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

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

  1. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member


    I personally learned everything I know about tango from zumba classes at the gym. It's all rhythm and moving to the music you see.
    dchester likes this.
  2. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    It's very easy to denigrate something you don't understand or only understand superficially. This requires no thinking. I know thinking is difficult to do, especially for something like tango, but it is necessary to understand beneath the aesthetics. This is why I spend so much time listening to the music, and learning to feel it.

    My old classmates see just like many of you, just the surface aesthetic. They continue to take classes because they can't get a dance; they pay the entrance fee only to sit the entire time. They hope that by taking more classes, they'll get better and men will ask them to dance.

    I've told them the truth but they can't hear what I'm saying because they are blinded by what they were taught: that tango is about steps and embellishments. They think the more steps they know the better a dancer they are. Tango, is different from the other dances for a reason. Tango, while it involves steps, isn't about steps.

    I hope I didn't insult anyone when I mentioned the lack of understanding. I know people don't like to be told of their ignorance. But I am stating this from a perspective of looking back at where I once was and see how so many are still stuck there. I'd like to be able to dance with the people I learned with, but if they don't learn, I will chose to ask those who can dance.
  3. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    This is very true.
  4. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    I have never taken any zumba class but I my sport history helped me a lot about proper timing in tango.
    I also listen to tango music very much so when added with sport I may say that my musicality is quite good.
    I admit that I need to study more about musicality. :)

    So having zumba class might be great addon for tango.

    You learn to move to various types of music and expressing it with your body in a fun way. (what I realized about zumba)
    For advanced musicality some musical education is required. :cool:
  5. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Have you ever considered the possibility that sometimes, preaching a pedantic, superficial diatribe with incomplete information (that people have heard presented better, many times before), along with whining about the teachers in your area, doesn't make people all that receptive to your message?

    For all I know, you could be a outstanding dancer, but the message you post and the way you communicate, makes you sound more like a beginner to me.
  6. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    People don't want to believe they wasted their money. And even though it's not something they want to hear, it's necessary to tell them what they need to hear. This is why these forums exist, to share knowledge, even if it contradicts their own.

    I'm well aware that there are teachers on these forums who teach things that have very little to do with tango. Some of these teachers even have websites and Youtube videos, and some of them were posted in this thread. One of those videos is of a local teacher who teaches things that, while it has a lot of buyers, isn't useful in a milonga.

    The enrosque is presented as a fancy step when it really isn't. The fancy packaging doesn't make the product any better. Just more expensive.

    I acknowledge your insult. I don't mean to upset you. I just wanted to share my thoughts.
  7. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    LKSO - first let me assure you that this forum is not as snarky as it must appear to you right now - i think most people would agree with your ideas and we had long discussions here decrying the 8CB with backstep, and its use and misuse as a didactic tool, and how lack of the awareness of the music makes dancing tango difficult to impossible, and how lonely it sometimes is to have worked hard on ones dance just to learn that this means that there is nobody to dance with anymore.

    But there are two things that lead to this bristling right here (and i have to admit i bristled, too) - the original poster asked for technical advice for a technical problem, and the reply "this is not a problem because it is a sign of being a bad tango dancer to want to do an enrosque, and it is obvious that you are a shallow person who doesn't understand tango for asking this" with an added dose of "and i am superior to you" is not really polite. And this is how you are coming across - which might be a complete misreading on my side - in that case i apologize; written text is a tricky medium for getting tone across, and i often feel that i would need to be a much better writer than i am to engage with the internet effectivly. I actually agree that enrosques are one of the things that most people try to attempt too early - they are essentially leaders adornments, and just like followers adornments there is a point in a dancers development where they will suddenly find unlimited time and space within their dance where adornments just naturally show up, and trying to "practice" them is usually a sign that this has not happened yet. But there is still value in technical exploration, and while things that people are not ready for will not show up in their social dance, it will still expand horizons. And for example when you look at old school milongueros one has to be careful with overlaying too much of our perspective on them - they don't see themselves as paragons of "simple" dancing as opposed to "complicated" dancing - they appreciate "verdura" for what it is, and while musicality and not running into other people at a crowded milonga shapes their dance they do as much fancy stuff as they can get away with under those circumstances. that the fancy stuff is much smaller, and a lot of it is rhythmic play, does not make it intentionally fancy stuff. Most of the milongueros have one or two signature moves that they have honed to perfection, and show off whenever they can. Seeing BA's milongas as a visitor you are first struck by how different and (mostly) musical people dance compared to the US, but after having gotten accustomed to the flow of milongas there you see about the same amount of showing off and doing complex moves, and even doing complex moves badly , as anywhere else. And why wouldn't you? humans are humans everywhere. A BA's milonga is not tango heaven, it is different than an us milonga because it is more a social event where there is dancing, and not a dance event where there is socializing, and has a lots of structures in place to facilitate this, and the milongueros dance something a little bit different than we do because of that, but the difference is not really that they haven't practiced their "cool moves" and now enjoy the payoff of that practice.

