It’s always the leader’s fault

2008, June 18


…but sometimes he gets some help.
So here I was last month, walking and walking along the edge of a dance-floor during the first exercize of a series of workshops given by local teachers and with a local partner, pretty, half my age (and she wants to become a model). Sounds fine, except I was not local at all, I had come especially in this sea-shore resort for the tango workshop, and everything was unfamiliar.

Soon the female teacher came to me.

-) You’re using the V-shape abrazo, aren’t you?  [Later she made a loud announcement, girls, see this guy, he’s learned another abrazo, correct him if you lose the chest contact.]

-) Yep

-) Ok. Here we’re using the true, authentic, BsAs abrazo with chest contact. It gives a better connection, the lady feels everything you do. Your abrazo is valid too, but try ours, take it as an exercize.

-) Yep.

I said Yep but I thought “Ok these people don’t know that their abrazo is in fact the antithesis of a connection, nailing the lady by the tits to my chest is just denying all her abilities to follow me. And more important, now that I have to use their abrazo I have lost any peripheral vision of my partner’s charming little feet, and she’s not used to me, we’re not sync yet, she has not decided whether she follows the beat or she follows me. I certainly don’t want to step on her toes, let’s be extra careful.”

Then the male teacher came to me.

-) you learned the walk with the projection-of-the-leg, toe-first, right?

-) Yep

-) Stop it and land directly with all your weight, heel first. don’t do this preparatory move of the feet without the weight.

-) Yep

I said Yep but I thought “Hopefully they will end this exercize soon because now my follower’s feet are in serious trouble. I can feel her weight but I have no way to know where her free foot is, if she collects a bit too late then I may land with my heel and all my weight.”

Then the female teacher came again, but talked to my little sweet partner.

-) You’re collecting too quickly. Forget it, just think about the leg which is stepping. It’s not fluid if you hurry to collect.

-) Understood.

I thought “Nothing can save her now.”

The impact took place 30 seconds later.





8 Responses to “It’s always the leader’s fault”

  1. sorin said

    “nailing the lady by the tits to my chest is just denying all her abilities to follow me”

    I danced with some of the best dancers in the country and most of them prefer the chest contact embrace, I never felt that impeded the follower from following.

    As far as toe or heel first, I use both though I generally use heel first when stepping long as it allows for longer reach without bouncing. Neither of them present more of a challenge in regards to stepping on the followers chest (for me that is). I do lead the step with the chest and follow with the leg, by the time my leg moves forward, the followers leg is long gone.

  2. tangobeginner said

    sorin said:
    “Neither of them present more of a challenge in regards to stepping on the followers chest.”

    Actually I walked on her toe, not on her chest. My mistake, I should have been more precise here, of course it’s only natural to figure that my favourite pastime after I make my partners fall down is to stomp their ribcage.

  3. sorin said

    that was funny!

  4. Ye… I don’t see what’s wrong in using the whole chest… in fact I believe it’s crucial for transmitting feeling through your body better. I personally prefer it… it actually makes for more options in terms of playing with unexpected stuff. Going to the follower’s left becomes much more easy and they tend to grip less to you.

    dancing on the left is much harder to make it intimate. But that’s me. 🙂

    As far as stepping on goes, it’s not your fault. But with time you will see that you can actually stop on your heel and not step on her with your foot… I agree with Sorin, depending on the mood and what you are going for, you can use both.

  5. tangobeginner said

    I’m not getting it. If you keep the chest contact then you can never go on the follower’s left. Nor on her right either by the way. You’re always facing her.

  6. There’s something called torsion.

  7. tangobeginner said

    Sure but torsionned or not you’re never going to the follower’s left, you’re facing her all the time. To go to the follower’s left/right requires some perpendicularity between the respective chests.
    When there is a noise on the follower’s left the follower hears it in her left ear. Go to what you call her left and tell something to her, she will hear you in her two ears. Possibly even worse she will ear you in her right ear because the chest-to-chest position creates a conflict between the heads, which is usually hijacked by putting one’s head at the right of the partner’s head.

  8. tangogirl said

    I am with you tangobeginner the chest to chest is very limiting and quite uncomfortable especially when combined with a downward squeeze of the leader’s right arm.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: