Tango Topics | Exploring Your Dance

Open post

Follower Technique 2019

If you were logged in, you’d see the Premium version of this Tango Topic!

Notation: This Tango Topic was originally written on June 3rd, 2016. It has been updated and expanded.

Follower Technique

For most Followers the words “Follower Technique” boils down to 5 things (minus adornments and embellishments): 1.) Posture. 2.) Embrace. 3. ) Forward Steps. 4.) Side Steps. 5.) Back Steps. Sometimes this line of thinking may cover the concept of Body Position (where one is in relation to the Lead) and beyond that even, Body Placement (what one does with that Body Position – e.g. vocabulary) within the construct of the embrace (e.g. how to stay in front of and then with your Lead). The thinking usually stops right about there. Most Follower’s, and even Leads don’t even consider that Walking-in-Opposition, then Disassociation, and then finally, Applied Disassociation as a basis for Follower Technique, and why it’s an important piece of the equation in certain pieces of Tango Vocabulary (such as Traveling Ochos, or the Follower’s Molinete). Today’s Tango Topic deals with explaining this stuff and then going a little deeper with these things. It should be noted that just because the title is “Follower Technique” that the Lead should tune out because there’s nothing here for you. And that would be flat out wrong! This topic is not just for Followers looking for a hint, any hint, that could boost their understanding. It’s also for the Lead wanting to understand what the Follower has to do in order to stay with them. So without Further yapping, Tango Topics Presents: Follower Technique.

What is ‘Follower Technique’? In its simplest form, it is a series of skills that when put together create a ‘dancing platform’ for the Follower. This is a platform that the Follower builds into their body through painstaking, detailed, carefully crafted motions that consists of: How to walk forward, side, and/or back; What one’s stance or posture should be like and under what conditions it may change; How to embrace and where and why;  What Close Embrace wants to be; What Open Embrace wants to be; Where and how the Follower has to be in relation to their Lead, within the different embrace types (‘Close Embrace, Open Embrace, Vee Embrace, Open Vee, Closed Vee, Berlin, etc) so that they’re always…always…always in ‘front of’ their Lead;  How to land the foot; How to extend the leg; Where the knee bend occurs;  Why one would ‘open’ one’s hip and under what conditions;  How to generate a slight open ‘v’ with the feet, and when, where, and why one would want to do that….just to name a few. For most people when they hear the phrase “Follower Technique” they think ‘pretty’ feet or most people think of Follower technique as just the Follower’s Back Step or a Forward step in the Molinete, and everything else just sort of works.

That’s not true.

Follower Technique is an economical, efficient, movement platform that is based on decades-old work, that many Followers have passed down from one Follower to another, who have been out social dancing within the Milonga experience. And then taken that social dancing knowledge and refined it, honed it, made it their own.

Follower Technique can go a lot deeper…a lot deeper! In Deeper Follower Technique, the Follower studies all three of the three primary steps and then takes it to a whole other level. Truly, Deep Follower Technique is all about the detail, it is all about the precision. And lastly, but not the least of which is that it’s all about the execution! Yes it is learning about to use one’s feet in relationship to the structure that is Argentine Tango, but it is also about learning how to use one’s body in an efficient, economical, and elegant way that accentuates themselves as well as their L/lead and what’s being done, while at the same time keenly aware of one overriding principle: One Step At A Time! But contained within that step is a monster amount of kinesthetic awareness, body consciousness, physiological history, a corporeal locomotion, muscle memory, tendon memory, nervous system memory, that when executed altogether – creates that one singular step that brings into it all of the things mentioned before.

This is Follower Technique.

Is Follower Technique easy work ? No! Although to listen to some Leads spouting their idea of what the Follower should or shouldn’t do, you’d think it was a cake walk! Ummm in a word, “NOT!”. Is Follower Technique, as a whole, something you can learn in an afternoon ? Possibly, depending on the teacher. But really Follower Technique takes more than a few sessions to work out the bugs (as it were). This isn’t about balance and stability, yes those things are there but there are other things to consider. In the end Follower Technique wants to become rote behavior, second nature, a naturally built-in response, or default but controlled, contained, and conscious behavior in the person that is dancing the role of the Follower. So a better answer to that second question is “NO”. Follower Technique is going to take a while. And anyone that tells you different either hasn’t studied the role of the Follower for very long or is lying through their teeth. The fact is that Follower Technique takes years to get, then to adjust and finally to perfect. And going further down the rabbit hole what works for some people may not work for everyone! In case you were unclear on this part, some people’s bodies are built differently, and that means their anatomical areas may not necessarily line up with what some Amazing Follower Teacher has said and/or shown. So, no, sometimes other ways of moving have to be employed. Follower Technique is not a one size fits all! Some of it is, and some of it isn’t. The part that is confusing about it, is figuring out which one is which! 😉

From a Following Perspective a good portion of Followers do know Follower Technique when they see it. They may not able to describe what they’re looking at, but they are able to recognize it. Unfortunately, that recognition is limited to what they’ve been exposed to. Meaning they’re only able to recognize what they’re familiar with…most of the time. This is a plus and a minus at the same time.

Let’s get right down to the crux of this stuff: ‘Follower Technique’ matters a whole lot on multiple levels, because the correct execution of physiological movement actually improves each and every single step that one takes. Which improves the quality of the vocabulary being executed, which improves the quality of the dance on the whole! One tiny change here, or there, can quite literally change the outcome a dance. It really is that big. So it stands to reason having good, clean, clear Follower Technique is paramount to better responsiveness in one’s dancing.  Put another way: It quite literally changes a dance from ‘meh‘ to ‘omg‘ or sometimes to ‘omFg‘! However that ‘omg‘, or ‘omFg‘, has a lot of gradations built into it for one simple reason: It depends on the amount of study and practice time that the Follower has spent on working their skillz. It also depends on the amount of detailed information that the Follower possess and what materials they’ve been given to study with, and how they’ve been given that information. Further still those gradations also depend on one’s own hyper self-awareness, and more importantly, the level of corrective self-behavior the Follower is willing to employ to change, modify, and/or correct their skillz.

It’s just Forward, Side, and Back…NOT! There’s more to it than that. A lot more to it. And while it is seemingly easy to ‘just‘ follow (As if!). The reality of Following is far greater than those three steps. First and foremost it is learning how to extend one’s leg, and land one’s feet in such a way that allows one to move with ease, while at the same time keeping the partnership together all the while allowing the couple to move effortlessly, but doesn’t feel jerky or bouncy. That right there is a tall order nad takes a while to get. Secondly, then to clean up that walk visually on the first pass, so that the Follower isn’t generating a ‘crab walk’ backward with bent knees, and uncontrolled foot placements, which invariably end up as ‘THUD’. Thirdly, it’s recognizing that the walk is connected to one’s embrace and that if the walk is clean, the embrace does not need to be compressive, restrictive, or pressured, and yes that means NO RESISTANCE, No Tension, No Force is required….ever. Fourthly, at some point along the curve, the Follower recognizes that their own internal stability is based on how they engage in their walk. Too far to one side, or too far to another side of their foot and their wholly unstable. Fifthly they recognize the root of their issues is/are their weight transfers from one ‘step’ to the next, and how they land their foot, and in what position. Lastly, they recognize their own Posture, and how their body moves in space and time in relation to their Lead (this is known as Body Placement). Forward, Side, and Back is just the beginning of this stuff. It’s the tip of a very large iceberg.

Follower Technique is Execution! Probably the single most important part of Follower Technique is it’s Execution. This is the bees-knees as it were. If the execution of how something is done is done poorly, sloppily, or haphazardly, then everything is off. That’s not a joke. That’s reality. Wobbling, Wavering, Wandering in how one executes a step, will result in the entire platform (walk, embrace, posture) being ‘off’. Precision is the name of this game, and the more precise that execution, the more exact it is, the more controlled and contained it is, the more practiced it is, the more it becomes effortless. Alongside that execution is the ability to control the power, and or strength of that execution. Meaning how much effort is required to do X, Y, or Z. And what goes part and parcel with that is a hyper-awareness of what is being led to generate this stuff. If all of that sounds about as fun as watching paint dry think of it this way: It’s a little like walking into a house that one just bought and then realizing that the walls aren’t painted, the floors aren’t safe and will need to be replaced, and the roof leaks! Which ultimately means spending a lot more money than what one spent to buy the house. Not so much with that. So as a result we want to learn to execute our technique with control, power, and containment.

That said there are 5 Guiding Principles of Follower Technique that we want to keep in the back of our minds:

1.) Always, always, always overshoot to underdo! What does that mean ? It means that the Follower must extend their capabilities to their upper limits and then continually expand them beyond what they think they can do. Why ? Because if you can do this stuff in the extreme, then executing something in the minimal will be a piece of cake!

2.) If you have to think about X while it’s happening then it’s too damned late! Meaning ? That if you have just finished a class with Famous Teacher “A”, and then you go out social dancing afterward and suddenly in the middle of dancing with your favorite Lead as they’re leading you to ‘Y’ tango move, you suddenly remember what you ‘studied’ in a lesson with A. Blip. It’s over. Damn it!!! You missed it. Why ? Because you had to stop and think about it to recognize it for what it was. It was a bit off from what said Famous Teacher A showed you, but that was a “Y”! And you missed it. Is it the end of the world ? No, it’s not. But if this continues to happen, it means that you are not prepared. And prepared, in this case, means…see #3!

3.) Practice, Practice, Practice, Practice, and….ummm…wait for it….PRACTICE. What does THAT mean ? Practice means solo practice time. It means that one spends a good deal of one’s time working in front of a mirror, without heels (that’s another point on it’s own) working on how one moves and making it clean, clear, effortless so that you build muscle memory. So that when said Amazing Lead comes along, and they will, eventually, that the Follower is ready for the experience instead of fumbling through it trying desperately to remember what Famous Teacher “A” said…yup, too late all because the Follower didn’t spend enough time practicing. Practicing also means working with a regular series of partners that are diverse enough in their skill sets that the Follower gets a wide range of experience to execute what they’re working on.

4.) Have a plan! This one is so dead simple but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t have a plan. Here’s a good one. Start every Solo Practice session with extensions (in case you’re wondering ‘YES!’, Tango Topics has a video on this idea, several actually), and then spend about a half hour warming up with that stuff. And then going deeper into your regime on Forward, Side, and Back, Body Position, Body Placement, Weight Transfers, Foot Position, Foot Placement. Here’s still another one, start every individual couple practice time with the first tanda doing nothing but ‘walking’. That’s having a plan!

5.) Flats To Start With. Really. These things are your saving grace. On multiple levels. Do your solo work and practice sessions in flats first and foremost. You’ll spare yourself oodles of pain later on down the line. The reality is that the Follower needs to be able to feel the floor, and the heeled shoe (sometimes) obscures that feeling. And sometimes, depending on the manufacture of the shoe, it actually compensates for the stability of a particular movement.  More often than not a heel deadens the sensation of the foot landing on the floor, or the impact of the foot on the floor. A flat does not do those things. The Follower feels the floor and their ability to move across the floor.

