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The Cross – Getting In Front

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The Cross – Getting In Front

For most Followers, that haven’t been properly trained, they are rushed into an Argentine Cross right from the start of their Tango dancing lives. Aside from Ochos, it’s the one thing that they’re pressed to do without any training aside from the Lead/er (Controlling Lead hence the ‘/er’ part) that quite literally tells them what to do as they’re doing it. From that moment, right up until this one (assuming you’ve shared this video with them) they more than likely have no idea a.) why they’re crossing their feet. and b.) more importantly what the point of the Cross is, and c.) what it all means.

The Problem: This isn’t so much a Lead problem as it is a Follower issue. Contrary to what you might have been told, the Argentine Cross does actually serve a function. And believe it or not, it’s not to do a Cross every 15 seconds for no good goddamned reason. No. The function of the cross…is well, you can watch the video for that part. The problem is that not only is the Follower not aware of what the function of the Cross is, they’ve been so indoctrinated into a passive way of dancing that they’ll a.) Willy-nilly cross their feet due Two of the Five Errors of The Cross – specifically the Automagical Cross and the Wimpy Cross (see below), where in the case of the latter, the Follower has to infer what on god’s green earth the Lead is attempting to do. (In the other 3 cases they don’t have to infer, they’re quite literally forced into crossing their feet whether they wanted to or not). and b.) That a good portion of the time, the Follower will end up in the Lead’s Arm Pit. It is for this reason that we talk about – Getting In Front of Your Lead!

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From a Following Perspective, 10% of this problem is your issue. And it has to do with you understanding that the Cross is actually, in modern Tango, your piece of vocabulary. Not the Lead’s, it’s yours! There are many people that will disagree with this statement that the Cross is the Follower’s vocabulary. The fact is that without you cooperating, the Argentine Cross, is not going to happen. You could say this about almost everything else in Tango, that without you cooperating nothing happens. And you’d be right. However in this instance, this is one of the few places where the Follower has an enormous amount of control of when something is done, how something is done, and most importantly where we go next! All of that from you crossing your feet. In this instance, this one little piece of vocabulary is YOUR place for you to shine, to sparkle, to show off your skillz as a Follower. Instead, what happens ? Well…watch the video.

To be fair, you have to contend with the Five Errors of the Cross (see above), and then there’s the squeezing, the pushing, the pulling from your Leads. And then there are your issues, while in heels, to contend with. That aside, you do have an issue which is solely yours, which is the whole point of this topic – to get back in front of your lead!

The simple fact is that your lead (the action, not the person – lowercase ‘l’) either stepped outside partner or stepped into cross system and in either case you’re essentially out of step with them. The whole point of the cross is to get back in front of your Lead (the person).  However, part of your issue is that you’ve been indoctrinated to a way of moving that quite factually doesn’t work for you. The way that you’re moving is to send your leg straight back, and really to cross your body meridian away from the couple. This creates a problem for you, especially when you come to collect your feet in the cross. Your feet look like two mismatched and broken sticks pointing in opposite directions from each other with a watermelon in between them, instead of what they can look like. We do want pretty feet, but we don’t want pretty knees, when we come to collection and even crossed collection! However, there’s a tiny little problem in that your body is in the wrong place, and your hips are all twisted and you’re basically out of alignment with your Lead, and on top of all of that, you’re stuck in the Lead’s arm pit! And there you will stay…sadly. 🙁 Unless…you do something about it. 🙂

