Getting criticised on my tango walk by a newbie!

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

  1. aaah

    aaah Member

    excellent points as she is friendly otherwise. last week was just a bad bad dance week 4 me many reasons incl heart break

    she is already way beyond most followers for 3 weeks - the ballet helps I guess. I do collect a lot but she wants me to walk a very narrow line and not natural walk



    also it was a pratica so next time I will get the instructor to give an opinion thanks

    ps she also comments at dances both good and bad

    thx all
  2. Mladenac

    Mladenac Active Member

    I understand that follower could criticize more experienced dancer.
    I receive a complaint about a guy who dance toe first, and she usually dance with guys who dance heel first.
    I don't want to a debate again.
    It was a vals, and she doesn't that very often. So it was really awkard for her.
    Well she didn't try to correct him.

    It happens that beginner know the right way.
    One other girl said that one teacher didn't dance well cause they almost fell.
    The trick was that she had had some bad habit and some things didn't do properly at that time.
    We all know that some people want to dance fast so the learn figures. :oops:

    Only polite thing at milonga is to to say thank and leave if you are not enjoying
    or ask partner if sth can be adjusted.
    Criticizing is a big no no.

    People at beginning of their dancing career treat their teachers as gods, which they aren't.
  3. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Earlier in the thread (as I remember it) someone expressed the opinion, more or less, that "this to shall pass." I wish it was so.

    I took lessons obsessively (but not so much that I was no longer absorbing what I was supposed to be learning) for 2 1/2 years, and danced weekly for another 5 or 6 years. The "helpful suggestions" from short timers never stopped.
    Now in case you think, well, it must be you, then...

    There were numerous times when, after some discussion, I would say, OK, lets ask the "teacher." This was either in class or at the practica that I went to for years. Invariably, after the usual, here you do it with me, now I'll do it with them "test," I would be left alone and the "helpful suggester" would receive additional instruction.

    So, from my perspective, it's going to happen. And the only thing you can do is decide how you are going to react to it.
    chomsky and Bailamosdance like this.
  4. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Active Member

    That's true, some people never grow out of it. In our community people who like to criticize and instruct their partners on the milonga floor usually have to rely on newcomers to get any dances.
    Consuela, chomsky, Zoopsia59 and 2 others like this.
  5. I can be a smart knat when when someone does something that I perceive as antisocial, like someone trying to teach me at a Milonga, but my gut response would have been something like: "I might dance like that to Piazzola's Libertango, but not to this song. Biagi, begs shorter, more rhythmic steps, like I am doing now." I have learned that with a response like this, she will either think I am a jerk and then reject me next time I ask her to dance, in which case I would rather not dance with her anyway or she will reserve judgment and eventually she will understand me and Tango in general better.

    If a follow told me that I am not collecting enough, I would assume that she means that she cannot feel my axis. Some follower beginners without good sensitivity need an extremely strong, defined axis, so I would not get offended, but would just change my style for her and give her a strong, pronounced, exaggerated axis so that she can really feel it. Usually I can tell if she is not feeling my axis, because her steps will "drift" a bit, so I think this is my fault. On the other hand, marking the axis too strongly will sacrifice smoothness and comfort, so it needs to be adjusted to more subtle again after dancing with a beginner. Sometimes I see an advanced dancer with an advanced follow marking the axis too strongly and the follow isn't enjoying it and I can tell he has spent the last hour dancing with beginners.

    Technical point: Collection is either stylistic, or a learning technique before learning to "project your axis." Once you can project your axis, in my opinion, collection becomes largely unnecessary, but it doesn't hurt to revisit it at times to strengthen balance or to use in more advanced moves like some subtle close embrace colgadas or leader's back cross to pivots that can be extremely difficult without collection.
  6. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    I'm of the opinion that collecting is incidental, that is, it's not done on purpose. Purposeful collecting is poor technique, especially on the part of the woman because tango is a dance from the waist up. Newbies who are taught to collect are being taught by teachers who don't understand the mechanics of movement nor the social aspects of the dance. These teachers are probably stage dancers where collecting looks good but on a social dance floor, it becomes a hindrance to navigation.
  7. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    I know that you learned from Cacho Dante. Most of the milongueros viejos in BA do the same. Their focus is remaining steady for the woman to dance. Their steps are not important.

