Tango Topics | Exploring Your Dance


The Follower's Mantra

For the Follower, there’s a Following Mantra as well. This mantra is focussed on the Follower’s body, their technique, and their embrace. However,  tt is a little different than the Lead’s Mantra but uses the same structure of “in, on, to, and within”. It should be noted that this particular mantra is one of many for the Follower and is far more complex than the words convey. The reason being is that the Follower has a lot more physiological and kinesthetic work to do than the Lead does in different areas where they quite honestly have to be near mind readers to Leads that think or believe that they’re being clear with the Follower when in fact they aren’t. For the Follower, this particular Mantra is all about awareness and really hyper-awareness of the physical. It speaks nothing to the role of the Active Follower but is more based in the necessary transitionary state of the Passive Follower! That said, let’s dive into The Follower’s Mantra.

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Have you seen any of our entire Follower Technique Series ? It’s over 2.37 hrs (24 videos) of Follower Technique covering your Extensions, Feet, Posture, Embrace, Walk, Embellishments, Traveling Ochos, The Follower’s Molinete, The Argentine Cross and more…

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‘My Mind in my Body, On my technique, to my steps, within the embrace!”

‘My mind in my body’, is about posture, presence, balance, alignment, and more importantly, bodily awareness, in slow, calm breathing, through the process of moving. The primary goal is being aware of your body as it moves through space in time in contact with the floor.

‘On My Technique’, strips away the flowery language that is sometimes ascribed to a Follower’s motion and gets down to business in hardcore technique. This is the focus and exacting detail, and more importantly, control over the Follower’s forward, side, and back step technique! How the foot lands on the floor, specifically where it comes in contact, what muscles are being engaged. How you point your toe within the shoe, etc. This is walking technique across the platform of the embrace and the dance. It also about embrace technique, and how you’re always looking for that optimal embrace structure that fits.

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‘To my steps’, is all about Follower Facility & Familiarity. While it is true that a trained Follower does not need to know a particular pattern, they do need to be familiar with their 7 foundational steps (Forward, Side, Back, Forward Ochos, Back Ochos, Molinete, Cross)! They do need a passing awareness of some rules about Sacadas, Colgadas, and Volcadas. The Follower does need to be trained in Wraps, Ganchos, & Boleos, these pieces of vocabulary are not natural movements but learned responses.

‘Within the Embrace’ is what you have to do within the embrace construct to keep all of those other things together in relation to your L/ead (the person/the action). Remember that this Mantra is only here as a reminder for all of the things that the Follower has to do, and this particular Mantra only scratches the surface. Most Leads are not aware of any of this stuff, it’s gobbly-gook to them! The only thing half of them (not all) care about is ‘Can they keep up with me and what I am doing’. The emphasis on them and not the Follower. Frequently mantras like this only serve the Follower that wants to keep their wits about them, and this mantra is one of several ways to do that. There are others! On the surface it forces calmness, and technique, in the bigger picture there is so much more going on…so much more!

This is the Follower’s Mantra.

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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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