What To Focus On ?  The Follower wants to pay attention to these things in sequence:

1.) Posture, Posture, Posture. Learning what it means, from a Tango Perspective, to stand upright without creating rigidity in one’s body or stance. Learning how to elongate one’s spinal column without injury and/or pain. Learning how to lengthen one’s body, how to stand, how and why a slight compression (a micro-bend) of the knee is incredibly important…everywhere! That’s a hint by the way…the rest of this type of information is in the Foundations Video Series. However, one’s posture will affect the next 8 points. Hunch over, and nothing looks desirable. Ramrod straight, and you end up looking like a Robot. We want something in between that is comfortable and maintainable.
2.) The Weight Change, and later on the weight transfer. A weight change is done from a standing or collection position. A weight transfer is done from passing through collection position!
3.) The Leg Extension Begins Where? The leg extension comes from a very specific place, and understanding what that place is and under what conditions, and why is insanely important. As a.) The conditions are not always the same. and b.) The Extension is not always the same under certain conditions.
4.) Extending The Leg. This is actually extending the leg from a static position and working that extension over and over and over again. But more importantly focusing on what that looks like from multiple angles, using video from the side and from the front and back, and not just a mirror. Mirrors can and do ‘lie’ quite frequently. “Lie” isn’t the right word there. More like when you’re looking in the mirror, you only see a moment of time, not the entire thing. And you want the entire movement over time. It is for this reason that the Follower wants to use VIDEO from the side, and front, and back…constantly IN ADDITION to the mirror!
5.) The Shape of the Leg over that same period of time – where the knee must bend, and why, and under what conditions because they’re not always the same!
6.) Landing the Foot, where, and what part of the foot one lands on, and under what conditions. Because again, it’s not always the same. Which may come as a surprise to some of you reading this and wondering what those conditions might be. Here’s a helpful hint: SUBSCRIBE!
7.) The Shape of the Foot in the landing on part 6 above. The reality is that the shape of the foot creates the end point of the step and if that shape looks shoddy, then the extension that created it will look shoddy. 🙁 Shape ? It’s very important!
8.) The Weight Transfer. Now the weight transfer comes into play because more than likely you’re in motion after the first step….and now you need to understand where that weight transfer comes into play and why steps 3 – 7 are insanely important! Because now you’re in motion and while the static positions of an extension are nice to look at, that’s not where the problems come up once you’ve got the extensions down (or so you think), it’s the transition from one element to the next!

Now without going into a lot of detail, that’s what the video series is for, you really do need constant reminders, constant practice, and constant visuals to guide you towards a better way to doing these things. This is, unfortunately not something you can do on your own. You do actually require someone else to, at the very least show you what you need to focus on. Those 8 points above are all fine and good in text, but seeing it is very important…hence the video thing. This is an hour long video series that goes into great depth.

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

Class/Seminar Work vs. Video. Work. There really isn’t an either – or. The reality is that the whomever is studying the role of the Follower needs as many reminders, and valid examples of what should happen within the construct of the 3 primary steps as well as the inner workings of Traveling Ochos, the Follower’s Molinete, the Argentine Cross, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Class/Seminar work is great for in person, time spent, corrective work. Video work is great for seeing the same work that was done in a classroom setting and giving you a chance to see it again, and again, and again so that you can get every last piece of information you can from what was said and shown.

In this video series, which is ongoing by the by, there are (at the time of this writing) 13 sections that cover mostly what one does with one’s legs, and how we want our legs to appear, as well as how to move them, what to practice, how to land your foot, how NOT to land your foot (Lazy Follower’s Foot), how handle the most troubling aspect in all of Argentine Tango: The Follower’s Molinete, and to make it functional instead of an exercise in pain! However, understand that this video series is also spread out over a wide range of videos that integrate Follower’s Technique into the Movements/Topics on this site.

Heelwork. Working in Flats is all fine and good but at some point, someone or something is going to drive you to want to put on a pair of heels. And that’s where the Follower’s whole world is going to go topsy-turvy all over again. Balance will need to be redone. Stability will be an issue, again. And the embrace will change (slightly) due to the fact that the Follower is now in a pair of 3 in heels!

Heelwork is not easy, it’s elegant, yes….but it is not easy work. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, patience, and a lot of trial and error, lots and lots and lots of errors, to get this stuff just right so that it doesn’t look ungainly, so that all that Follower Technique doesn’t go out the window, while at the same time it isn’t too much a stretch of your physiological capabilities. Truthfully, Heelwork is refining the Follower’s skillset, while at the same time taking it to a whole other level and then adding ‘gracefulness’ to it.

Understand something – Heelwork plays hell with one’s anatomy and in specific the Plantar Nerve! So it stands to reason that we want to ease into heelwork by building up the muscles around the Plantar Nerve in flats and then start working on refining our skills, not being thrown into the deep end of the pool right from the start (learning in heels immediately). And then going one step further (no pun intended), adding style and detail to that heelwork! This is one reason why the Follower works in flats to start off with building up slowly to working towards the ultimate goal of being in a pair of heels.

Who to work with ? The question comes up, can you learn proper technique in person ? Yes. Can you learn less than desirable technique in person ? YUP! And the same is true of video work. What matters is the source of the information and goes right back to picking a good teacher or a knowledgeable source of the skill set. Which brings up another question, does that source have to be a woman ? Answer…No, it does not. It can be anyone that has spent a good amount of time studying the form of either role, gender doesn’t matter. What matters most is how deeply involved that person has immersed themselves in the form. Quite frankly, most men that invest in being a ‘good’ Follower want to be better than the women around them because they’ve recognized that they don’t want to be that ‘girl’ that sits. Further still they want to get it ‘right’, so they’ll invest hours…weeks…months in learning the intricate in’s-and-out’s of Following. Their goal is not to perform, nor is it necessarily to teach, it’s to understand the form as a whole. Truth be told there are more than a few really amazing male Followers in the world and to be quite honest with you, they blow the doors off your run-of-the-mill Followers and more than a few ‘performing’ teacher Followers IMHO.

From a Leading Perspective most Leads (the person) don’t have the skill set, or the language for that matter, to describe, be aware of, or to witness whether or not a Follower is executing proper technique. This is mostly because they don’t dance the role of the Follower themselves. Isn’t it odd that a good portion of them dole out advice to Followers in an attempt to ‘help‘ as to what the Follower should be doing though ? The only thing that they’re truly aware of is whether or not the Follower is in the right place, at the right time, when they asked (or in a lot of cases told, and shoved) them to be. They can sort of tell when it feels good, and they can tell when it’s not. Which mostly boils down to when the Follower isn’t ‘following’ what they believe they were leading. This comprises the Lead’s understanding of ‘good‘ Follower Technique. Honestly, the lot of them could give a damn if the Follower does X, Y, or Z just as long as they do what was led. If they add anything, just make damned certain that it doesn’t get in the way of what the Lead is leading, and for good christ’s sake don’t screw it up! And whatever is done, don’t miss anything!!! Oh and make it feel good while you’re at it. Oh and make it look amazing. Oh and …. if this sounds like a wish list of the Lead, that’s because it is. The reality is that a good portion of them don’t Follow and have no desire to learn to Follow for some reason that could best be described as Male Ego. So as far as Follower Technique is concerned, the only thing they care about is following what was led. Sigh. Sadly, very few have the forethought to appreciate just how much work goes into all of the seemingly magical experience of dancing with the Amazing, Effortless Follower. If that sounds myopic, it’s partially because there’s some (operative word) truth to that, and some hyperbole. 😉 Some Leads do actually care but not about technique, just about the overall execution.

So here’s some sage advice to the Lead that wants to understand Follower Technique:

If you don’t dance the role, then stop giving advice as to what the Follower should be doing, and instead use the following phrase to help them to understand what you’re sensing and/or feeling when they execute what you’ve led: “I feel …” or “I felt this…” and then tell them exactly what you felt by using “I” statements, not “YOU” statements. See the Post on Giving (and Receiving) Feedback.

If they ask you for feedback on the dance floor, at a Milonga. Smile, and say the following words: “I don’t give feedback on the dance floor at a Milonga”.

If they ask you for feedback at a Practica. Employ the Giving (and Receiving) Feedback model stated above, and THEN go find a teacher! 😉

If they don’t ask for feedback, then don’t give them unsolicited feedback even if they’re a beginner and you know how to fix X, Y, and/or Z.

If they’re hanging, pulling, pushing, compressing, squeezing, or anything else that’s bugging the living crap out of you, you have 2 options: 1.) Suck it up! 2.) Keep quiet until the end of the tanda and then say two words, “THANK YOU“. The reason ? Remember something – YOU ASKED FOR THE DANCE! So, therefore, you get to live with the benefits of your choices. Not to stand there in the middle of the line of dance and correct them about what’s bugging you about what you’re not actually leading and they’re having to read your mind.

So what can you do if you want to help the Follower with their Technique ?  Invite them to a private lesson or practica where you know a teacher can help them with their understanding of Follower Technique.

Are you getting where this is going yet ? In other words, keep your opinions to yourself, and actually, go study Follower Technique. It will do wonders for your own dancing skills, and probably create a greater appreciation for dancing the role of the Follower. Any Lead that has made this transition knows this axiom to be true: If you want to be a great Lead, start learning how to Follow! 🙂

About The Video. This video is 2hr:37m:14s in length in 25 sections. Follower technique is the bulk of this video.

Collection – (00:01:19) {Also See “Social Collection”}
Forward Steps – Footwork (00:03:03)

Forward Steps – Extension (00:02:21)
Side Steps – Footwork (00:01:21)
Side Steps – Linear (00:04:02)
Side Steps – Circular (00:03:30)
Back Steps – Extension (00:06:23)
Back Steps – Circular (00:04:26)
Back Steps – Footwork (00:05:48)
“Opening” The Hip (00:04:00)
Posture – Send/Counter-Send (00:05:53)
Molinete – Level 1 (00:13:33)
Backstep Pre-Launch Technique (00:05:50)
Molinete Pre-Launch Example (00:00:39)
Lazy Follower Foot (00:05:46)
Leg Shape (00:08:23)
Weight Change (00:01:23)
Weight Transfer (00:01:34)
Weight Transfer – Weight Change (00:01:34)
Landing The Foot (00:09:09)
Traveling Ocho Technique/Exercise (00:15:32)
Milonguero Ocho Exercise (00:09:38)
The Follower’s Molinete – All the Details (00:21:58)
The Milonguero Turn – Body Details (00:04:43)
The Milonguero Turn – Footwork (00:10:20)
Errors #1 (00:05:06)

Related Videos Mentioned In This Article: 

The Six Ways of WalkingDownload

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. 

 

Follower Technique Membership
is just $24.99 Per Month

 

Open post

Lazy Follower Foot

Lazy Follower Foot

Lazy Follower Foot. Most people don’t think about this stuff except for when they’re in a class or a Follower Technique Seminar, or in a private lesson. Mostly they hear it and completely forget about it about 10 seconds after it’s been said. That is unless some diligent teacher continually reminds you of this stuff, constantly. To be fair, while this particular topic happens a lot for Followers, this happens everywhere across the entire spectrum of the dance and into real life. If someone says something to you that needs to be corrected, it will take you a few tries to remember to do it, and even then that’s a stretch. The fact is that you’re dealing with muscle memory or in this case ‘muscle comfort’. It’s comfortable for you to do this stuff. So why change it. The reality is that the change comes hard to some people, and comfort is easy. If you’re comfortable why bother changing ? Right ? What you may not realize is that that comfort may or may not be desirable to look at, as in this case of Lazy Follower Foot.

