Tango Topics | Exploring Your Dance

Open post

Golden Nugget Extensions

Golden Nugget Extensions

The Tango Walk is the hallmark of Argentine Tango. It is what sets Tango apart as a social dance, and a performance element. For some people when they talk about the Tango walk, they don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it, it’s just there. For some they hear the words that the walk is important but for one reason or another they just don’t get it. For others, they see that the walk is absolutely everything. It’s the bee’s knees. Anything and everything is possible once you have mastered the walk. Some people only see the walk as what one does in between the vocabulary (the steps, patterns, and figures). However you view the walk, the walk consists of four phases, not a singular element. The 1st of those 4 phases is what we call The Explosion Phase. This is where all the energy for the step is generated. It only happens for a moment. After that the energy dissipates in a controlled fashion throughout the rest of the step. The 2nd phase is The Extension Phase. This is where the leg actually, and fully extends, to a point. The 3rd phase is what we call The Perihelion Phase. In this phase we ‘pop’ the knee, meaning to fully elongate the entire knee area thereby creating a longer and cleaner extension of the leg. This phase is important because it is the mid-point of the step. And finally the 4th phase, The Transfer Phase. In this phase we do four things in sequence. 1.) We begin a sliding action along the floor with the free foot, shaping it, and engaging in supination. 2.) We begin to transfer our weight from one foot to the other, in this case the sliding foot. 3.) We allow the energy of the Explosion Phase to dissipate in a controlled way. And finally 4.) We allow the knee to flex back to the point of compression that we started out with.

Why are we talking about this stuff ? Because Today’s Tango Topic relies heavily on three of these 4 phases to begin playing with what we call Golden Nugget Extensions.

if you register, we’ll send you a lollipop (digital)!

Have you seen the Golden Nugget of Tango ? The Golden Nugget is one of the few patterns that’s great for learning the foundation, as well as actually using on the dance floor immediately! It’s not just for beginners, but advancing dancers too!

See > The Golden Nugget of Tango

a milonga madness subscription. need we say more ? 

What are Golden Nugget Extensions ? We need to back up a bit and explain The Golden Nugget of Tango (TGNoT). TGN is where Today’s Topic gets the basis of it’s name from. TGN is not just another piece of Tango Vocabulary. It makes the idea of Tango very accessible and removes a lot of doubt of what’s going to happen next. It is one of the very few patterns that Tango Topics actually endorses, and teaches, with some frequency. TGN can be very useful in interpreting the music, meaning that it works really well in all 3 styles of Tango Music (tango, vals, and milonga). It is also exceptionally extensible, meaning that you while you have the basic pattern of it, you can change it, modify it, and add to it, adorn it, edit it to fit what you’re doing from a Leading perspective as well as from a Following perspective. There are loads of places in TGN where the Follower has oooodles of control over what’s happening. But that’s a topic for another day to be filed under – The Role of the Active Follower.

And now we get to the other half of today’s explanation. The title (Golden Nugget Extensions) is a both a double-entendre as well as a deliberate explanation of what it is. First and foremost, it is taking TGN and adding an expansion pack to it. Things you probably hadn’t thought of when playing with TGN assuming that you have watched the video and learned something from it. Secondly, it’s also applying an element of Tango that doesn’t get a whole lot of usage except maybe in Milonga: The Incremental Step (Traspie) & The Check Step. Golden Nugget Extensions fuses these two important elements into one core concept that you want to apply to your dance. This is the Golden Nugget Extensions principle.

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

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 ? 🙂

FREEMIUM REGISTRATIONpractical tango advice, open articles, free videos

you can do better, all it takes is practice and time.

The Reality of WHY You Need This: There are many moves, steps, patterns, and figures to Argentine Tango that are really cool. What you may not realize is that most of that stuff is ‘fluff’, they’re nice to have, they’re nice to know, but honestly, you’re not going to use them that often! Mind you this is one side of the argument. This ain’t that! This piece is one of the more venerable selections of Argentine Tango that you will use frequently like Walking, Milonguero Ochos/Milonguero Turns, The Follower’s Molinete/Traveling Ochos, or The Argentine Cross. Tango Topics take this stuff very seriously, and we say that because we use this stuff ALL – THE – TIME! Our case is that you need this stuff because > This is all about foundation, or one of the Seven Foundation Steps that we use all the time to create the dance that we know as Argentine Tango. That’s why! 🙂 That said, you do actually need to watch this stuff. You can learn what you need from this video and then apply it. No lie. No gimmick. As always YMMV and to remember that the video itself is only a stepping stone! You will need some private lessons to go along with it to get the ‘feel’ of things. That is the reality of WHY you need this stuff. So subscribing for a few months to TangoTopics to get what we’re on about wouldn’t kill you. Further, it would probably help to hear another person saying what your current tango teacher has been saying all along. Think of this stuff as one more reminder that you absolutely need to hear.

bsas-prep-title

this video can be purchased through the tango topics store 🙂

About The Video. This video is 11m:27s in length in 7 sections. Both lead and follower technique are combined and integrated into the video.