    When it's tango on stage or an exhibition you will see something else.
  8. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    If a person cannot enjoy dancing with me without criticizing my dance, I don't care to dance with them. I will save my effort for someone who enjoys dancing with me.
  9. aaah

    aaah Member

    mad tango scientist

    what do you mean by projecting my axis can you explain this?
  10. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Not speaking for anyone else - to me it means letting your partner know, clearly and simply, where your axis is. Dancing in a way that she can find it easily.
  11. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Misspelling or is there actually a concept like this? I only use the term step projection. But, of course we also do control the axis of our dance partners..
  12. Mladenac

    Mladenac Active Member

    Well, It seems that you took it too personally. :eek:
    What is your reputation in AT community.

    The trick is that beginners are full of enthusiasm and are infatuated with tango.
    They like want to eat, breath, and feel tango 24/7.

    The easiest way to be the smart one is to criticize somebody.
    She did that to you and you fell for it.
    It seems that you need to develop communication skills. :cool:

    Just ask her what's unclear to her, let her do talking what she would like
    and since you have been dancing try to deliver it.

    And since she doesn't have manners I would avoid her,
    since the leaders make the invitation for the dance. :)
  13. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, during classes, that's a good way to handle it, and it's pretty funny how often the "correcter" gets schooled by the teacher.
    pygmalion likes this.
  14. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I've lost count of how many times this has happened to me. I'd say 90% of the times I've gotten "corrected" by a partner in class (regardless of whether I was leading or following) this was the result. I've learned (in class or lesson situations) to not respond directly, but immediately start seeking out the instructor for help.

    On a general note, Rebecca Shulman said something wonderful in a class I took from her: "You know what's not sexy in Tango? Talking. Talking is not sexy. Work it out without words, and if you can't, ask me for help."

    Of course, in a practica, talking is somewhat expected. Unsolicited correction and "instruction" however, is not.
  15. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    I've learned simply not respond in a verbal way. I will let her have her way and not dance with her again. It's the most subtle and kind way not to injure her feelings at the moment. However, she'll get the hint that she sucks when I don't ask her to dance again.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  16. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I imagine this will eventually come around to bite her. Always commenting (instead of saving commenting for only when you have something good to say) often results in a reputation that gets around.

    In my community, followers will talk amongst themselves and gripe about the leaders who do this. I imagine leaders do as well. Word gets around that the person isn't all that enjoyable to dance with due to their attitude. The word becomes "don't worry about dancing with him or whether he is asking you for dances". Occasionally it gets bad enough that followers start complaining to teachers and organizers that so-and-so needs to be given a good "talking to".

    Someone probably needs to take her aside and gently suggest that she hold her tongue until she's been dancing for at least a year. (or permanently)

    I don't think this should be you however.
  17. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Maybe you might turn it around... instead of responding to her 'critique' as if it was something YOU need to fix, simply say "Let's see why you are not getting it? If you feel x, then you need to figure out why you feel as if it is not coming from me"? Realistically, beginners have such poor understanding and such undeveloped senses that you might (if she actually can over time 'get it') be able to make her more sensitive to what is really happening! I dance abllroom, and the most common 'critique' I get from beginners is along the lines of 'I don't feel your lead like xxxx's' when xxxx is a clumsy and rough guy who uses his arms and no body movement. Beginners many times mistake brute force for a 'lead'..
    aaah likes this.
  18. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Ugh. I have lost count of the lessons with beginners where the lady tells her leader, "you need to push me here, like she does when she leads." This, of course, gives me an opportunity to explain that what they feel is not the result of me pushing her, but of my body moving my frame, which then moves her. They think they know what they're feeling, but they don't.

    On the other hand, yesterday I heard the lament of a beginner leader who went to his first practica and was told by an experienced follower that he must always step forward on the left foot. *sigh*...it's not just beginners who are a problem.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  19. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    In my experience, advanced dancers, leaders or followers, never suggest to their partners how they should dance. They just shut up and dance. It's a body language communication, not a verbal one.
  20. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    IMO, that's not an experienced follower.

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