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From a Leading Perspective, before we launch into Follower’s side of this. Let’s give credit for this problem, where credit is due. The Lead! Dude, a good 90% of this problem is your fault. Let’s be clear about responsibility here. You created this problem and the Follower is only doing their best trying to fix it. How did this become your problem ? 1.) You lined up with the Follower in your Arm Pit! You placed them in there right from the gitgo (‘start‘ for the non-native english speakers), and what’s worse is that you kept them there, holding them in that spot, because it was convenient for you to pull off some crazy vocabulary, which you think you need to lead every 20 seconds, instead of (gasp!) actually walking with your Follower to the music. Eeeek! Which for some reason is ‘boring’ to you but heaven to them…gosh I wonder why !?!?!?  2.) Your embrace that you think is comfortable is like laying on a bed of nails because it’s too compressive! Think ‘squeeze‘ and you’ll get the right idea. And even if someone tells you that to lighten up and let them loose, you’ll go right back to squeezing the daylights out of your partners because to you think, a.) this is comfortable. and b.) it’s all you know. 3.) Because your right arm is like a vice grip and you have this rather nasty tendency to paddle your Follower’s with your right hand to ‘direct’ them, you somehow believe that this is desirable. Ummmmm not! And lastly you created this problem by 4.) being too damned restrictive and not being responsible by continually placing the Follower in front of you by repositioning your vocabulary to do just that. Instead, doing all 3 previous things to show off to keep the Follower from realizing that you were completely ignorant about 3 steps in and don’t have a plan for the rest of the song let alone for the tanda! Yup, your fault.

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The Dancing Reality is that this stuff happens with such frequency that no one, not even the teachers that you’re studying with pay it any mind. It’s so commonplace that one wonders if anyone is actually teaching technique to specifically create this issue! “Leads! You place the follower in your armpit, and then rush around the room, all the while pulling and pushing! Followers, your whole job here is to stay in the Lead’s armpit and then to come to a crossed collection so that your hips are all twisted up and you’re off to the side of your lead! Ready ? Go!”. Not!

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

Remember that what you’re seeing is a couple that is performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they’re not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about ‘Social Dancing’  or how to make things function on a social dance floor. Social Dance floor ? Your local milonga! They’re showing flashy moves as a presentation! But not stopping and talking about how this works, why you’d want to put that piece of vocabulary there, or how to make things fit. This website is all about those things and more!

You could watch those videos and thereby spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that particular situation. Bend your body this way or that, twist and force this position or that. Place your foot here or there and figure it out. This is known as Tango Twister.  Which can be a lot of fun, but more than likely it won’t help you, because you’re missing something: The explanation from an experienced teacher showing you how to properly excute this stuff from a Leading Perspective as well as from a Following Perspective!

The goal of YouTube videos is to get you to study with those teachers in person. The goal of Tango Topics videos allows you to work at your own pace, in the comfort of your own space, so that you can play them over and over again to improve your understanding of the vocabulary or technique being described to therefore better your dancing experience. The goal of classes and workshops is to get you to come back over and over and over again, thereby spending more money with that teacher. This website and the videos under it are here to act as a resource for you to help you to improve your dance. Pay once and you’re done.

Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. TANSTAAFL! The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlying technique of how and why things work, so you can easily reference those things in the corresponding articles that go with the material, and or any language in the Tango Topics Dictionary. 


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The Four Parts of Social Milonga

Social Milonga

Milonga, and really ‘Social’ Milonga, is a difficult dance to Lead, but an easy one to Follow. Easy, if and only if, the Lead (person, not the action – ‘lead’) has a frakkin’ clue about what they’re doing. If they don’t, you, as the Follower are screwed and not in a good way either! Good Milonga is a step above modern Tango in that it requires both parties to be at their best technique wise. It requires both parties to understand an embrace that is non-compressive, non-restrictive, and have mastered a stable, clean, clear walking platform that does not ‘thud’. There is no need to ‘hang’, ‘pull’, or ‘push’ in any way, shape, or form. 

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Let’s get a few terms and definitions out of the way before we go any further for the initiated and the uninitiated. The word ‘Milonga‘ has 3 definitions.

1.) It refers to the ‘dance’ party, and social experience that we aspire towards dancing at via classes and workshops and learning the codigos of the dance itself. The whole point of tango is to emulate the Milonga experience as a whole that we would find in Buenos Aires.

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2.) It refers to a musical style of music that is typically written as 2/4 time, or at about 80 – 100 beats per minute. There are several versions of Milonga music, not the least of which is Tango-Milonga, Milonga Porteña, Milonga Criolla, and a few others. Candombe is not Milonga, but is frequently confused with Milonga. A poorly trained DJ will add one into a milonga tanda thinking that it’s Milonga music when in fact it’s not.