Sacada Introduction – 00:03:26
Sacada Review – 00:02:37
Follower Technique – Part 1 – 00:01:15
Lead Technique – Part 1 – 00:00:50
Lead Technique – Part 2 – 00:01:05
Follower Technique – Part 2 – 00:00:55
Quick Examples – 00:01:20

Related Videos Mentioned In This Article: 

The Six Ways of WalkingDownload
Close Embrace SacadasArticle/Download

this video can be purchased 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. 


FREEMIUM REGISTRATION BELOW

register for the site at no cost & get more great, and detailed content from tango topics!

 

Open post

The Second Step Problem

mepr-show if=”loggedout”]Hmmm…if you were registered, you’d see this entire video for free! Too bad, you’re not a registered user, which is free. Just sayin’….[/mepr-show]

The Second Step Problem

As Leads, there are many issues that we need to address and then redress, and then revisit several million times over and the reason is that while we may believe (operative word in the sentence) that we’re leading X, Y, or Z, the reality is far from that. Usually. It’s only when someone shows us video of what we’re doing that we actually begin to believe it. Watching ourselves in a mirror, or getting verbal feedback from a Follower that is keenly aware of these things, assuming that we’re open for feedback in the first place that we even begin to suspect that there may be an issue. In Today’s Tango Topic we visit one of those issues.

Today’s issue deals with a near constant malady for Leads. It’s one that in typical leading fashion they may not realize that they’re generating at all. This problem comes up regardless of whether or not the Lead is an intention based dancer, or a resistance based dancer. Either one, in either way of Leading will generate the problem.

Assuming for the moment that the Lead has placed their Follower on their left foot to start the dance. The typical opening first step, known as a Salida step, and then engaged in Forward Intention which in turn asks the Follower to extend their free right leg backward. This is, by the by, a huge assumption, and the problem child, because this is where the problem stated above (assuming that we’re doing X) begins. What happens on the next step is The 2nd Step Problem!

What Is The Second Step Problem ? In it’s simplest form, as a Lead gets to the end of their first forward step, they’ll tend towards standing upright, or becoming vertical. And then thinking or believing that the Follower is following them, they’ll continue forwards without engaging Forward Intention on the next step. So in effect, they’re moving forward without sending the signal for the Follower to extend their leg. As a result, they’ll slide their foot (really their leg) ‘under‘ and into their Follower’s free space on the second step.

The problem is two-fold, not just one. First and foremost, there’s a lack of Forward Intention going on. Secondly the Follower is giving the Lead a walking extension without actually being led to do so!

In it’s complex form, this problem can come up anywhere. In the video above it’s show just from a walking step. In reality it can and will come up nearly anywhere at all. This problem/issue/concern is far more widespread than you think it is. The belief is that it’s just beginner dancers that exhibit this assumption. The reality is closer to almost anyone, almost 90% of dancers generate this issue.

From a Following Perspective, you are so indoctrinated to ‘following‘ that you don’t even realize that you’re co-creating part of the problem. You know that you’re supposed to go backwards, and so from the moment the Lead steps into your space you instinctively step backwards, without really listening if there was in fact a ‘lead‘ present. Further still, your leg extension is a mixed bag response, typically with a bent knee going backwards as you pick your foot up off the floor all the while moving backwards and trying to transfer your weight going backwards. So by the time the 2nd step comes around you ‘give’ you Lead (the person, not the action) the desired response by default and keep doing it from that point forward. To be fair this is partly your issue for not being an honest Follower, and partly your dance partner’s fault, for not being clear with you. Now some of you will hear this as ‘wait for your Lead‘, which is an erroneous phrase that we hear so much of as Followers from our teachers that it becomes 2nd nature to us. As a result of this message being communicated to us repeatedly we end up becoming slow, lethargic, and non-responsive. This is not about ‘waiting‘, but is in fact about ‘listening’, and there is a radical difference between the two. At the same time if you’re thinking that this is simple word replacement you would be wrong. It’s not. It’s a mind shift from a passive form of dancing (waiting) to a very active form of dancing (listening). Listening is an active choice, because it requires mental engagement on your part. Every time that you give the Lead exactly they want, you are in fact encouraging them to continue to do X, Y, and Z which you know (from dancing with better Leads) is less-than-desirable, you’re sending the message that what that is doing is spot and should actually continue to do it. This is an error. If you want to send the right message, follow exactly what was led (for now) and nothing more. If you don’t feel it, you don’t go there. Don’t assume, listen.  At the same time, don’t believe that because I’m picking on the Follower right here, that this is a Follower problem, it’s not. It’s a co-contributed issue!

