Seven Argentine Starters
For a lot of people, the idea of Leading a dance in Argentine Tango either strikes fear into their heart, and they psyche themselves out to the point where they believe that they can’t do it. Or they overthink the thing to death and reach the same point of thinking they can’t do it or that it’s exceptionally difficult. Or there are those that believe that they feel comfortable enough with Leading a dance. In all three of these types of Leads, regardless of the role (Leading or Following), there’s a moment of “What’s Next ?” right at the beginning of a song. For the Follower, the moment comes in the form of the Follower asking the question in their mind, “What do they (the Lead) want ?” over and over again in their minds. Even though they’ve settled into the embrace, until there is movement, until there is some kind of signal (resistance and compression based or intention based dancing) the Follower exists in a heightened state of hyper-awareness of asking this question. For the Lead, the question becomes “What am I going to do ?” over and over and over again until they’re either forced to move because they’re holding up the line of dance or they fall into their standard opening. In both cases, the dance starts from a place of confusion and cluelessness of “What’s Next ?”. What if as a Lead or as a Follower that state of confusion, that state of feeling dumbfounded were to completely disappear ? What would happen to your abilities as a dancer if you created a series of Openings (and closings) to the dance. Not a series of intricate patterns, no….but rather, simple ways to start a dance that put both Lead and Follower at ease ? That’s where today’s Tango Topic picks up. It addresses what to do at the beginning of the dance with 7 Ways to Start a Dance, as well as 9 Ways not to Start a Dance. So without further yappment, Tango Topics presents the importance of Seven Argentine Starters!
What Is A ‘Starter’ ? A ‘Starter’ is a bit misleading, no pun intended because one might erroneously reach the conclusion that an Argentine Starter was a specific piece of vocabulary, a pattern, that you can use. Unfortunately that’s not the case. It’s more of a simple primer, actually 7 simple primers, that you can use to create more complex choices. Think of an Argentine Leading Starter as something a Vaudeville dancer would call “Vamping” until you’re ready for something else. Which roughly translates from a Vaudeville perspective of doing the same thing over and over and over until everyone is on the same page, doing what they need to be doing, in the right key, on the right note, singing the right words, in the same steps, and then they can proceed with the next thing. The same thing is true in Argentine Tango to an extent. In it’s simplest form an Argentine Leading Starter is a series of simple movements to begin a dance with. That’s it, that’s all. There’s nothing grandiose about it but there is something calming about it. And that’s the important part. Calming both partners. We desire calm, rational, clearly thought out movement, as well as thought and creating a state of placid, serene, almost tranquil state of mind and body for three distinct purposes: 1.) Getting to a deeper state of integration with one’s partner. 2.) Creating a heightened state of readiness for all that may occur that is as much about awareness as it is about being delightful. 3.) Removing any and all nervousness and confusion because we’re employing simple things that can translate to more complex things later on. This is an Argentine Starter.
Difficulty Rating: (2 / 5)
Follower’s Notation. It should be noted that if you’re a Follower, just because this topic sounds like “Leading…” whatever, that shouldn’t pay attention. When the reality is that you DO in fact want to pay attention to this stuff for a wide variety of reasons which we’ll get to in the Follower’s Perspective below.
Hey!!!!! Isn’t there more to this post ???? Where’s the Lead’s Perspective, the Follower’s Perspective, and the Dancing Perspective parts of the Post … ??? These very helpful, extremely descriptive, and FREE parts are still here, and you can see them too, just scroll to the bottom of the page, and register. Registration is a hassle! We know. But it is also free, and who doesn’t like free stuff!!! You get a whole bunch of other stuff that can help you with your dance, and the rest of this post. So go register, then login to your Tango Topics Library page and then select Articles, and you’ll see this article with all that good stuff in there. Just scroll, register, and then read! Easy. No ? 🙂
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 one of 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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Introduction – 00:02:43
9 Ways Not To Start A Dance – 00:06:08
7 Ways to Start A Dance – 00:13:59
Closure With Examples – 00:01:51
Related Videos Mentioned In This Article:
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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 video 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!
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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