulary is all about. The reason we stay that understanding what the dance is comprised of will give you a greater ability to change it to what you want it to be.
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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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8 Types of Ochos – Tango Topics

If you were logged in, you’d see the full free version of this Article which includes the Follower’s, Lead’s, & Dancing Perspectives! Just sayin’… 🙂

Notation: The video above is only a 22-minute sampler of the full 38-minute video. Only paying subscribers can see the full 38-minute video with the footwork. However, the real toy is in the Tango Topics archive of videos on Ochos. This video is only a taster of what’s actually there.

 

The Eight Ochos of Argentine Tango

Argentine Tango consists of many ways to interpret it’s musical component through movement. One of those movements is called an “Ocho” which when you translate it from the original Spanish into English means “Eight”. The “Eight”, in this case, refers not a number but to a shape that is created by the Dancer’s feet (typically by the Follower, but as you will soon see it can be done by the Lead as well) on the floor when they’re led to do so.

The Ocho is one of the 7 Basic Moves of Tango Vocabulary (see link) that is used in nearly every dance by every dancer at every Milonga in the world. It is almost as ubiquitous as the Argentine Cross in this respect. So much so that one may lead or follow an Ocho and not even be aware that they’re doing it. The movement is taught as one of the very first things we learn aside from walking. While one’s walk is insanely important, the application of the Ocho is almost, if not as, equally important for both roles. From a Leading perspective, it’s one of the ways that we can create a navigational structure & generate navigational options. We can use the Ocho to interpret the music and to generate musical structure from it. And it also has the obvious ability that allows to use it as filler content until we’re ready to do something else that may lead up to something else. From a Following perspective, it is one of the very first things we are taught to master and must become facile with because our very tango lives depend on it for a whole host of reasons which will become obvious later on down the line.

That said, let’s take a deep dive into the 8 Types of Ochos for Argentine Tango.

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Have you seen the Walking Systems video ? 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.

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What is an Ocho ? In it’s simplest form and right up to its most complex form The Argentine Ocho is a learned, and generated motion. Meaning ? That the Ocho is not a natural construct. It is something must be learned and then mastered by both roles, not just by one.

The Ocho is powered by 1 of 3 types of “Engines of Motion”:

1.) Crossing Meridian Technique.
2.) Disassociation/Applied Disassociation Technique. Or
3.) A Body ‘Pivot’ Technique.

Each one of these techniques can generate no bodily rotation motion, some bodily rotation motion, or an enormous amount of bodily rotation motion at the point of Social Collection. Where, depending on the type of desired Ocho, that no body rotation or some body rotation will be done at very specific angles (0, 45, 90, or 180 or more degrees) where the dancers’ feet will rotate and body either with or against their dancing partner’s motion. In all but one type of Ocho the dancer (Lead or Follower) will step forwards or backward thereby setting up the next Ocho movement. However, and there’s always a however to these things, there is one type of Ocho where the dancer does not step forward or back but instead changes their weight from one foot to the other and then employs one of the 3 techniques above and does this repeatedly in time to the music.

It should be noted that the Argentine Ocho in all 8 varieties listed below all invoke Cross-System walking using either Step Half-Step or a Weight-Change Step, or a Cross Behind (not shown in the video) to get into and out of them. If you’re not familiar with this terminology please see their respective links to dive deeper into getting into Cross-System.

Put simpler: The Ocho is where the dancer (lead or follower) steps into Social Collection with their feet, and then assuming one of the 3 techniques above is used to generate bodily rotation that seemingly starts at the feet, and goes all the way up the body. Seemingly. 😉  The reason the Ocho is called an Ocho as was mentioned before, that the dancer will create a pattern on the floor with their feet, that resembles the number 8. However, over the last few decades, the floor pattern isn’t really adhered to, but instead it’s more a straight, curved line or an arc, with a point on either end of the arc. That point on either end, is where a body rotation can occur, or a point of transition occurs using one of the 3 techniques described above.

This is an Argentine Ocho

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What are the Different Types of Ochos ?

Type 1The “Milonguero” Style or “Lazy”  (starts at: 00:03:14) Ocho. In this Ocho, the Follower (usually), is led to stepping in a diagonal 45-degree angle across their natural body meridian thereby engaging in the 1st Engine of Motion. The Follower does not rotate their hips in any way, shape, or form, nor do they need to do so either. Their legs will cross over their natural body meridian in a walking step to do perform the “Lazy” Ocho. The Lead can also self-lead themselves to do this same motion going backward down the line of dance. This Ocho is ideal for small space dancing and it is ideal for the Encuentro environment. The reason it is called a Milonguero or Lazy Ocho is because in this instance the Follower is emulating minimal body movement of the Milonguero style of dance that emulates a Walk. It’s just that this walk crosses over the body’s natural meridian. Of the 8 types of Ochos, it is by far the easiest to do and the most effortless to dance.