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Further still, a common error is to add a Foxtrot or a Tango Foxtrot, thinking that it’s milonga when it’s not.

3.) Refers to the dance itself, which is a frequently, and mistakenly thought of as a subset of Tango movement, and this is an error. Milonga (not Milonga Porteña or Modern Milonga) begat Tango, and from that Tango as we think of it today grew.

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What is ‘Social’ Milonga ? Social Milonga is a Milonga of ease, of least resistance, of effortlessness. It’s what we would dance at the Milonga when Milonga music is played but for a social environment not a performance! Which translates to smaller (very small) movements, and steps. This isn’t about turns, ganchos, volcadas, sacadas, colgadas, death drops, …. no, none of that. Simple, clean, small movement. Rather it’s about linear movements with one’s partner in either close or open embrace (yes Milonga can be done in open embrace), small linear movements that move down the line of dance. Social Milonga should not back up against the line of dance, but rather angle against the line of dance, think of 45º angles so that no one backs up directly into another couple. Social Milonga is small, compact, and doesn’t need to take up a whole lot of space…ever.  Horacio Godoy, who is a god of Milonga, is a good example of performance milonga, but it’s still a performance! What he’s doing is nothing short of magical, however…it should be noted that again, it’s a performance and not social dancing. He’s taking up oodles of space, and in the line of dance, you don’t have oodles of space! This is Social Milonga.  

Just as a side note: Social Milonga rightfully should never be attempted with a new partner that you’ve never danced with before.

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From a Following Perspective, you’re in for a rough ride, because a good portion of your leads don’t have a frakkin’ clue as to what they’re doing when it comes to Milonga. They will either race you around the floor and take a breather in odd places that have no relationship to anything that’s happening in the music, all the while squeezing the living daylights out of you, hoping you won’t notice that they’re not anywhere close to a beat that has any relation to anything that’s happening in the music. Or they’re so timid as to not wanting to step on your toes because they’ve recognized that this is insanely difficult that they back off completely. That’s the bulk of your experience. It’s rare, ever so rare that you have a lead that dances Milonga Lisa with you, and then expands that to Milonga con Traspie, and actually builds a milonga experience on the whole. These leads are rare, but oh such a wonder when you find one. It’s like Christmas morning, Easter day, and a box of chocolates all rolled into one! Fab! At the same time, let’s not kid ourselves…you as the Follower, have to be up for the challenge. Which is to say that your skills in Forward steps, Side Steps, and Back Steps must be absolutely spot on! Repeat after me: “I MOVE ME“. You must be responsible for your own movement. You must listen to what is being led (not waiting but listening) and then engage that movement immediately without fail. If you feel it, you go there, if you don’t feel it, you don’t go there. A good portion of the time, most followers fail these most basic things. And we end up with a less than desirable experience.

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From a Leading Perspective, it means that you must have mastered all of the things listed above in addition to understanding and employing ‘Intention’. Why ? Because Milonga is all about the small, tiny movements, not about squeezing the living daylights out of your Followers with your embrace trying to make things small. It’s about leading small, tiny, incremental. It’s not about big, galloping steps…it can be, but isn’t. It’s about the tiny movements between the partners to the accents in the music.

However, the real key to milonga is the Weight Change. Being able to generate it in its myriad of forms without pushing, pulling, using force, and/or compression to accomplish this goal. If you can lead a weight change through opposition or a with-weight change instead of pushing or pulling, you’re onto a better class of leading as a whole.

Leading Milonga, or we should say, “modern” milonga, is a whole different class of leading. And doing it well, is a different kind of Lead (the person, not the action). How’s that ? This is choreographing on-the-fly, they’re making minor adjustments on-the-fly, they’re maintaining the line of dance on-the-fly…are you seeing the trend yet ? > on-the-fly! Is the key component. Mind you this happens in Tango and Vals as well, but there is a difference! The difference is the kinesthetics involved are a whole different class of minimal, minute movement, that is seemingly imperceptible except to the people dancing it, and to the trained eye.