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.

What is ‘Lazy Follower Foot’ ? It is a state where the Follower’s back foot as it comes into collection from a Forward step, is either dragged without care or unconsciously. The foot itself, seemingly hangs off the ankle, and is summarily dragged into collection from the Forward step. This doesn’t happen from the Back or Side step, that’s the ‘Dangling’ Foot error. Whole different ball of wax, but the solution is exactly the same as shown in today’s video! 

Difficulty Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars (0.5 / 5) (this item is freely available to all free and paid users, just register to see it)

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 Error In Your Thinking. The reason why this dance was challenging for you, and this is the error, is that’s just their ‘style’ of dance, and it’s not your style. Yes there is an estillo to some people’s dance, but sometimes with the more advanced dancers this isn’t about style…it’s about technique and the execution of that technique! So, put simply you’re missing the other side of the equation: You’re not ready for them! And the reason is, because your understanding of your own technique, your underlying foundation, how you move, how you land your feet, how you extend your legs, how you embrace your partners, where you place your body in relationship to your L/lead, where and how you engage X piece of vocabulary…all of that stuff is not trained in you. It’s just not. Further, because you’re dancing with a certain class of L/lead mostly you only get to experience a very small sliver of what a fully trained and operational Lead can actually do. Further still the Neurology of Following (as opposed to the Neurology of Leading) is lacking in you. So as a result you ‘miss’ things. So a Lead like that above, is mostly lost on you. Yes it’s insanely fun, and challenging, but you ‘missed’ so much and what’s worse is you know it. It wasn’t embarrassing, thank god, but you know in your heart you missed so much of what was ‘said’. You missed the nuances. The subtlety.

Diving Deep.

There is a reason this stuff happens, actually four possibilities: 1.) Poor execution of technique. 2.) Poorly understood technique.  3.) No Practice. or 4.) All of the above!

While it’s not rocket science what those things mean, they do require a bit of detail.

1.) Poor Execution. This means that your attention to detail of your technique is sloppy. Meaning that you allow your foot to unconsciously move as it sees fit to move in relation to your ankle and leg. Even though you have been shown X, it’s not showing up in your dance. Either consciously or unconsciously.

2.) Poorly Understood. This happens quite frequently. We hear ‘X’ when a teacher says something to us, and in reality they meant ‘Y’.  But because we hear it through the filter of our understanding we end up misunderstanding more often than not. Poorly understood means that you hear or see something and presume that ‘A’ is ‘A’ instead of diving deeply to dig down to the roots of what ‘A’ actually is. To see it’s inner workings. Not just to accept it, but figure out for yourself how and why something functions.

3.) No Practice. This should be a no-brainer. But you’d be surprised just how many people will go to a teacher or a class and magically expect them to fix everything, and that now that they’ve visited with teacher ‘C’ that things are all better and they can go back to what they were doing in the first place. Because teacher ‘C’ said they’re “you’re doing fine but…” and “that’s fabulous, and…”, or … did you see it ? Probably not. You missed the ‘but’/‘and’ at the ends of those sentences. You only heard the praise and not the rest! Which was… “You should go home and practice the frak out of this stuff that I just spent the better portion of the last hour showing you! Not to mention you just handed me a boatload of cash to tell you this stuff, so you had damned well better go home and practice this stuff!!”.

4.) All of the Above! This needs no explanation. It’s not one or the other, but actually All of them together.

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

Gooey Ganchos

If you subscribed, you would see the premium version of this article here.

Gooey Ganchos

The are multiple varieties of Ganchos. We have explored the 4 most common ones, today we’re exploring a variant of the idea known as the ‘Gooey’ Gancho. Specifically what makes it ‘Gooey’ and how does it get it’s name. The reason this variety of Gancho is called ‘Gooey’ has everything to do with the speed of the Gancho itself, but it also has to do with the choice of the Gancho in certain respects, as you’ll see. That said, let’s talk about ‘GooeyGanchos.

frank registered. be like frank. 😉

Have you seen our Gancho Video Series ? We have over 24 different Ganchos for you to learn from! Follower Ganchos, Lead Ganchos, Gooey Ganchos, Svelt Ganchos, and the Four Common Ganchos, and more! Over 6 hours of Gancho videos. Go look and start your Gancho journey today!

See > All Our Gancho Videos

barbara wanted to lead milonga! she subscribed to milonga madness. 

What is a Gancho ? In it’s simplest form, in the modern vernacular of Tango, it is a hooking of the free leg around your partner’s leg or thigh. It is an interruption of the extension phase of the step, which can (not always) result in the lifting of the respondent’s leg either as a result of, or by deliberate intention.

What is aGooeyGancho is a variety of Gancho that is usually executed from either the Follower’s or Lead’s position. It is a slow-motion Gancho, and in particular the ‘Launching’ leg of the dancer who is being “Gancho’d”. Everything prior to the Gancho happening is not the ‘Gooey’ part. The ‘Gooey’ part comes when the leg that is being lifted moves to engage the hooking action of the Gancho in a very slow, but very deliberate way. Very slow. 🙂 Hence the ‘Gooey’ part. 

Difficulty Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5) (look for the blue background in the “What Is …” section of a post. That’s a ‘Free with Registration‘ Post)

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 Case For WHY You Need This ? Actually, you don’t need it. Huh? Hmmm…that’s no way to sell videos or subscriptions. You’re right. It’s not. That’s because we’re not in the business of teaching you useless vocabulary that you probably don’t need. Stay with us on this one, it’s not going where you think it is. From a very specific point of view, this is cool vocab. No doubt about it. However, from another point of view, the social dancer who’s been dancing a while, a long while, this is nothing more than vocabulary that doesn’t further the cause of Social Dancing. Now here’s the kicker – Both, yes, BOTH points of view are valid. Here’s why:

From the Social Dancer’s point of view, you’re never going to use this stuff. Maybe once in a blue moon, but in reality the better that you get, the less you use this stuff. From their point of view, it’s four pieces of vocabulary that you need: The 6 Ways of Walking, Traveling Ochos/Milonguero Ochos, The Follower’s Molinete/The Milonguero Turn, and lastly – The Argentine Cross. That’s it. That’s all you need. From the Dancer’s point of view that’s hasn’t mastered this stuff yet, this is cool and you want to play with it, and to be able to master it. To find it’s in’s, out’s, how’s, and why’s, and mostly to have fun with it. Both points have their merits.

And now to the one twist in our point that you probably weren’t expecting. This stuff actually has validity, maybe not from a social dancing perspective, immediately, but more from a movement, and musical perspective. The fact is that this is all about one thing and one thing only: Skillz!

There’s a reason you study vocabulary like this, and it’s not because it’s cool (it can be), or that’s it’s musical (it is), or that it’s fun (it is that), or that it adds a little spice and variety now again (the once in a blue moon methodology). It’s because it’s all about your Foundation. Or put another way, because this vocabulary works your foundation in a really good way, by breaking down the movements to their component elements, so then you can become a much more fluid dancer so that you can use it, or not. It’s about availability, accessibility. Not about using it. Using it is entirely up you. But working the instrument, that’s what this vocabulary does. It works your instrument, … ahem…that’s you in case you weren’t paying attention.

No one wants to admit that they need help. That their dance isn’t stellar. Furthermore, you really don’t know that your dancing skills aren’t absolutely amazing until you see a room full of people all dancing way better than you are. And then you see it and feel like the poor cousin at the kiddie table during a holiday meal. There’s a reason those people have achieved ‘better’. It’s doing work like what you see in the video above. Being able to turn this stuff on and off as if it were a switch. A good portion of the time when we’re dancing we only think about the ‘cool’ toys in our dancing and we neglect the one thing that makes those cool toys possible: Our Foundation. That is, in case you’re not paying attention, this video series and others like it.

this video can be purchased through the tango topics store 🙂

About The Video. This video is 22:09 in length in 10 Sections. Lead and Follow technique is combined. 

Section 1 – Introduction – 00:00:35
Section 2 – Gooey Gancho Setup – 00:02:33
Section 3 – Possible Follower Exits – 00:02:45
Section 4 – Rotational Gooey Gancho – 00:03:25
Section 5 – Review – 00:01:31
Section 6 – The Missing Gooey Gancho – 00:03:51
Section 7 – Employing The ‘Launch’ Aspect – 00:02:00
Section 8 – The ‘Right’ Way – 00:01:12
Section 9 – The Real ‘Gooey’ Part – 00:02:20
Section 10 – Closing – 00:01:25

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

Four Common Ganchos

If you subscribed, you would see the premium version of this article here and the full video.

Four Common Ganchos

Gancho. The word in Spanish translates to the English word, roughly, as ‘Hook’. From an Argentine Tango perspective, it has a very specific meaning. You’ve seen these things hundreds of times, and while the vocabulary itself has a connotation as being somewhat ‘cheesy’, and only done by beginner leads who don’t know any better, the reality is a that it is a venerable piece of Tango vocabulary that do have a valid place off the main trunk of the Tango history tree. The story goes that while the Gancho existed long before NorbertoEl Pulpo Esbrez came along, his contribution to its storied history is where creativity meets innovation, specifically with regards to ‘elasticity’ and the Enganche. He is/was credited with pioneering and exploration the ‘invasion’ of the standing leg, the response of the free leg, as well as the space in between the opening of a step, and quite factually (if not literally), the intersection of these ideas.

frank registered. be like frank. 😉

Have you seen our Gancho Video Series ? We have over 24 different Ganchos for you to learn from! Follower Ganchos, Lead Ganchos, Gooey Ganchos, Svelt Ganchos, and the Four Common Ganchos, and more! Over 6 hours of Gancho videos. Go look and start your Gancho journey today!

See > All Our Gancho Videos

barbara wanted to lead milonga! she subscribed to milonga madness. 

What is a Gancho ? In it’s simplest form, in the modern vernacular of Tango, it is a hooking of the free leg around your partner’s leg or thigh. It is an interruption of the extension phase of the step, which can (not always) result in the lifting of the respondent’s leg either as a result of, or by deliberate intention.

Today’s Tango Topic deals with just Four of the most Common Ganchos and a few of their issues that happen for both roles. While there are many, many, many types of Ganchos to explore and play with, these 4 only scratch the dancing surface of them. They are the foundation for nearly every other Gancho that comes after them. The Rotating Gancho, the Gooey Gancho series, the Follower Gancho series, the Ganchito (which is an itty-bitty Gancho), the Lead Gancho series, the Volcada Gancho, just to name a few, owe their foundation to the Four Common Ganchos in Parallel and Cross System.