From a Leading Perspective, you have issues my friend. First and foremost, your issue is a lack of kinesthetic awareness. Secondly, you are trusting or believing that the Follower is going to give you what you want by moving backward on their own. Thirdly, your level of proprioception is way off from where it should be. That said, your primary issue, aside from the above, is that are unaware that you want to keep the forward intention going…well…forward. There is always, always, always that tiny amount of it. Every time that you back off on the forward intention it sends a message to the Follower that we’re stopping. As a result, we should stop as a couple, but we don’t. the Follower is confused a bit, and you just blindly move forward expecting that the Follower will go with you. And there’s your problem right there! The expectation that the Follower will just go with you. That’s problem number 1. Problem number 2 comes in the form, of the today’s topic – The Second Step Problem.

Let’s assume that you’re leading from intention and not resistance and that you employ a little lean forward. That lean forward is your forward intention, it’s just enough to ask the Follower to extend their leg, hence the intention part. This is not apilado though. Apilado would be the balancing of full on lean against each partner, a shared weight between the partnership. Something akin to what Carlos Gavito would have done. Similar but not the same. As we complete the first step, we become vertical again, taking out the ‘lean’ forward (or forward intention), and now on the 2nd step we rear back a bit, and then slide our leg under the Followers trying to continue forward. This is less than desirable for a variety of reasons, most notably that we have not actually sent a message to the Follower that they should continue backward. We just assume that it’s going to happen. Secondly, is that we become vertical and thereby pulling back on the reigns as it were (thereby stopping the Follower, if they were being honest, which they’re not). And Thirdly we attempt to cheat the second step by sliding it into the Follower’s free space, and then bob-and-weave the next few steps trying to work things together. The embrace becomes unwieldy, the partnership of the couple becomes unstable, we have ‘bumper car tango‘ basically. Not a pleasant experience.

The Dancing Reality is that this issue happens so often and so frequently that no one bothers to understand why it’s happening or more importantly how the hell to fix it. Or even to recognize that it’s an issue. However, the better Lead in the room knows what the problem is, and the better Follower may not be able to describe the issue but they do know that there’s an issue and it’s having them work harder than they want to, which is reason number 9843 (on a list of reasons) why a particular better Follower will say “NO” to a particular Lead’s cabeceo!

Fixing it ? The solution to this problem is actually not as simple as you might imagine, and it has everything to do with ingrained habits for both roles not just the Lead. The common thinking is that if the Lead just leads and the follow just Follows that everything should, hahahahaha, just work out. Not true. There’s a lot of assumptions going on here and there in lay the root of the problem first and foremost. Secondly there’s a lot of giving things that haven’t necessarily been asked for. So in order to solve this issue, the Lead has to be trained to feel that they’re not actually generating forward intention at all. And the Follower must be trained to stop giving Leads what they haven’t asked for. However, doing that will take longer than you might imagine due to the fact that these are ingrained habits that you’re completely unaware of. And watching a 5 minute video on the subject is only opening the doorway just a crack.

To be clear there are several solutions that this site offers to address this issue. However those solutions are not on this page. They’re actually hidden behind a paywall, sadly. They’re not free. You do actually have to subscribe to see them.

bsas-prep-title

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. 

Open post

Intention Based Dancing

Intention Based Dancing

Resistance, give me resistance! I can’t feel you!“. Followers hear this so often that it begs the question if Leads learn this as part of their technique classes on “How to be annoying in 10 seconds or less!” or “10 things to say to your Follower that will piss them off!”. Piss them off ? Yup. Why ? From a Leading perspective you’re screaming to your Followers that you need to control them, and that’s all you know and or can hear. From a Following perspective, it screams…”I am unstable” and “I need to hang on you!”. Tango is all about nuance, and that means asking your dance partners to move in a way that does not use ‘force’ on any level. While you think or believe that you would never, ever, force your dancing partners to do X, the fact is that you do it constantly with every partner. Until you are properly trained to hear this aspect of dancing, you will continue to do it. Today’s Tango Topic deals with the first step in this process of changing how we dance for the better. This topic is only a stepping stone. While the article and video, and really this website are those first stepping stones, the reality is that this is all about learning the kinesthetics of the situation, and that means studying with an Intention Based Teacher. But first we have to define, Intention Based Dancing.

learning tango is challenging. registering makes it easier. 😉

Have you seen the Six Ways of Walking Series ? This video series showcases the Six Ways of expanding your walk in Tango using: Parallel System Walking, Cross System Walking, Three Track Walking, ‘Lazy’ Ochos, The Snake Walks, & Alternate Walking.

