Tango Argentino > how to do enrosque ( for a man)

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by aaah, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Huh, I wonder where that previous reply went. As I was saying...

    I guess I don't understand what you all mean by "backleading". I think I know what it is, and I've experienced it in other dances, but never in tango. Aren't all followers taught to wait until a lead occurs?

    And if it means that a partner does a molinete when I lead one... Well, I can't see how that is backleading.
  2. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Anticipation? Sure, I can understand that, but I think there is a very big difference in followers attitude between that and backleading. Is that what you all are talking about?
  3. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    That's like saying you can't criticize unless you're able to do it, too. If that were true, a basketball game would be strangely quiet because no one could cheer praise or criticism at the athletes except for Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen, and that assumes they bought a ticket to attend the game.

    However, that being said, I'm a very good follower. A leader has to know how to lead or I don't take a step. I don't anticipate anything. The thing that I focus on is my maintaining form and my technique. I've even made some women envious, including one teacher who's been dancing longer than I have. What they don't know, even after years of lessons, is that I'm doing something entirely different from what they were taught which is: following. I don't know the steps; I just maintain my form and my technique. The steps I take are incidental.

    I know how it feels to be led poorly and I know how it feels to be led smoothly. It's because I can follow very well that I can lead very well because I know how a good lead feels.

    I will also choose to dance with someone who feels like they are improving because they become easier to dance with each time. However, there are some women who don't improve at all. These women make it a chore because it forces me to make the same stressful accommodations which can be incredibly tiring and sometimes even painful (e.g. clamping their left arm down on my right arm.) What is somewhat surprising is that they are completely oblivious to how difficult they make it for me. These are the women whom I refer to.
  4. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    Hahaha! Obviously not. When the women are also taught the steps, they will inevitably take the steps without being led. Even the slightest hint of a "lead" and they will step where they think they are supposed to, even if that's not where the lead actually leads them to step.

    "I can feel you thinking about your feet."

    I've had many experiences when I lead a molinete but instead of FSB, the way it is usually taught, I will lead FSF (it's easier to lead and follow a FSF slowly). Sometimes, they just zoom ahead and take steps I did not lead, and once this caused contact with another couple.

    The woman's part requires that she does not anticipate anything.
  5. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    If your experience is that every follower who has been taught a step anticipates it and that it is "inevitable", then your community needs some new teachers or some more time to grow or both. It is common for beginners and even up to some intermediate followers to have trouble with anticipating, but advanced dancers wouldn't be advanced if they still did that. You don't have any advanced followers in your area?

    On the other hand, if you are "hinting" (even slightly) that the follower is to do something, then you can't go complaining that she does it. Responding to a lead we actually feel, no matter how subtle, is not the same thing as anticipating a lead. Quite a few leaders are very subtle.. we still have to respond to those leaders too and not wait for someone to use semaphore or those big orange air traffic control flashlights. Perhaps your lead is giving off more indication than you realize and that's why you so often have followers "anticipating" and/or "backleading".

    It is not "usually" taught as FSB. It is just as often taught as BSF. Some teachers teach both entrances and a few even teach other variations along the way as well. If you have a notion that it is "usually" taught as FSB, then there's a whole lot of teaching you haven't experienced.

    It seems to me that this is something you need to address with a private instructor. Make sure that you are actually doing what you need to do to control where the sequence stops and starts. Has a qualified teacher told you: "You are doing everything you should be doing, so if the followers are racing ahead, it's not you in even the slightest way"? If so, then maybe you should suggest to the followers that they take some lessons from that teacher.

    It's simply not reasonable that ALL the followers in your area are doing it wrong unless there is something fundamentally wrong with the instruction in your area. If that is the case, and you know how to fix it, maybe you should be teaching instead of complaining about how they are all dancing. After all, you feel you are both an excellent leader and a good follower, and above the level of most of those around you, so....?
  6. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Of course it's art. Any time people are engaged in creating, you're talking about art.
  7. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    When they were here, Diego danced with EVERY follower present at the milonga. He couldn't dance whole tandas with them of course because of the numbers, but he danced with everyone.

    I've wanted to take a private from him... I've heard excellent things about his approach. I've had classes with them, but never a private.
  8. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    Most of the teachers teach the 8cb and some Nuevo. Either way, the overall quality of instruction is pretty poor and I have avoided milongas that are taught by the kind of instruction I am against, mainly, ones that focus on steps.

