Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Peter78, Jan 8, 2017.
Why is that? You think you'd be too busy pushing daisies?
I don't think that's a good wish. You do need to dance with many partners if only to learn how to communicate clearly. Can't know whether you're a good orator if your only listener is a telepathic one ;-).
I would hope when that time finally comes I'll have learned enough to gently invite daisies, not push them ;-).
It's TomTango's motto. One and one only partner is the right way. We did try to give him hints either on his theory or on the way he puts it in practice.
They usually don't attain a level of proficiency because the advance leader are correcting their mistakes.
So it may look they become proficient until you dance with them. And you get unpleasant surprise.
Becoming a proficient follower is as difficult to become a proficient leader.
Over some time leaders develops their own style, some listen to music in spare time, while followers don't.
So to become a proficient followers adjustment to various styles and musicality are needed.
How often does that happen? Depending of followers' personality.
There are many starting points in tango.
If you know of any milongas or practicas that have lessons beforehand, take the lesson which is usually aimed at beginners. If you don't know of any, look for them and make it a criteria for going there. This is quite common where I am.
Attending a lesson will give you a chance to meet other beginners, if the class follows a rotation policy. Even if it doesn't, you will see who the newish people are. They will also be looking for partners.
I do this whenever I show up at a new venue and really am there to dance.
When you're a beginner, don't waste your time and money, don't go to milongas.
You have a partner, try with her the steps that you've learned in class at a secluded place, maybe at a practica. Watch the videos that you recorded in class and try to follow them.
If you can't repeat the steps, then you need a private lesson with a female teacher who can fix your errors.
Oh no! If that's the motto that's become attached to me, I fear I've been misrepresenting myself!
The "steps" are not what are important, and you are usually not the best judge on whether you can "repeat the steps" well enough to show that you are mastering the concepts _behind_ them (which are what those "steps" _should_ be teaching you, after which you can weave your own dance).
And I think video is a very poor tool for most people that need to trains their kinaesthetic memory. You do have rare people who can actually learn movement by looking at others, but I have only observed that in people who've been professional dancers (ballet and contemporary) one time or another.
Milongas are what it's all about. You should go if only to watch and listen...
You go to classes with a partner, learn new steps, and record them. Later, you spend time with your partner trying to remember the steps that you've learned. Your recorded videos can definitely help.
In your scenario, you learn steps, immediately go to milongas, invite female partners and try your steps with them.
I think you'll fail miserably.
If you want an advanced female partner, pay money to a female teacher and get private lessons with her. You can get a better rate by buying a package of 10-20 lessons. Lessons are especially valuable when you don't know how to lead with your body.
The thing is, in our classes people do not learn only "steps". They learn such things as:
to move (and stop) to tango music navigating around the dance floor where other couples are present,
embrace and lead(follow) a random partner,
behave in a social setting which is a milonga.
To practice all that one needs to go first to a practica, and then to a milonga. There is no other way to practice that.
I agree with that. If you want a guaranteed opportunity to practice with a more advanced partner, private lessons is a way to go.
Furthermore, an answer to a question "where to find a volunteer practice partner", and "how to get people to dance with me in a milonga" will depend a lot on a local situation and customs. Your tango instructor should advice on the matter. A more experienced tango friends and acquaintances in your area could do the same. Also, you may visit different places and observe the mores there.
No, in my scenario you learn to move, and the 'steps' are just an excuse to learn how to move from one position to another (through to yet another) on music (and sometimes on how to vary the rhythm of your movement) and how to combine it all.
Also, I said you should go to milongas because that's what it's all about _even_ if at first you don't dance. That doesn't mean you can't attend practicas as well, of course.
The DJ at the last milonga I attended is just learning to lead. She known no steps, yet she's enjoying herself quite a lot when she leads (usually late at night, at the end of the milonga). The only thing she does for the moment is walk , just in parallel system (although she just started to convert some walking into quasi-backward ochos from time to time.)
Of course she walks, she stops, she varies the quality of her walk, and all in a way that should make many of the leaders jealous (and that includes me).
Well, she didn't. You can't see her follower's face, but you can just about guess she was smiling.
I think tips are most useful for not in the tango community connected, at maximum average talented leader.
Someone who gets carried by a crowd of tango regulars to a milonga will find his way.
For me it was not comfortable to invite at milongas while not being able to figure out who would like to dance with me and who not. Although the shortage of leader was helpful - to sit and observe was not pleasant then, too.
So I can understand people that tend to stay in classes for a long time - I did it different only for a quick-start.
Join the club: I've been dancing for 28 years and I still haven't figured it out (other than post facto, by observing who will accept my cabeceo).
Sometimes I get the feeling person X really doesn't want to dance with me only for her to contradict that post milonga.
Sometimes she will not be familiar with my (rather longer distance and unintrusive) way of trying to cabeceo (and in at least two cases ladies that I was trying to cabeceo for ages from 15m or more turned out to be nearsighted).
's All good, though. Usually given enough time these tangled communication wires get untangled.
I spent five years mainly in classes and practicas (if you don't go to milongas DO go to practicas!). But then in 1989 there were barely any real milongas and the rather cosy and warm atmosphere of the practicas didn't exactly encourage us to venture into the Big Bad World.
But in hindsight I should've kicked my own behind and gone to milongas sooner.
We have and expression in Croatian that translated to English would be:
Even a kick in behind might be a step forward.
I was starting to write up something about how to have fun at a milonga as a beginner, and i realized that this felt somewhat familiar.....
not exactly the same as what i think today, but close enough
I only take offense at one thing:
Let me insert a pregnant silence here.
See? That pregnant silence also says something.
You can keep dancing even when you do not step. Yes, that doesn't mean you should be waiting limp like a dead fish until you can progress again, but to keep dancing doesn't mean you need to step. Subtle weight changes and rotations inspired by the music and a very, very, very slow preparation for a step are all dancing. It all depends on the music and how you both interpret it.
Take it from me: I dance with a practice partner who's very eager on Biagi music --and I'm known to be rather dynamic and iodiosyncratic in my musicality as well-- and sometimes we look like a pair of Duracell rabbits when we dance it. I usually wish we would learn how to slow down.
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