Tango Argentino > From Latin/Swing to Argentine Tango - Help!

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by LindyKeya, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

  2. mshedgehog

    mshedgehog New Member

    That is very true. I always appreciate it a lot when I find that a teacher has seriously studied anatomy. And I agree that 'natural' is often not a very helpful description - for example what exactly is "a totally natural posture" in high heels? The first time I heard that, I thought the notion was patently ridiculous, so I interpreted it as at least partly metaphorical. It's a problem. I think that the tango posture that works is not strained or forced or contrived, and as far as I can tell, that's what good teachers are always trying to convey with the word 'natural', as is the case in this video, but I don't think 'natural' is a specially helpful instruction for me, and maybe not for most people. I've often found that that's that point where I need to ask the teacher for specific feedback - is this ok, is this better or worse? - or do some other kind of exercise to get rid of whatever wierd thing I was doing.
  3. mshedgehog

    mshedgehog New Member

    Don't praise me (well, do, because it's nice, but ...) - go and be nice in their YouTube comments :) If you encourage them they might do an English version eventually. It'd be a Good Thing.
  4. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Well if any of you are going to be in the Boston area around Halloween time this fall, I hear that Detlef & Melina are supposed to be teaching at Tango de los Muertos. It is usually a fantastic tango festival.
  5. LindyKeya

    LindyKeya Member

    YES! That's it! (Except, of course, with the arms the right way -- is this what the position is supposed to be, or was the image reversed?)
    Is this a posture that is still used in AT?
  6. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    hmm- I'm confused now because to me at least, the cartoon drawing and the posture photo you linked to don't look alike....unless you had meant to link to the lordotic (sp?) photo and got the slouching one instead....
  7. LindyKeya

    LindyKeya Member

    Ah, this is helpful. I'm not a big proponent of #6 above, although I realize that is the stereotype of ballroom dancers. Your micro level things are also things I consider pretty major for ballroom.

    And MsHedgehog - wow, thanks! THat clip, and the the transcript, were very helpful. It was particularly useful to see/hear/read how what they call "countermovement" works in AT, which was really great, as it was an element I hadn't considered (or been taught), but obviously plays a big role. It was also interesting to see the similarities and differences with ballroom cbm/cbmp, and simultaneously see how those work with the other elements of AT.
  8. LindyKeya

    LindyKeya Member

    ?? The "flat back" posture was the one I meant, which was not as pronouncedly hunched through the shoulders as the image Steve so wonderfully found, but was the closest I could find. The lordotic posture, on the other hand, has the chest pushed out, with the curve of the spine increased in the lower back, as opposed to decreased in the lower, and pulled somewhat forward in the flat back.
  9. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    yes- that's why I asked...when you said "That's it"..well the caricature has a pretty arched looking back which isn't really like the photo you showed origianlly. In fact, the cartoon looks very early 1900's to me and isn't a good representaion of good posture...it's a cartoon...corset and bustle- stiff upright torso and large derriere...so it looks like she's arching her back to me rather than slouching in the cartoon. If you look at the cartoon carefully, she's actually got a straight up and down back and a large rear and pelvis tilted back...not a slouch. The big shoulders the "artist" made may be making her look like she's slouching, but slouching in that era would have been unheard of for ladies. Not to mention the cartoon makes them look like they'd be 10 feet tall. The human proportions are all wrong.

    In the close embrace I learned, you are actually trying to flatten the upper back (as opposed to letting you shoulder blades scrunch together- no holding pencils with them in AT) by expanding your back so it could be your teacher, like my original teacher for close embrace, just didn't have the words to describe what you needed to do and you were engaging the wrong muscles to attempt to achieve it and so caused yourself pain, or you thought you had achieved what they wanted based on how it "looked" to you in the mirror.

    In actuality, it may require engagment of a different set of muscles than you thought. As I stated before, *you can arrive at some similar looking postures but be engaging different sets of muscles* (quite possibly the worng ones). I can't say this often enough to people.

    It took me 3 sets of master teachers to figure out what sets of muscles I was really trying to go for to get the kind of connection they wanted from me.

    EDIT: My other half agrees with me and he deals with postural dysfunction as part of his profession....
  10. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    If you really want to look at ladies posture...which is what I thought was the original point of this thread.... perhaps looking at real ladies instead of cartoons would be better...

    Three differnt followers who dance different styles....note how all of them have expanded upper backs, elbows that try to stay in front of their bodies instead letting their elbows get behind them too much

    Geraldine Rojas...surely no one doubts her expertise...


    Mariana MOntes:


    and Melina since we used their posture video...