    If, for example, an ocho cortado is led, some women will think it's a right giro and step farther and attempt to continue the giro. This is anticipation by assuming it was a giro and they will ignore the lead.

    But, I know that I am very clear and usually know where the woman's feet are. I'm very conscientious about the lead and can feel if something is wrong.

    A giro can start either F, B, or S. However, my point was that it can be led any way as long as they don't anticipate. If a giro is led FSF, but on the last Front, they think they should be doing a Back, then they may stop and twist their leg back. This is backleading.

    I don't dance steps anymore. I dance close embrace. As a result, I know exactly what it is that I'm leading because the woman is directly in front of me. When I'm in open embrace, there is too much wiggle room for the woman to move out of alignment.

    I danced with this woman once. She wasn't very good to start, however, in just a few months, she really improved and I really enjoyed dancing with her because she was very good. Then, the last time I danced with her, she danced worse than before, which was really odd. There were two main things that were different: it was difficult to feel where her feet were or if she had stepped and she was also stepping short. I eventually figured out why: she was taught to keep her knees slightly bent and to collect her feet. Walking on bent knees absorbs the energy so that it's difficult to feel at the chest, and by collecting her feet, her legs were forced to cover the greater distance. This is an example of bad teaching advice that even good dancers will listen to just because the "teacher" said them.

    Not all followers here do it wrong, which really makes me wonder where the hell they learned how to dance. Some of them clearly had classical dance training (ballet) and modern dance.

    I've thought about how to teach a class, but there are fundamental problems with classes in that there will likely be a shortage of experienced dancers. Beginners dancing with beginners is a recipe for disaster, as most people well know. I've also never actually taught a man how to dance. I know it will be a lot more difficult than teaching women because, while the form and technique are similar, men also have to LEAD.
  9. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I don't understand what you are saying here when you talk about "dancing on bent knees". The knee straightens to extend for the step, but softens as weight is transferred to it. It would be awfully uncomfortable to land on a straight leg and leave it straight. The follower can't "dance on straight legs", so I'm not sure what you are trying to say she should do.

    I also don't understand why you'd be opposed to collecting or how that would change the distance the follower's legs cover. That comment and the implication that collecting makes followers worse maske NO sense to me.
  10. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    So I take it you got your instruction elsewhere? (That's a genuine question... not being snarky)
  11. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Close embrace is not an absence of steps unless your feet never move. In order to get around the dance floor, you take steps regardless of the embrace. So to say "I don't dance steps, I dance CE" is like saying "I don't eat oranges, I drive a car".

    Probably though what I assume you mean is that you are not focused on fancy step patterns at this point. I would venture the idea that most of the leaders on this forum have gotten beyond being step collectors. However this is a thread about a specific "step" (move) and how to accomplish it, so specifics are relevant. I dont' think it's possible for a leader to do an enrosque if the follower only takes one step, therefore a sequence.. pattern... of some sort is involved.

    (too much wiggle room) Whether you are close or open, the follower has a responsibility to stay in front of you and maintain the connection. It is easier in CE for you to do more than your share of the work to make that happen, but it's her job too, no matter what embrace you are in. Perhaps the followers you are dancing with don't realize that, but you shouldn't HAVE To dance CE just to prevent followers from going out of alignment. If you are, then you are using the embrace to hold them where they are supposed to be instead of having them maintain it themselves.
  12. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    Her legs should land straight. This makes the energy transfer all the way up to the embrace which makes it easy to feel if she has taken a step. Similarly, if I step with straight legs, she'll be able to feel when I've taken a step. It is not uncomfortable to step on a straight leg; I do it all the time.

    I'm opposed to collecting if it is done on purpose. Any collecting should be incidental. Purposeful collecting makes the legs move unnecessarily more, which takes more time to cover the greater distance. Let me see if I can diagram this to illustrate:

    These are feet from above: woman's feet on top, man on bottom
    / \

    If I lead a waddle step:


    2. Left leg moves directly back without collecting, the woman should step directly front. The bodies are directly between the feet during this step.


    IF COLLECTING, her feet will move like this:
    --->/\ (C)

    There are two problems with collecting in this instance. 1) the body will be over her left leg which is not where man's body is and 2) the leg must travel a greater distance from point A-C-B as opposed to directly from A-B. Collecting forms the figure '7'. This is farther than just a straight path: |.
  13. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    No, I didn't take lessons to dance the way I do now. I listened to the music and learned to hear it, then feel it, then let it move me. This is why I've become as good as I have, because I dance to the music as opposed to doing pre-planned movements/choreography. I regular practice by playing tango and moving to it. Later, I just recall certain parts of the songs and play it in my head and practice to the short snippets of music. This is why I'm able to express the music well, because I practice doing it so much.
  14. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    Yes, I'm not focusing on any fancy steps that I've been taught. I just let the music tell me what to do and just move.