Learn > The Six Ways Of Walking

mark found the habanera in gold madness. you can too! 🙂

What is Intention Based Dancing? In its simplest form ‘Intention’ is really about not using pressure, tension, or force, with one’s arms, or hands in any way, shape, or form to communicate an idea, a thought, or a movement. But rather the idea of ‘Intention’ is to intend to do something. To propose, to invite, to advice, to guide, to profer…these are all statements that we, as dancers, are asking our Partners to engage X. Where X can be, but is not limited to, a specific piece of tango vocabulary (Ocho, Cross, Molinete), a timing change, an embrace change, etc. Typically Intention is action of the Lead to the Follower, however the Follower can and should reciprocate this idea and practice as often as possible. We propose to our partners that we would like X to happen. That proposal is generally an extremely light physiological, and tactile contact, where the contact is not pressured at all. But rather the direction that we are going in is the intention of what X can be. This is the foundation of Intention Based Dancing. Because, as a rule, we use this technique throughout the entire lifecycle of a dance with our partners. 

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

you know registration is free, takes 2 minutes, & you get cool stuff. 🙂

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…

Read & Watch > Follower Technique

fred feared milonga. he got milonga madness. he rocks now.

From a Following perspective: Truth be told, you have been told so often, in nearly every class or workshop, by Female teachers (who rightfully should know better) and Male teachers that you must … ‘wait for your lead‘. As a result, that waiting turns into lag, or hesitation, in you. You get so used to ‘waiting’ and hesitation that you become reliant on that hesitation to do everything! That lag results in the Lead needing to push or force you to do X, Y, and Z which as a result turns into…resistance. In this instance, you want to move with the intent of what is being asked of you, quickly and decisively. As you feel the intent to move, GO! Don’t sit there and wait to be pushed to do something…GO! This is better known in the Tango Topics world as MYA (Move Your Ass). These statements can easily lead one to believe that we’re talking about an out of control Follower, or a willful Follower that is willy-nilly going wherever they feel the need to. That’s not the case. The intent in this case is very small, your goal is to read that ‘small’ part and then to interpret it as either forward, side, back, or incremental, and either linear or circular and then to go with it while at the same time following a basic principle: Staying ‘with‘ your Lead. 

if you registered, you’d get to see a lot of free content!

Have you seen any of our entire Leading Technique Series ? It’s over 5 hrs (18 videos) of Lead Technique covering your Extensions, Feet, Posture, Embrace, Walk, Embellishments, Traveling Ochos, The Follower’s Molinete, The Argentine Cross and more…

See > Lead Technique

adam is working on the sacada. he subscribed. he’s got it all worked out.

From a Leading perspective: You believe erroneously that you must apply force, pressure, tension, and ask for resistance to get what you want out of your Followers. When the complete opposite is true. Yes, you can apply force to them to get them to do what you want. This methodology, however, says that you must control them. It also says to them that you don’t trust them and can’t rely on them to listen to what you’re leading, and then to execute it. Furthermore what it also says is that they will never, ever be able to hear the level of precision that you desire the most. Put simply if you don’t take the ‘guiding’ (ahem… and this is being kind when using that word…it’s more ‘steering‘ and rough steering at that) platform of your arms and hands away from them, then they’ll never be able to control that stuff themselves because you’re too busy being heavy-handed. As a result they’ll never learn how to manage their own stability, and their own bodily control. Further still, you’ll never learn to lead someone with nuance instead of Force! And beyond that, you’ll never be able to tell when you have a Follower in your arms that responds to effortless dancing because you’re too busy over-functioning, over-managing, over-controlling them! Further still is that there is no way to separate what’s your’s and what’s theirs if you’re constantly forcing your dance partner to do X, Y, and Z. There’s only one game here, and that’s you telling, or dictating to the Follower what they should do. The whole point is to suggest, invite, engage…not tell! No one, absolutely no one likes to be told what to do. So if you don’t like it, what on god’s green earth makes you believe the Follower is going to enjoy it ? 

registration is free, costs nothing, and takes 2 minutes. 

Have you seen any of our Foundation Series ? It’s over an hr (8 videos) of Foundation Technique covering your Extensions, Feet, Posture, Embrace, and the beginnings of your Walk, and much more….

See > Foundations Bundle

milonga madness and a gold subscription together = 🙂

From a Dancing perspective: Most of this topic has dealt with resistance and it’s deleterious effects on the dancing couple. However, what would happen if you removed all that ‘stuff’ above ? What would happen if you were to engage stability as a Follower, where you didn’t need to be so heavy handed as a Lead ? What would happen if you were be responsible for your own walk, your own embrace, your own individual component of the dance ? What would happen ? Freedom is what happens! Options and opportunities happen! At first there is a lack of precision that occurs, and then later on the more that you practice this way of dancing the more precise control you have over the tiniest of things. For one thing there’s less sweat! This was of dancing is almost unreal! The dancing couple that is engaging in Intention Based Dancing is lighter, appears and acts effortless, there’s less stress on the couple as a whole, and more over far more precision in technique as well as musically. Over time what ends up happening to those people that dance from intention, both parties enjoy the experience and can then access the whole reason that they’re there for in the first place: Tango Nirvana. Now comes the kicker – a good portion of the better dancers use this ‘way’ of dancing. They don’t require the things described here because they know that something else is possible! Not all of them but a good portion of them employ this way of dancing.


