Saturday, December 29, 2012

What is Chicho doing?

Below you find a presentation of two measures in Milonga Sentimental.  The blue bar shows the habanera rhythm and you find the same information on the lower rows of the sheet music. To check the habanera you can listen to this early tango from Turkey. It starts with this musical pattern and you can follow the pattern with your fingers like this:

 The song is here!

The red spots B1 and B2 are for basic stepping in milonga, but the dancers can make other choices of course :) Sometimes the action on the green line/the upper part on the sheet music is more prominent hiding the underlying habanera pattern. Can you spott some of these in Milonga Sentimental?

It looks like this with the notes. The information on the green lines are at the upper part and the blue habanera beats are placed on the lower lines.

In milonga you step on GOL - pe NUN-ca DI-sxx- TE por

(If this had been a tango your steps would have been on GOL - pe nun-ca DI-sxx-te por)

The link below is a version of Milonga Sentimental with Chicho and Eugenia. I put the start a few seconds before the text starts:
so listen to the text and look at his feet.
GOL - pe NUN-ca DI-sxx- TE por

What are Chicho and Eugenia doing during these two measures?
Only basic stepping?
Extra steps?
If Eugenia is doing two steps here how are they placed?

If you want to check the sheet music for the whole Milonga Sentimental you will find it here!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ricardo Vidort and Muma

Ricardo Vidort
Every stage of your path in tango has its own scenery. This is for a milonguero who has danced for 60 years. At this point it is quite sure you got the essence of this dance clear for you.

The most important for me is this:*The body doesn’t think, the body feels the music as a way to move it and walk, and if we put attention to what our body is feeling, we shall see we are moving.*

Old milonguero knowledge for you via an interview with Ricardo Vidort on Jantango's blog

An video interview with Muma, who has been dancing with Ricardo Vidort.

Muma as teacher
We are different as persons and need different methods to easily learn to make moves connected to the music. It seems that Muma has a different way giving a key to some learners. Please read this story:

*In my experience, sequences held me back for years learning AT, I think because my mind didn't have the framework for them. Sequences are definitely not a necessary part of the learning experience and the first teacher able to teach me social dance, was Muma, a Molinguera who just had me walk and feel the music and then after I mastered that, she then taught me several little things like ocho cortadas (just the cortada piece which can be on the right or left), weight changes, double times, check steps, trespies, ocho steps, various turns, back steps, crosses and back crosses which can all be done in an amazing variety of ways.

I actually think that most people like me, unable to learn from sequences, end up dropping out and quiting tango and the only reason why I never gave up is because I was extremely stubborn. I actually thought that I had a learning disability until I met Muma and she straightened me out ridiculously fast. I know that some people have minds with a frameworks such that sequences work well for them and I have nothing against that. I see it as intuition vs. intellectual ways of dancing and I can respect both, but intuitive dancing feels much better to me personally. It is a real shame that there are so few teachers that can teach to intuitive minds like mine. Robert Hauk is one of the only teachers within 100's of miles of me that I can actually learn from, and kinesthetic learners like me mostly leave tango and never come back. I have talked to a lot of other people (artist types) who were unable to learn tango from sequences and I think sequences are much better teaching aids for analytical people like programmers, engineers, or mechanics, which is why there are not many artist types dancing tango.*  (link to the original posting)

A lesson with Muma

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A feeling of speed

After thinking a lot i noticed that the speed in music has two aspects as i see it. I try to explain how i am reasoning.

We keep us to the four quarter notes, 4/4 time signature

The first option is how long every and each quarter note is sounding. If we think ordinary tango with 5 parts, 16 measures each, then we get totally 80 measures which usually takes 2,5 mins to play. But we could modify the music file and play it faster, in 2 mins or slower so it takes 3 mins.

How many measures are passing per minute?

Another way to create a feeling of speed is the number or accents within a measure demanding our steps.

How many accents there is per measure?

As dancers we can decide the number of accents we want to use for our steps. Usually in tango we have two accents per measure. If we would step only on 1 and the same for next measure we create a much calmer, slower feeling. In milonga there is 4 accents and when we take them all it can go quite fast!

How many accents we step per measure?

When you are playing a dance video in slow motion you are using the first alternative. The music and dansers steps are the same but sloooooower.

                    In dance the steps are the changing element and the music a constant

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Traspie thoughts!

I am pretty convinced that traspie is used as a group name for all steps faster than double-time steps in tango. These fast steps come up every now an then in tango but regularly in milonga. Follow me!

When we are talking about ordinary tango, 4/4, there is a shared understanding for the usual steps, where they should be placed and how they relate to the music and the notes! The following variations are known even if there is a lot of frustration because of the names of them. In the illustrations below you find all the four beats, accents, for a 4/4 tango written as B1, B2, B3 and B4. The accents we use for ours steps will be marked with red color.

Half time-step

We take only one step during a whole measure.

You can take a step extremly slowly or decorate during the *waiting time*.

Simple time-step

We step on B1 and B3.
 The usual way to walk, to go in caminata.

Double time-step

You can do it like B1_B2_B3  or  B1_B3_B4 as illustrated below!

These are the fastest basic steps in tango in two variations.

These are the names for basic speeds for tango steps but there is a lot of situations when it goes faster and those steps are called traspie. There is traspies in tango, but it happens far more often in milonga. The ordinary milonga steps are double as fast as for tango. When you in tango take two steps you are putting down your feet four times in milonga.(*) So basic milonga steps are as double-time steps in tango, continuously. It means that if you do some kind of double-time steps in milonga they end up in traspie group; they are double-double-time in tango.

To review the traspie possibilities in milonga we need to understand the structure of milonga first. It has a basic rhythm with two accents, two beats marked below as B1 and B2, and the measure is 2/4. Above this basic rythm we have a fixed rhythmic pattern often called habanera and here marked by H1, H2, H3 and H4. Pay attention for the differences in duration for habanera accents. The basic rhythm and habanera are sounding together at B1/H1 and B2/H3 but H2 and H4 are sounding alone. Please check here! The red ones are for your steps!

The explanation below is valid for all milongas but it is not so easy to hear or produce them during a fast milonga. So try them while listening to a slow milonga, for example Milonga Sentimental.

Traspie variation 1
We step on both beats in this milonga measure, B1 and B2, as well as H4. This could be seen as a double-time step in milonga - but keep in mind that it is double-doble-time compared to tango steps above.

You can dance this in many different ways but to start with use rock step. B1 right foot forward, B2 left foot forward, H4 rockstep backward, B1 forward

Traspie variation 2
Here also we step on both beats, B1 and B2, as well as on c. There is no clear accent for c and if you have a trained ear you can get a feeling to step offbeat.This could also be seen as a double-time step in milonga/double-double-time step in tango as the case was for Traspie variation 1 above.

You can dance this in many different ways but to start with use rock step. B2-right foot forward, B1 left foot forward, c rockstep backward, B2 forward

Traspie variation 3
This traspie is fundamentally different compared to the ones above because it introduces a double-double-doubel-time step compared to tangons double-time step. We use the both basic beats B1 and B2 but this time we step even on the second habanera accent H2.

We can use the rockstep here too but the time space is so short that there is hardly time to rock but only replace the foot before us some centimeter further forward. This gives me a clear feeling of stumbling.

Here you have a link to Milonga Sentimental as a guitar version with sheet music.


Measure I                                                                                    Measure II



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

To dance with a beginner

In different discussions the combination advanced/beginner dancer is promoted as an ideal. Sometimes I find it as an expression for greed in tango context, when the beginners try to get in to a Ferrari for a fast development. Other times the leaders, it is mostly leaders in this case, want to make a good impression to the readers by announcing their generosity in this way.