Difficulty Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)  (look for the blue background in the “What Is …” section of a post. That’s a Free with Registration Post)

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 Case For WHY You Need This ? Actually, you don’t need it. Huh? Hmmm…that’s no way to sell videos or subscriptions. You’re right. It’s not. That’s because we’re not in the business of teaching you useless vocabulary that you probably don’t need. Stay with us on this one, it’s not going where you think it is. From a very specific point of view, this is cool vocab. No doubt about it. However, from another point of view, the social dancer who’s been dancing a while, a long while, this is nothing more than vocabulary that doesn’t further the cause of Social Dancing. Now here’s the kicker – Both, yes, BOTH points of view are valid. Here’s why:

From the Social Dancer’s point of view, you’re never going to use this stuff. Maybe once in a blue moon, but in reality the better that you get, the less you use this stuff. From their point of view, it’s four pieces of vocabulary that you need: The 6 Ways of Walking, Traveling Ochos/Milonguero Ochos, The Follower’s Molinete/The Milonguero Turn, and lastly – The Argentine Cross. That’s it. That’s all you need. From the Dancer’s point of view that’s hasn’t mastered this stuff yet, this is cool and you want to play with it, and to be able to master it. To find it’s in’s, out’s, how’s, and why’s, and mostly to have fun with it. Both points have their merits.

And now to the one twist in our point that you probably weren’t expecting. This stuff actually has validity, maybe not from a social dancing perspective, immediately, but more from a movement, and musical perspective. The fact is that this is all about one thing and one thing only: Skillz!

There’s a reason you study vocabulary like this, and it’s not because it’s cool (it can be), or that’s it’s musical (it is), or that it’s fun (it is that), or that it adds a little spice and variety now again (the once in a blue moon methodology). It’s because it’s all about your Foundation. Or put another way, because this vocabulary works your foundation in a really good way, by breaking down the movements to their component elements, so then you can become a much more fluid dancer so that you can use it, or not. It’s about availability, accessibility. Not about using it. Using it is entirely up you. But working the instrument, that’s what this vocabulary does. It works your instrument, … ahem…that’s you in case you weren’t paying attention.

No one wants to admit that they need help. That their dance isn’t stellar. Furthermore, you really don’t know that your dancing skills aren’t absolutely amazing until you see a room full of people all dancing way better than you are. And then you see it and feel like the poor cousin at the kiddie table during a holiday meal. There’s a reason those people have achieved ‘better’. It’s doing work like what you see in the video above. Being able to turn this stuff on and off as if it were a switch. A good portion of the time when we’re dancing we only think about the ‘cool’ toys in our dancing and we neglect the one thing that makes those cool toys possible: Our Foundation. That is, in case you’re not paying attention, this video series and others like it.

this video can be purchased through the tango topics store 🙂

About The Video.This video package comes in at 49m:29s in length in 8 Sections. What you’re seeing above is only the introduction to the topic before we dive into the topics below. The one you probably want to see is #6 as it contains all 4 of the Ganchos. However, the rest of the videos make that last video possible. They’re all about set up, proper technique, and really the underlying method of how a Gancho works and where things can go terribly wrong, and how to correct for it.

Section 1 – Introduction – 00:07:13
Section 2 – Lead Technique – 00:04:01
Section 3 – Follower Technique  – 00:05:38
Section 4 – Free Leg Launch  – 00:05:13
Section 5 – Gancho Exercise – 00:05:35
Section 6 – Gancho Set up – 00:06:42
Section 7 – Four Common Ganchos – 00:19:27
Section 8 – Gancho Closeups – 00:15:17

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

Engaging The Embrace

Engaging The Embrace

A Lead’s Job. The fact is that in modern Argentine Tango, while the Follower most certainly has a role and a job (several), setting the tone and style of the embrace is the squarely the job of the Lead. The Follower, as sexist as this sounds, fills that space with their complimentary embrace. And so that we don’t slight the Follower’s role in this regard, we will discuss the Follower’s side of this equation in a later article and requisite video. Right now we’re talking about a Lead thing. Further still, a Follower should not stop reading at this point. Think of this article, from your perspective, as pulling back the curtain of the seemingly black art of leading. Or think of it as ideally what your lead wants to do but more than likely is not doing.

Leads you have a role and a job, several, and one of them is ‘creating an embrace structure’ which is comfortable for the Follower, while at the same time creating the iconic visual that is a Tango embrace. An embrace which just so happens to allow for maximum effect (free range of motion, visual impact, etc) with minimal input (easeful, non-stressful, no pain, no pushing, no pulling, no hanging, etc).

Put another way, you have 3 primary goals: 1.) Navigation. 2.) Architecture. and 3.) Music. Under the category of Architecture, we have 2 sub-categories. 2a.) Form. and 2b.) Vocabulary. Think of 2a as what we look like (the visual), and think of 2b as what you do with 2a in time to 3, while employing 1. However, all of 1, 2, and 3 starts with – Engaging The Embrace.

Typically what happens: You step onto the floor without engaging proper floorcraft, then you grab your follower’s right hand, lift it, then step in with your right, leaning in with your right shoulder, and then place them in your armpit (the Follower willy-nilly goes there as well), and then wrap your right arm around them, and then almost immediately thereafter you begin throwing vocabulary at your Followers in the hopes that they won’t see that you have no idea what you’re doing to a tango, milonga, or vals!

The Problem ? For a good portion of Followers they want a gentle, guiding, clear, clean, non-compressive, non-restrictive, non-pushing, non-pulling, non-resistive experience that does not include being told what to do as their doing it. But what they get is something akin to what typically happens. And that’s not covering what happens inside the dance itself. Typically the Lead is forceful – using their arm, which they don’t realize they’re doing, and then doesn’t listen for the Follower’s response to a specific piece of vocabulary,  thereby whisking them from idea (ochos) to idea (molinetes, repetitive molinetes) to idea (crosses, sacadas, ganchos, volcadas, colgadas, etc). The issue is that throughout all of that usually the Lead’s embrace is restrictive, resistive, and compressive (resistance based dancing), trying to control the Follower instead of inviting them to do X, Y, and Z. Guiding them, suggesting, inviting, proposing. What the Follower gets instead is control, contain, push, pull, and a host of manhandling with the lead’s arms. This is not something that anyone wants to have happen to them, and yet this is precisely what passes for ‘dancing’ a good portion of the time and it’s not desirable on multiple levels.

The Right Conditions. The whole issue above stems from the Lead’s inability to create a platform to work from – an embrace that is calming at at the same time clear without the use of force. That starts with creating the right conditions. The Right Conditions ? We ideally want to calm the Follower’s mind. Quite honestly, they’re freaking out. Why ? Because they have no idea what craziness (especially if it’s a Milonga tanda) that the Lead is going to come up with. They have to be ready for anything. Understand that it is a jarring experience for most Followers. The Right Conditions here are first creating calmness in your body, in your posture, in your arms, everywhere. Just calm, quiet. That quietness is incredibly important. We want kinesthetic silence. What we generate is what they hear. And if they’re hearing kinesthetic ‘noise’ then we’ll get that in response! So ideally, we want a calmness in our attitude and kinesthetic quietness in our bodies. We don’t want anything that will create a ripple in them. Think of the right conditions as though it were a placid lake at dawn or sunset. We want that mirror reflection of motionless to reflect the sky. The Follower, in this analogy, is the sky.

Where To Begin. Most of this ‘calming’ starts with your own body posture. Learning how to engage good posture that is at once not ramrod straight but rather upright using the body’s natural inclinations (corrected of course because a good portion of you have terrible ‘natural’ posture). A posture that does not rely on force, or tension in any way, shape, or form. No more than is necessary to hold the body upright. And even that’s sometimes too much, and the language used to describe this stuff is sometimes very vague and not very helpful. However, there is a language that describes this stuff perfectly – Alexander Technique! Put simply Alexander Technique was developed by Frederick Matthias Alexander, and is an kinesthetic process that retrains your ability to realign your body’s natural posture and secondarily to avoid unnecessary muscular tension. Alexander had the belief that your self-awareness could be inaccurate which is created as a result of bodily stresses and situations that we learn over time that we must unlearn, which as a result in created unnecessary muscular tension when standing or sitting with body weight unevenly distributed, holding the head incorrectly, walking or running inefficiently, etc. In other words, Alexander Technique is the language that you have been looking for to describe how to correct what you’re doing with your posture and so much more.

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

To be a bit clearer, there is a perception in Tango that your posture must be ramrod straight, this is a holdover from two very distinct areas. 1.) Ballroom (yes Ballroom has infected tango). 2.) Performance Based Tango. Both of these things have contributed to the less than helpful idea that we must hold ourselves in these almost impossible positions for hours on end to ‘look nice’ to dance with. Followers will know this the moment it’s written here, but you see they’ve danced with those ramrod straight dancers, the ones that look nice to dance with but the moment they get into the embrace they realize they’ve made a mistake. Good posture does not need to be ramrod straight in order to be good. It does however, need to be comfortable, and at the same time upright without contortions in any way, shape, or form.

That Thing We Do. The fact is that a good portion of you reading this have a body problem. You want and then again you don’t want. In one respect you want to be touched and in another respect you don’t. You want to be hugged and embraced, and then again you don’t. You want to be next to someone, close, very close, touching close, but at the same time….not. Society says one thing, Tango says another. It’s a diametric opposite that you just can’t get away from. There are perfectly good reasons why you want, because it feels good. It’s pretty simple. And there are a few double dozen reasons why you don’t want….someone hasn’t showered recently, is really sweaty, has bad breath, someone is soaked through with sweaty clothing, and then there’s the ‘sexual energy’ thing that most men are completely unaware of, but women are very aware of. And while we’re talking about sex. From a Male Leading position, there’s the whole female breast/body thing. Society says you can look (not directly) while publicly you can not touch directly. Which flies in the face of Tango, which says ‘touch’ and quite literally place your body wrapped around your partners, while at the same time don’t touch too much. It can be a little confusing, but you generally follow the rules of good, respectful conduct, which states – don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want your mother to know about! At the same time, as a Lead, you want to create a platform from the plane of your body that is almost like a comfortable couch or bed to sleep on. Why ? Because the Follower is going to spend the next 9 to 12 minutes there! That’s why. From a Female Following position, you have a body with a brain, chest, hips, and curves everywhere. I know, right ? Mansplaining….oy. Society sexualizes your body constantly, in every detail, it’s not like you can forget it because it’s everywhere you look. Your body, is as happenstance of Argentine Tango, going to be touched, in sometimes inappropriate places and ways by men you wouldn’t normally have anything to do with except as it happens to be required in Tango. That requirement ? The plane of your body must meet the plane of your lead’s body in every way possible. It’s like form meeting function. Or peanut butter meeting jelly. Or … you get the point. Why ? Because you want to be able to hear (kinesthetically speaking) your Lead in exacting details, and that requires the plane of your body to be in complete contact with your Lead. Backing away from that, makes your job, your role, much….much more difficult than it needs to be. From a dancing perspective, what we’re really talking about is close embrace dancing. Ideally we want to be sternum to sternum, sometimes referred to as a ‘core’ embrace format, or ‘square’ embrace format. Sometimes referred to as Body-On-Body contact. That’s not to say that a ‘v’ or ‘closed-v’ or ‘open-v’, or ‘open’, ‘slightly off-gigline’ body-on-body isn’t valid. It just means that these versions of close embrace create situations or kinesthetic dynamics that are more or less preferable for the Lead and not necessarily the Follower. Like for instance Turns (see the Armpit Dancer). Ideally you want your partner to be right in front of you, gigline to gigline for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is ease of dancing on multiple levels. So the whole body-on-body is very important as it relates to what has to happen in the dance, it’s the thing we do. Without that physiological, deep (psychological), physical, kinesthetic contact in the dance, let’s just say it makes things a bit more challenging.