Think of This: Applying resistance, tension, force, compression: Each time that you apply any of these things in any level of measure, it’s like a jarring transition from sleep! Do you like it when your alarm clock goes off first thing in the morning ? Probably not. Guess what ? You’re doing the same thing here with all that stuff to your dancing partners!

How do you change ? First do you want to change ? Put another way, do you want to wake your partners as if you were an alarm clock ? Probably not. Guess what ? You’re doing just that in a myriad of ways from your walk to your embrace to the choice of vocabulary. From a ‘THUD‘ to ‘Compression’ and everything in between. So if the answer to that question is a “I’d like to do that but it sounds like too much work and too much effort…” then thank you very much for reading, and have a lovely day!  Otherwise if the answer to that question is an emphatic “Yes Miles!!!” then there are a few solutions for you.

1.) Register as a free user, and you can read the rest of this article in its Entirety.
2.) Become a paying subscriber, and then you’ll have access to all the video content that is sitting behind the paywall. And more than a few of these videos discuss intention based dancing in detail.
3.) Try to work it out on your own. Good luck with that. 🙂

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

register for the site at no cost & get more great, and detailed content from tango topics!

 

Open post

Humble: Teacher vs. Maestro

Humble: Maestro vs. Teacher

The word ‘maestro‘ in spanish tends towards meaning a ‘master teacher‘. In english we tend towards removing the word ‘master‘ from that definition and end up with ‘teacher’. Nothing could be further from a bastardization than that.

Let’s back up a bit and get a bit personal. When my students call me ‘Maestro‘, I immediately correct them and refer to myself as a ‘teacher‘ and a barely competent one at that. I advise them that I have only been dancing for 10 years and teaching for 8 (9 if you count my first workshops in Boise, ID. And then private classes in San Francisco and then later on Portland, OR. while I was making up my mind), and in many eyes in the Tango world I am a baby that’s still wet behind the ears just learned how pee straight! They giggle at this, but it’s the truth. I am a baby. I admit this freely and openly. I am not a ‘Maestro’ by any stretch of the imagination. Nor do I respond to being one, ever. In 40 or 50 years, maybe.  Now ? Hahahahaha, NOT! At best I happen to have spent the better portion of the last 10 years devoted to the study, dance, application, and understanding how to educate you into being a better dancer. Does this make me a ‘Maestro‘ ? No. What it does do is give me a certain license to investigate, then describe, then discover, pull apart, put back together, investigate deeper, and then try to figure out how X, Y, and Z is accomplished within a given framework. Now comes the hard part…explaining that to you via 7 different modalities, and in any one of 11 different types of learning modes so that you get it and are able to replicate it, fully grok it, and then are able to pull it off with ease. Does that make me a ‘Maestro‘ ? No. Not by a long shot.

Yes this process gives me a greater perspective than you, I can turn an idea inside out, upside down, invert it, mirror it, revert it, and then apply it here and there on a whim… it is a freedom to play, and then to explore, and then to arrive at some layer of mastery over the form. But it does not by any stretch of the imagination mean that I am ‘Maestro‘ in the typical sense of the word the way that you mean it when you say it.

So what is a ‘Maestro‘ ?

In it’s simplest explanation, this is a person who has the ability to do all of the above plus – the ability to execute with perfect clarity every, single, time. This doesn’t happen over night but in fact over many, many, many years … decades in fact. Where you can turn this stuff on and off like a switch without thinking about it while at the same time adding perfectly executed nuance and subtly. While I can do those things as well…a ‘Maestro‘ executes it with far greater skill and a deftness of nuance that in my 10 years I can not hope to achieve. I bow to a greater power than myself.

The Fact of the Matter.

There are lots and lots and lots of Tango Teachers in the world. Some of them are desirable. Some of them are…ummm…hacks at best, doling out barely understood information and oft repeated phrases that they think are helping their students but truly isn’t.

However, there are very few ‘Maestros‘ in the world.

I’ll give you an example of what I mean.

Comparing me (as a teacher) is one thing to someone like Chicho. But putting me on a stage next to Chicho is very obvious. He’ll wipe the floor with me. 😉 That’s a ‘Maestro‘. Going a little deeper with Chicho for just one second, here’s a guy that repeatedly (in nearly every performance) will go off-beat because he can, and executes it with deft clarity that a.) you see it. and b.) you’re amazed by its execution! and here’s the kicker, you actually have to stop and say…’holy frak! that was off-beat!’. Whereas I ? I understand off-beat, I can execute off-beat, and I can dance off-beat if I want to, however…to throw it in there as an off-the-cuff execution ? Hahahahhahahahahaha!

