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Walking Systems for 2019 – Tango Topics

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.

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8 Types of Ochos – Tango Topics

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.

Learn > The Six Ways of 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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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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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

this video can be purchased through the tango topics store 🙂

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

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’… 🙂

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

tango is equal parts, patience, practice, and a tangotopics subscription 🙂

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

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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.

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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)

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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

the traveling ocho eluded him. he subscribed. he’s better now.

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

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

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

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

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.

the full video is only available to subscribers

About The Video. This video is 3 sections and when combined create a singular viewing experience of 31m:07s.

Part 1 (16:55) – Explains the 3 pieces of vocabulary with options and variations. Part 2 (07:05) is with a Metronome to show you how some of these ideas can be set to a time signature. And part 3 (07:37) is with a piece of music. There is no Technique discussed in the video.

For technique please visit the individual topics listed below:

Part 1 – Explanation (00:16:55)
Part 2 – Metronome Tools. (00:07:05)
Part 3 – Music (00:07:37

Full Technique Videos In This Article: 

Cross Body Incremental Steps – Article / Download
Golden Nugget ExtensionsArticle / Download
Gooey Ganchos – Article / Download
Back Sacadas 2019 – Article / Download 

Related Videos Mentioned In This Article: 

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

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

the full video is only available to subscribers

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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4 Social Dancing Tools

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

Four Social Dancing Tools

Argentine Tango consists of 3 steps, and only 3 steps: Your Left and Your Right. The 3rd is the Weight Change! 🙂 Another way that people talk about Tango’s steps is to say that the there are only 3 steps: Forward, Side, and Back. Either way you look at it, at some point, usually with the music, the dancers move from position to position via some kind of walking. The are 2 common walking systems in Argentine Tango: 1.) Parallel System Walking and 2.) Cross System Walking.  In Parallel Walking, which is sometimes referred to as “Opposite Foot” walking, whereby the Lead steps into the Follower’s Walking paths with the Opposite Foot. For instance if the Lead steps with their Left, the Follower will extend with their Right, and so on. As Tango has grown, developed, and changed, while Parallel system is used as a good tool to get people up and dancing, the star of the show has always been Cross System Walking and Vocabulary. In today’s topic we’re talking about 4 Common Social Dancing Tools that use Parallel Walking as the entry point and NOT Cross System. Meaning ? We’ll start out using Parallel Walking system and then focus on the Transition point on the way to Four very common pieces of Tango vocabulary. So without further adieu, Tango Topics presents the Four Social Dancing Tools.

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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

tango is equal parts, patience, practice, and a tangotopics subscription 🙂

What are the ‘Four Social Dancing Tools’ ? First, what is a ‘tool’ as we’re defining it here ? A tool is a commonly used element that, and really it’s a transition from one thing to the next, that we use ubiquitously and don’t really pay a lot of attention to because it’s a stepping stone to the really cool thing we have in our minds. This is a tool. It’s the thing we use to make something else. Think of it as a Foundation, or a maker tool. A tool to make other things. And in this case, the Four Social Dancing Tools are maker tools with lots and lots and lots of variation built into them. 😉

These tools are the meat and potatoes of Social Dancing on the whole. While the cool vocabulary (think: Colgada, Volcada, Sacada, Gancho, Boleo, etc) is … ummmm … flashy, this stuff, the Four Social Dancing Tools that are sitting around them, or leading up to them and from them, is where the entire dance is at. Think of it this way, if you remove all the cool, flashy vocab from your dance, what’s left ? The Four Social Dancing Tools!

At the same time, those Four Social Dancing Tools, are really about the Transition points between going from Parallel Walking System to Cross System, most of the time. It should be noted that the Transition point is usually a point of inflection for a lot of dancers. Meaning ? It’s the point where most people have issues.  By example the transition is usually where an in/experienced Lead will do one of several things, if not altogether, to get from point a to point b. 1.) They’ll compress the embrace (squeeze their Followers into them with their right forearm to hold them in place or to keep them close). 2.) They’ll rush their Followers and push them from position to position. 3.) They’ll haphazardly invoke leads to do X, Y, and Z, and not complete or follow through on the vocabulary, thinking that the Follower will just ‘get it’ and complete the half-thought that was invoked.

The Four Social Dancing Tools are:

Type 1: Parallel Walking > Milonguero Ochos
Type 2: Parallel Walking > Milonguero Turns
Type 3: Parallel Walking > Traveling Ochos
Type 4: Parallel Walking > Follower’s Molinete

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

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Have you seen our Musical Interpretation Series ? It covers Walking, Traveling Ochos, Milonguero Ochos, The Argentine Cross, and the Follower’s Molinete and how to use them to interpret the Music in a structured but highly creative and inventive way: Using the 5 Musical Pauses!

See > All Our Musical Interpretation Videos

ben was mr. gancho. he subscribed. now he walks & his partners love him.

What Happened To …. ????? If you’re wondering where’s the free Leading, Following, and Dancing perspectives for this particular Tango Topic that tangotopics.com is known for ?????  It’s still here, just scroll to the bottom of the page, and register. It’s free. And then go 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. Just scroll, register, and then read! Easy.  