In this version of Milonga the same thing that happens in the 5 Common Social Figures (which is a reduction of vocabulary choices) of Tango, happens in Milonga! Only instead of 5 Common Figures, it boils down to about 4 very specific choices.

1.) A variation of the Baldosa Box.
2.) A very simple and occasional Traspie, with a single Traspie, not multiples but not, and mostly not aligned with the habanera’s El Golpe! (and if you don’t know what that is…follow the link). You might…eeek, learn something.
3.) An occasional scissor step (not a pendulum step). and
4.) Every once in a blue-moon when there is a ‘race’ in the milonga beat and not the habanera, Patter In Milonga is used to accent the race of the beat.

Most of the better Milonga Leads have realized that a simplified Milonga is actually a better way to go than to race around the room which is what typically happens and why the better Followers will say “NO” to a particular Lead/er (follow the link for what that ‘/’ means) repeatedly. The better Milonga Lead will engage this simplified Milonga over and over and over again. It will look somewhat repetitive until you actually dance the Milonga with that Lead and for a time after the shock wears off that you’re dancing Milonga with that Lead it may even feel somewhat repetitive, until you start to listen to the music, and then the genius hits you like a ton of bricks. It’s simplified for a reason, to accent the music itself! Which is to say that you don’t need a vocabulary for good Milonga, what you need is an understanding of Music. And for that you first have to be able to hear the Habanera, and then, and only then can you start to play with the music. Once Habanera awareness occurs, and it will take some time for this to happen, it’s not something that happens overnight. More on this in a bit. Once Habanera awareness occurs, then the refinements of the dance of Milonga start to happen. Sometimes. Some Leads never, ever make this leap of logic > Less Is More. Most of them go in the opposite direction > MORE is BETTER! And this is a mistake. But they don’t and won’t ever realize it for a wide variety of reasons that are too numerous to mention here. Suffice it said, some folks never learn.

And unfortunately this space is too small to incorporate those ideas here. Fortunately for you Tango Topics does possess a Milonga track > Milonga Madness that discusses some, not all, of this stuff. For the rest that isn’t covered in Milonga Madness, we strongly recommend a long series of private lessons with the Author!

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From a Dancing Perspective, ‘Social‘ Milonga is insanely difficult to master. It requires all of the above to ‘work’, to ‘function’ with ease. Not an easy task at all. When done properly it’s simply divine. When done poorly…well we’ve all had that happen, and it’s just an absolute disaster. There’s no nice way to put that. More often than not we have all had far too many Milonga tandas that is nothing short of “GAWD PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!”. And a good portion of the time it’s because the embrace needs to be reset and is too restrictive, and/or the Lead (person), needs to actually listen to the beat and then walk (see ? walking, not running) the Follower on that beat…but doesn’t.

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The Musical Prerequisite

There is an absolute prerequisite to this milonga business – two things about Tango Music as whole that you, as a Lead, or a Follower must know:

a.) The Musical Pause in Tango Music as a whole! Without understanding this, you’re kinda screwed when it comes to dancing and really milonga as a whole. Oh and if you’re thinking that you can just ‘count’ beats and that will get you to your pauses…no. Fully 40% of Tango music does not contain an 8 count beat. Sometimes its a derivative of 4 yes…but sometimes it’s 4,8,12,16, or 24 beats before you hit an actual rest. So counting is about as useful as a small kitchen appliance unplugged. Why ? Because a good portion of the time, your count will be off for a variety of reasons. 1.) The transfer from shellac to digital (assuming it’s that direct and it almost never is) is probably flawed, scratchy, crackly, and slows down and speeds up. and 2.) Two words for you — TANGO MILONGA, which is to say that that the 2/4 time signature that you’re used to hearing in Milonga Porteña (or Modern Milonga), not so much with that! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Long story short, you want to actually learn to hear the 5 Major Types of Pauses in Tango Music.