Still another is that Horacio Godoy will regularly play with Tango Sincopa in a very tradition sense of the word, and then what is called ‘pitter-patter’ to emphasize the Sincopa that’s happening in the music. Me ? I can hear the sincopa. I can hit the sincopa when I want to. I can hit patter any time I want. I can even plan it out because I know the song. Horacio ? Good christ! He’ll do all that AND then add a double time and then a half-time on top of it because he can without even thinking about it in Milonga. That my friends is a ‘Maestro’. I am a teacher. Those are ‘Maestros’. Never confuse the two. ©Tango Topics.

Open post

Sacada Triangle Methodology

To See the Full Version of this video, Please Register, it’s Free! or just scroll to the bottom and fill out the form!

Sacada Triangle Methodology

The Sacada is probably one of Tango’s more interesting pieces of Tango vocabulary. Mostly because it looks really cool and complicated. And yet it’s complexity can be explained in one simple sentence – It’s an illusion! The illusion is an intersection of walking techniques. The Lead’s walk intersecting the Follower’s. It’s walking, nothing more than that. It’s just never explained that way. And yet, that’s exactly what it is. However, there’s a cute little trick that happens for every sacada, every single sacada no matter how complex, no matter how difficult it may appear. It’s an observation that I don’t own, but rather compsve fro a very reliable argentine source. So what’s the cute little trick ? The Triangle Methodology!

see spot run. see spot tango. see spot register. good spot.

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.

What is a Sacada ? First, a Sacada consists of a walking step that just so happens to intersect with your partner’s walking step at the same time that they’re stepping forward, side, or back. Secondly and this part you have to keep in the back of your mind: It’s an illusion. An illusion of walking, an illusion of technique, and an illusion of execution. To put it simply the Sacada is really just a walking illusion that intersects with someone else’s walk. And that’s the part that most people are confused by. What they see is the illusion, and try to re-create the illusion instead of focusing on the part that will actually help them to get to the root of the Sacada, the walking part! Which is to say that people focus on the flash and not the substance! It’s just a step forward and side (and sometimes back, but not in Today’s Tango Topic), which is going cut through, and step very close to someone else’s step which results in a displacement of someone’s leg. The hard part for most people is the timing of that displacement, not to mention where that displacement goes. Speaking of ‘displacements’ the Sacada is in the family of Tango vocabulary that are called ‘displacements‘, and that’s because of two factors that occur: 1.) Because whoever is initiating the Sacada will take the place of the one who is receiving the Sacada. You are displacing, and sometimes being displaced. And 2.) The one who is receiving the Sacada will displace their free leg as a result of the intersection of the walk. Further down the rabbit hole, the Sacada is one of the 4 common Displacements that Tango Topics talks about which are: 1.) The Sacada. 2.) Ganchos. 3.) Boleos. 4.) Enganches or what is commonly known as an Argentine Wrap!

And just for your further edification because some people ask the question “How many types of Sacadas are there ?”. Answer: There are 22 Types of Sacadas, and a total of 501 variations of those 22 Types. And yes we have done the math, and it comes out to 501. The types, just in case you hadn’t thought about it, but we have, are as follows:

1.) Forward Sacadas (from Linear, Circular, or Over-Rotated Ochos) in Parallel & Cross System.
2.) Side Sacadas (from a Curved Side Step) in Parallel & Cross System.
3.) Back Sacadas (from Back step, or Circular or Over-Rotated Ochos) in Parallel & Cross System.
4.) Linear Sacadas (from a Linear Side Step, or Linear Forward Step) in Parallel & Cross System.
5.) Chained Sacadas (Think: Cadenas) In Parallel & Cross System.
6.) Walking Displacement Sacadas in Parallel & Cross System.
7.) Multiple Forward/Side/Back Sacadas in Parallel & Cross System.
8.) Multiple Alternate A (same foot) Sacadas (You’ll see an example of this in the Forward Sacadas section).
9.) Molinete Sacadas (from the Follower’s MolineteThe Lead’s Molinete, and/or the Anti-Molinete).
10.) Orientation Change Sacadas (See the Anti-Molinete, and/or the American Embrace).
11.) Two Footed Sacadas (jump into the sacada).

That’s 11 Types of Sacadas, and each role can perform these, so we end up with 22 Types of Sacadas. Now there are even further variations on a theme of these ideas where you can theoretically mix and match any one of these ideas with another on the list and create a hybrid of the two. However, it was late and we’d already gone through 1002 possibilities and then someone mentioned the concept of Tango Topology and that just blew everything out of the water by halving everything and so we stopped counting there … so 501, and 22 types is enough for one lifetime. 🙂

Difficulty Rating: 2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)

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 ? 🙂

FREEMIUM REGISTRATIONpractical tango advice, open articles, free videos

you can do better, all it takes is practice and time.