Your Arms. Frequently a good portion of you use your arms and hands to direct the Follower. This is called ‘Paddling the Follower’. We do not want to do this. Instead we want to allow the Follower to ‘float’ or move within your embrace structure. However, that’s not what happens. We apply tension, force, compression, to either control or to indicate which way we’d like the Follower to go. In specific we use our right hand, right forearm, and left arm as a whole. This is not desirable. By the way, this is that bullshit paragraph that appears in every single one of these articles that is just specific enough but not entirely specific to actually help you. If you were to register and then upgrade that to a paid subscription, you would see an entirely different paragraph here that tells you specifically what you want to do. And you’d see the missing 4 minutes of the video above in the proper order. Oh yeah, the video above is slightly out of order than how I shot it. You want to see it in it’s proper context.

The Last Word – Difference. There can be a difference in you, but isn’t going to happen by itself. It requires a few things. First, a willingness to want to make a difference. And frequently that doesn’t happen because you think or believe you’ve already arrived. Secondly, a good, reliable source for this kind of information – hint … this website! And thirdly repeatable, clear, clean information that you can play with, over and over again. That’s where this website comes in and the videos that are sitting behind the paywall. Register for free. But if you really want to take things to the next level, upgrade that registration to a GOLD level user, and start redeveloping your Tango technique today.

Open post

Leading Technique

If you were a subscriber, you’d get access to the full video! Subscribe.

Leading Technique

Leading. Often the first thing we see when looking at Argentine Tango is the Tango Lead. It’s that sharp, clear, clean visual that strikes us almost immediately. We see the the visual of someone leading, and it’s this confusion, appreciation, amusement, bewilderment and just down right awe (in some cases) of a ‘wow’. Next the thing that we pay attention to is what they’re doing, not how they’re doing it, but what specifically they’re doing. You’re waiting, with anticipation, for that next cool, flashy move that screams – ‘Good Lead’. And the last thing that you start to become aware of is the musical expression, meaning how they’re placing the what they’re doing in time to the music, not necessarily how specifically it relates (that’s called interpreting the music by the way) to the music but really the execution in time to the music.

Truthfully depending on where we are in/at in the spectrum of leading (the activity), then this explanation of the dynamic of leading can be an eye opening experience on multiple levels for a variety of reasons (again, depending on where you are on the spectrum). At the same time, that experience is what usually shapes us, defines us, and ultimately it will inspire us to want to study toward being like that which we see…to emulate it. 🙂 Or it may turn us off entirely for a variety of reasons, perhaps because it looks too complex, too difficult, or it’s too much, or not ‘us’ at all. Again, this all depends on where you are on the spectrum of leading. If you’re just starting out then literally everything you see everyone else is doing is nothing short of magical. The further you go towards the ‘advanced’ dancer and closer towards the teacher class dancer (those who could teach but don’t) realm the less magical things are and the more technical things become, and the more you want to figure out why X, Y, and Z happens. That’s exactly where this topic comes into play. 

This topic assumes that you’ve gotten beyond the “Wow!!! That’s Amazing!!” phase and have just started to get down to the actual business of leading. And to be clear, this topic also assumes that you’ve gotten beyond the rudimentary foundation of walking, embrace, turning, crossing, and leading ochos, and are looking for a change towards something that looks a bit more elegant than the random, haphazard thing you have witnessed at your local milongas that’s loosely called ‘dancing‘.

Perhaps you’ve started to pay attention to how someone is doing X, Y, and Z, and found it to be lacking or amazing and wondered….’how do they do that ?’. Or more than likely you have caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror as you turn a corner and are either impressed with what you see and want more, or generally you try to avert your eyes as you pass by a mirror or someone’s facebook picture of you. You generally try to avoid it because you know it’s just going to be awful to look at. The mere thought of you leading, or watching yourself lead, is an exercise in excruciating visual pain. You know where all the problems are at, you know what you have forgotten in the multiple private lessons that you’ve taken, you know that you should be practicing this stuff on a daily if not weekly basis but you don’t. You know all of this stuff…you’ve just forgotten it, and there it is in the mirror, staring back at you, unapologetic, and very truthful that you could do better than you are right now.  

If all of that is true, then this topic of Leading Technique is all for you. 

What is ‘Leading Technique’ ? First let’s get a few words out of the way. L/lead, L/led, L/leading, Lead/er. 1.) A ‘Lead’ (note the capitalization) is the person who is performing the action of initiating choices in the dance that we know as Argentine Tango. In this state, it is not a given that the person initiating choices is initiating those choices through Intention Based Dancing. More on this later. 2.) A ‘lead’ is the activity or action of the role of the Lead. In this state, this activity employs the usage of ‘Intention Based Dancing’ at every point along the course of an active dancing experience. 3.) The action of someone who is doing the activity of the role of the ‘Lead’ is someone who has ‘L/led’ or is ‘L/leading’. And last but not least, ‘Lead/er’, this is not what you think it is. It’s a person who quite decidedly uses their arms, forearms, biceps, fingers, and hands which employes layers or levels of pressure and/or compression (squeezing) their Followers to physiologically force, and/or indicate and then to direct their Followers to do X, Y, and Z. The Follower in this instance is told verbally (most often) to create ‘Resistance‘ so that the Lead/er can “feel” the Follower.  This is known as Resistance Based Dancing that reinforces La Marca as the way to indicate choices and then to respond to those choices. The reason for the capitalization trickery and chicanery is to create some clarity and specificity with the language that is used to describe these things.

For the purposes of this article we will be using L/lead, L/led, L/leading to talk about Leading Technique.

Leading Technique is about how a Lead walks, how they land their feet, how they engage their posture, and how they engage their embrace to a.) Invite. b.) Cajole. c.) Suggest. d.) Propose. And then finally e.) Initiate and Follow through to the execution of some piece of intended vocabulary. But all of that stuff has to first start with a clean and clear base. And that’s what this entire video series is about. It takes the foundation material that is generic for both roles, and then applies it for the role of the Lead and what has to happen to those physiological movements in order to “lead” with Leading Technique.

This is Leading Technique.

Is Leading Technique easy work? No! Although to listen to some people spouting their idea of what the Lead can and should do, you’d think you can master this stuff in an afternoon. Ummm in a word, “NOT!”. Is Leading Technique, as a whole, something you can learn in a 6-week cycle? Possibly, depending on the teacher. But really Leading Technique takes more than a few sessions to work out the bugs (as it were). First and foremost it’s about Body awareness. Your own, not the Followers. The ability to hear/feel your body in every detail and nuance. Being able to tell when something isn’t right or it is!  Secondly, it’s about balance and stability, again…your own. Not the Follower! And lastly Leading Technique is about hyper-awareness, using your nervous system, to accurately gauge where the Follower is in space and time in relation to the Lead.

The Reason Why. There is a very simple reason why we study the topic of Leading Technique. It’s because we want to look better in the role of the lead. It doesn’t get any more simple than that. The fact is that anyone, regardless of gender, can lead. However, to look elegant, and to do it effortlessly and with ease ? That’s technique!

The open secret is that leading technique is somewhat of an open book black art. Meaning ? That it does not take a Rocket Scientist to figure this stuff out and say, “I think I know what that is“. Quite honestly there’s no special magic to it, there’s no secret sauce, no hidden agenda, nothing like that. In it’s simplest form good leading technique is best defined in the execution of 3 simple things – forward, side, and back. In much the same way that Follower technique comprises these same things, lead technique does as well at it’s core. At the same time it also comprises the embrace components, posture, walking continuously – not just a single step, turning, crossing, ochos, and so on. Viewed from this perspective, leading technique takes on a whole different layer of madness that will drive you over the edge of sanity into the realm of minutiae and maddening subtlety. And that’s where having access to a good, clean, clear materials and resources is absolutely crucial towards you looking elegant and feeling elegant. The reality is that any idiot can ‘look‘ elegant, however feeling elegant to dance with ? That is a whole other layer of OMG! And that’s essentially what you’re after when you think of why you would want and need to study Leading Technique.

So the reason of ‘why’ boils down to – you are looking for a way to generate not just the visual representation of being a good lead that you associate with the “OMG” Leads (the person not the activity) in the room with but more important, the elegance of their lead, and the effortless by which they do those things that uniquely qualify them as a ‘Good Lead’.

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

First things First. When building a good Lead, you have to deconstruct a few basic things in that lead in order to change them from ‘yawn’ to ‘omg’. So what’s the first thing towards the transformation ? You would think that the thing to start with is the Lead’s walk. And you’d be wrong. No. The very first thing is their foundation of how they’re standing, their posture! Change their posture, and you change 70% of how they’ll move. Mind you, they’ll instantly revert back towards less than desirable ways of moving because they don’t know any better or different but that’s a horse of a different color. No, the very first thing you must deconstruct and then reconstruct in a Lead, is their posture and their relationship to the floor. How they hold themselves, and how they place their feet on the floor is absolutely crucial to changing them.

What’s next ? Again, you would think that this is about their walk. No. Again, it’s about the component elements of that walk, not the walk itself. And those component elements break down into two areas: The Extension and then Foot Placement! Meaning ? How they extend their legs, walking forwards (usually) and how they place their foot on the floor after that extension. Is this walking yet ? No. It’s redefining how to move while dancing. Re-writing the base code of movement and replacing it with something that, at the beginning, is going to seem insanely difficult, and later on will (with time and practice) become second nature. The walking part ? That comes later. Right now this is changing their posture, and their extensions.

Next is the foot placement and weight transfers. Probably the single most important thing you can do for a Lead is change how they place their foot on the floor and then resulting weight transfers that go with it. Truthfully this stuff is not sexy at all but boy does it ever define sexy when executed nicely. By itself, there’s not much to this, and you’d think that there’s really no point in how you place your foot on the floor but that foot placement is pretty much everything. Execute it right and the elegance that you seek is accessible. Execute it poorly and your ass is going to end up staring at a the ceiling and wondering WTF happened! Foot placement is everything! It’s not sexy but boy is it ever the core of the whole ball of wax!

What’s Next ? It’s at this point where we have to talk about Intention and Intention Based Dancing. The fact is that at this juncture a lead can easily go right off the rails, as it were, by thinking one thing and then doing another (read that as becoming a Resistance Based Dancer). All too easily. And it’s important to reinforce the ideals of Intention. Which are to suggest, invite, propose, engage, cajole, tease, intimate, and yes, intend to do something and then create space for the Follower execute what was intended. Failure to reinforce this stuff early on, and you’ll easily devolve into resistance, force, compression, rigidity and all sorts of undesirable ways of dancing. Which is basically what you’re doing right now, and no one is telling you that for fear of hurting your feelings, including your teachers!

