Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Earthquake by adornos!

When you are walking your miles on pista you learn to take your steps so they give a pleasant echo in your upper body, full of information. Information about your position, way of the steps, which leg is working. ... This echo is also part of the music experience...

Leaders usually learn quite early even another technique. When I want my follower to stay in her position when I shift weight I block the shift information below my hips – it never reaches my upper body. I shift weight but my partner do not get information and stays in her position.

This information blocking could be valuable training for followers too!
When I have been on follower courses for adornos, the teaching was concentrated on feet movements; how fast small kicks are done. Adornos are presented as part of followers dance done between the leaded steps, never disturbing the dance flow.

But there are other aspects too:
When a learning follower was doing her double kicks between every step in a row – her back was trembling like an earthquake. The rhythmical walking pattern was hidden by all the extra movements in her back. I was totally lost and needed to do the "supporting leg test" all the time.

One of my partners is rhythmically talented and steps on beat without effort (I usually ask her how we are doing!). Suddenly I felt her step exactly off-beat; and again, and again! I stopped puzzled and understood how her free leg had been creating perfect circles and offbeat feeling. Her ordinary steps are very light so I can not feel them anymore but I know exactly where they are. These decorations were during learningperiod so heavy and did impact the music experience.

I wonder if there is teachers who put in their training this kind of extra aspects? Is someone talking about this phenomenon?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Blog reaction on Melinas Good news. Really.

I became lady leader 2004 and soon later I became a masculinist. Men/leaders do not have many ways to defend themselves when followers were frustrated!

There was time I saw men/leaders as dance slaves - even if we were dancing all the tandas it was never enough! You must dance with your partners - several tandas, friends, ask your friends friends, someone will test your dance, be kind to people who visit your town, take loving care of beginners and.. and …

The tandas are unevenly distributed also because of the followers - there are the followers who never go off the pista but asks on the floor for the next dance or uses other effective strategies. The result is that some more quiet, gentle followers are seldom getting up to the pista.

I wonder if there is differences between countries - in Nordics the followers are very active, asking for dances for example.

November 16th

Chance to dance!

Most of the articles about the situation on pista are written from ladies perspective. Texts are telling about ladies hours to shape the body, get the tango training , fix the makeup, buy clothes and then not getting any dances but an evening in burning frustration. Then the other stories about leaders who make disgusting choices, not taking care of the looks, not training enough and taking a tanda off, not doing their duty.

But I think that followers chance to dance is totally a follower issue and followers need to cooperate here to get to their goals!

To me there is two main aspects: the need of corresponding number of leaders and the distribution of existing dances.

Could the ideas below be a starter for creating some suitable for a tango community?

How can a community attract new leaders?
Informing men around you about tango; start to talk everywhere about dance during your day,
Organizing introduction hours where men, fresh for tango, can test to dance tango with a group experienced followers with 2-10 years of dance in their feet,
Organizing a godmother program where experienced followers for a term/6 months are dancing certain evenings with newcoming leaders
Program where leaders who take classes are promoted by training with experienced followers on practica. I think it must be limited favor - as follower you should not be in charge all the time.

How can a community make the distribution of dances more fair?
Use cabeceo
After a tanda followers are going back to their place - not asking for/accepting next dance on the pista.
The popular ladies take pause when they need rest - put up an area for that (popular followers can be under a pressure to say Yes! when asked for a dance.
If you get involved in this kind of activities suitable for your community you can bet more acceptable situation in milonga. In my life frustration has been a good engine for many kind of changes!

Put your frustration to work for you!