The dance skill is also more seen as a Beauty kind of quality instead of a Skill for example in skiing. The first one is a static one - you got your share and that's it.There are feelings of rejection and frustration, when your goals are far a way from your place today. Only few are using these negative feelings as fuel to grow their skill.

When I compared the dance situation to a conversation I clearly understood the difference between the appreciation for a person and the skill level.

An enjoyable dance is not only about chemistry between the partners but it's a lot of about skill too! There can be a totally wonderful person but if s/he can only 10 words of our shared language there wouldn't be a conversation.

If s/he knows 2000 word but is unexperienced, our conversation is still a struggle with the language, our communication tool.

But when we know our grammar, we know the words and we have the flow after many years of use of this language, then we can forget the tools and focus on our subject. Sometimes this kind of conversation is so intense, the exploring so focused on what is within us, me and the partner - we just forget everything else!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Expressions of follower musicality

I have had hard time trying to find the difference between a musical expression and an adorno. Both are part of the follower's musicality and so far the degree of independence of the movement is the most clear difference I have found. For adornos a follower takes own initiatives based on music and the time available. One of the most frequent adornos are the small kicks done every now and then. Another possibility is the marking with the toes on music.

Noelia is following fantastically the piano here!

The followers can find a lot of ways, when carrying out the lead and they have a lot of space to find a personal way to take the steps according to her personal musical taste.

Here you have one of Juana's! That planeo is fantastic!

But there is a beautiful area in between these two, where the follower just adds something extra to the lead.

Watch this, when Juana takes the step and goes down following the piano.

Or this one from Noelia when she divides the step to a series of steps; first slowly and then with two markings!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

To recognize the musicality

Humans have an ability to recognize the rhythms and let the body react and flow with those impulses.

In our family history we have a story about me, one year old, hands on the radio table edge and moving the whole body to this song. This was also the moment my mother became sure about my musicality!

                                                                                ..... click HERE!


Friday, August 24, 2012

I am touched

When I started to dance, there were no YouTube videos and I didn't have access to videotapes either. The skill and knowledge in our community was the whole universe and the local teachers were the only source of knowledge, our heroes and heroines. We were enjoying our dance!

Things have changed since then and today the best performances are always availble in the net, so my eyes are used to certain standard.  And that little voice inside me is always looking for mistakes, criticising. That little voice is keeping me on the surface, keeping me from experiencing anything.

There has been two situations where this critical voice has been shut up, repeatedly! In both cases the couple was dancing and in their dance the music was more in center than the steps. Suddenly I noticed that it was quiet inside me and I was deeply enjoying the dance.

The third one is this video where an old man is singing in an afternoon milonga. I discovered this clip about a year ago and since then I have returned back every now and then. When I am listening to his song, I get alive inside, somehow his song is giving me an anchor to the deeps inside me. I am touched.

Live Music with Kate & Roberto

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My odd musicality

I have no musical education so the basic singing and some dancing are the only active experiences of music before tango.

For some reason I started to walk to music and I soon noticed that at certain times the steps got a deep meaning for me. Then suddenly I felt again how ridiculous it was to walk around to music, alone at home. I started to chase these meaningful steps because those steps must connect to the music in right way. I became an intuitive dancer and I mostly placed my steps according to the structures other then basic count.

I had also lost my childhood musical memory so I never knew what was coming next - I felt as if being an audio head in an old tape recorder. This forced me to dance without any plans, but just concentrating on the music sounding NOW. You don't necessarily need to know what is coming next; Followers are actually doing that all the time - they seldom know what movements are coming next. Leader's relation to music is similar as the followers relation to my steps.

For these reasons I was TOTALLY unaware of beat, phrases and the parts of tango.

How was I doing then?
In the beginning of a song I let my body move on the spot and find the music, find the feeling of meaningful movements and then go. Some times I was pointed out as the only (!?) one on the small pista who was stepping on the beat all the time. I got positive feedback on my phrasing and my dancing was great fun for followers too.