Type 2The “Linear” Ocho. (starts at: 00:10:07) In this Ocho, the dancer is led (the Follower) or self-led (the Lead) to using the 2nd Engine of Motion: Disassociation and then Applied Disassociation to self-rotate, due to torsion build up and release. As a result of this type of engine, the dancer rotates to a 90-degree angle perpendicular to their partner, which then can result in either a forward or backward walking linear step on two separate but equal walking tracks. This position is also where the Ocho gets its name from because the Dancer is literally transitioning in front of their dancing partner over a line or a linear space directly perpendicular to their partner. It should be noted that the dancer can employ the 3rd Engine of Motion: A Pivot but it is not desirable to do so. The Linear Ocho can be done from Open or Close Embrace, however it’s typically done from Open Embrace or a Fluid Embrace, as the Close Embrace version of the Linear Ocho can be stressful or uncomfortable due to the fact of some people may want to use arm tension, hand/forearm pressure, compression, and/or resistance in the embrace to generate it. None of that is required. The build-up of Bodily Rotation Torsion via Disassociation, and then the release of that Torsion as Applied Disassociation is what generates the bodily rotation. Primarily the Linear Ocho is used as a teaching tool for both roles to instruct, and then practice, dancer Disassociation and Applied Disassociation. Once learned, Linear Ochos can be employed as a ‘Filler’, or as a navigational tool, or it can be used as an intro that leads into either a series of Sacadas or the opening step to a whole host of vocabulary. “Filler” in the sense that it can be used as some vocabulary to lead into something else or when you’re stuck from a leading perspective. It should be noted that while it’s only hinted at in the video above, the Disassociation and Applied Disassociation element is insanely important. 😉 It is what ‘powers’ all the ochos in this series with the exception of Type 1 and Type 7.

Type 3The “Traveling” Ocho. (starts at: 00:12:55) This Ocho is called a “Traveling” Ocho because it Travels down the line of dance. It is the Ocho that everyone thinks of when they hear the word “Ocho”. Typically this Ocho is done by the Follower, however, a Lead can self-lead themselves to engage in a Traveling Ocho as well (going backward down the line of dance). These can be done in Open Embrace, or Close Embrace, however, predominantly see them done in Close Embrace. Ideally, the Traveling Ocho employs the 2nd Engine of Motion thereby resulting in a 45-degree body rotation to create the desired ‘Traveling’ Ocho. Traveling Ochos can be done with Forward steps or Back Steps, and while the Forward Traveling Ocho requires the Lead to walk backward down the line of dance to do engage in it, the Forward Traveling Ocho is a lot of fun and add a lot of variety to the dance. Not to mention it also opens up lots of other options and opportunities to do other things that you wouldn’t ordinarily see. Traveling Ochos have a few built-flaws to them from a Leading Perspective that are discussed below in the Leading Perspective section. The Traveling Ocho is typically the ‘goto’ Ocho in all environments for a wide variety of reasons, mostly because the other 7 Ochos on this list aren’t taught all that often! Sadly. It should be noted that the dancer could employ the 3rd Engine of Motion: A Pivot but it is not desirable to do so.

Type 4The “Circular” Ocho. (starts at: 00:17:35) The name for this Ocho is a bit of a misnomer because we’re not actually generating a circle but more of an arc around the dancing partner. So rightfully it should be titled, the “Arced Ocho”, but that’s awkward, so we’re sticking with Circular. 😉 The Circular Ocho can be done from Open and Close Embrace, and typically employs the 2nd Engine of Motion, where the dancing partner will rotate 180 degrees on either end point of the walking Arc. Typically this Ocho is done from a standing position. And more often than not it is used primarily as the opening step to the Follower’s Molinete to the Lead’s Giro. The Ocho itself is not really used as a dancing element over and over again, but rather as a singular element to do something else like engaging the Follower’s Molinete, or any one of 12 types of Ganchos, or a series of Paradas, or changes of direction. It is generally not used as a navigational element either primarily because of its awkward embrace nature (see Linear Ochos). Circular Ochos also have a built-in flaw that is discussed below in the Leading perspective section. Notation: The dancer could use the 3rd Engine of Motion but it is not desirable to do so!

So where are the other 4 Ochos and what are they ? Register, it’s free, and find out. Just scroll down below.

There’s a lot more to this ArticleThere’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 Reality of WHY You Need This: There are many moves, steps, patterns, and figures to Argentine Tango that are really cool. What you may not realize is that most of that stuff is ‘fluff’, they’re nice to have, they’re nice to know, but honestly, you’re not going to use them that often! Mind you this is one side of the argument. This ain’t that! This piece is one of the more venerable selections of Argentine Tango that you will use frequently like Walking, Milonguero Ochos/Milonguero Turns, The Follower’s Molinete/Traveling Ochos, or The Argentine Cross. Tango Topics take this stuff very seriously, and we say that because we use this stuff ALL – THE – TIME! Our case is that you need this stuff because > This is all about foundation, or one of the Seven Foundation Steps that we use all the time to create the dance that we know as Argentine Tango. That’s why! 🙂 That said, you do actually need to watch this stuff. You can learn what you need from this video and then apply it. No lie. No gimmick. As always YMMV and to remember that the video itself is only a stepping stone! You will need some private lessons to go along with it to get the ‘feel’ of things. That is the reality of WHY you need this stuff. So subscribing for a few months to TangoTopics to get what we’re on about wouldn’t kill you. Further, it would probably help to hear another person saying what your current tango teacher has been saying all along. Think of this stuff as one more reminder that you absolutely need to hear.

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Have you seen our Ocho Transition Series ? This important four-part series covers the four important transitions between the two common type of Ochos (Traveling & Milonguero), and the 2 common types of turns (Molinete/Giro, and Milonguero). Each one is a challenge on its own. And each one can seriously up your dancing abilities.

Learn > Ocho Transitions

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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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Social Volcadas

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The Social Volcada

You’ve seen them at Milongas, and for most Leads that see them, most think they’re really cool and then want to do them because of their coolness factor. Most Followers when they see them for the first time are rightfully afraid of them for obvious reasons. The Follower is being led to a controlled fall. Controlled is a loose term here because 9 times out of 10, that control never happens, mostly because the Lead has not mastered several things, most notably how to support their Follower without the use of their arms! Typically you’ll see variations of an Argentine Volcada that range in size from large and egregious, taking up ginormous amounts of space, with the more common open side volcadas being the most common variety, all the way down to the more reasonable ‘Social’ Volcada which takes up no space in the line of dance. And then everything in between those two extremes. Today’s Tango Topic deals with 2 specific varieties of these ideas. The common Egregious variety, and the more desirable Social Volcada. That said, let’s dive into The Argentine Volcada.

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Have you seen the Walking Systems video ? 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 Volcada ? First, the word ‘Volcada’ comes from the root Spanish verb ‘volcar’ which when translated into English means ‘To Fall’ or ‘To Tip Over’ or ‘To Overturn’. The ‘ada’ ending means, in English, ‘en’ or ‘ed’, or in this case FallEN, FellED, TippED Over, OverturnED. While the translation gives you a tiny idea of what a Volcada is from a Tango perspective, very small, it doesn’t even come close to what it actually is.

A Volcada is nothing more than a glorified Argentine Cross with a 20 to 30 degree forward tilt or bodily slant (for both roles) along the longitudinal axial line for both roles that ideally does not break at the waist. A Volcada itself can be supported or unsupported (which is not desirable) and is usually performed from Cross System or from a standing Mordida. When done properly….and ‘proper’ is a very loose word here because there are a whole series of Volcadas that can be done (safely) that loosely qualify as a ‘Volcada’. These are what are considered shared-axis pieces of tango vocabulary that result in a series of crossed feet for the Follower to either Follower left or Follower right. This is a Volcada.

What is a Social Volcada ? A ‘Social Volcada’ is a little different. This is a version of the Argentine Volcada that is, in our opinion, far sexier and way more svelte than the egregious versions of the Volcada than what you’re used to seeing. The Social Volcada is smaller, tighter, much more ‘cloistered’. It’s referred to as a ‘Social’ Volcada because it takes up about as much space than a typical walking step, maybe less. It fits within the line, and the lane of dance, and does not in any way, shape, or form, extend beyond the couple’s walking frame. This is what makes it ‘Social’. 😉 Why do we bring up this as the topic ? Because in this video, we’re going to go one step beyond the typical Argentine Volcada and focus on the Social variety! 😉 Thereby making the Volcada far more useful in the line of dance. You’re welcome.

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Have you seen the Golden Sacada video ? The Golden Sacada is a series of 6 Sacadas chained together to create a wonderful dancing construct that exemplifies one of our operating principles: Options & Opportunities.

See > The Golden Sacada

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There’s a lot more to this ArticleThere’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.

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About The Video. This video comes in at 14m:27s in length in 11 Sections.

Introduction – 00:00:34
Carpa Technique – 00:02:59

Follower Cross Technique Reminder – 00:00:19
Follower Mordida Reminder – 00:00:24
Follower’s Kickstand – 00:01:16
Lead Right Arm/Forearm – 00:01:06
Lead Torso Rotation – 00:01:24
The Lead’s Free Leg – 00:00:31
Follower Posture & Free Leg – 00:03:37
Volcada Details – 00:00:34
Lead Footwork & Steps – 00:00:53
Volcada Demo – 00:00:53

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Have you seen the Milonga Madness 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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The Loco Sacada

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The Loco Sacada

The Loco Sacada is a misnomer. There’s no actual Sacada that’s named that. We made up the title. 😉  The actual title of this video is The Follower’s Over-Rotated Back Sacada. Kinda long and doesn’t exactly flow off the tongue. Hence the new moniker! You’re welcome.

We have to back up a bit and tell you that in the former incarnation of Tango Topics when it was the Tango Truisms Project, we created a series of videos that were for sale. This Topic was one of those videos. At the time, it didn’t garner that much attention. But as Tango Topics has grown and there’s one thing we keep getting asked about are more Sacadas, Volcadas, and Colgadas. This video has been sitting in the archive, untouched for almost 4 years. So here we have yet another Sacada. However, the title, is rather apt. It is a ‘Loco’, or as the word in Spanish when translated to its English cognate, ‘Crazy’. It’s crazy because of it’s over-rotation and the way in which the over-rotation occurs.

Moving on.

The Loco Sacada is exactly what it sounds like, but before we get into that. We have to issue a warning that most of you do not want to read, or care about because this is quite honestly cool vocabulary for both roles. So first the warning: This is not a simple move (duh). Do not attempt this unless you are under the active guidance of a teacher that knows what they’re doing. You can easily hurt yourself and/or your dancing partners in any number of ways.

There are certain things you have to have mastered before you should even attempt this stuff. 1.) Your walk must be stable from a Leading perspective as well as from a Following perspective. Meaning that you can not and should not use your fingers, palms, wrists, forearms, and/or biceps for stabilization from or against your partner’s reciprocal body parts. If you have not mastered your Intention-Based Dancing Skills yet and not using the embrace to push, pull, or engage ‘resistance’, then stop right here and go and master that stuff first and foremost. 2.) You must be able to Disassociate and then Apply that Disassociation (known as Applied Disassociation) without thinking about it. Because if you have to think about it, it’s too damned late! 3.) You must have precise and millimeter-level precision control over your legs, and feet. As in where you’re moving them, and how you’re moving them, and where they’re going to, as well as how they’re landing and/or resting.

If all of that sounds anal and not fun. There’s a reason for it. And that’s so that you don’t end up hurting yourself attempting to do something you’ve seen online without the necessary preparations so that you don’t injure yourself or your partners that this stuff can cause. Which is to say that you must prepare your body appropriately first and foremost. That said, without further yapping, we present for your perusal, The ‘Loco’ Sacada.

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Have you seen the Golden Sacada video ? The Golden Sacada is a series of 6 Sacadas chained together to create a wonderful dancing construct that exemplifies one of our operating principles: Options & Opportunities.

See > The Golden Sacada

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What is a ‘Loco’ Sacada ? This figure, and it is a figure, can be used in Open embrace, or Close Embrace (but not without some modifications) and be initiated in the line of dance if and only if there is ample space to do it. It is an over-rotation of the Follower’s Ocho, employing an Over-Rotated Back Ocho for the Follower into the Lead’s Forward Step. Rightfully most people would never think of employing this figure within the Line or Lane of Dance. And there’s a reason for that. It can take up an inordinate amount of space. Hence the reason why we stated previously that ‘there is ample space to do it’. So what’s ample space ? About 6 meters and a little ‘wiggle’ room on either side just in case things go south, and things ALWAYS go south. So plan on 7 meters to be on the safe side.

Realistically though, this figure isn’t about using it on a social dance floor. It’s more for study purposes to engage the applied disassociation for BOTH roles, not just the obvious one, the Follower’s role.

It should be noted that while this is a study-only figure and that it can be invoked on a social dance floor assuming space isn’t at a premium and it can be employed from Close Embrace, that at some point the embrace does have to become ‘Fluid’. Meaning that the embrace will change based on the choice of vocabulary that is employed so that the vocabulary can be accommodated.

Difficulty Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Why should you use a ‘Loco’ Sacada ? You shouldn’t. Not unless you have space, and a dancing partner that has mastered their foundational elements. And even then this is accent or spice vocabulary that is best left for your tango lab work and not necessarily for a social dance floor. Think of it as that piece of vocabulary that you pull out once in a blue moon, near the end of the milonga with a partner that you’ve danced a million times with, and you invoke this ONCE and you let it go and then you move onto other things that are far more important! In other words, this is a study piece that you want to work on and with, to extend your own flexibility, and adaptability to different movements.

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Have you seen some of our Popular Posts ? On the topics of Asking A Woman To Dance ? Asking a Man To Dance ? The Follower’s Rescue Plan ? La MarcaTango RigidityI Move MeResistanceConnection ? The Active Follower ? The Seven Basic Moves of Tango ? These topics and more are some of our more popular items, go look. You won’t be disappointed! 

See > Popular Posts

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There’s a lot more to this ArticleThere’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 ? 🙂

FREEMIUM REGISTRATIONpractical tango advice, open articles, free videos

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 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.

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 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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Five Social Figures

If you were logged in, you’d see the full free version of this Tango Topic! Just sayin’… 🙂

Five Social Figures

You’ve been dancing a while, and as you’ve become more and more proficient with the dance, something begins to dawn on you. And this ‘something’ happens for both roles but it’s not immediate. It only happens after you’ve gotten over the learning hump that happens for us all. And then started the refinement hump. It’s near the end of that second phase of the learning curve that this realization occurs. As a side note, not everyone comes to this realization. Some people in fact, never come to it. They’re still stuck in the perpetual cycle of “More IS Better”. Meaning more vocabulary is better. It’s not by the way, but no matter how often you share this stuff with them, no matter how many times you tell them “Less is more”, they can not and will not see that. Uuuuuugh. Assuming that they start the third phase of their development, understanding the music…not learning it, but understanding it, it is generally about this point in time where the realization occurs.

In case you’re not clear on the Four Phases of Tango Development:

Phase 1 is Learning the Vocabulary and the Codigos of the Dance for the Milonga Environment.

Phase 2 is the Refinements of Phase 1, meaning that you’re in a state of constant refinement of the abilities and techniques of the Vocabulary employed.

Phase 3 is the Musical Understanding of the Dance. This is not learning the music of the dance. That happens in Phases 1 & 2 to a limited degree. And in that case it’s more becoming familiar with the music because it’s played so often, but not really paying a whole lot of attention to it. Phase 3 is where we start to get serious about the orchestras, the structure of the music, the origins of the music, and start to hear the nuances of the music. That last part will go on a long, long, long time even after we’ve passed into the next and last Phase of our development.

Phase 4 is the Social Dancer is Born.

To be honest, some people…ok, MOST people skip Phase 3 entirely and graduate to being a Social Dancer without ever having done their musical homework. At the same time Phase 2 (Refinement) and Phase 3 (Musical Understanding) is not necessarily predicated on each other. They can, and sometimes do, happen concurrently with each other, and very rarely does Phase 3 happen in Phase 1. Just as a side note, with our Intensive Study program this actually does happen and quite frequently. They’re not mutually inclusive.

Today’s Tango Topic is that realization that occurs at near about the end of Phase 2 and/or somewhere in Phase 3. It’s one that we have referenced sporadically in our writings that we’ve sometimes called “Four Common Figures” or “Four Social Dancing Tools” or something very similar. When we stopped and thought about it, it was no longer 4 but in fact 5. It’s really 6, but the 6th is implied and not really a figure, but it’s always there and has a distinct bearing on the other 5!

