Tango Argentino > Is there such a thing as too sensitive?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by twnkltoz, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Leaders, have you ever danced with a lady who was too sensitive to your lead? Is there such a thing as a lady being too easy to lead? For example...some ladies tend to miss it when you lead them to the cross, but this follower always gets it. It takes barely any turn to get her to do an ocho, etc.

    That sounds kind of dumb, but I'm kind of a "hair trigger" follower and I sometimes worry that maybe I'm a little too light and sensitive and should be a little heavier and slower to respond. The leaders seem to like it, but I hear remarks about it so often it almost makes me think I'm wrong, Does that make sense?

    There are times when I move my feet just a little too fast and I'll miss them trying to touch my foot with theirs to sweep it or something, so I know that's something I have to work on for sure. Just not sure if I'm too easy to lead into the cross or other things...of course, I know none of you have danced with me to be able to tell, but I'm curious as to other people's experiences.

    Also, it's late and I had a nice evening of Tango and bought my first official Tango shoes, so I'm not sure if I'm being totally coherent through the combination of delirium and drowsiness. :)
  2. pwpulto

    pwpulto Member

    Too sensitive, too light,

    I don't think you can be too sensitive. However there is in my opinion a BIG difference between being sensitive and "light". Being "light" often is a way of being to fast. Often when a follower feels that a cross is going to happen, she already does the cross. In that way she can't respond anymore to the specific way, the nuances of the way of going to the cross.
    So in my opinion the ideal follower would be very sensitive and as slow as possible (of course without physical resisting). In that way she would be able to pick up every subtlety. To the leader this gives a feeling of "weightless heaviness"...

    And, keep enjoying your delirium!
  3. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I want it both ways: I want a follower to be sensitive to my lead (but me developing the ability to lead sensitively is still very much a work-in-progress) but I also want some resistance for the follower, so that I can feel where she is, and feel a return of energy from my own input.

    Some very light followers are delightful to dance with, but I'm not always sure that they are dancing with me. I am quite happy to have to work for every movement, and feel a good (and solid) connection as we dance. I don't associate resistance with heaviness, and the latter, I don't like at all.
  4. Wanderer2

    Wanderer2 New Member

    Definitely, too much sensitivity borders at anticipation, since they will result in a standard/default move: Variations will thus be impossible.

    A very slow cross, which could be even be undone at the very last moment
    Varying the speed/size/direction the ocho (eg from slow to fast to slow / forward, backward, forward)
    etc, etc
  5. mshedgehog

    mshedgehog New Member

    Mm. I've been there, in various ways over time. On balance, I don't think you should worry about it. Basically you just don't want to be 'flyaway' and go further than they meant. So if you feel that that is happening, you can try just slowing yourself down a little. (What works for me is thinking of my hips as heavier, a vertical cage with a heavy weight inside - and I only want my feet to go as far as they need to go to follow this heavy weight to where it wants to be. It's the weight that moves and my feet should just take care of themselves. This works for me, but if it doesn't make sense to you just ignore it). Based on my own experience I'd say that unless you're stepping too far or pivoting too far and ending up somewhere they didn't mean you to be, or unless you're feeling that the momentum in turns is uncontrolled, sensitivity is a good thing not a problem. And even if you do get little problems of that kind, they are much better problems to have than some of the alternatives, because you will still be easy and satisfying to dance with and that will get you lots of good experience that will help you solve them naturally.
  6. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I would say that a follower can't be too sensitive. By that, I mean that the less I have to do, to indicate my intention (lead), the better. However, you could be talking about something else altogether. When the woman does her step ahead of, (or without the man), I don't consider that being sensitive.

    My current way of thinking is (more or less) as follows: the man indicates his intention, and the man accompanies the woman as she does the step. The woman has to allow the man to accompany her (not get ahead of him). Both try to (more or less) stay/move together. No one follows anyone (in the literal sense).

    It takes great sensitivity by both partners to do this. Maybe some day, I'll get there.
  7. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    As you've already read, there are two, maybe three, topics you may be confusing.

    1) Too sensitive? No way. I love it when my partner is responsive to every nuance I can offer her. She gets a much better dance (IMO) from me when I know she will feel what I'm trying to say.

    2) Slower to respond - I think one of the finest skills for a follower is the ability to go slow, really use up the music, and still be on the beat. Many followers just finish the step too soon. They "read" the step and fire it off. They're done with the step before I am. I have to hurry to keep up with them. That's no good.

    3) Physical presence - some followers are light as a feather, and I can never dance with them strongly, as the music sometimes makes me feel. To D'Sarli I often like to just give shape to my partner and allow her much freedom to be expressive. To D'Arienzo I often want more drive and force. If my partner gives me too little physical presence, that's hard to get. There are some partners who feel like a puff of smoke, and I can't give them a strong dance.
    dchester likes this.
  8. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    This is an excellent post, IMO.
  9. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Don´t agree twnkltoz, sensitivity doesn´t mean to anticipate. You´ve got figures, and sequences in mind, but there are no sequences, and no crosses in tango at all (only in tango didactics, may be). So there actually is nothing an experienced follower could ever anticipate. I really often dance with "too" sensitive followers, and they read my mind by the slightest twitching of my eyebrow: sometimes it happens within a thousandth of a second that I am torn between two ways of interpreting the melody, and these followers use to get it at once. And that is the way it should be. You cannot disguise yourself when you are dancing! Have you ever asked yourself why the milongueros of BsAs at once leave the dance floor in panic, if a different piece but the expected one comes at that moment since 10 years?