But to participate on a musicality workshop was a living hell to me!
Walk on beat .......? Walk only on 1 ....?? I was painfully aware of being different, I was out. I tried to look how others were doing and asked my follower. The last two years of that period I was aware of that others heard something very vital in music, but what? I couldn't form a question and nobody asked me how I was doing.

About two years ago a tango friend gave me Joaquin Amenabars book Tango:Let's Dance to the Music! I started to do the practical exercises and two weeks later I heard first time the beat - I was totally exhilarated! Totally! Several years of frustration was canalised in work with that book. I have done it several times alone and several times with tango friends.

But there is one big devil!
My early tango was magical, something between my body and the music. I did not have control of it, the first time in my life my aware brain did not have anything to say when the feet were dancing. Quite interesting, nice!

I was and I still am afraid of that the musical training changes my dance to some kind of mechanical step machinery. Therefore I try to balance the technical drills with other exercises to keep the magical, emotional side strong enough

Sunday, August 5, 2012

something about the Stages of tango

I started to dance tango 1998, which makes me ancient compared to many in our community. When I have looked  back over these years I have had a blurred feeling of passing through different stages since I started. But for some reason this feeling has never manifest itself in writing until two weeks ago when I in the middle of a facebook discussion put it in this way:
"I put it a little bit simple here, but at the beginning and intermediate level I needed a follower. If she didn't understand my lead and did something else => there we were standing, loading for a fresh start.
Today I need a partner - a mentally strong follower with her own musicality. If she misinterprets my lead, we just go on dancing, it doesn't have impact on our flow. If I don't *feel* her presence in our dance I feel lonely. 
This subject seems to be in the air today because a few days later I found a picture describing the 5 stages of tango. It is well done with thoughts quite correct and visually beautifully formed. It is a very good aid to stimulate your own thoughts about what you have passed by and the joys you’ll have in future. 

I'm sorry that the picture is not readable, please follow this link! (Ctrl + and it gets larger)

Credit to Steve Morrall, Tango UK (the author)

If we were able to form some kind of shared understanding of development stages for tango it would be easier to discuss. Today many of our discussions are confusing because we mix the details from different levels during one occasion. In my opinion the feeling, experience, thinking and performance of tango phenomenons are different at different levels.
I hope we will some day in future have a kind of shared understanding!

A personal variation at an undefined stage

An unexpected change has occurred in my dancing habits. Through all my dance years I have been very independent, heading to the practicas and milongas without knowing who will be attending. There was always people to fill the hours with wonderful dance.

 But not anymore! Today I am painfully depending on my most nearest dance partners. Last week I made an effort and went to a wonderful outdoor milonga knowing that my main partners were out of town. I was mingling around and I asked for one dance but that was it! I didn't got the urge to dance. I was chatting some more and then I left for home.
....................never happened before.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

balancing vs. loading

During the entire last year I was following about a half a dozen tandas. That's not much and I can tell you my following is rusty. I have though plans for a slight change here and therefore I did accept a few follower tandas when I was asked in Finland at Tampere festival.

I was like seaweed in storm chasing my balance! It was fascinating. I know that I have good balance as a leader and on my ballet lesson I can stand on my toes in pose and keep my balance for a moment. So it can’t be a balance problem, but WHAT is it then?

The only reasonable suggestion I came up to was: Did I load my steps with incorrect amount of energy?

Think of this situation: You are running and then suddenly you must stop. And there you are waving your arms, moving your whole body and trying to absorb the surplus energy. I am sure you know the situation!

I think now that my balance problem actually was an inablility to give my step the right amount of energy as well as my inability to effectively take care of the surplus of energy.

I think that the experienced followers are really good at allocating the right amount of energy for every single step and it gives them soft and effortless flow of steps. If they misunderstand the lead they can effectively absorb the surplus energy or add some more if needed!

Those abilities I had lost during the years I was following so few tandas.

Addition 15.08.2012
Many followers are talking of balance problems. I think we could help me/them by finding some exercises how to more exactly read the lead and how to alternate the strength used for the steps.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Follow with me to a milonga in Finland!