b.) The Rhythm of Milonga which should not be confused with beat, melody, nor tempo, which is what a lot of you do. You do actually have to understand the Habanera Rhythm which is the basis of ALL Milongas. Not Candombe, Not Foxtrots…MILONGA! If you don’t know what the Habanera is, and/or think you have a handle on it, you really do want to go look at this definition of the Habanera on TangoTopics. This is the Rhythm that you absolutely must pay attention to because it quite literally forms the backbone of the music itself. If you can’t hear that, if you cannot find it in the music, then we have a problem, and it may require you to actually do a little study. Now to be fair, there are some milongas where the Habanera only appears sporadically, there are some milongas where the Habanera is a variation and you have to hear the variation, there are some milongas where the habanera is so distorted and so off of what you think it might be that it’s almost….ALMOST unrecognizable. However, that’s still no excuse for not practicing, and then working on finding the Habanera and then figuring out WTF to do with it.

That said…

Rather than show you charts and images which are about as helpful as a screen door on a submarine…let’s skip to a class summary by Oliver Koklier and Silvina Valz shot at the 2009 Portland Tango Festival. This is probably one of the best didactic Milonga videos you will need to see…ever. What Oliver & Silvina talk about in under 9 minutes will blow your mind. It’s a simple, clean, and clear, almost religious explanation of what Habanera and really the Milonga Rhythm is and is not, and what you can do with it. In 90 seconds they pretty much nail the Habanera. Quite honestly contained within this video is the basis of almost everything you need to know about a Milonga Rhythm. Once you understand the Rhythm of Milonga (and it is a rhythm, not a beat!) it is only then that we start to talk about what you actually do with it.

Ok, now that you’ve got your pound of free flesh that will only help you so far, now comes the real toy, which when this article was written originally hadn’t actually happened yet. Actually this article was written a year before what we’re about to talk about: Milonga Madness. This is going to sound like a sales pitch for Milonga Madness. It’s not. It’s the fact that we really have studied with a lot of people on this topic, spent years and more money than you can shake a stick at, at how to hear Milonga and then dance Milonga. This is one of the ONLY workshops that we’ve ever attended where we came away with a deeper understanding that Milonga does not need or want to be complex. It is a simple thing that does require you to actually hear the Habanera. Without that, then you’re just racing around the room. So here’s our advice. Go subscribe to Milonga Madness, you won’t be sorry! Truthfully, and we say this with how much we teach and talk about tango, it’s even better than all our own videos! Go SUBSCRIBE! Just scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click on the Milonga Madness Button! You’re welcome.

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

4 Parts of Social Milonga

Part 1.) The Baldosa Box & one of several Baldosa Box Variations
Part 2.) Milonga Traspie and the many many variations
Part 3.) Scissor & Pendulum steps and variations.
Part 4.) Milonga Patter

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Follower’s Molinete

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The Follower’s Molinete

Every social dance has a variation of a very old idea known as a “Grape Vine Turn”, which is generally 3 steps in either a circular or linear pattern. Argentine Tango is no exception to this factoid. Truthfully Tango has spawned and borrowed and given 8 types of turns based on simple walking principles. The Eight functional types of turns of Tango are: 1.) The Milonguero Turn. 2.) The Walking Turn, 3.) The Rock Step. 4.) The Ocho Cortado (Linear & Circular). 5.) The Media Luna. 6.) The Argentine Calesita. 7.) The Colgada Turn (including The Single Axis). And #8, the topic of Today’s Tango Topic: The Follower’s Molinete. The turn itself is taught to every beginner dancer, and every dancer uses this very functional and foundational turn. Just as a side note, up until about 1980, oddly enough, The Follower’s Molinete was NOT the predominant turn. That honor goes to first turn on our list above, the Milonguero Turn. So what happened ? Why was the turn supplanted ? You can thank Gustavo Naveira and Fabian Salas for that. If for no other reason these two men aren’t considered the father’s of Modern Argentine Tango than it should be their introduction of the Follower’s Molinete to the world. Which, strangely enough, had been around in various forms for almost 50 years before they came along and … ahem … ‘discovered‘ the Molinete. Moving along, the Follower’s Molinete did go on to supplant the Milonguero Turn, and it is now the common turning element for all dancers to learn and then to dance. As this is the case, the turn is so predominant that it is the default motion for every Follower whether they realize it or not. The moment that a Lead starts to rotate their body, the Follower will default to the Follower’s Molinete. It should be noted that the Follower’s Molinete doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It happens due to the other side of the equation: The Lead’s Giro. The Lead’s Giro and the Follower’s Molinete co-combine to create the standard turn in Argentine Tango when we talk about turns. So without more yapping, let’s dive into Today’s Tango Topic: The Follower’s Molinete.

