Tango Argentino > from salsa to tango

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by olamalam, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. olamalam

    olamalam New Member

    Yes, so far I learned ocho, giro, barrida, cross etc.
    But from my salsa experience I know that I'll keep learning them in the next X years and constantly improve
  2. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    For me is it an erroneous belief that basics get mainly teached in a beginner class. To a good portion seems it better to skip them and build a good experience. It would also implicate that most students that proceed to intermidiate master them somehow. Sorry, but teacher have to adopt themself to the real world.
  3. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not positive that I understand your post. I do think that the basics/fundamentals should be taught in beginner's classes. The higher level classes will address topics that assume you have some understanding of the basics/fundamentals. The higher level classes can also address/emphasize some of the more detailed aspects of fundamentals as well, (at a higher level).

    Students need to understand that by taking a class beyond their level, they are slowing down / hurting the rest of the class. This is why some teachers require you to have a partner for some classes. That way, if you're not at the same level as the rest of the class, it doesn't effect the other students as much. It mostly only effects/hurts your partner.
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.
  4. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    I believe what he meant was that some beginner classes did not teach their students the fundamentals as they are supposed to, and focus on entertaining the students instead. Then yes, there are beginners classes like that, as well as classes of all levels where students learn next to nothing as far as tango is concerned. :)
    But there are also plenty of great teachers and very useful classes on tango fundamentals -- walking to music, posture, embrace, milonga etiquette, etc.
    Angel HI likes this.
  5. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    Round here classes progress peridically level by level in place, so after a few years you're "advanced" by definition.
    Figures get more complicated, but I simply realize, that notes to basic topics on the students never stop, may be they get more with every level.
    To do it right the teacher would have to divide (married) couples at a level transition - somehow realistic?
  6. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Here no one forces anyone from any class, except for the classes where attending with a partner is compulsory.
    A teacher may advice or suggest attending or abstaining from such or such class, and levels are largely arbitrary.
    When you are at an inappropriate class level against the instructor's advice, it is your personal problem, since you still can learn a lot even then.. you just don't get to complain about being uncomfortable or overwhelmed in that case. :)
    Mladenac likes this.
  7. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    Oh yes, of course, it can be quite uncomfortable for oneself or the partner to be in an inappropriate course.
    I know that very well, after four months I "had" to attain an advanced one because they were short of leaders.

    I think maintaining the axis in a pivot is a very, very basic requirement for an advanced dancer.
    But if that would be anyhow important - why doesn't it get tested like in material arts?
    Command: one step forward, balance, pivot-shoulder-hip-hip-shoulder, balance!
    Struggeling? :snaphappy:
    No problem, come back as soon as you got it ... and show it again!
    It's only because you wear high heels, lady? Sorry - your choice!
    Mladenac likes this.
  8. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    The only solution for one who wishes to take a class with people strictly on his level and above is to take private lessons. Because what you are talking about is not realistically possible to enforce. For example, a person may deliver one or two good ochos at the time of the entrance test but keep keeling over for the rest of the class, as she does not have stamina or consistency. :) And when there are 15-30 people a teacher sees for the first time it will take another good hour to test them all... and it is time, and work, and the floor fee, and who will pay for that? ;)
  9. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    I think it's not realistic because people don't want to learn tango such a hard way - not to get embarrassed is much more important for most.
    Otherwise it would be standard to record the last dances of the students and deliver that videos afterwards...
  10. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Interesting. I'll expound on why below.

    Teaching and classes are mostly developed culturally... meaning, that they are developed in accord with the social norms and expectations of the respective area/s. Though students everywhere tend to be excited by the fancier, seemingly more advanced moves, not all teaching/learning systems skip the fundamentals for the sake of sales. Fundamentals and How-to's are stressed in my Beginner classes, but they are also an integral part of the Improver and Intermediate classes as well. Even the Adv. classes will spend some some reviewing, redefniing, and refining fundamentals.