So often we just follow what the great international stars in tango are doing, all the big performances and events around the world. For some time I have felt a joyful need to find ways for tango dancers to breath the milonga air at far away places. So....

Please take your time and participate at a Finnish milonga with me!

This Friday evening milonga is part of a Finnish summer camp for Argentine tango. The festival is at Tampere which is surrounded by two big lakes and of course we will come together on one of the islands. We were extremly lucky with warm and sunny weather so even on the ferry a thin jacket was enough! Quite unusual this summer. Pay attention on the very last part of the video so you can spot the floating sauna with visitors!
But now hopp on the boat and enjoy the trip to this nights venue!

(for full screen - click the right, down corner!)

There is windows in all directions and water is visible behind the trees. Notice that this video is taken at 10.30 PM and the sun went down about ten minutes earlier.This evening the performers are from Finland or have a strong connection :)  to Finland! 
The first couple is Pasi & Maria Lauren. 
         Please enjoy!

Maybe a vals with them? Push here

The next couple is Arttu Artkoski & Carina Quiroga! 
          Please enjoy!

How about a one more tango? Push here please

I had travelled all day and was quite tired so the best choice was to take the first boat back to town. Now at 11.30 PM it is nearly dark, but not so long, at 4.40 the sun will go up again! Tammekoski-boat comes to fetch us and some of us continue dancing on the deck to a song from a Nokia phone! (must be so because Nokia county is just a few kilometers from here!)

 If you would like to follow what is happening in the Finnish tango Universum you may try these links

Argentine tango

Finnish tango
Be aware that this festival has totally non-Argentine character and structure!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dancing to knowledge

A joyful way to learn more about relationship between music and steps is to watch the videos at La Milonga del Trenos YourTube channel. The channel owner loves old dance movies and combines that with the love to Argentine tango. He/she uses a lot of creative imagination and hours of time to find a suitable match and sometimes the result is an amazing fit, but you can learn a lot from the revealed difficulties too.

It is clear that the vals and milonga with their fixed patterns are easiest to match. I knew this fact earlier, but the videos here gave me the experience. These videos will also visualize for you how much more variation the tango structure has and how far more complicated it is to find a suitable match with an movie dance sequence and a tango.

The good tango/movie match makes me aware of the shared, general rules for tango and other  kinds of music. It is fascinating to notice how large the shared area is. On the other hand the unmatching sequences are revealing the unique parts for tango and the movie music. I think the situation on the pista has some similarities - in the laudspeakers the song is same but most of the dancers are listening to a different song. The steps are showing, what your BRAIN hears!

I wonder if this is a problem for the performers? There is one song in the laudspeakers but the audience comes with their inner versions of the song. I suppose performers must somehow be able to form the dance so it is logical, connected in some extent to all the inner versions of this same song, among the audience.

So test yourself, watch some of the videos at the channel and ask yourself:
Where do the steps and tango go together?
Where do they differ?
What is the overall feeling for this tango? Do the steps express that feeling?

When practising check if....
Are my steps speeding up more than the music does?
Do my feet express the musical accents or were they lost?
Did you noticed something else to look after in your own dance?

Please, click the channel name Canale di lamilongadeltreno  and you get there directly! 

What a movies they made those days! I just LOVE  to be entertained!

Here you have some of my favorites! 

La Milonga del Treno - Azabache
La Milonga del Treno - Sacale punta

La Milonga del Treno - Lagrimas y Sonrisas
La Milonga del Treno - Desde el Alma

La Milonga del Treno - El Huracàn
La Milonga del Treno - La Colegiala
La Milonga del Treno - Carnaval de mi barrio

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

No thanks! and the distance

We all know how difficult it is to say No thanks! when verbally asked! I have never managed to do it nicely and it became even worse when I continued trying to explain, why I was not available for a tanda.