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Have you seen The Eight Tango Turns Series ? We showcase 8 types of turns: 1.) The Follower’s Molinete. 2.) The Milonguero Turn. 3.) The Rock Step. 4.) The Ocho Cortado. 5.) The Walking Turn. 6.) The Calesita. 7.) The Colgada Turn. 8.) The Media Luna.

Learn > The Eight Tango Turns

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What is the Follower’s Molinete ?  The term “Molinete” means Wind Mill in English when translated from the Spanish. And as it relates to Argentine Tango this is a Grape Vine Turn with 3 steps. Forward, Side, and Back that executed by the Follower. Which is the reason for the distinction in the moniker, calling it The Follower’s Molinete. So that would lead one to believe, and rightfully so, that there is a Lead’s Molinete. And there is. But that’s a topic for a different Tango Topic. There are two primary versions of the Follower’s Molinete. And the primary distinction is whether or not The Follower’s Molinete is done in Close Embrace or Open Embrace. While the two turns themselves are functionally the same, there are some very nuanced differences between the two. However, at the 50,000 ft level, the turns consist of the 3 steps: Forward, Side, and Back. When you stop and you think about it though, there are actually 4 steps, not three. Even though we would like to use only 3 and it can be done quite easily with practice. There is a fourth step, and it’s a second side step after either the forward or back step. The Follower’s Molinete can start with either the Follower’s Forward step or the Follower’s Backstep. Both will lead to slightly different outcomes. However, the setup for both turns is usually the same: Traveling Ochos! In either case, both the Forward Step, and the Back Step are Applied Disassociative motions which are mostly, and erroneously, thought of as ‘pivots’, which lead to the Follower then extending into a rotating Side Step. It should be noted that of all the foundational moves that the Follower must master, that this is the hardest thing, physiologically speaking that they’ll ever have to do. Ever. It takes considerable time, patience, practice, and did we mention ‘practice’, solo, with a partner, in private instruction to make the Follower’s Molinete fluid. This is not watching a 9 minute video and bam, you have got it down. No. This is going to take a while. A long while. A very LOOOOOONG while. Years. However, having adequate reference material is absolutely key to that process.

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

Why You Need This! There are many moves, steps, and figures to Argentine Tango that are really cool. What you may not realize is that they are mostly ‘fluff’, they’re nice to have, they’re nice to know, but honestly, you’re not going to use them that often! This ain’t that! This one is one of the more venerable selections of Tango Topics that you will use frequently like Walking, Milonguero Ochos, Milonguero Turns, The Follower’s Molinete, Traveling Ochos, or The Argentine Cross. We take this stuff very seriously, and we say that because we use this stuff ALL – THE – TIME! 🙂 That said, you do actually need to watch it. You can learn what you need from this and then apply it. No lie. No gimmick. As always YMMV and to remember that the video is only a stepping stone! You will need some private lessons to go along with it to get the ‘feel’ of things.

bsas-prep-title

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About The Video.  This video comes in two parts, the Open Embrace version (00:24:12), and the Close Embrace version (00:08:34). This is a combined video format, lead and follow technique are mixed together.

