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4 Social Dancing Tools


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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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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

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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

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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/
The Follower’s Molinete – Definition/Subscriber Only
Applied DisassociationDefinition/Download
Applied Disassociation ExerciseSubscriber Only

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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

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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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