So I became a friend of cabezeo! It is amazing clear, easy to see even at a distance, if someone is avoiding my eyes and not interested to share next tanda with me. To me it was a surprise  that it worked even at Soul Tango festival where the followers were not used to dance with another woman. They giggled when they understood that my cabezeo was a serious one, but they stepped to the pista with me. It works other way round too! When I need to keep a tanda promise it is just so easy to focus on something else until I spot my follower.

The biggest surprise has been the experience of how soft and easy it was to say No thanks! at the shortest distance. I am dancing with this follower every now and then, not regularly so we don't know each other so well. On two occasions she has come to me and put her arms around my neck when asking for next tanda and when I couldn't I was able to tell it softly and I felt ok about it afterward.

If you need to say No thanks! it is always a negative message and sometimes even a surprising one. In most cases the reaction is a reasonable one but I still want to find ways to deliver the message in a more positive way.

I will definitely stop explaining why I can't. I can not see any possibility to succeed with that!

I try instead concentrate on the positive; Here we have someone who actually wants to share this tanda with me so I will try to find ways to comment this appreciation.

Because of the experience with my asking follower I think in some cases light physical contact could make it easier for the person to accept a No thanks!. You have got a no for this dance but you was treated as a human being.

And why should I bother?
I have felt that to some extent I will be dragged to the same feeling as the person who received my No; so if I can deliver my message in a good way we both will have a better night!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Teacher: 3 meter tall!

For several years I have been fantasizing about using hologram kind of frames for intensive learning of tango steps. You buy a set of hologramsteps and load your devise, adjust the size of the image to contain your body and there you go. The game is to keep your body inside the hologram frame and if your feet is sticking out, there will be a signal so you and your neighbours know about the mistake! And of course a great fanfare for a success!

As a first step to this direction we could have instruction videos and performances in 3D holograms. You can go around and watch from different angles when  your favorite couple is performing. To understand better the difficult parts you can play it slower, just in the same way as on your screen, but here in 3D hologram, 3 meter high. I am sure I would get better understanding for the details then!

 Click here to se him walk around!

Seriously guys! Here you get some technical information and please watch anyhow
the last 20 seconds with a running image.

Some fun from Japan - 3D images in the air 
(I put you directly on the fun part at the end of the video :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Seoul Tango festival 2012

My longtime dream became true in May when I had possibility to participate to the Seoul Tango festival. I have all my life been interested in Asia and I have earlier been two times in both China and Japan so it was time to visit Korea! and Tango there!

Here you have the first sights from the festival filmed by the organizers Florencia and Leonel! The canvas video is filmed by me on the way to the Grand milonga on Saturday evening, 5th of May. Maestros on the festival were Miguel Angel Zotto y Florencia Roldan; Javier Rodriguez y Virginia Pandolfi and Christian Marquez y Virginia Gomez "Los Totis". I was interested in the Dansers group with performers from Pohang, Beijing, Taipei, Hong Kong and Buenos Aires. Quite young and talented dancers and many of them have started to dance tango as late as around 2005!  Unbelievable!

Take the opportunity and enjoy their dances here!

When you hover over the video icon you get some more information and if you click on the video a playlist will start!

You can find a lot of interesting information about tango and people in Korea in these links

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Inverted boleo

During my first year of leading I was traveling for a Belgian Tango couple VINCENT MORELLE and MARYLINE LEFOR. They have an extraordinary musicality in their dance, which I appreciated and at that time they were unique on it around here. They are the only couple I have cried for during an performance! As I understood it their main tool was a strong contact and I would say their dance is more like contact improvisation than ordinary tango performance. She has totally surrendered her self to be an instrument, but still, they are one of the most balanced couples I have met.

They had about one workshop per month and I traveled in Sweden, to Kopenhagen and Brussel to participate. During that year 2004, we were working on the most of the movements I have seen other teachers introduce us later on. This inverted boleo is the latest one to come up.

Ordinary boleos are always going towards the standing leg and the turning point is on the other side of the standing leg or around it as for front boleos. Inverted boleos are instead going away from the standing leg and the turning point is in the air.