The Reality of WHY You Need This: There are many moves, steps, patterns, and figures to Argentine Tango that are really cool. What you may not realize is that most of that stuff is ‘fluff’, they’re nice to have, they’re nice to know, but honestly, you’re not going to use them that often! Mind you this is one side of the argument. This ain’t that! This piece is one of the more venerable selections of Argentine Tango that you will use frequently like Walking, Milonguero Ochos/Milonguero Turns, The Follower’s Molinete/Traveling Ochos, or The Argentine Cross. Tango Topics take this stuff very seriously, and we say that because we use this stuff ALL – THE – TIME! Our case is that you need this stuff because > This is all about foundation, or one of the Seven Foundation Steps that we use all the time to create the dance that we know as Argentine Tango. That’s why! 🙂 That said, you do actually need to watch this stuff. You can learn what you need from this video and then apply it. No lie. No gimmick. As always YMMV and to remember that the video itself is only a stepping stone! You will need some private lessons to go along with it to get the ‘feel’ of things. That is the reality of WHY you need this stuff. So subscribing for a few months to TangoTopics to get what we’re on about wouldn’t kill you. Further, it would probably help to hear another person saying what your current tango teacher has been saying all along. Think of this stuff as one more reminder that you absolutely need to hear.

bsas-prep-title

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

register for the site at no cost & get more great, and detailed content from tango topics!

 

Open post

256 Argentine Cross Variations

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

register for the site at no cost & get more great, and detailed content from tango topics!

 

Open post

La Variación – Tango Topics

A Little 'La Variación'

Years ago when we were just itty bitty tango dancers and really just starting to understand the world Argentine Tango, the codigos, the seemingly endless hours of technique classes, the social dynamics. It was all very overwhelming. On one particular afternoon after months of doing our daily music exercise (picking a singular piece of music and deconstructing it into its 4 major parts, sometimes 5). We ran across something, an artifact that didn’t make a whole lot of sense at the time. We put it aside for ‘later’. ‘Later’, came about 5 YEARS later when watching a friend’s video on youtube and them raving about this thing called “La Variación“. What in the blueblazes was THAT ? Naturally this piqued our interest and off to the races we went. A few hours later when we came up for air, we discovered that we had already discovered this thing FIVE years earlier and made a note of it to go back and figure out what this thing was. Then something else happened after our re-discovery and we wondered why it wasn’t taught, if it all. Because when you stop and actually hear it, you realize this stuff is everywhere and then it’s like the flood gates open.

free registration ? practical tango advice. free music. tango thoughts. free videos & more.

Have you seen our Full Musical Course ? It covers the Beat, On Beat, Off Beat, The 5 Musical Pauses, Tango Music History, What to Listen for, How to Listen, and includes 14 Days of Tango Music, then 30 Days of Intensive Music, and more! For Leads & Followers! Take Your Musical Understanding To A Whole Other Level!

Try > Our Tango Music Course

bob was mr. boleo. he subscribed. now he walks & his partners love him.

What is “La Variación” in Tango Music ? It’s a variation of the musical theme. Each piece of Tango Music has a major theme, and that theme can be ‘varied’, hence the term. La Variacion happens in a very specific place within the music. Usually near the end of the piece about 30 seconds before the end of music. Not all compositions posses one but a good portion of them do. Sometimes this variation will run at double time, sometimes even faster than that. A good indicator that you’re hearing La Variación is to listen for when the musical instruments, and in specific the bandoneons, ‘go crazy’. They seemingly speed up to an ungodly fevered pitch and tempo.

What you may not realize is that, like most people, you dance right past this thing all the time without paying any attention to it’s signifigance. It’s in nearly every piece of tango music, by every major orchestra, in almost every age after a certain point. If you listen to the piece above by Pugliese, which you’ve probably heard 10,000 times, and you hear La Variación, is that there is clearly a beat under it that you can walk to. And so that we’re clear, there’s nothing wrong with walking to that beat. What you can’t do is just dance past it. There’s something you should be doing to it. Actually one of two things. One of those things is walking. The other … well … read on. If you want an example of walking to the beat of La Variación in one of the more popular Variación pieces (Pedro Laurenz – ‘No Me Extraña’, and yes this is in our library for all subscribed users), look at this example, the fun begins at 1:41.

Rightfully in today’s Tango world, with the state of Modern Tango being what it is (because it turns a LOT). It is seemingly sometimes impossible to engage La Variación due to a few factors – space being chief among them. Skill being another. Still one more is awareness (musical, partner, and space). However, the mere fact that you know that it’s there and more importantly that you’re aware of La Variación is half the battle! Mistakenly you may be tempted to think that this is just a ‘Lead’ thing. Nope. The Follower has a role here as well and it’s NOT to just FOLLOW what’s being led! This is in our opinion a very misunderstood role here. The Follower can and should dance La Variación when led to do so. This should be an awakening to the trained ACTIVE Follower in all of us that hear La Variación and want to dance to it!