  11. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    Here is another example of posture that you might enjoy. They dance open and close embrace so you get to see the posture doesn’t change you also see she isn’t wrapping her arm around his back she is in a position to gently move from closed to open with no effort it’s very subtle. Veronica dances with perfection. Notice her balance and axis and also beautiful footwork.
  12. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    well- I don't have a problem with her posture...but IMO it would be helpful not to confuse the original question about posture with stylisitc preferences and how the arms may be placed accordingly (though those do usually entail slight postural changes also). One arm position is not any better than another, just more useful for the effect you are going for, and if the ability to drift from open to closed is what you want, well, that arm position works fine if the lady also know how to connect properly.
  13. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    We had a thread a while back about posture.


    Here is one that I like, but the thing about tango is that there are several "correct" answers.

  14. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    Now this is interesting - does the rest of what is taught look similar to this?


  15. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    Actually the woman’s arm position has everything to do with posture. When the woman’s arm is completely wrapped around the man’s back she is contorting her body and creating bad posture. Lately I’ve been seeing some new grips women have started using. One I call the pickpocket hold, her arm is wrapped so far over the man’s shoulder her hand almost reaches his back pants pocket.
    The same holds true for the woman’s right arm. When the leader holds her right arm up over her head her balance, axis and movement are restricted.
    Without balance, axis and unrestricted movement Tango can still be danced but at what skill level?
  16. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    The problem with that fotograph is: Only a single spot in a complex movement is shown. Sabrina stands on one foot, the other is going to be hooked behind. Usually the couple dances in V-hold.
  17. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    I don't know, but you commented that my posture was nice and I use my arm accross the shoulders. Nor do I contort my body. I have learned how to dance with that arm position.

    I happen to hate the arm position in the video you posted. I think it teaches the ladies to dance backweighted if they aren't drilled in good grounding techniques and the only people I have seem do it really well are not your basic, garden variety social dancers, but pros. If you can get it, great, but it's not the only way.

    I completely disagree that you can't have nice posture and have your arm across someone. You have to learn to relax the shoulder joints, but just because you may not like the arm there either because of looks or feel or have experience with that position doesn't make it bad. If a lady doesn't learn the techniques specific to dancing this way then, sure, it's easy for her to get try to reach and get contorted and tense, because she hasn't learned proper teachnique, but if she has, there isn't one thing wrong with it.

    As Peaches said in one of the other posture threads, there isn't any dance where bad posture is encouraged.
  18. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    In the postcard http://www.todotango.com/english/postcards/postal.asp?id=10 the woman does seem to be pushing her bottom out. This, I'm guessing, is a carryover from canyenge where the partners connect at the chest with both partners leaning forward with bottoms extended. "Argentine Tango" was till a reapidly evolving, international dance in the early part of the 1900s.

    I posted this link because I thought LindyKeya's instructor may have been trying to get her into this posture.

    It is NOT how most people dance AT, nor is it something to be mimicked if you want to learn "contemporary" AT. I have read discussions about some young women who teach AT using this bottom out posture. Don't know about you, but I would NEVER ask a woman if she was dancing with her bottom out on purpose!

    Truth be told, though, I have been known to very purposely do the bottom out thing for a short period of time, just for the heck of it, when the music and mood strikes me. If someone calls me on it, I just tell 'em I'm dancing canyenge. No doubt lots of people think I'm just dancing "wrong".
  19. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    I wasn’t commenting on your posture just posture in general. It’s possible to wrap the arm around the man’s upper shoulders without effecting balance if the woman is tall with long arms but what I see and I’m sure you see it too is when the woman drapes herself so far over the man that she loses her posture balance and axis. It’s just that so many women do this it’s becoming the norm? As a leader It’s my job to give the woman the space she needs to maintain her balance. When I dance with women that have poor balance it’s usually because of their embrace.
  20. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    I have certainly seen it and it is yet another aspect of poorly learned technique, just like that follows arm on the back of the shoulder thing can lead to bad habits too.

    They are generally engaging the wrong set of muscles (usually lower back), basing their attempt on achieving it by visual reference without understanding how to actually use the upper back to get there. It's not really so much a height issue IMO. I am under 5'4" and my regular partner is 5'11".

    I'm sure we could all list just as many pros and cons for favorite embraces but even when you look at someone like Mariana Montes or Geraldine dancing in open, you'll still see they have nicely engaged back muscles regardless of whether they are open or closed. I chose to post videos of them in closed because the OP appeared to be talking about close embrace posture and it didn't sound like a "v" from the description.

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