The reality is that the effortlessness that one seeks can only be achieved through two means that are seemingly counter intuitive with each other. The first is through controlled, conscious, and contained kinesthetic and physiological movements. Precision based movement. And the second ? Honesty with oneself. All the technique in the world, no matter how much you execute it will not change you. You have to recognize that you need to improve and want to improve. And that starts with a frank, honest conversation with yourself. It’s the realization, and you’ll pardon the vulgarity of this statement – that you suck today, you’re going to suck tomorrow, and you will continue to to suck for a very long time going forward. And that as time goes forward, assuming the first is moving along at a nice pace, you’ll suck a little less than you did the day before, but not by much. At the same time you’ll need constant reminders to do X, Y, and Z. Because like it or not you are going to drift from what you saw once in a workshop, you’re going to veer from the path towards what is comfortable for you and what you can do versus what you need to do. You’ll misremember something, you’ll invent whole new ways or methodologies to excuse yourself from doing the work that needs to be done. And on top of that, you’ll abdicate your responsibility of doing X, Y, and Z, placing that in the Follower instead of yourself.

So effortlessness ? This is only one piece of the work on the road towards good, clean Leading Technique. Still another is being honest with oneself!

Achieving effortlessness ? Foundational exercises. Ballet rises (yes, even for a Lead) are a good place to start. Next are back cross twists, forward cross twists, enrosque twists, opposition and disassociation exercises, and finally arm/torso/head controlled movement exercises. Rewire that, replace it with contained, controlled movements and you’re onto something!

The Embrace. Once you have all of that checked off your list. You have to put things in their rightful context.  And that means working with the embrace. Because all of the above is absolutely pointless if your embrace is compressive and restrictive. So it’s at this juncture that we now employ the execution of intention based dancing within the confines of a skin-to-skin or fabric-to-skin or fabric-to-fabric haptic dancing. Better known as Tango Haptics, Meaning tactile compression information as it relates to Argentine Tango. Duh! 🙂

The reality is that a good portion of you reading this stuff have embrace issues that are quite literally standing in your way of being a desirable lead. Compression, Restriction, Force, Tension, Rigidity, Pressure, good lord, it’s a wonder that half of the Followers that you dance with don’t stop after the first 2 seconds and a.) slap you for squeezing the living daylights out of them. and/or b.) walk off the floor because you’re pushing and pulling and paddling them with your right hand and forearm. Seriously dude, if you had this happen to you, you’d probably drop the embrace with whatever idiot lead you’re dancing with and look him squarely in the eye and say “SERIOUSLY WITH THE SQUEEZING ?”. Not so much with that! That’s the reality. So if you wouldn’t want it done to you, why on earth are you doing it to your Followers ?

Now comes the hard part, a good portion of the Followers that you’re dancing with are not going to tell you any of this stuff because they have a.) A hard time speaking truth to power. b.) Don’t want to hurt your feelings because you’ll never dance with them again. and c.) They don’t have the language to describe to you X, Y, and Z and they don’t lead (a good portion of them don’t, but more and more are thankfully!).

Truthfully your embrace is absolutely key to containing all the work that you did above with your posture, extensions, foot placement, and intention. And an embrace that doesn’t need to restrict the movement of the Follower is an absolutely crucial step towards being a desirable Lead to dance with.

Talking About The Walk! Finally, we talk about walking, or more importantly how one executes all of the above within the construct of a walk and within the construct of the embrace and within the confines of simple movements like leading a traveling or milonguero ocho, or leading a molinete, or leading an argentine cross. Because each one of these movements require you to walk well, to walk cleanly, to walk with stability and equilibrium!

If we’ve done our job above, then the walk should become an extension of those ideals. It quite literally happens all by its lonesome. The walk is built above good posture, clean extensions, precise foot placement, and entry points to walking and everything else. Make those contiguous and constant and you’re on to something. The elegance that you seek is not in the walk itself but rather the stuff contained within that walk. The things already mentioned. 🙂

The Bridge To Better Dancing ? As leads, a good portion of what we’re going to be leading are Ochos (Traveling & Milonguero), Turns (Open Embrace, Close Embrace, or Milonguero), and Crosses (Argentine & Back), and the foundations of those leads are going to come from the things listed above – e.g. how the Lead moves in relation to what is intended or led. If that base  movement is clean, clear, controlled, and consistent, then the resulting leads for Ochos, Turns, and Crosses will be so crystal clear, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done this work to begin with. And there’s a good reason why this work isn’t done at the start, because it’s minutiae, it’s much harder than the steps, patterns, and figures. This is precision kinesthetic control of your body to reflect a very specific visual representation of how you want to be seen doing something. Now we add the next component – how it feels! Each component by themselves is maddening, together if you don’t have the foundation for this stuff, if you don’t have a clear idea of what the end result is going to be will drive you right off the deep end!

The Leap of Faith. A good portion of the time when it comes to this stuff, you really do have to take a leap of faith that the person you’re getting this stuff from knows what they’re talking about (assuming that there’s any talking going on about leading technique to begin with), and can describe it in a way that works for you, while at the same time you can see the end results and are pleased with them. The caveat here is that a good portion of the time ‘technique’ is often masked inside the vocabulary and infrequently is it separated from the vocabulary. They go hand in hand, or so you would think. That’s not entirely true. You can take someone’s technique of how X, Y, and Z is done and marry it to the execution of different vocabulary with surprising results. But that’s a horse of a different color for another time. It’s only mentioned here as a factor in the separation of technique from vocabulary that it is possible to do.

this video can be purchased through the tango topics store 🙂

About The Video. This video is 9 separate videos for a total run time of 101 minutes! 

Video 1 – Overview & Exercise – 00:23:21
Video 2 – Opposition – 00:17:37
Video 3 – Lead Extensions – 00:04:08
Video 4 – Lead Foot Placement – 00:05:50
Video 5 – Lead Entry Paths – Part A – 00:03:00
Video 6 – Lead Entry Paths – Part B – 00:02:02
Video 7 – Lead Embraces Foundation – 00:14:54
Video 8 – Lead Embraces – Repositioning – 00:17:43
Video 9 – Enrosque Foundation – 00:12:20

this video can be purchased through the tango topics store 🙂

The Ultimate Arbiter. The last word on this subject is not your teacher, it’s not this website, nor is it you. There’s really only one arbiter of good taste in this case, and it’s the Follower. If the class of follower that you’re used to dancing with approves of what you’re doing, you’re on to something. Truthfully they are the final word on whether or not you’re doing good things or less than desirable things. That assumes that a.) You have the fortitude to ask (at a practica) about how you look and feel to them. b.) That their response is honest. (Frequently they’re not for the reasons already stated above) and c.) There’s some kind of meaningful feedback that you can pull from the most basic of frequent replies “That was nice”. Which is the extent of what you’ll get most of the time, unless you ask a series of leading questions of what in specific was ‘nice’ about it.

You know you’re on to something when other people that you don’t dance with acknowledge the change in you and start to compliment you on the difference in you.

The Last Word – Change. Change isn’t going to happen by itself. It requires a few thing. First, a willingness to make these kinds of changes. Secondly, a good, reliable source for this kind of information. And thirdly demonstratable, repeatable information that you can play with, over and over again.

Fortunately you have one, and that’s this website and resulting videos contained with in. This site exists for this sole purpose. And in specific this topic of Leading Technique has a video series that you can either download (purchase), or subscribe to see it and the 150+ videos on the topics of Foundation, Walking, Ochos, Turns, Crosses, Sacadas, Colgadas, Volcadas, Barridas, Paradas, and a host of other things. All here for you to watch, over and over again. And that all starts with hitting that little green button that says “SUBSCRIBE”.

 

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.

thoughts about tango ?

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!

 

The Cross – Getting In Front

The Cross – Getting In Front

For most Followers, that haven’t been properly trained, they are rushed into an Argentine Cross right from the start of their Tango dancing lives. Aside from Ochos, it’s the one thing that they’re pressed to do without any training aside from the Lead/er (Controlling Lead hence the ‘/er’ part) that quite literally tells them what to do as they’re doing it. From that moment, right up until this one (assuming you’ve shared this video with them) they more than likely have no idea a.) why they’re crossing their feet. and b.) more importantly what the point of the Cross is, and c.) what it all means. 

The Problem: This isn’t so much a Lead problem as it is a Follower issue. Contrary to what you might have been told, the Argentine Cross does actually serve a function. And believe it or not, it’s not to do a Cross every 15 seconds for no good goddamned reason. No. The function of the cross…is well, you can watch the video for that part. The problem is that not only is the Follower not aware of what the function of the Cross is, they’ve been so indoctrinated into a passive way of dancing that they’ll a.) Willy-nilly cross their feet due Two of the Five Errors of The Cross – specifically the Automagical Cross and the Wimpy Cross (see below), where in the case of the latter, the Follower has to infer what on god’s green earth the Lead is attempting to do. (In the other 3 cases they don’t have to infer, they’re quite literally forced into crossing their feet whether they wanted to or not). and b.) That a good portion of the time, the Follower will end up in the Lead’s Arm Pit. It is for this reason that we talk about – Getting In Front of Your Lead!

From a Leading Perspective, before we launch into Follower’s side of this. Let’s give credit for this problem, where credit is due. The Lead! Dude, a good 90% of this problem is your fault. Let’s be clear about responsibility here. You created this problem and the Follower is only doing their best trying to fix it. How did this become your problem ? 1.) You lined up with the Follower in your Arm Pit! You placed them in there right from the gitgo (‘start‘ for the non-native english speakers), and what’s worse is that you kept them there, holding them in that spot, because it was convenient for you to pull off some crazy vocabulary, which you think you need to lead every 20 seconds, instead of (gasp!) actually walking with your Follower to the music. Eeeek! Which for some reason is ‘boring’ to you but heaven to them…gosh I wonder why !?!?!?  2.) Your embrace that you think is comfortable is like laying on a bed of nails because it’s too compressive! Think ‘squeeze‘ and you’ll get the right idea. And even if someone tells you that to lighten up and let them loose, you’ll go right back to squeezing the daylights out of your partners because to you think, a.) this is comfortable. and b.) it’s all you know. 3.) Because your right arm is like a vice grip and you have this rather nasty tendency to paddle your Follower’s with your right hand to ‘direct’ them, you somehow believe that this is desirable. Ummmmm not! And lastly you created this problem by 4.) being too damned restrictive and not being responsible by continually placing the Follower in front of you by repositioning your vocabulary to do just that. Instead, doing all 3 previous things to show off to keep the Follower from realizing that you were completely ignorant about 3 steps in and don’t have a plan for the rest of the song let alone for the tanda! Yup, your fault.

From a Following Perspective, 10% of this problem is your issue. And it has to do with you understanding that the Cross is actually, in modern Tango, your piece of vocabulary. Not the Lead’s, it’s yours! There are many people that will disagree with this statement that the Cross is the Follower’s vocabulary. The fact is that without you cooperating, the Argentine Cross, is not going to happen. You could say this about almost everything else in Tango, that without you cooperating nothing happens. And you’d be right. However in this instance, this is one of the few places where the Follower has an enormous amount of control of when something is done, how something is done, and most importantly where we go next! All of that from you crossing your feet. In this instance, this one little piece of vocabulary is YOUR place for you to shine, to sparkle, to show off your skillz as a Follower. Instead, what happens ? Well…watch the video.