Open Embrace

Follower/Lead Embrace – 00:09:35
Lead Footwork Details – 00:05:47
Follower Footwork Details – 00:08:32

Close Embrace

Introduction – 00:01:10
Two Lead Accommodations – 00:00:37
Lead Hip Detail – 00:02:27
Lead Space Detail – 00:00:43
Lead Footwork – 00:01:10
The Close Embrace Dip – 00:01:03
The Recap – 00:00:51

Related Videos:

6 Ways of Walking – The Walking Bundle – Download
DisassociationDefinition/Download

Applied DisassociationDefinition/Download
Applied Disassociation ExerciseMember Only

this video can be purchased here and here through the tango topics store 🙂

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

Have you seen the Milonga Madness 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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Simple Sacadas – 2014

The Simple Sacada – 2014

The Simple Sacada – 2014

This post has been updated to reflect a more complete version of the idea.

Please visit Simple Sacadas – 2018 instead.

This item is still available in the store, get it because it does have lots of relevance towards completeness of understanding!

Thank you!

– The Management. 🙂

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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.

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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256 Argentine Cross Variations

video

If you were logged in, you’d see this video. Just sayin’…

256 Variations of the Argentine Cross

Of the Seven Basic “Moves” for the Follower, the Argentine Cross is probably the most overused and, at the same time, least understood and quite honestly, least explored by the modern Tango dancer. It’s just accepted that it happens.

Just imagine for a moment, that you’re dancing along as a Lead or a Follower and you’re dancing the same Argentine Cross again, and again, and again. After about 5th or 6th time, it would become so rote that you’d stop thinking about it and it would happen by default. No artistry, no distinction, nothing. That is precisely what has happened with the modern version of this idea. The cross has become so ubiquitous that we have stopped exploring it and mining it for its rather unique properties. Like for instance the mere fact that it is the only time in any couple social dance where the Follower willingly (a very important distinction) crosses their feet! Or the singular distinction that there are about 256 Variations of the Argentine Cross, and yet…you only know one of them ?

Yup. You read that rightly…TWO HUNDRED & FIFTY-SIX different combinations.

Have you seen the Argentine Cross video ? You may want to go look at that, as it’s the foundation of this video. Without it, these are just interesting ideas but they have no context. The Argentine Cross video is what makes this entire video possible. It’s also FREE if you register. Just scroll to the bottom of this page, and register! And then follow the link below. You’re welcome. 🙂

The Argentine Cross

What is a ‘Variation’ of the Argentine Cross ? It is an alteration, a deviation from the ‘Normal’ Argentine Cross, and while the steps themselves don’t change, the direction and options for the Cross do change. This is a ‘variation’. The way that we get to Two-Hundred & Fifty-six is first we accept the direction of the cross. Meaning that it generally goes to the Lead’s left/Follower’s right and walks in Parallel system. The Lead generally steps ‘outside partner’ to the Follower’s right (Lead left) and the Follower crosses their feet (Left over Right). This is a ‘Normal’ Cross. However if we instead step not outside partner Right, but outside partner LEFT (the Lead’s Right this time), and complete the cross that way (Follower crosses Right over Left). This would be a Mirror Image or a Mirror Cross in Parallel System! There are two other parallel crosses sitting here, and it requires us to visualize that if there is a Normal Cross, and a Mirror Cross, then there must be an Inverted Cross and an Inverted Mirror Cross, where in both cases the Follower would cross behind not in front. These are the Four Parallel System Crosses: Normal, Mirror, Inverted Normal, Inverted Mirror (N, M, IN, IM). Aside from Parallel system we have Cross System walking which we can apply to these Crosses, so instead of 4 Crosses, we just doubled to 8 because we’re doing these same crosses, only not in Parallel System, but Cross System! These are the common variations. There are 5 more types of variations, which each time that you add another variation type, it doubles the number of available Crosses. Thereby taking it from 4 to 256 variations!