    The other thing is that there are a lot of dancers here who have been doing this for a while. There is a certain rhythm to how people who are serious about tango learn things, with boundless enthusiasm for everything for about 1 year, finding what one wants from the dance, getting at least partially there, and getting disappointed that not everybody wants the same thing for about 4 years, making peace with that for another 3 or so years, and then one starts to revisit everything, and finds that somethings one thought was dross is gold, and vice versa. And of course people can get stuck at any of those stages (i sometimes wish i had gotten stuck in the boundless enthusiasm stage :) ). If I had to guess from what you are writing i would guess that you have danced tango anywhere from 2-4 years, and your comments remind me very much of what i was saying back then - i still think the same things :) but i have come to realize that the old proverb "you can lead the horse to the water, but you can't make it drink" is expecially true for tango - we can dance at the milongas to the best of our understanding and abilities, and the people who appreciate what we are trying to give to our partner and the dancefloor will learn from what we do, and the ones who want other things will appreciate our politeness and care of the community, and when they reach the point where they start to revisit things they might be inclined to see if there is gold in what we do.

    And to circle back to the first point - one of the best defenses that somewhat milonguero style dancers have against the accusation that the "creaky milonguero shuffle" is just old people who can't dance trying to sell their physical limitations as a sign of tango enlightenment is to actually be able to show and talk about things like enrosques and make it obvious that we chose the style we are dancing. One of my martial arts teachers once said that only the people who know how to fight can choose not to - being peaceful when that is your only option is not a virtue. The same thing is true for verdura, imho.

    Again, let me apologize for the rough welcome, and i hope you are going to enjoy this board - writing about dancing has its limitations, but it is much easier to do during work-hours ;).

  8. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    I did not intend in anyway to come across as such. But considering that many people seem to be offended, I may have.

    I originally stated that an enrosque wasn't as technical as it was being presented and stated that it was much easier, which we had disagreements over definitions and technicalities, and then it went off topic onto a philosophical one where I received many sarcastic responses.

    I will admit that I am bitter about being deceived about many things I was taught, including enrosques. I'm sure that bitterness comes through when I say that it's much simpler than is being described. As a student, I hate when an explanation complicates something. And as a teacher, I try to explain things as simply as it merits. But my perspective will obviously differ.
  9. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    From my perspective, you presented one possibility for how to do an enrosque, as if it was the one and only possibility, and if anyone thought there were other possibilities they are: wrong, lack understanding of music, etc.

    It got old quick.
  10. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    I think you were upset because you stated that it's very difficult to do and I said the opposite, that it's very easy to do. From my experience, the degree of difficulty for something like an enrosque depends entirely on how it is presented. When it was first presented to me, I lost my balance a lot as did everyone else. But when I understood that it was simply a turn by pivoting the feet, I never lost my balance again. The difference was the focus from my feet to my body. This change in mindset makes it a lot easier.

    "An enrosque is a turn without moving your feet. It's easy to do if you know how to lead a woman around you. Then do the same without moving your feet. There is no right or wrong way to do it as long as you lead her around you just as you would if you stepped."
  11. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    We can all have our intepretation of enrosque. Well your doesn't suite to standardized ones.
    Actually enrosque is wrapping one on another. It happens in your case, but.
    It's a big but, I may say BUT. In tango we in 99% or almost always stand on one foot.
    My opinion that doing enrosque on one foot is bad practice.

    I wish I could see video of your enrosque. I have never seen it and I cannot even imagine it what it would look like.
  12. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Compared to most of what I see in the US, that IS a form of Tango Heaven!
  13. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Are you smoking something???


    We were talking about a difficult move, and you were talking about something else that basically anyone could do.
    Mladenac and Subliminal like this.
  14. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    I just wanted to do some enrosque, but I got high. :cool:

    dchester likes this.
  15. LKSO

    LKSO Active Member

    It's not difficult at all if you focus on the torso instead of the feet. If you focus on the feet, you'll lose balance. This loss of balance, which the OP referred to, is why it seems like it is so difficult.

    To Quote Bordertangoman:
    "an oversimplified view of an enrosque: would be turn your chest as far as it will go to follow her giro. as you reach your limit, you pivot so your hips and legs catch up, and might even pass her, and you might even use a needle "Aguja" as a decoration, but not losing your balance will do nicely."