  10. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    I think one more aspect is to be consequent. If you are a light follower be it all the way but if you feel to offer a stronger resistance keep that through the whole tanda. In that case I can adapt my leading to your way of dance.
  11. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for your responses! I guess I am confusing a couple of different issues. I think I am definitely too fast sometimes, although not always--I listen to the music and take my own time to complete a movement or add a little adornment when given the freedom to do so, leaders lead me in different variations and timings all the time, etc. I just get a little too excited in molinettes and ochos, but even then i *try* to keep listening to my leader. Definitely something to keep working on. I was told in a lesson recently to offer a little more resistance, and that's a concept I haven't quite integrated yet.

    As for the sensitivity, sounds like I'm OK there. I have a tendency to anticipate in ballroom, but I *think* I've pretty well gotten out of that habit in Tango since the structure is so different. I have learned to feel and respond to very subtle shifts and turns, and sometimes I actually get confused when I'm over-led. LOL!

    Here's an example: one leader who is a local favorite led me in a sort of run I guess you would call it--walk, walk, cross. walk, walk, cross. walk, walk, cross. Afterward, he told me that a lot of women miss the cross, but I hit it every time. I just shrugged and said I could feel it, although it was subtle, and it was obvious he didn't want me to keep walking. Another guy was leading what I later figured out was an ocho cortada, but he kept doing this big dramatic thing to get me to cross and I couldn't figure out what the heck he wanted. I finally asked, and he said, "just cross!" exasperatedly. Well...why are you over leading it then??

    I hope I'm not sounding arrogant...I'm really not, just trying to analyze where I'm at.

    I have one partner I dance with a lot who will chuckle as we're dancing. I'll ask him what's funny, and he'll say something like, "I was going to do that and changed my mind, but you'd already done it. My fault," He likes it, and likes to experiment with "micro movements" and musicality, playing with different ways to interpret the music and have a sort of dance dialogue with me, but it seems like such an unusual trait in this area that it made me worry a little.
  12. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    As someone else said, to me there are three different things going on:

    1)Being sensitive to nuance and truly being able to feel the most subtle of leads. (good)

    2)Taking the very first indication of anything and going and doing it, which gets into the realm of anticipating. (bad)

    3)Being too light, or too sensitive in the embrace. This is, at least partially, a preference thing. Some men like that lightness, many do not. (But if you're dancing with shared weight, it'll happen regardless. You can't "lean" on someone and be barely there in terms of your embrace...it's just a physical impossiblity.)

    So...I guess I'm wondering...which are you asking about?
  13. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Peaches, I think I answered your question through my other responses, but I'll keep #2 in mind and make sure I'm not anticipating.
  14. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member


    (Man, I wish we had someone of that stature and depth of knowledge in the AT world here in the states. And I say that after investing much time into Blair's books, dvds, and training.)

    I'm unclear as to what they like, being "light and sensitive", or " a little heavier and slower".

    Oh, gosh, can I identify with this comment.

    I have, over the years, become rather profoundly disappointed with the "barely there" feeling that I get back from many women. Note however that I was completely taken with the experience I have had with apilado close embrace, and don't seem able to be all that satisfied with less. Making yourself felt is essential to that style. Less so in others.

    And, you will find that there is lots of room for personal preference when it comes to degree of connection and rsistance.

    Wondering if your feet are going before your center?
    Have you been thinking about using all the time you have to "complete" your steps?
    Do you think it is worse when the music is slow?

    Oh, and lots of good responses already.
  15. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Don't worry! Please! Go with it! Someone has to be "out there"!

    Just one more!
    Please keep working on it. I think a goal should be to be able to turn it up and down at will, depending on your partner and what is happening in the music.
    Lots of songs have a changing dynamic, and it is good to be able to respond to that.
  16. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I think everyone else has pretty much covered it. I'd just like to add, one of my former teachers was incredibly sensitive. While some followers like every step lead through every piece, she liked a lighter more subtle touch. Here's the thing... no matter how sensitive she was tuned, she projected this amazing presence in her dance. Every step could be felt. I think that's something to work toward. Don't just do the step. Project it through your embrace, "I am here! You are dancing with ME!" If you can do that, you will definitely be sought after as a partner.
  17. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I'll have to check that out!

    They seem to like that I'm easy to lead.

    [quote ]
    And, you will find that there is lots of room for personal preference when it comes to degree of connection and rsistance.[/quote]

    Definitely. And every single one of them is "right" and everyone else is "wrong"! lol I have to memorize which leader likes what.

    1. I don't *think* so.
    2. Yes. I try to take as much time as the leader and the music allow.
    3. I'm better when the music is slow.

    Lots of good responses for sure. Lots of food for thought! Thanks everyone!
  18. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    it sounds like yuo could leanr a lot from the last leader. There are lots of micro movements; effectively dancing <inside> the step...so if you feel this and reduce the anticipation. I teach the step made up of four parts as an exercise but it can be a continuum where ever the leader stops you stop too.
  19. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    What are those four parts?
  20. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Mirrored Crosses

    Hi twnkltoz, can you help me with that run? A lot of dancers use to lead walk, cross, walk, cross, walk, cross which is called multiple crosses. But walk, walk, cross, walk, walk, cross would mean that you were crossing to either side, alternating between right and left foot in front? This actually would be an interesting run.

Share This Page