To be fair, you have to contend with the Five Errors of the Cross (see above), and then there’s the squeezing, the pushing, the pulling from your Leads. And then there are your issues, while in heels, to contend with. That aside, you do have an issue which is solely yours, which is the whole point of this topic – to get back in front of your lead!

The simple fact is that your lead (the action, not the person – lowercase ‘l’) either stepped outside partner or stepped into cross system and in either case you’re essentially out of step with them. The whole point of the cross is to get back in front of your Lead (the person).  However, part of your issue is that you’ve been indoctrinated to a way of moving that quite factually doesn’t work for you. The way that you’re moving is to send your leg straight back, and really to cross your body meridian away from the couple. This creates a problem for you, especially when you come to collect your feet in the cross. Your feet look like two mismatched and broken sticks pointing in opposite directions from each other with a watermelon in between them, instead of what they can look like. We do want pretty feet, but we don’t want pretty knees, when we come to collection and even crossed collection! However, there’s a tiny little problem in that your body is in the wrong place, and your hips are all twisted and you’re basically out of alignment with your Lead, and on top of all of that, you’re stuck in the Lead’s arm pit! And there you will stay…sadly. 🙁 Unless…you do something about it. 🙂

The Dancing Reality is that this stuff happens with such frequency that no one, not even the teachers that you’re studying with pay it any mind. It’s so common place that one wonders if anyone is actually teaching technique to specifically create this issue! “Leads! You place the follower in your arm pit, and then rush around the room, all the while pulling and pushing! Followers, your whole job here is to stay in the Lead’s armpit and then to come to a crossed collection so that your hips are all twisted up and you’re off to the side of your lead! Ready ? Go!”. Not! 

Fixing it ? Well, there’s a really simple solution, it’s something that both lead and follower must do.  

Hmmmm, however you actually haven’t registered as a user of this site, so you’re not able to see the full solution, and even then you’d have to upgrade to either a Silver, Gold, or Diamond level user! Once you do that you’ll be able to see this solution to this problem as well as over 100+ videos on tango technique, codigos, and more. Just click that little button below that says “SUBSCRIBE“.

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day.

 

Open post

The Four Parts of Social Milonga

Social Milonga

Milonga, and really ‘Social’ Milonga, is a difficult dance to Lead, but an easy one to Follow. Easy, if and only if, the Lead (person, not the action – ‘lead’) has a frakkin’ clue about what they’re doing. If they don’t, you, as the Follower are screwed and not in a good way either! Good Milonga is a step above modern Tango in that it requires both parties to be at their best technique wise. It requires both parties to understand an embrace that is non-compressive, non-restrictive, and have mastered a stable, clean, clear walking platform that does not ‘thud’. There is no need to ‘hang’, ‘pull’, or ‘push’ in any way, shape, or form. 

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 = 🙂

Let’s get a few terms and definitions out of the way before we go any further for the initiated and the uninitiated. The word ‘Milonga‘ has 3 definitions.

1.) It refers to the ‘dance’ party, and social experience that we aspire towards dancing at via classes and workshops and learning the codigos of the dance itself. The whole point of tango is to emulate the Milonga experience as a whole that we would find in Buenos Aires.

2.) It refers to a musical style of music that is typically written as 2/4 time, or at about 80 – 100 beats per minute. There are several versions of Milonga music, not the least of which is Tango-Milonga, Milonga Porteña, Milonga Criolla, and a few others. Candombe is not Milonga, but is frequently confused with Milonga. A poorly trained DJ will add one into a milonga tanda thinking that it’s Milonga music when in fact it’s not.

Further still, a common error is to add a Foxtrot or a Tango Foxtrot, thinking that it’s milonga when it’s not.

3.) Refers to the dance itself, which is a frequently, and mistakenly thought of as a subset of Tango movement, and this is an error. Milonga (not Milonga Porteña or Modern Milonga) begat Tango, and from that Tango as we think of it today grew.

learning tango is challenging. registering makes it easier. 😉

Have you seen the Walking Systems video ? 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 ‘Social’ Milonga ? Social Milonga is a Milonga of ease, of least resistance, of effortlessness. It’s what we would dance at the Milonga when Milonga music is played but for a social environment not a performance! Which translates to smaller (very small) movements, and steps. This isn’t about turns, ganchos, volcadas, sacadas, colgadas, death drops, …. no, none of that. Simple, clean, small movement. Rather it’s about linear movements with one’s partner in either close or open embrace (yes Milonga can be done in open embrace), small linear movements that move down the line of dance. Social Milonga should not back up against the line of dance, but rather angle against the line of dance, think of 45º angles so that no one backs up directly into another couple. Social Milonga is small, compact, and doesn’t need to take up a whole lot of space…ever.  Horacio Godoy, who is a god of Milonga, is a good example of performance milonga, but it’s still a performance! What he’s doing is nothing short of magical, however…it should be noted that again, it’s a performance and not social dancing. He’s taking up oodles of space, and in the line of dance, you don’t have oodles of space! This is Social Milonga.  

Just as a side note: Social Milonga rightfully should never be attempted with a new partner that you’ve never danced with before.

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

From a Following Perspective, you’re in for a rough ride, because a good portion of your leads don’t have a frakkin’ clue as to what they’re doing when it comes to Milonga. They will either race you around the floor and take a breather in odd places that have no relationship to anything that’s happening in the music, all the while squeezing the living daylights out of you, hoping you won’t notice that they’re not anywhere close to a beat that has any relation to anything that’s happening in the music. Or they’re so timid as to not wanting to step on your toes because they’ve recognized that this is insanely difficult that they back off completely. That’s the bulk of your experience. It’s rare, ever so rare that you have a lead that dances Milonga Lisa with you, and then expands that to Milonga con Traspie, and actually builds a milonga experience on the whole. These leads are rare, but oh such a wonder when you find one. It’s like Christmas morning, Easter day, and a box of chocolates all rolled into one! Fab! At the same time, let’s not kid ourselves…you as the Follower, have to be up for the challenge. Which is to say that your skills in Forward steps, Side Steps, and Back Steps must be absolutely spot on! Repeat after me: “I MOVE ME“. You must be responsible for your own movement. You must listen to what is being led (not waiting but listening) and then engage that movement immediately without fail. If you feel it, you go there, if you don’t feel it, you don’t go there. A good portion of the time, most followers fail these most basic things. And we end up with a less than desirable experience.

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 Leading Perspective, it means that you must have mastered all of the things listed above in addition to understanding and employing ‘Intention’. Why ? Because Milonga is all about the small, tiny movements, not about squeezing the living daylights out of your Followers with your embrace trying to make things small. It’s about leading small, tiny, incremental. It’s not about big, galloping steps…it can be, but isn’t. It’s about the tiny movements between the partners to the accents in the music.

However, the real key to milonga is the Weight Change. Being able to generate it in its myriad of forms without pushing, pulling, using force, and/or compression to accomplish this goal. If you can lead a weight change through opposition or a with-weight change instead of pushing or pulling, you’re onto a better class of leading as a whole.

Leading Milonga, or we should say, “modern” milonga, is a whole different class of leading. And doing it well, is a different kind of Lead (the person, not the action). How’s that ? This is choreographing on-the-fly, they’re making minor adjustments on-the-fly, they’re maintaining the line of dance on-the-fly…are you seeing the trend yet ? > on-the-fly! Is the key component. Mind you this happens in Tango and Vals as well, but there is a difference! The difference is the kinesthetics involved are a whole different class of minimal, minute movement, that is seemingly imperceptible except to the people dancing it, and to the trained eye.

In this version of Milonga the same thing that happens in the 5 Common Social Figures (which is a reduction of vocabulary choices) of Tango, happens in Milonga! Only instead of 5 Common Figures, it boils down to about 4 very specific choices.

1.) A variation of the Baldosa Box.
2.) A very simple and occasional Traspie, with a single Traspie, not multiples but not, and mostly not aligned with the habanera’s El Golpe! (and if you don’t know what that is…follow the link). You might…eeek, learn something.
3.) An occasional scissor step (not a pendulum step). and
4.) Every once in a blue-moon when there is a ‘race’ in the milonga beat and not the habanera, Patter In Milonga is used to accent the race of the beat.

Most of the better Milonga Leads have realized that a simplified Milonga is actually a better way to go than to race around the room which is what typically happens and why the better Followers will say “NO” to a particular Lead/er (follow the link for what that ‘/’ means) repeatedly. The better Milonga Lead will engage this simplified Milonga over and over and over again. It will look somewhat repetitive until you actually dance the Milonga with that Lead and for a time after the shock wears off that you’re dancing Milonga with that Lead it may even feel somewhat repetitive, until you start to listen to the music, and then the genius hits you like a ton of bricks. It’s simplified for a reason, to accent the music itself! Which is to say that you don’t need a vocabulary for good Milonga, what you need is an understanding of Music. And for that you first have to be able to hear the Habanera, and then, and only then can you start to play with the music. Once Habanera awareness occurs, and it will take some time for this to happen, it’s not something that happens overnight. More on this in a bit. Once Habanera awareness occurs, then the refinements of the dance of Milonga start to happen. Sometimes. Some Leads never, ever make this leap of logic > Less Is More. Most of them go in the opposite direction > MORE is BETTER! And this is a mistake. But they don’t and won’t ever realize it for a wide variety of reasons that are too numerous to mention here. Suffice it said, some folks never learn.

And unfortunately this space is too small to incorporate those ideas here. Fortunately for you Tango Topics does possess a Milonga track > Milonga Madness that discusses some, not all, of this stuff. For the rest that isn’t covered in Milonga Madness, we strongly recommend a long series of private lessons with the Author!

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 Dancing Perspective, ‘Social‘ Milonga is insanely difficult to master. It requires all of the above to ‘work’, to ‘function’ with ease. Not an easy task at all. When done properly it’s simply divine. When done poorly…well we’ve all had that happen, and it’s just an absolute disaster. There’s no nice way to put that. More often than not we have all had far too many Milonga tandas that is nothing short of “GAWD PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!”. And a good portion of the time it’s because the embrace needs to be reset and is too restrictive, and/or the Lead (person), needs to actually listen to the beat and then walk (see ? walking, not running) the Follower on that beat…but doesn’t.

tango is the unending onion, there’s always another layer. register & remove a layer!

Have you seen The Eight Tango Turns Series ? We showcase 8 types of turns: 1.) The Follower’s Molinete. 2.) The Milonguero Turn. 3.) The Rock Step. 4.) The Ocho Cortado. 5.) The Walking Turn. 6.) The Calesita. 7.) The Colgada Turn. 8.) The Media Luna.

Learn > The Eight Tango Turns

gold madness is a gold subscription & milonga madness together!