I have seen it performed only by follower's right leg.  The first one is in the begining of Vincents and Marylines performance in Brussel festival 2007. About 6 s in the video, the first thing after the walk.

The first time to see this boleo performed by another couple was Sebastian and Marianas milonga. Well done in both cases!

The first serie starts with an ordinary back boleo with left leg going to the right and then a inverted boleo with right leg going to the right too. The last two are ordinary back boleos with left leg.
(This link takes you directly to the steps

Here we have a double boleo with the right leg. Mariana starts with an ordinary back boleo and then continues to an inverted boleo. Beautifully done!
(This link takes you directly to the steps

And here you have the entire video!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Angelina's Tango Blog: Leading ladies

Angelina's Tango Blog: Leading ladies

This is a comment to a posting at Angelina's Tango Blog

I have been regularly leading since 2004 and the last years I have been following a tanda only once every other month. I belong to the first wave of female leaders here in Nordic and it was some rough in the beginning. It is accepted now and the younger ones seems not mind so much who is leading if s/he is providing a good tanda. ;)

There has only been one more negative incident about my leading. One of my male tango friends started to criticize my leading posture calling it ugly; my following posture he find ok and in some occasions even beautiful. I was quite devastated until I understood that he was deeply hurt by the fact that his favorite follower preferred dances with me. So if you choose to lead be prepared ;)

Actually you do not need so much strength in leading and the more experienced the follower is the softer the lead must be (otherwise she gets mad....) I lead even men and after I got better technique and contact with the floor it is OK too. With better technique I started to move more powerfully, I knew where I was going to without any doubt - I think this is the quality many have in mind when talking about strength. But as a leader you need to have a more focused attitude than women usually have and that has taken long time for me to develop. (But when I got there - I am sure that it also gave me a higher salary at my office!)

Big boobs at eye level are a problem for me as well as they are for every short leader - you can't see anything. The short man is happy and I try to handle the situation. It has actually happened only once - she was sitting and when she stood up I became aware of the problem. I offered an open abrazo but she was used to dance in a close embrace so it was a unstable dance but we made the tanda!

I grew up in a culture with very little physical contact and for me it took several years to become fully comfortable with another woman as dance partner. I danced the first years nuevo so open embrace was the appropriate hold and later on I became comfortable with the close one as well.

If you like to test check if cannyengue hold would be an alternative! We use a variation of it for every kind of music. As you can see we are not performers but we dance when we have possibility to do so!

And one more thing! There has been men in queue to participate to the courses my partner and I are teaching at! ;)

For questions you find my email address in the profile section or you can comment here. I would love to hear from you!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Distribution of guilty

When I started to lead my steps were unstable and without possibility to adapt to the variations on the dance floor. I was often involved in collisions and many times the guilt was on me, but not always. For some reason more experienced dancers could get mad about me when finding the space needed already occupied by me. I was maybe standing still or moving in line but the guilt was still on me! I got feeling that these people actually did not notice me dancing there and got angry at physical obstacle of my body! I was supposed to apologize!

Then one day there was a collision again but this time the other leader was apologizing directly. From that day on this was happening more and more often!

During the years I learned to control my movements better, my partners were experienced dancers with capability to change direction as fast as needed and I was more seldom the cause of a collision. But I still do mistakes and when I turn around the other one is apologizing! Apologizing even if it is my fault!

It seems to me that the guilt for collisions is not distributed only based on the involved leaders actual actions, but other aspects are involved. I think one of those is the skill level leaders around you can recognize and accept. There is also some kind of respect you earn during the years you have been developing on the pista. During the first months other leaders are literally willing to walk over you, you are invisible somehow, but later they are more willing to leave space around you and there is less risk for collisions.

Onlookers can vary the degree of guilt based on different facts. If an experienced dancer is repeatedly doing same mistakes the guilt is more severe on him than for others. The same if you have a high position in the tango community.