Why Do You Need This Stuff ?
Foundation, Foundation, Foundation. That’s why. Or put another way, because these tools work the foundation in a really good way, by breaking them down to their component elements. 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. 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. By employing these four commonly used social dancing elements as your Foundation we work on the underlying elements as well, trying to make them cleaner, sharper, crisper, and that much more fluid. This isn’t about perfection, so get that thought right out of your head, but rather about making our dance flow more freely. There’s knowing the steps of a sequence, and then there’s dancing, and these are not the same things. You can know the steps, but dancing is a whole different thing. These four things can help with that process of ‘dancing’. Dancing does not happen on it’s own. It takes years of practice to create the seamless, flow, and fluidity that you see some dancers exhibit. Seemingly creating something out of nothing and wondering how that was done. These Four Social Dancing Tools are how that was done. By focusing on the foundational elements in each! So if you want your dance to improve, it’s not the fancy vocabulary. It’s make the stuff that surrounds it stellar! This is that ‘stuff’ that surrounds the fancy vocab!

From a Social Dancing Perspective. It is very rare that this site only talks about the combined role of what has to occur in a particular piece of vocabulary, but that’s exactly what we’re going to do with this. The reason being is that we have detailed each of these pieces of vocabulary on their own, so please go see the individual pieces. However, we would like to point out a few things that you need to be aware of going forward:

1.) These tools if done inappropriately can be JARRING. So it’s important that from a Leading perspective that when you invoke one of these ideas that you be very gentle and careful with them and not rush through them. And that’s the key to them right there….no rushing through them. What does ‘rushing’ mean ? It means without thought or care and focused on what you’re going to do afterward. It also means pushing or pulling the Follower along…tsk, tsk, tsk. Major no-no!

2.) It’s important to recognize that sometimes, more often than we’re aware of, these tools happen not through choice but because of happenstance, and very often we’re not even aware that we’ve done it. Which is to say that if they happen, don’t beat yourself up over it but instead embrace it and try to create options and opportunities from them. Try to understand the conditions under why they occurred. The reason being is that you want to be able to turn this stuff on and off like a switch under your own control and not because it just happened. You want to be able to replicate it whenever you want and not because the situation of steps has to be exactly the same.

3.) Believe it or not, this stuff is exceptionally musical. It has lots and lots of musical properties that aren’t even discussed in the videos. You can speed them, up, slow them down, engage in half-time, double-time, add adornments (which are musical in nature) to them….and a whole lot more. There is a reason these things are the meat of the dance, and that’s because they’re insanely versatile! So while the videos don’t show this stuff with a metronome, or a piece of music for you to replicate those exact ideas, they do show the underlying elements for you to interpret with whatever way you want to interpret them!

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

this video is not for sale and only available to subscribers through their subscription.

About The Video. This video comes in a combined 50m:37s in length in 4 sections. There is no Lead or Follower Technique explained in this video at all.

Type 1: Parallel Walking > Milonguero Ochos (00:12:33)
Type 2: Parallel Walking > Milonguero Turns (00:13:55)
Type 3: Parallel Walking > Traveling Ochos (00:12:42)
Type 4: Parallel Walking > Follower’s Molinete (00:11:27)

Related Videos:

6 Ways of Walking – The Walking Bundle – Download
The Milonguero TurnArticle/
Download
The Follower’s Molinete – Definition/Subscriber Only
Applied DisassociationDefinition/Download
Applied Disassociation ExerciseSubscriber Only

this video is not for sale and only available to subscribers through their subscription.

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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Open post

3 Common Back Sacadas

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

Back Sacadas 2019

Sacada. Meaning – ‘a-really-cool-move-that-you-think-is-really-complicated-but-is-an-illusion of techniques’.  For most people when they see a sacada for the first time, their reaction is one of surprise that a.) it looks really complicated (it’s not). and b.) that they can never see themselves doing one (you will). And these are usually forward sacadas for the Lead into the Follower’s side step. Usually. There are about 1024 sacadas, which drops to 512 when you rule out certain impossibilities. In reality, there are about 10 different ‘flavors‘ of them that when you combine the different flavors of walking systems, that number jumps to an insane number.  Things go right off the rails (as the saying goes) when we see a sacada that does not fit into this paradigm. Enter the “Back Sacada“.

Important Notation: This article & video has been re-written, updated, and the video has been completely redone for 2019 going forward. Originally the video that accompanied this article was 31 minutes and 35 second in length. It is now over 1 hr and 35 minutes.  The original video is still present and available for purchase, as it contains desirable information. However, the article that represented it is no longer present. 😉 Enjoy.

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

the traveling ocho eluded him. he subscribed. he’s better now.

What is a Back Sacada ? The easiest way to describe this Sacada, which is a displacement, where either the Lead or the Follower will displace and then take the place of their partner by using a Back Step! Generally, these types of Sacadas require Applied Disassociation to make them happen for either role. Typically this type of Sacada is created whereby the Follower is led to Sacada the Lead, whereas the second most common variety is the Lead will Sacada the Follower.  Of all the Sacadas that one can lead and follow, this is probably the most challenging for a variety of reasons. Most notably because you quite literally have to have mastery over proprioception in order for them to work properly. Most people, however, do not have the necessary mastery, so they end up bumping into one another and feet getting stepped on, repeatedly. While this isn’t always the case, and not to disparage anyone’s experience of them Leading or Following these ideas, the fact remains that unless proprioception has been mastered then this type of Sacada will repeatedly fail.

Difficulty Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

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.