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Floorcraft 104: Dancing Small

Floorcraft 104 – Dancing Small. To dance small is not exactly a simple proposition for a whole wide range of realities. Most notably the fact that the skillset isn’t taught anywhere by anyone. If it is, then it’s usually part of a step, a pattern, or a figure and talked about in passing as part of something else and not necessarily the focus of the topic. Most, if not all, but 1 or 2 in a class or workshop don’t see the smallness factor. 95% of the class gets lost in the vocabulary, and the execution of the vocabulary and not what actually has to happen in relation to making it compact. Usually there’s a lot of pushing, and pulling, compressing, squeezing going on for both partners. Further still what’s actually taught is nothing close to actual Floorcraft as it’s such a wide and vast topic. Again, people only see the pattern and not what you do with it or how to make it small and compact. This isn’t a rant against teachers, or vocabulary as a tool to sell lessons. No. It’s statement of fact about the state of things when it comes to something seemingly so simple, and yet is completely tossed by the way side for a variety of reasons. Secondarily, we have a related topic in our library called Dancing In A Small Space – Part 1 and Part 2 (The Addendum), and while those topics are completely valid, they’re what happens at the 50,000 ft level of all the vocabulary you can do in a small space, and things you haven’t necessarily thought of. This topic deals specifically with the floorcraft issue, and making things ‘compact’ and what that looks like. Today we look at Floorcraft 104 – Dancing Small and why it’s important.

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Have you seen Dancing In A Small Space (DIASS) ? If you’re planning to dance at a Tango Marathon, Festival, Encuentro, Buenos Aires, or your local Milonga is a very crowded and you want to know how to dance well in a small crowded space, then this video is the key to that process.

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What does “Dancing Small” mean ? In its simplest form, it is exactly what it sounds like. Your dancing space contracts, your vocabulary choices, and more importantly the execution of your vocabulary choices, becomes smaller, compact. It’s not that you drop vocabulary, it’s just that the vocabulary that you choose (walking, turns, ochos, crosses, etc) are made to fit within the available space deliberately. Or put another way, what you Lead/Follow takes up less space to accomplish one’s goals musically. In it’s more grandiose version, and in our opinion where this stuff really shines is when you’re dancing in Buenos Aires and you have to make everything fit in less than 2 or 3 Millimeters of space. From one stand point this is all about the Lead, and from another more important stand point it really is all about the Follower’s awareness, and really the partnership working together to create “Dancing Small”.  It should be noted that more than likely one is going to invoke (and to dance) the Five Common Social Figures….more than likely. That’s not always the case, but it’s a pretty good bet that you’ll end up dancing these five things. (See: Five Common Social Figures).

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 Practical Tango Advice (PTA): Frequently you see classes, or workshops, and really just the class ending videos. And from that, you try to work out how they got into that position. Mostly because you can’t afford to go study with that couple. So you watch the teaser video of the end product and try to work out how it was done. Frequently incorrectly with lots of pushing, and pulling involved. Uuuugh. On top of that, you get no actual feedback about how to use this stuff on a social dance floor. You know, the USEFUL parts ?!?!?!? Hopefully, you’d get that stuff in a class or workshops but because it’s youtube, it’s a bit like a box of chocolates, “you never know what you’re going to get”! Gosh if only there were a better way?!?!?!? That’s why Tango Topics Presents: PTA for the Advancing Dancer. These are little snippets of Tango Reality that you absolutely want to digest and put into your Tango thinking cap! They’re entirely free as a REGISTERED user (which is also free by the way). Subscribing costs money. Registration is entirely free! And who doesn’t like free stuff ? Just scroll and register and see the rest of this bit of PTA.


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.

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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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