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

Why Do You Need This ? Actually, you don’t. The reality is that while these variations can be danced, and used once in a while as spice or accent material, they’re not meant to be danced! Yup. You read that correctly. They’re not meant to be danced. So why are they here ? They’re there to expand your functional Tango Brain of what is possible with Argentine Tango. This video is all about something that Tango Topics talks about in nearly every post, and it’s never more present than in this one video that exemplifies what we talk about: Options & Opportunites. This video is the epitome of the ideal to expand your foundation, to work your foundation in a myriad of different ways. The video is meant as a way to spark the question “What if…” ?  To get you to start asking questions by showing you a venerable piece of Tango vocabulary that is used every day, and turning it on its proverbial ear. 🙂 Whether or not you ever dance this stuff, remember it’s not about the dancing part, it’s about the mind expansion part! To get you to think outside your proverbial Tango box!

the full video is available in our store today, and available to our subscribers

About The Video. This video comes in at 5m:05s in length in 7 Sections. This video contains has no Lead or Follower Technique. This is a process video for you to explore ideas. 

Section 1 – Normal Cross
Section 2 – Mirror Cross
Section 3 – Cross Type 3
Section 4 – Cross Type 4
Section 5 – Cross Type 5
Section 6 – Cross Type 6
Section 7 – Cross Type 7

Related Videos Mentioned.

The 6 Ways of WalkingDownload
Dancing FoundationDownload
Follower Technique – Download/Article
Leading Technique – Download/Article

the full video is available in our store today, and available to our 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. 


FREEMIUM REGISTRATION BELOW

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Sacada Foundations

video

Sacada Foundations

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Tango Sacada is a very amazing piece of tango vocabulary. The first time I saw one, I did what most people do — “Wow!! That’s really cool!!!“. And then I went about trying to learn them. “Trying” being the operative word.

For most Leads, the Sacada represents graduation in a sense of “cool”, yes, but also that next level, the next chapter of their tango development. One accomplishment on a road to a series of accomplishments, this is the first of this class of accomplishments that says, “Cool”.

For most Followers, oddly enough, it’s the polar opposite of “Cool”. It’s “Did I get it right ?“. Their only concern is not the coolness factor but rather did they miss anything ? Did they ‘hear’ (feel) the lead properly ? Was their foot in the right place ? Their leg ? Are they hanging on their Lead ? Was their leg supposed to do that ? “Oops I’m sorry” an oft-repeated apology for doing what they were led to do (see Truism #893. Vol. 3). All hoping that it was right and that they didn’t hurt anyone, and in the end hoping that their Lead will still want to dance with them…in the beginning. Later on, as they improve, hoping that said Lead WON’T dance with them! But that is a topic for another time.

There are two immutable facts about every single Sacada known to man: 1.) The Sacada is an illusion! 2.) They’re in the the family of displacements. It’s the 2nd one that we’re interested in the most because this part usually fails in the Lead’s understanding and execution of exactly what it is that they’re trying to do. I failed at this constantly, in the beginning, failing to see this most intrinsic element that not one of my 98 teachers told me about. Not one.

When learning to Follow, I realized that the Sacada is, was nothing more than my body wanting to take the place of the Lead’s body. It just so happened that my leg would naturally want to go away from my lead because of their invasion – hence the displacement part. Proper Tango Technique taught me to do something else with that leg than just let it fly away, potentially hurting someone with my 3 inch heels!

Good thing you have access to a video that discusses all of these things in lurid detail in Sacada Foundations for both Lead and Follow, especially the proper Follower Technique part. In 7 minutes and 8 seconds you’ll learn everything you need to know about the foundation of every sacada known to man and beast. 🙂 All in HD quality with good clear sound and close-ups of every aspect of importance. Plus a free preview of Back Sacada technique for both Lead and Follow.

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TANGO TOPICS IS CLOSING

on Dec 31, 2020 at 12:01 Tango Topics will cease operation

The site will go dark, and ALL of its content will disappear in short order right after that.

What will happen to all of the content I’ve built over the last 5 years ?
It will get stored on a hard drive and it will not see the light of day after that.

What about all the content aside from the videos ? I will retain a working copy of the site, but the site will get deleted.

If you want more information, please visit this link.

If you would like to purchase the entire tangotopics library, the fee is $2500 US for a personal license. Please send a message to: sales@tangotopics.com 

Otherwise, thanks for reading.  

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