Tedious Tango Talk

From Sunday, Abril 29
Another variation on a turn. In this one the man puts the follow into a back ocho and meets her arrival with a left foot that has been sweeeeeping around in a following move. The trick in this part is to provide a nice continuous smooth movement for the follow, bring the loose, relaxed foot along and do this arm/shoulder thing where you are firm enough to send the woman off then relax and allow one set of shoulders to open while the other set closes as she moves across in front of you.
OK, that is just the second step. Then the man steps behind with his right foot as the woman continues her giro and plants his left and prepares his right for a sacada on the woman, then doubletimes (maybe more quickly, the step is muy rapido) left, right again for another sacada and steps left, right to meet the end of her giro. I’m really prancing around here and trying to stay connected to the floor, the woman and my sense of humor.
I should also be bringing a natural movement of going up and down. The down movement helps make a good sacada. These guys go for a moderate up and down movement. Anathema in the old dispensation.
For the second day I paired up with a woman who seemed able to understand the sequence more quickly than I. Makes ya wonder. The gal yesterday was from Chicago but she has family in the BA area. She was a pretty hot tango dancer. The one today liked to lead and would break forth every once in a while when she couldn’t hold herself back any longer. Since she put with me, I just said what the hell and went along.
Then they killed me with a continuation that I bumbled completely. When the woman comes to what was the end of her giro, I send her on a rebound that will bring her back to do a sacada on me. About this time I’m thinking Tango 4 is way above my level. While providing her with a lead that sends her outward and stops her at my arms length (more or less) (firmly but gently) I’m supposed to prance AGAIN and step forward with my right foot, leaving my left behind without weight for her to sacada and then prance again (left foot up to right, shift weight, step forward with right foot) so she can sacada me again with the next step on her walk forward.

From Legging it
Last night’s lesson focused on bringing the woman around in a giro that is launched from a torqued position of the man. One pattern started from a cross footed beginning and other from standard footing. After the initial step to provide a starting point the man puts one foot behind him and provides a lead that brings the woman over his leg in a series of steps and pivots until they have turned around completely. Cool, basic stuff.
On Wednesday night I attended two classes and one teacher spent time with me loosening my leg. In between classes I kept practicing on the move assiduously. Last night, by god, my damn leg whipped around until it was touching my partner’s foot and my embrace was still in place where I had frozen her as I put her in an equal weight backstep. Amazing. I have practiced a back sacada for years and just couldn’t do it without wrenching my back.

Tango class Tuesday, April 24, 2007
We were working on a movement I found interesting because I had experimented with something similar very often — stopping the woman as she starts a giro around me and sending her back with a rebound. I finally abandoned it because it wasn’t working — and for good reason as my clumsy attempts to follow their instructions showed.
In this pattern I start by leading the woman to take a backward step while I step outside on her right with my right foot. Then I lead her to step across my front and forward on my left and that is when I step forward and rebound her to step back across my front.
There are a lot of aspects of their techniqe that come into play here. The movement is started with shoulders/arms that are firm but then become relaxed and then firm again as you apply the rebound. You actually allow the woman to meet the line of your shoulders. Your timing is important, obviously, as you step forward to provide a soft welcoming shoulder to rebound against.
They wanted a flow of continuous energy on each movement of the woman from one side to the other. In the first variation the man rebounded from the forward rebound step and stepped to the side as the woman came back across his front and started her giro. He then followed her around with pivoting steps that were in ‘cross-foot’ mode until on his third step he double timed back into standard foot mode.
In the second variation the man stops her move forward on his left but the rebound contains a side step on his part with his left leg that moves against the thigh of her left leg and provokes a gancho of the left leg across the front of her right leg as she moves back on her rebound. The man then provides room for that gancho leg to move onto the start of her giro by putting his right foot behind the other in a Tee and he continues with step then Tee as she giros. One of my instruction pointers was to not lean back as I made that Tee (probably thinking that that would help the woman by providing room) but to remain perpindicular.
They want you to move from the center of your body and provide a continuous smooth movement, well I guess all teachers want that, but their way of expressing that verbally is lost on my foreign ears so I can’t repeat it nor can I express it myself yet.

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2 thoughts on “Tedious Tango Talk

  1. Too bad the class was all about what to do with the feet. Tango is an embrace. You lead a woman with the body while holding her close. It’s much simpler that way, and it feels so good to the woman. Try it, you’ll like it.

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