So what on earth is this mysterious ‘thing’ that we’ve referenced so sporadically and we haven’t mentioned until this sentence ? Today’s Tango Topic is the title of the video: Five Social Figures.

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Have you seen the Walking Systems video ? 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

mark found the habanera in gold madness. you can too! 🙂

What are the Five Social Figures ? In its really basic form, it’s the 5 things that we do all night long with every dance partner. We do these things so often and with such ubiquity that we don’t even consider that we’re doing them or the implications they have for what we’re doing with them, musically or from a floorcraft perspective. The five are detailed below but they are in order of precedence: 1.) Walking. 2.) Ochos. 3.) Turns. 4.) Crosses. & 5.) The Cortado. You can stop reading here, but we can tell you that the vocabulary we just mentioned is kinda barebones and just scratches the surface. And there’s a sort of a gotcha that’s waiting for you near the end of all of this. So you can skip to the end now and read the gotcha, or read on through.

Why Do You Need This Stuff ? Several reasons. First and foremost, your foundation! Honestly, this should come as a no surprise to you, but if you’re studying with anyone, you’ll notice that they continually take you ‘back’ to 4 simple things: Forward Steps, Side Steps, Back Steps, and your embrace. Because these four things are the foundation of the dance. Embedded in those four things are a host of other things that you are more than likely lacking or you have forgotten about. And it’s those 4 things that are continually screwing up your ability to dance the way you want to dance. So it’s not rocket science what we’re on about here. It’s simple foundational stuff. Which, the deeper you go, you realize isn’t so simple and is in fact far more complex than you thought or you understood. The simpler things appear, the more difficult they are in certain situations, this is one of them. Secondly, this is about understanding your vocabulary and not just from a Leading perspective, but also how it’s received by the Follower, thereby the Follower’s perspective. How it’s understood and why things happen or progress as they do. The issue here is assumptions and lots of them. We want to eradicate those assumptions and make absolutely clear why things happen. And the only way to do that is to remove the assumptions completely. Still, another reason why this stuff is important has everything to do with something that we vehemently and passionately believe in: Facility. Facility, in this case, means the ability to do X, Y, or Z. The Five Social Figures affects your underlying Facility to execute whatever you want to dance, in whatever way or to whatever style or genre of music from a Leading OR Following perspective. It effects Every. Single. Part of the dance! Everything. Facility also means the ability to execute what you desire and WHEN you desire it. Tango vocabulary (Ochos, Crosses, Sacadas, Volcadas, etc) is great, but if you can’t execute that stuff in time to the music, it kinda falls flat. So…ummm yeah, FACILITY! Want one more ? Variations! Let’s roll back the article a bit. Remember we reminded you that you dance the same things over and over and over again ? Dancing Symmetrically opens up loads of options and opportunities for you that more than likely didn’t see. For example: Playing with a Mirror Cross opens up the possibility of leading the Follower to a forward step to the Open Side of the Embrace, which only happens … ummm … NEVER! Gosh, have you thought of what do after that ? Well, here’s an opportunity to do precisely that. Discover the possibilities! And that’s all based on taking that one extra step and resolving differently. There are LOADS more of these things. All of your preconceived notions of what you think the dance is about all changes. And change, whether you believe it or not, is a very good thing. So yeah, you need this stuff.

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Have you seen some of our Popular Posts ? On the topics of Asking A Woman To Dance ? Asking a Man To Dance ? The Follower’s Rescue Plan ? La MarcaTango RigidityI Move MeResistanceConnection ? The Active Follower ? The Seven Basic Moves of Tango ? These topics and more are some of our more popular items, go look. You won’t be disappointed! 

See > Popular Posts

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There’s a lot more to this ArticleThere’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 Reality of WHY You Need This: There are many moves, steps, patterns, and figures to Argentine Tango that are really cool. What you may not realize is that most of that stuff is ‘fluff’, they’re nice to have, they’re nice to know, but honestly, you’re not going to use them that often! Mind you this is one side of the argument. This ain’t that! This piece is one of the more venerable selections of Argentine Tango that you will use frequently like Walking, Milonguero Ochos/Milonguero Turns, The Follower’s Molinete/Traveling Ochos, or The Argentine Cross. Tango Topics take this stuff very seriously, and we say that because we use this stuff ALL – THE – TIME! Our case is that you need this stuff because > This is all about foundation, or one of the Seven Foundation Steps that we use all the time to create the dance that we know as Argentine Tango. That’s why! 🙂 That said, you do actually need to watch this stuff. You can learn what you need from this video and then apply it. No lie. No gimmick. As always YMMV and to remember that the video itself is only a stepping stone! You will need some private lessons to go along with it to get the ‘feel’ of things. That is the reality of WHY you need this stuff. So subscribing for a few months to TangoTopics to get what we’re on about wouldn’t kill you. Further, it would probably help to hear another person saying what your current tango teacher has been saying all along. Think of this stuff as one more reminder that you absolutely need to hear.

bsas-prep-title

this video is entirely free, all you have to do is register below to see it.

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 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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The Linear Ocho Cortado

Dear Almost User, the full video is available if you register. The full video with the footwork closeups is only available to subscribers. A lot of work goes into these videos, please help support the site by subscribing. It’s a win-win for everyone. You get tango knowledge you can use, and we get to keep eating!

The Linear Ocho Cortado

The word ‘Cortado’ translates into English as ‘cut’ or cutted (which isn’t a word in English) or an Ocho that is Cut. In today’s version of the modern Ocho Cortado, it rarely resembles its 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 in front of them.

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 even more confusion.

Today’s Tango Topic looks at this venerable Tango Turn and Vocabulary and looks at the Linear version of it, known as “The Linear Ocho Cortado”. So named because it’s done along a line. It should be noted that Tango Topics contains several variations of this venerable piece of vocabulary and that you really should check them all out. There’s lots and lots and lots of variation with this stuff. Further, still it should also be noted that this Linear Ocho Cortado is the ‘vanilla’ version of the Cortado. It’s the most common form and in Today’s Tango Topic we will not be showing any of the variations of the Cortado. For that, you really should go visit the link below and look at the other options. That said, let’s dive right into Today’s Tango Topic: The Linear Ocho Cortado.

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Have you seen our post on the Seven Basic Moves of Tango ? Quite possibly one of the more educational pieces of our yappage that really breaks down what the vocabulary is all about. The reason we stay that understanding what the dance is comprised of will give you a greater ability to change it to what you want it to be.
Learn About > The Seven Basic Moves of Tango

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What is a ‘Linear Ocho Cortado’ ? The are multiple versions or ideas of the Cortado. However, this particular piece of vocabulary is also what we consider to be one of the Seven Foundational Moves of Tango that every dancer must learn in order to be a socially competent dancer. Note that we said, not ‘Lead’, not ‘Follower’, but ‘Dancer’. That’s because both roles have a responsibility to this piece of vocabulary which we detail below. The Linear Ocho Cortado or ‘LOC’ as we’ll refer to it from here on out, is not something that is learned in a very specific progression of ideas. First and foremost you must learn how to walk, then Disassociation and Applied Disassociation which translates to Traveling Ochos, then Turns (Usually the Follower’s Molinete to the Lead’s Giro, and the Milonguero Turn as well), then the Argentine Cross, and finally the LOC. The LOC gets its name from the fact that it’s done in a line or along a linear path within the Line and Lane of Dance and does not break that convention. The LOC has multiple uses, from a Parallel System walk (shown in the full video above) to an endpoint or completion element. Meaning that you’ll use it as a resolution from a Molinete/Giro structure (mostly) as an example. The vocabulary itself is done on the beat, while the variations on a theme can be done in half-time, as well as double time. The LOC can be interpreted many, many, many different ways from a musical perspective. That’s one reason why it’s so venerable and versatile.

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Have you seen the Walking Systems video ? 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

mark found the habanera in gold madness. you can too! 🙂

There’s a lot more to this ArticleThere’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 ? 🙂

FREEMIUM REGISTRATIONpractical tango advice, open articles, free videos

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

The Reality of WHY You Need This: There are many moves, steps, patterns, and figures to Argentine Tango that are really cool. What you may not realize is that most of that stuff is ‘fluff’, they’re nice to have, they’re nice to know, but honestly, you’re not going to use them that often! Mind you this is one side of the argument. This ain’t that! This piece is one of the more venerable selections of Argentine Tango that you will use frequently like Walking, Milonguero Ochos/Milonguero Turns, The Follower’s Molinete/Traveling Ochos, or The Argentine Cross. Tango Topics take this stuff very seriously, and we say that because we use this stuff ALL – THE – TIME! Our case is that you need this stuff because > This is all about foundation, or one of the Seven Foundation Steps that we use all the time to create the dance that we know as Argentine Tango. That’s why! 🙂 That said, you do actually need to watch this stuff. You can learn what you need from this video and then apply it. No lie. No gimmick. As always YMMV and to remember that the video itself is only a stepping stone! You will need some private lessons to go along with it to get the ‘feel’ of things. That is the reality of WHY you need this stuff. So subscribing for a few months to TangoTopics to get what we’re on about wouldn’t kill you. Further, it would probably help to hear another person saying what your current tango teacher has been saying all along. Think of this stuff as one more reminder that you absolutely need to hear.

bsas-prep-title

this video is free if you register. nothing to purchase. you’re welcome.

About The Video. Total runtime for this video is 26:19. Lead and Follower Steps and Technique are separated. The item in bold is unedited and is at the top of this article as a sample.

Introduction – 01:46
Lead Steps – 04:08
Follower Steps – 03:02
The Couple’s Posture – 01:46
Lead/Follower Steps Together – 02:37
The Importance of the ‘Replacement Step’ – 02:23
The Follower’s Side Step Error – 03:04
The Close Embrace Version – 01:05
The Walking Example – 02:20
The Embrace Reminder/Closure – 03:16

Related Videos:

6 Ways of Walking – The Walking Bundle – Download
Circular Ocho Cortado – Article/Subscription Only
Ocho Cortado WrapsArticle/Download
Ocho Cortado Options – Article/Download
Rock Step/Ocho Cortado – Article/Download

this video is free if you register. nothing to purchase. you’re welcome.