    I don't view the enrosque (in close embrace) as a step/fancy move. It's more of an incidental thing that just happens in tight situations where there's very little room and I have to turn to get out of it. The reason my feet don't step in these instances is because I may put it down on someone else's foot if I do. That's why it stays down on the floor as I turn.

    There's a lot of room for error in open embrace. It requires a rather high degree of skill to always maintain the connection on the follower's part. It's just so much easier to dance CE, especially with women who's OE skills are lacking. The connection is simply very direct.
  15. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    So in your style, the knees never bend at all?

    Plenty of leaders can and do feel where the follower's weight is (and know whether she has stepped) if she dances so that her knees are soft and have some "give" in them as she moves. Perhaps when you have been dancing longer, you will be able to as well, even though at this time, it is easier for you if she is more rigid. To me, to be honest, that sounds like a failing in your experience rather than a failing of the follower's technique. It seems as though you are not yet able to easily adapt to different followers if they fall outside of your own preferences. In other words, it's not just a preference; it's a limitation.

    I can't imagine why you would ever lead a "waddle step" in the first place. If I'm correctly visualizing and understanding this move you are describing, it sounds pretty ugly and awkward. (as well as way off topic for the thread) I don't know any followers who want to be led in moves that make them look bad.

    It also seems that in this case, you are leading her to keep her weight between her two feet with her feet spread as she moves backwards, yes?

    Is this a joke?

    If you are keeping your own weight split that way, then that is where she should be if she is properly following. However, I can see why she would want to completely transfer her weight from side to side. The waddle I am envisioning from your description above would be pretty inelegant and feel pretty awful to execute. I personally may or may not follow it exactly as you intend, but if you insisted on leading such a step frequently, I probably wouldn't dance with you again if I could avoid it. I would think you were simply executing steps badly yourself since you would not be transferring your own weight completely in your steps and preventing me from doing so either.

    So while I agree that in this rather bizarre example, collecting would interfere with what you intend, I'm baffled that you would ever intend it in the first place...



  16. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    They do bend. It's just that keeping a slight bend is extra effort and makes the connection from chest to feet more difficult.

    The music goes: CHUNK Chunk chunk... the music is clunky = the movement is clunky

    Yes, I'm keeping my weight between the feet as I move backward/forward.


    The music isn't always roses and daisies. Sometimes, it's kind of bizarre. E.g. Oro y Plata, sung by Charlo. It's one of the most comedic songs in the repertoire, especially the way he sings it. Near the end, he even gurgles "tu corazon". But if you listen to the orchestra, it's kind of boxy sounding. Music = Dance.

    If the music calls for it, I respond.


    Because the music tells me to.
  17. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    Oro y Plata, "Gold and Silver", sung by Charlo. Song, lyrics and translation here:


    Listen to it, and try to dance to it. If you can hear that there are certain places where a waddle is better than just walking, then you'll understand what I mean.
  18. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Then how is it different from what I said?

    I said that the legs straighten to extend for the step and then soften as weight is transferred. (Nowhere did I mention keeping them bent all th time, especially if you have to work at it to make that happen) You replied to that post talking about dancing on straight legs.

    Edited to say: Actually... never mind.. we have other threads where this has gotten discussed. We should take this subject to one of those threads unless it directly relates to the move in question on this thread.
  19. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    Ok... I can't listen, so I'll take your word for it. It seems a rather specific example of a limited use movement. If it's intended to be playful and the follower doesn't get it, well, dems the breaks. It's one move out of your whole tanda. Follower's aren't perfect either. It still seems to me you had to go to an extreme to find an example where collecting is a hindrance.

    (although, technically, I agree with you in principle... collecting should be a natural part of complete weight transfer and stabilizing over the new supporting leg, even if you are passing over it without stopping. So it would be a hindrance when that is not wanted... it's just that not wanting it is the exception rather than the norm)

    It's also totally unrelated to the follower's molinete or the leader's potential enrosque. I fear you and I have hijacked the thread rather badly, so we should get back to the topic.
  20. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    duplicate post... sorry

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