Very few teachers teach this idea of the music and the dance, for several reasons, most notably it’s fallen out of fashion. Furthermore it can sometimes be rather destructive to the line of dance IF engaged inappropriately. Still another and this is it’s Achilles Heel: It requires you to up your game skillwise. You can not simply just dance La Variación without upping the execution of your technique. Otherwise, and this is what we alluded to earlier, you look sloppy. This is the primary reason why it’s not mentioned, taught, or discussed. Typically and historically speaking, the La Variación was used in the Milongas throughout the 40’s and 50’s and much later on as Tango resurged in the 80’s as a way to ‘test’ the Lead, and really the dancing couple, to see if they had their collective sh*t together. If you danced it, and were witnessed doing so, and doing it well, you got the ‘nod’. If you danced it poorly…well…ummm…no ‘nod’. Which is to say that the other dancers in the room thought well of you, or they didn’t. You were good, but if you danced La Variación, you were …. one of the cool kids! This was a way for the dancers to test each other. To see if they could one-up each other.

In today’s Tango world, that still happens, just less frequently, and on an informal basis between friends and dancers. In the last 2 years there has been a formalization of La Variación into a sort of competition that shows off the skills and the stamina of the dancers. Which is sort of what it was before. Bragging rights if you will. Today it’s being elevated to a whole other layer of bragging rights, a competition. If you search for it online, we’re certain you’ll run across it.

Mind you, in the example above with Biagi, this is a slow version of La Variación, there are loads and loads of these things out there, all you have to do is listen for it. This is one more reason why you want to pay attention to the structure of Tango Music. Still one more layer to the onion that you think you’ve heard 10,000 times, but 10,00 and 1, now you hear something entirely different that changes your perspective and bam, you see that the mountain you thought you had conquered is even bigger and badder than you thought!

Variation in Variación. In our definition of what La Variación above we stated that La Variación usually happens about 30 seconds before the song ends. There are many instances where that’s not true. It happens much sooner in a piece. The funny thing is that you hear this stuff all the time, and don’t pay any attention to it. Below is an example of what we’re on about. What we have here is an example where La Variación occurs at 1:48 into the piece! Clearly not at the end. And in such a recognizable piece. This is Juan D’Arienzo’s 1971 version of “La Cumparsita”. If you go and listen to the more popular version that you hear all the time (the 1951 or 1963 versions which are slightly different from each other in clarity and in terms what he did with the piece), you’ll hear a very clear and different idea that occurs at 1:48. The example below starts at 1:06 of the piece and goes through to lead up to the La Variación so that you hear the progression.

That said, it wouldn’t kill you to start your Tango Music studies with Tango Topics. We have a range of courses to help you hear the structure of Tango Music itself, as well as what to do with it using our Musical Interpretation Series.

free registration ? practical tango advice. tango thoughts. free videos & more.

Have you seen our Musical Interpretation Series ? It covers Walking, Traveling Ochos, Milonguero Ochos, The Argentine Cross, and the Follower’s Molinete and how to use them to interpret the Music in a structured but highly creative and inventive way: Using the 5 Musical Pauses!

See > All Our Musical Interpretation Videos

ben was mr. gancho. he subscribed. now he walks & his partners love him.

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

register for the site at no cost & get more great, and detailed content from tango topics!

 

Open post

The Accent Note

The Accent Note

The Accent Note is rife in Tango, Milonga, and Vals. It’s everywhere and also in the most unexpected places! They are there for one reason: To draw attention to that particular measure of music that you’re listening to, highlighting that measure as if it were bolded, italicized, or underlined text. Because of the accent notes emphasis, it gives us something really cool to play with from a dancing perspective.

From a Following perspective: The active Follower perspective (meaning: that you’re not hanging, pulling, pushing, squeezing, compressing the living daylights out of your Leads and can walk unassisted in a pair of 3 inch heels, as well as turn, ocho, and boleo without help…at minimum and have moved on to actually redirecting your leads, and interpreting the music…), where you can interject an embellishment to the accent notes.

From a Leading perspective: Most of the time that we hear this stuff we just keep going, never realizing that dancing to the Accent Note can separate us as Leads! Quite honestly hitting the accent note is a little like an unexpected, but fun, “What was THAT ?” experience for the Follower. Truthfully we don’t want to do this constantly, but enough times so that there is logic to our dancing experience. You’ll note in this example that there are 4 of these accent notes, meaning that it’s not a random number. There’s purpose in that. Stuff like this always come in pairs or even numbers, never an odd number of things. This same idea plays itself out on a much larger scale than you imagine. 😉

From a musical perspective: Given the recent notations on this page about Tango Sincopa, it is quite possible that you may hear this and think that this is a Sincopa! That would be a mistake. Now the question is WHY isn’t this a Sincopa ? To figure this stuff out takes time, that’s why it’s important to have a good resource to study this stuff. Register for Tango Topics and get access to materials like this today. 😉 

Scroll to top