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 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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Dancing Symmetrically

Dancing Symmetrically

Today’s Tango Topic is one that has been sitting in the Topics periphery for quite some time. It’s always been one of those topics that once we got through the monster cabal of Tango Topics vocabulary videos, that there would be space and time to dive into what is seemingly a very useless and innocuous topic. A topic that seemingly has nothing to do with the way that you current engage the dance from a vocabulary stand point, or a musical stand point, or from a conceptualization standpoint, or even from a fun position…yes we actually mentioned the word ‘fun‘. We never talk about the level of enjoyment in these things or so it would seem. This is one of those times when the fun-ness factor is rife with what we’re going to suggest today! The actual fact is that today’s topic has everything to do with what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. And while the construct may sound simple, and really dry, and you’ll wonder why on earth you’d do it…doing it on the other hand, not to mention its benefits are far ranging and exceptionally eye opening on multiple levels in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. And the reason it is such an amazing topic has everything to do with a simple thing that has happened to you as a dancer.

The deeper and deeper you have gotten into Argentine Tango, the more that you come to accept certain things as true, the accepted canon of Argentine Tango. This ‘canon’ is the basis for how you understand the Follower’s Molinete, the Lead’s Giro, the Argentine Cross, the Ocho Cortado, Traveling Ochos, etc., that we tend to think of as ‘Default’ Tango. The things we do all the time – such as the Five Common Social Figures of Tango (See:Five Common Social Figures). Over time we stop listening to other voices or other ideas of how to engage the dance, or how to do X, Y, or Z. There is only X. Most of us become myopic. We only listen to one voice of how things are done: Our own. This becomes the bedrock of our dance, and our dancing experience. We do the same things over and over again, in exactly the same way, with little or no variation. And because no one is giving us any feedback, and/or that we’re not asking for any feedback; nor do we generally know how to do either (See: Giving & Receiving Feedback); nor are we encouraged or inclined to explore beyond that, even and/or until a new dancer that looks interesting shows up that is doing something ‘different‘; nor are we studying privately (for New York Dancers: you should be!). And we settle into a ‘nice’ routine of our staple partners, who again do the same things, the same way, with little or no variation. The same experiences time and time again. Mind you there’s nothing wrong with sameness. However what’s occurred, whether you realize it or not is that your skills have atrophied considerably, and most of that is due to how you see the dance, how you access the dance, and who you dance with regularly. This is what has happened to you.

Today’s Topic deals with a way to break away from that state and open up a vista that on the surface seems like it’s just X, when in actual fact, it’s the whole alphabet of Argentine Tango! So without further adieu, Tango Topics presents Dancing Symmetrically.

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Have you seen any of our Foundation Series ? It’s over an hr (8 videos) of Foundation Technique covering your Extensions, Feet, Posture, Embrace, and the beginnings of your Walk, and much more….

See > Foundations Bundle

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What is ‘Dancing Symmetrically’ ? There are 3 levels to this idea of Dancing Symmetrically. On the first level it is seemingly all about just turning in one direction more often than another. Nope. We use the example of the Follower’s Molinete/Lead’s Giro structure as the sample piece in that your immediate thinking is that “Oh we’re just turning to the other side in the other direction. I’ve done that. Whatever!“. And that would be a mistake. This concept has far reaching ideas attached to it. More so than just turning in the other direction or starting Traveling Ochos on the Closed Side of the Embrace instead of the Open Side. On the first level it’s about changing directions of how you initiate and dance things. So level 1 is all about the direction things are done in.

Level two, and this is where things start to bend your conceptions of what you accept as ‘true‘, Dancing Symmetrically changes the common vocabulary of an Argentine Cross and then…Mirrors it! (see video above for an example) There are in fact 256 Types of Argentine Crosses. The Mirror Cross, as it is known, is not only an option of the Cross it’s also a necessary access point to Dancing Symmetrically! How about the the Ocho Cortado ? And if we’re being specific here, and we are, the Linear Ocho Cortado (See: Ocho Cortado) is another access point of the idea of Dancing Symmetrically. So instead of engaging the Ocho Cortado to the Closed side of the embrace, we engage it (as shown) to the Open Side of the Embrace! We showed you this in our video on the Ocho Cortado Options video. These are just two examples of the next layer up of Dancing Symmetrically. On this layer, we are mirroring or reversing not only the vocabulary’s direction but also which sides it can be done on and to. As well as Inverting it, and then Inverting Mirroring it! Level 2 is all about direction AND sides or more appropriately to do something Normally, then to Mirror it, then to Invert it, then to Invert-Mirror it.

And now we add the 3rd and final level! Reversing the Embrace! Wait! What ? Ummmm WHYYYY??? We’ll get to the why we do this in the sections below. But the end result is that Reversing the Embrace breaks our habits and preconceived notions, and more importantly our assumptions that X is supposed to happen. So that we actually Lead AND Follow what was led! This is Dancing Symmetrically.