    I agree with this definition because the first thing that you do is to "turn your chest". This is focusing on the torso first. Also, the way the feet are described here is incidental. It follows what the torso is doing.

    If you do it by focusing on what the feet are doing, you'll inevitably lose steam during the turn since the torso is what leads the step. You'll also lose balance because you may try to force it all the way around.
  16. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    This says much about the difference in approach.
    LKSO isn't talking about a move as such but thinking of it more
    as being the result of movement.

    I go much further than LKSO in treating my feet as a necessary part
    of my support structure and they must go wherever my body requires.
    Any perceived steps are a direct consequence of that and are the means,
    not an end in themselves.

    The poorly lit video on Tango and Chaos (yes, that site again)
    of Ricardo Vidort dancing with Alejandro Todaro in the studio at Casa Tango
    is very telling. But one of the keys is missing on that site - that just as a
    woman's free leg should follow her body so should a man's follow his.
    The moment you talk of a man's foot placement that fundamental principle
    is broken.

    Similarly the principles of collection and balance apply to both men and
    women. But as in many dances, once having the principles internalised
    those self-same "rules" can be broken as needed. So if it's necessary
    to use both feet for stability, in say a giro, then there's no-one on the
    sidelines about to cry "foul" and an enrosque may be the result.
    It's a consequence not by design.

    In a giro my feet tend to do something else - all of our abilities and even our
    movements differ in detail. However as a result of much practise and exercise
    for tango, in another completely different dance and for stability in a quick turn
    I find my feet staying grounded and my legs winding into an enrosque, but this
    isn't on purpose but rather form and appearance following function.
  17. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, sorry UkDancer, missed this one. re: Split weight enrosque.

    Depends on where your feet were when you started the follower's turn. Either works. If your feet are close together, one foot will have to rise to the toe by necessity to give the other room to twist behind.
  18. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    The reason I asked, was that I wanted to relate the action with something that I do with my beginners when we introduce the giro/molinete concept. Right at the start, so that the followers can get familiar with the pattern of the steps and the trajectory around the leader, I tell the leaders to be completely unconcerned with what they are doing with their feet: as long as it doesn't interfere with their balance and the ability to turn the upper body to lead the follower's movement (shifting weight between the feet, in place, to match the follower's steps, while turning gently is a good way of developing awareness of where the follower is and what she is doing).

    Our first development of the giro, for leaders (and this is turning to the L, but it can obviously be done both ways), is to ask the leaders to try starting the giro by sending the follower into the pattern with a back step, by stepping forward themselves on their RF on the follower's R side. The leader divides his weight between the feet, somewhat, but has most of it on the RF. She goes around that foot: back, side and forward, as the man rotates his torso to the L. As he turns, he starts to pivot. The ball of his RF is the centre of the circle, but he turns on both feet. After about half a turn, his RF is now behind, and his LF in front, and if the turn continues (around the RF), the L leg starts to wrap around the R leg. At around 1 complete turn, the leg is fully wrapped around, the weight (for me, anyway) is now fully on the RF. If the man now starts a lapiz action, to correspond with the follower's back step, and when she takes her next forward step, he adds additional pivot to her turn while simultaneously offering a parada with a body and LF fwd stop, he has pulled off a sort-of enrosque/lapiz/parada combo which is quite hard for inexperienced dancers to pull off, but is similar in overall effect to an enrosque, and is a sort of mini-version of one of the standard flashy moves often seen danced, usually in a rather open embrace. It has, at least, the element of the turn on one foot, while the other collects around it, driven from rotation of the torso. I don't think that really is an enrosque, but it clearly belongs in the same family of actions.
  19. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Is this action the needle, or aguja action, mentioned earlier by BTM? If so, I'm still struggling to picture the divided weight clearly. We use spiral turns a lot in Latin American dancing, and there, we would talk of pressure into the floor, but not weight - perhaps this is something similar, or do you really mean weight split between the feet? I can readily imagine turning like that, but I would characterise the turn as coming from the feet (pulling the body around), rather than the coiling & release of the upper body allowing the torque to power the pivot. That seems a key element of an enrosque, but perhaps my own concept of the action is focussed on one type among several. For me, the pivot is around the standing leg, and the other leg is moving across the floor, either to tuck behind, or to wrap around the front. It can't bear weight as it is in movement.
  20. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    You could stop here.
    But you don't, sadly, and it results in a confusion of pre-ordained actions
    and a concentration on the look and the pattern rather than the real role
    of the man to concentrate on his partner while dancing together.

    Patterns and moves have no place in social tango of the music so what tango
    do you think you are teaching?

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