The Musical Prerequisite

There is an absolute prerequisite to this milonga business – two things about Tango Music as whole that you, as a Lead, or a Follower must know:

a.) The Musical Pause in Tango Music as a whole! Without understanding this, you’re kinda screwed when it comes to dancing and really milonga as a whole. Oh and if you’re thinking that you can just ‘count’ beats and that will get you to your pauses…no. Fully 40% of Tango music does not contain an 8 count beat. Sometimes its a derivative of 4 yes…but sometimes it’s 4,8,12,16, or 24 beats before you hit an actual rest. So counting is about as useful as a small kitchen appliance unplugged. Why ? Because a good portion of the time, your count will be off for a variety of reasons. 1.) The transfer from shellac to digital (assuming it’s that direct and it almost never is) is probably flawed, scratchy, crackly, and slows down and speeds up. and 2.) Two words for you — TANGO MILONGA, which is to say that that the 2/4 time signature that you’re used to hearing in Milonga Porteña (or Modern Milonga), not so much with that! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Long story short, you want to actually learn to hear the 5 Major Types of Pauses in Tango Music.

b.) The Rhythm of Milonga which should not be confused with beat, melody, nor tempo, which is what a lot of you do. You do actually have to understand the Habanera Rhythm which is the basis of ALL Milongas. Not Candombe, Not Foxtrots…MILONGA! If you don’t know what the Habanera is, and/or think you have a handle on it, you really do want to go look at this definition of the Habanera on TangoTopics. This is the Rhythm that you absolutely must pay attention to because it quite literally forms the backbone of the music itself. If you can’t hear that, if you cannot find it in the music, then we have a problem, and it may require you to actually do a little study. Now to be fair, there are some milongas where the Habanera only appears sporadically, there are some milongas where the Habanera is a variation and you have to hear the variation, there are some milongas where the habanera is so distorted and so off of what you think it might be that it’s almost….ALMOST unrecognizable. However, that’s still no excuse for not practicing, and then working on finding the Habanera and then figuring out WTF to do with it.

That said…

Rather than show you charts and images which are about as helpful as a screen door on a submarine…let’s skip to a class summary by Oliver Koklier and Silvina Valz shot at the 2009 Portland Tango Festival. This is probably one of the best didactic Milonga videos you will need to see…ever. What Oliver & Silvina talk about in under 9 minutes will blow your mind. It’s a simple, clean, and clear, almost religious explanation of what Habanera and really the Milonga Rhythm is and is not, and what you can do with it. In 90 seconds they pretty much nail the Habanera. Quite honestly contained within this video is the basis of almost everything you need to know about a Milonga Rhythm. Once you understand the Rhythm of Milonga (and it is a rhythm, not a beat!) it is only then that we start to talk about what you actually do with it.

Ok, now that you’ve got your pound of free flesh that will only help you so far, now comes the real toy, which when this article was written originally hadn’t actually happened yet. Actually this article was written a year before what we’re about to talk about: Milonga Madness. This is going to sound like a sales pitch for Milonga Madness. It’s not. It’s the fact that we really have studied with a lot of people on this topic, spent years and more money than you can shake a stick at, at how to hear Milonga and then dance Milonga. This is one of the ONLY workshops that we’ve ever attended where we came away with a deeper understanding that Milonga does not need or want to be complex. It is a simple thing that does require you to actually hear the Habanera. Without that, then you’re just racing around the room. So here’s our advice. Go subscribe to Milonga Madness, you won’t be sorry! Truthfully, and we say this with how much we teach and talk about tango, it’s even better than all our own videos! Go SUBSCRIBE! Just scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click on the Milonga Madness Button! You’re welcome.

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

4 Parts of Social Milonga

Part 1.) The Baldosa Box & one of several Baldosa Box Variations
Part 2.) Milonga Traspie and the many many variations
Part 3.) Scissor & Pendulum steps and variations.
Part 4.) Milonga Patter

Register (Free Stuff!!) or Subscribe (Cool Stuff!!!) to Go Deeper with your Dance!

• Lifetime Access
• Preview Content
• Bootcamp Videos
Practical Tango Advice
• 20+ Free Technique Videos (Including: The Argentine Cross, 6 Ocho Variations, The Follower’s Shortened Side Step, and More!!!)
• Access to Level 1 of Tango Music – The Beat!
• 10% Discount on any Purchased Download.

!! FREE !!

Freemium Level + Everything Below
• Immediate Access to ALL Technique Videos
(Including: Boleo Series, Gancho Series, Sacada Series, Building Blocks Series, and The Golden Nugget Series)
• Access to Beat Exercises.
• 14 Days of Tango Music Exercises.
• 30 Days of Tango Music
• All 3 Volumes of Tango Truisms (1230 truisms)
• 25% Discount on any download.

$89.99 quarterly
$339.88 yearly

Improve Your Milonga Today
with Detlef Engel & Melina Sedó! 
• Immediate Access to Milonga Madness
• Technique & Musical Interpretation
• 3 Primary Rhythms of Milonga
• Clear Explanation of the Habanera
• Over 2.5 hrs of HD Video
• Milonga Exercises & More
or Go For The Gold & add Gold Level
GOLD MADNESS! 

$44.99
Gold > $411.99

Open post

The ‘Ballet’ Rise

This article is free, just scroll down and register to see the whole thing.

The 'Ballet' Rise Exercise

Let’s dispense with a few misnomers right out of the gate. 1.) Balance is not the same thing as Stability. 2.) Balance is a component of Stability. 3.) Your stability is generated via 3 very different mechanisms that are all connect via your nervous system. And so that we’re clear on this one, one of them is not your ‘core‘, and anyone that tells you different is either lying through their eye-teeth, or doesn’t understand anatomy and physiology of the human body. Truth be told, your ‘core‘ muscles have absolutely nothing to do with stability. Nada. Zip. Zero. 

A Ballet Rise is an exercise that every Tango dancer should be familiar with before they put on a pair of heels as either a lead or a follow, it does not matter. The exercise is designed specifically to strengthen your very, very, very weak muscles and more importantly the tendons around the first 5 metatarsals of your foot. For some people that walk in heels all day long, those tendons will be a bit stronger than some, but not always. The tendons that surround the 5 Metatarsals are the weakest for a variety of reasons, and for some people they never bother to strengthen them mostly because no one tells them that they need to do so, and as a direct result of the lack of work (read that as exercise) that they’re not doing, they’ll end up with weak tendons, and thereby unable to hold a walking or articulated foot position, or they’ll land improperly and not be able to recover from it, and or the more common of the affectations is clear and present lack of stability. This singular exercise is quite possibly the single most important exercise that they will ever need to do. And yes, believe or not, they do not know how to do this. But you’re a smart person, right ? You know how to do this, right ? Right ? Hmmmm, well just as a refresher you should watch the teaser video above to refresh your memory.

Truthfully when this topic comes up for students, they make a few very important and key errors. Not the least of which is going too fast. This exercise isn’t about speed. Speed teaches and strengthens nothing. This is about going slow. Very slow. The slower, the better! 

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 = 🙂

What is a ‘Ballet Rise’?  It is where the feet are placed together in what Tango Topics calls ‘Social Collection’, with the first metatarsals touching, and the heels touching. With one’s feet firmly planted on the floor, and the weight distributed slightly forward from the arch towards the metatarsals, and just forward of them. The dancer would rise their body upwards just using the the metatarsals in what is called a ‘relevé‘. This is done SLOWLY, on an 8 count. Very slowly. The slower, the better. And then, slowly down on an 8 count. This is one ballet rise. Theoretically one would do 10 of these each morning. The video above shows you what an Ballet Rise is. Please go watch.  

Difficulty Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5) It should be noted that some people will have difficulty with this practice for a variety of reasons, most notably that the muscles and tendons that are used in this practice aren’t strong enough. Further one may still have issues with their equilibrium as well, which has nothing to do with the muscular or tendon strength that is required here. So it’s important to recognize that a few things have to happen here. One of which is a little time and a little patience, and two after about 3 weeks of doing this every morning right after you get up one of two things should start to happen. 1.) You’re able to do this with some difficulty. or 2.) You’re still not able to do this yet. If it’s the latter of the two, then there are equilibrium issues that need to be addressed before going any further. 😉 

learning tango is challenging. registering makes it easier. 😉

Have you seen the Walking Systems video ? 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! 🙂

The Benefits ? The benefits of this exercise will take time to show up. It’s not going to magically happen over night. Get used to that fact. This exercise requires patience, practice, and persistence to see the benefits. And quite honestly just because you do this a few times, nothing is going to magically change in your dance. Nothing. The exercise must performed religiously every. single. day. before you start your day!  The benefits will be felt gradually, and in specific how your foot comes in contact with the floor. You’ll feel a bit more control, a bit more stability and a bit more as if you can do what you want with very little effort. That’s because you’re building up the strength in the tendons around the bones in question. Something you quite honestly don’t use all that often in quite this way. This exercise forces you to use those tendons in new and expansive ways that you will end up using in tango whether or not you realize it or not. One benefit is that you will finally be able to control that super enrosque that you want, or an over-rotation because the muscles of the foot have been strengthened for you to effectively hold your weight. Whereas prior to this work, you would fall out of the rotation or enrosque! Still another benefit is that you’ll be able to hold a backstep for a few seconds longer without wobbling, or a forward step without needing to hold onto your Follower for stability! See there’s that word again, stability! In short, control the foot, and you control the application of your stability! Oh and before we forget, so the 3 things above that control your stability ? 1.) Your feet. 2.) Your inner ear. 3.) Your cerebellum! Your ‘balance’ is an affectation of your inner ear, not (for the love of christ) your ‘core’, please stop repeating that lie.

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

This Article Is Free! But there’s a catch. There’s always a catch to these things. But we think it’s a small, very small price to pay. The price: You actually have to register as a free user! You get oodles of benefits, posts like this in their entirety with ALL the trimmings, including the Leading Perspective, the Follower’s Perspective, and the Dancing Perspective! Plus a Free Tip for the Advancing Dancer. And of course access to the Full video itself. No teasers. No gimmicks. Just pure video with the full Tango Topics video that you want to see. In addition to that, you get access to ALL of our Practical Tango Advice videos and the full articles! Tango Thoughts, all of them so you don’t have to go searching for them. Plus access to our music library to start training you on how to hear the music. Plus a host of over 100 MORE videos entirely free for you to watch. Nothing to download. Just watch, learn, and improve! How can you pass that up ? And it all starts with you scrolling to the end of this page, and registering. If, however, you’re already a registered user, then all you have to do is login and go to your tango topics technique library landing page and select the “Free Articles” button. You’re welcome. And thank you for registering. By the way, there are more than a few of these articles on the site that are open. Just look for the blue “What is…” section after the video. If that section is yellow, then that means that the full article is available to you but not the full technique or subject video. 

debbie registered, now she sees all the free content! be like debbie. 😉

Have you seen Dancing In A Small Space – The Addendum ? This video adds a few things that were missing in the DIASS video and then takes it to a whole other level with a more than a few examples and even more vocabulary to help you expand your close quarter dancing at Marathons, Encuentros, and Buenos Aires!

Learn > Dancing In A Small Space – The Addendum

great minds discuss, great dancers subscribe

About The Video: It’s in one section, and is 10m:09s in length, and is for both roles as a practice exercise to be done everyday.

You can purchase The Ballet Rise in 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

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 Walking Systems video ? 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!

 

Posts navigation

1 2
Scroll to top