    @Lilly_of_the_valley posted, for example that she has been working for 10 years on becoming more proficient and comfortable with her giros. In a following post, you mentioned having learned ochos and giros (fundamentals), and barridas (not fundamentals, at all). I'm not saying don't have fun with the upper level techniques, but unless you can dance well the giro, you cannot even begin to understand the fundamentals of how to properly dance a barrida. The often missing fundamentals in a great giro are weight remaining centered and good ochos when required (and well led). [I do not mean to insinuate that Lily-Valley is not doing this] What I'm saying is that if you are not proficient in this (something that an advanced dancer has been working on for a while), then you couldn't possibly correctly apply these fundamentals to upper level movements like barridas.

    Again, I'm not saying don't do the upper level movements. I'm saying approach them as knowledgeably as possible from the start. Your dancing will be easier in the long run. :D
  11. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Yes, trying to execute a more advanced moves as a barrida, for example, is good. It is an opportunity to learn and understand more about such fundamental skills and concepts as musicality and timing, axis control, weight changes, free leg release, proper joints articulation, connection, etc, etc... and realize your current shortcomings in those basics. :) because once you master the basics on a truly advanced level, all the 'advanced moves' become quite easy.
    itwillhappen and Mladenac like this.
  12. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I think I used almost these exact words in a class this weekend
    Angel HI likes this.
  13. Tango Distance

    Tango Distance Active Member

    Plus you could remind her truly great dancers can dance with beginners, too! What better place to find them?
  14. Tango Student

    Tango Student New Member

    As someone also coming from a salsa background who's been learning tango for a while now, the only thing I've found useful in my salsa technique has been the 360 and the walkaround.

    I think the biggest difference is just how much more technique driven tango is, you have to be much closer to the theoretically perfect execution of a move in tango in order for it to feel good for both you and your partner vs. salsa.
    Angel HI and Mladenac like this.
  15. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    I wold guess the main useful thing one would retain and transfer from salsa to tango is the importance and the habit of studying and knowing music well, listening and respecting music, and moving in the music while dancing.
    itwillhappen and Mladenac like this.
  16. Tango Student

    Tango Student New Member

    Unfortunately, those are all things that many salsa scenes are criticized for not having (not saying anything about olamalam).
  17. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    What I transferred from ballroom dancing 35(!) years ago to tango now was a sound "I can dance" habit.
    That's quite portable among styles like shown in this video:

  18. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    I've walked it the other way round, here my impressions:

    Music: In tango I follow the music rather intuitively, I get immersed, especially when there is a fine melody or second voice. I'm only attentive near the cadencia-section when the giros are done and also at the end of a piece in order not to miss the last note. In Sala I'm much more alined to the rhythm, especially when on-2 pieces are played.

    Face: I usually forget about my face in tango, whereas I maintain control of my mouth corners in salsa ;)

    Feet: In tango I´ve got my weight on the balls most of the time, in salsa all parts of my feet are involved.

    Spine: I focus to maintain a neutral or slightly tilted back hip/pelvis postition in tango, but try to relax all reins in salsa.

    Eyes : In tango my eyes are set to infinity, in salsa I look at my partner.
    Mladenac likes this.
  19. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, the salsa world is replete with " teachers?", who do not understand the music. Many, are satisfied with counting, 123 567 !!.

    Salsa music is very complex, and it's unique in structure, as there are numerous countries/bands, that
    have their own "style" and interpretation .
    Angel HI and opendoor like this.
  20. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    n-thed. :)

    One of the (to me) interesting aspects of tango is that basically all advanced moves can be looked at as demonstrating mastery of a specific aspect of the basics. As such they tend to (almost) automatically show up as embellishments/swagger/flair once a certain level of skill is achieved, and it is difficult to explain how to do them "properly" if the basics are not in place. E.g. the barrida shows off how well both leader and follower understand the dynamics of the ocho. If they are thought of as specific moves/tricks, instead of demonstrations of principles, it sometimes makes it hard to flow in and out, and play with them.
    Often the rest of the dance does not use those specific dynamics and biomechanics , so it is not always easy to figure out where they come from. (anytime somebody starts the explanation of a move with "first you have to change the embrace..." is is a sure sign that the move was adapted from a different style, and a big hint to what dynamics are powering it). I find it useful to try to play with every move i see, and attempt to figure out how the couple that danced this the first time thought of the dance, and what they were trying to show off.
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.

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