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Have you seen the Walking Systems video ? 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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Why Do You Need This Stuff ? Several reasons. First and foremost, your foundation! Honestly this shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, and if you’re studying with anyone, you’ll notice that they continually take you ‘back’ to 4 simple things: Forward Steps, Side Steps, Back Steps, and your embrace. Because these four things are the foundation of the dance. Embedded in those four things are a host of other things that you are more than likely lacking on or have forgotten about. So it’s not rocket science what we’re on about here. It’s simple foundational stuff. Which, the deeper you go, you realize isn’t so simple and is in fact far more complex than you thought or you understood. The simpler things appear, the more difficult they are in certain situations, this is one of them. Secondly, this is about understanding your vocabulary and not just from a Leading perspective, but also how it’s received by the Follower, thereby the Follower’s perspective. How it’s understood and why things happen or progress as they do. The issue here is assumptions, and lots of them. We want to eradicate those assumptions and make absolutely clear why things happen. And the only way to do that is remove the assumptions completely. Still another reason why this stuff is important has everything to do with something that we vehemently and passionately believe in: Facility! Facility in this case means the ability to do X, Y, or Z. This stuff affects your underlying facility to execute whatever you want to dance in whatever way or to whatever style or genre of music from a Leading OR Following perspective. It effects: Every. Single. Part of the dance! Everything. Facility also means the ability execute what you desire and WHEN you desire it. Tango vocabulary (Ochos, Crosses, Sacadas, Volcadas, etc) is great, but if you can’t execute that stuff in time to the music, it kinda falls flat. So…ummm yeah, FACILITY! Want one more ? Variations! Let’s roll back the article a bit. Remember we reminded you that you dance the same things over and over and over again ? Dancing Symmetrically opens up loads of options and opportunities for you that more than likely didn’t see. For example: Playing with a Mirror Cross opens up the possibility of leading the Follower to forward step to the Open Side of the Embrace, which only happens … ummm … NEVER! Gosh, have you thought of what do after that ? Well, here’s an opportunity to do precisely that. Discover the possibilities! And that’s all based on taking that one extra step and resolving differently. There are LOADS more of these things. All of your preconceived notions of what you think the dance is about all changes. And change, whether you believe it or not, is a very good thing. So yeah, you need this stuff.

Where Can You Find More Information ? Oddly enough you’re in the right place for that. Not to sound like a sales pitch, BUT…. (smile) there are very few places on the web or youtube that show you options and opportunities with regards to Tango vocabulary to expand beyond your Tango horizons. Tango Topics possess a library of over 400+ videos at this point on nearly every imaginable primary topic. So ? Go subscribe, not register, subscribe. The reality is that while a registered user has access to a whole host of free stuff. All the toys of this site are stuck behind a paywall! And the only way around that paywall is to … subscribe. If we may suggest an option: Gold Madness! Click the link and find out more and then start your Tango Exploration today.

There’s a lot more to this ArticleThere’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 Reality of WHY You Need This: There are many moves, steps, patterns, and figures to Argentine Tango that are really cool. What you may not realize is that most of that stuff is ‘fluff’, they’re nice to have, they’re nice to know, but honestly, you’re not going to use them that often! Mind you this is one side of the argument. This ain’t that! This piece is one of the more venerable selections of Argentine Tango that you will use frequently like Walking, Milonguero Ochos/Milonguero Turns, The Follower’s Molinete/Traveling Ochos, or The Argentine Cross. Tango Topics take this stuff very seriously, and we say that because we use this stuff ALL – THE – TIME! Our case is that you need this stuff because > This is all about foundation, or one of the Seven Foundation Steps that we use all the time to create the dance that we know as Argentine Tango. That’s why! 🙂 That said, you do actually need to watch this stuff. You can learn what you need from this video and then apply it. No lie. No gimmick. As always YMMV and to remember that the video itself is only a stepping stone! You will need some private lessons to go along with it to get the ‘feel’ of things. That is the reality of WHY you need this stuff. So subscribing for a few months to TangoTopics to get what we’re on about wouldn’t kill you. Further, it would probably help to hear another person saying what your current tango teacher has been saying all along. Think of this stuff as one more reminder that you absolutely need to hear.

bsas-prep-title

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 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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Building Blocks #3

If you were registered, which is free, you’d see the full article and a longer video example. Just sayin’…

Tango Building Blocks – Number 3

In Today’s Building Block Episode (#3) we have three pieces of tango vocabulary that are used:

1.) Lead & Follow Incremental Steps
2.) The ‘Gooey’ Gancho
3.) The Follower’s Back Sacada.    

The first of these elements is used, sparingly, but not as much as they should be. It is probably one of the more musical items that either a Lead or a Follower can engage in that clearly and decisively ‘Interprets’ the Music from their perspective. (Please note the usage of the phrase ‘Interprets the Music’. This is in our concerted opinion a far more useful and helpful way of talking about the umbrella misnomer that is frequently misused: Musicality). In the easiest form, the Incremental Step, is very similar to a Milonga Traspie. The only difference is that the Incremental Step is done outside of the Habanera Rhythm and can be used anywhere. Whereas the Milonga con Traspie is used only inside Milonga, and in specific where we want it to be inside the Habanera, and if we’re being persnickety (and we are) inside El Golpe. And if you don’t know what either the Habanera Rhythm is or what “El Golpe” is, you can see it them both here. The second of these elements is used very infrequently, the Gooey Gancho, and in our opinion not enough, as it is one of the more beautiful forms of the Gancho. But due to the Gancho having been overused and forced onto so many Followers that they rightfully have a distaste of and fear of it, it’s no wonder that it’s not exactly the most popular vocabulary on the block. And lastly, this is the most common form of the Back Sacada, the Follower’s Back Sacada to the Open Side of the Embrace. Usually this piece is done from the Linear Ocho, or the Circular Ocho, but the more common form is from the Follower’s Molinete!

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

Difficulty Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

see spot run. see spot tango. see spot register. good spot.

Have you seen any of our Sacada Videos ? If you have a want to learn how to Lead and to Follow the Argentine Sacada, then this is the video series for you. Close Embrace Sacadas? No problem. Simple Sacadas ? Yup. Back Sacadas ? You betcha! And a lot more.

See > All The Sacadas and The Ultimate Sacada Bundle