Getting criticised on my tango walk by a newbie!

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by aaah, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. aaah

    aaah Member

    hello all,
    Receiving a lot of criticism abouto my walk. she is a 3 week beginner but told me I don't collect enough and that I need to dance with more passion like I want to walk through her with long strides. I think she is believing her dance instructor's hyoe to dance in a showing off salon way. the kind of tsngo you could never do in small spaces. both are russians. otherwise she is very nice and I hzve enjoyed dancing with her until yesterday. it eats away at my confidence and next thiing I am dancing demoralized or stage tango

    I have been dancing several years and pride myself on a porteno straight leg walk no one else has complained. I think she is on the wrong track. one guy she pointed out to me as a powerful dancer likes to stick his leg between hers --in a dirty dancing way ---yes she is a beauty.


    next time I should disagree and tell her that I know what I am doing --- or that stage tango is not my way of dancing tango

    what is your take on newbies telling you how to do it-- and how would you handle if you still want to dance with them.
     
  2. aaah

    aaah Member

    hello all,
    Receiving a lot of criticism about my walk. The critic is a 3 week beginner lady who told me I don't collect my feet enough and that I need to dance with more passion like I want to walk forcefully right through her with long strides. I think she is believing her dance instructor's hype to dance in a showing off stage way. the kind of tango you could never do in small spaces. otherwise she is very nice and I have enjoyed dancing with her until yesterday. it eats away at my confidence and next thing I am dancing demoralized or trying to do her suggested more stage like tango

    I have been dancing several years and pride myself on having worked on a porteno straight leg walk -- no one else has complained. I think she is on the wrong track. one guy she pointed out to me as a powerful dancer likes to stick his leg between hers --in a dirty dancing way ---yes she is a beauty so he is happily obliging her. This same guy admires my tango.


    next time I think I should tell her that I know what I am doing --- or that stage tango is not my way of dancing tango

    what is your take on newbies telling you how to do it

    -- and how would you handle if you still want to dance with them just without the criticism
     
  3. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    So, she has been dancing 3 weeks and you are listening to her critique? Why?
     
    dchester likes this.
  4. jfm

    jfm Active Member

    presumably because she's not 'heavy' or 'old'.
     
    Kelena, opendoor, dchester and 2 others like this.
  5. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Some beginners tend to get over excited about their new endeavor, about the info they received in class, and enthusiastically share it with everyone who would listen, at times quite inopportunely so. This, too, shall pass. :)
    Some possible reactions:
    No reply.
    "OK."
    "Oh, is that so?"
    "OK. I will do my best."
    "Hahahahahaaaah"
    "I am sorry my dancing is not to your liking. Perhaps if it is so unpleasant, we better stop?"
    "Thanks, bye."
     
  6. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    That about covers it, but I would add:
    "When I take a class from you, you can tell me how to dance".
     
    Steven123 likes this.
  7. aaah

    aaah Member

    she also has alot of balance and learns quick took ballet
     
  8. aaah

    aaah Member

    good replies thanks!
     
  9. aaah

    aaah Member

    well im going thru a period of major life changes - my nerves are in upheaval and i think my confidence is flagging
     
    chomsky likes this.
  10. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    I did not add anything directly suggesting that her behavior is inappropriate, (although, of course, some may take that route too), because as much as it is inappropriate to criticize the partner's dancing in the milonga, I feel it is basically not our place to teach random grown up people how to behave.
     
    pygmalion and Zoopsia59 like this.
  11. jfm

    jfm Active Member

    Beginners don't know any different though really, do they? They have no idea what's good and what's bad, just a vague idea of how their teacher feels (if they have even danced with him/her by that point)! and a sharp response might turn them off forever. Maybe best to just say nothing and let it go.
     
    pygmalion and Mladenac like this.
  12. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Beginners often don't realize there is more than one way to do things. THey have been taught "how" so they think the "how" they have been told is the beginning and the end of "how".

    My partner, who had been doing tango for quite awhile at that point, had been teaching for a few years, and had traveled to BA six times to dance in the milongas, was told by a beginner that he should open the embrace to give me room to do my ochos "properly" by pivoting more. The newbie had never heard of or seen crossing ochos and was totally unfamiliar with a more milonguero non-changing embrace and style. Therefore my partner was doing it all wrong. The guy had probably just taken his first afternoon workshop on ochos that afternoon from the guest teachers.

    That said, the idea of "collecting" has nothing at all to do with the length of your stride or whether you are dancing "showy" vs"porteno". It also doesn't have much to do with where you are going to step (ie; between her legs or not) So it's possible that she might have a valid point with that one regardless of the difference in your respective styles.

    Or, she could just be full of hot air.

    When I figure out myself how to best handle unsolicited "instruction", I'll let you know.
     
  13. Gssh

    Gssh Active Member

    My personal take is that you won't be able to dance with them, and just accept it - she is not enjoying your dance, and you won't enjoy her not enjoying it. Why dance with somebody when it makes (at least) one of you unhappy? Take her off your dance list for now, and try again every one or two years. Maybe your preferences will converge, maybe they won't.

    Gssh
     
  14. rain_dog

    rain_dog Member

    I know it can be hard to take criticism of one's dancing, especially when it's unsolicited. I think it's most likely that she's trying to be helpful, so I would take it in that spirit and smile and say something like 'Thanks for the feedback, I'll try to keep that in mind'. An angry, sarcastic, or defensive response isn't going to do either of you any good.

    That said, I think about 95% of the men I see dancing don't collect enough either (including myself), so you're in good company :)
     
  15. rain_dog

    rain_dog Member

    I think it's extremely rare for criticism to be malicious and it's usually coming from a desire to help another improve. So I would say most of those responses are unwarranted and not very helpful.
     
  16. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    This is the second time a comment has been made about leaders collecting. I've never heard that it was important.

    I do collect many times, but it's more of a styling idea than a technical idea. There are also times when I dance with my feet apart, to establish a strong base.

    I do think it's important for followers to collect, for reasons that don't pertain to leading.
     
  17. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    As far as I'm concerned, being a newbie, along with being a complainer, is an incompatible mix for me. I wouldn't dance with her again (at least not until I'd forgotten about it).

    My rule of thumb is that if you are going to be complaining while dancing, you had better be really good.
     
  18. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    I know a lot of girls that after having three weeks of privates (lessons and nights) are better dancers than guys trying to climb the greasy pole for three years with little money.
     
    Kelena likes this.
  19. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I think there's a situational balancing act between just never dancing with a partner again, no reason given, versus trying to give a reason, gently, so the other person will understand and have a chance to react.

    IMO, the only person who is allowed to give instruction is a teacher, while in their own class, because it's given that the student wants instruction from that teacher. If someone wants to tell me how to dance, I have the choice to let them know my feelings about it, or merely not dance with them again. I would lean toward trying to come to an understanding with the other person. And I would try to conceal my sarcastic side.
     
    Mladenac likes this.
  20. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Member

    I would too take time out! If there is time and strenth it could be a good idea to ask someone else for opinion; maybe a teacher?

    Especially in full ochos it can be a good thing to collect because then you know where your axis as a leader is. If you don't collect, your axis can be slightly behind and make it more difficult for the follower to reach her axis for the turn. When she is on her axis and your axis is behind the abrazo gets more tight and forceful compared to the feeling of it in the middle of the follower step to next turn.
    (knowledge through own sweat,blod and tears :) )
     

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