Ballroom Dance > Social Dancing: Why So Critical?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by MintyMe, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    I'd hate for my partner to not be active and responsive. Beginners are usually told simply react but more advanced responders are expected to dance. As your dancing becomes more sophisticated your body moves in a much different way, and interaction with your partner from both sides is inevitable.

    Showing expression in dancing is much more important than "following". All the good followers that I know would take great exception to somebody told them their role is limited to reaction.
  2. tangomaniac

    tangomaniac Active Member

    In Argentine Tango, this is called interleading where the woman leads the man to stop so she can do whatever embellishments she wants. The woman needs confidence to stop the man and the man doesn't freak out and assert his ego and override the woman.
    twnkltoz likes this.
  3. flightco

    flightco Well-Known Member

    My favorite instructor would do this to me; she would stop cold; my comment was usually, WHAT? I actually loved it, she would only let me move on when we had that part figured out. (Obviously she didn't do this every time or we would never dance and almost always be stopped)
    Angel HI and leee like this.
  4. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Something I've been learning as I learn to lead Tango. It's so exciting when my follower hears something in the music and pauses to embellish and I remember to wait for her rather than blindly going through with my plan!
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  5. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I do this when I teach leaders. Once they know the step well enough that I can expect them to lead it, I do exactly what they lead, often exaggerating for comedic effect, so they can see the result of their incorrect lead. It's pretty effective.
    Angel HI likes this.
  6. tangomaniac

    tangomaniac Active Member

    But the key is you have to wait. She has to tell you to wait. Her embellishment is not the lead to wait.
  7. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    You will find that 'waiting' is more instinctual and not actual. And actually, feeling a partner doing something/anything is a strong cue to react on your side.
  8. tangomaniac

    tangomaniac Active Member

    Not in Argentine Tango. A woman's embellishment occurs when she pivots, therefore, she's not stepping so the man shouldn't move. If he moves, he's robbing the woman of her individuality.
  9. flightco

    flightco Well-Known Member

  10. Dr Dance

    Dr Dance Well-Known Member

    This depends upon what type of dance it is. For ballroom, especially smooth and standard, following successfully IS the most important thing for a follower. This does NOT however preclude expressiveness or "danceability." As a leader, I simply direct each action. "Following" in ballroom in no way assumes "passiveness." Advanced followers are very assertive when they follow. Example: When I lead a move where I am moving backwards, my follower becomes the driving force. Although she isn't "leading" (directing), there are many instances when she needs to "take the initiative" after she receives her lead. Her initiative can best be served after she "reacts" to my lead. This "he goes, she goes" method goes a long way to "dancing as a couple" or "dancing as one unit" for ballroom.
    twnkltoz likes this.
  11. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    I was referring to the female teacher in Angel HI's post, so... yeah.

    And Angel HI is a man. Male is generally an adjective unless we're talking about wildlife or something.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
  12. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    Do you mean maintain his posture and correct movement? Then that makes absolutely 110% sense. And posture/movement are definitely important to leading, especially when you're working on having a more sensitive connection. So that's probably where we weren't seeing eye to eye :)

    I was more reacting to the way you phrased it ("didn't feel a lead") which is what tends to happen with followers who expect to be dragged through everything instead of putting their own power into the step. Would you agree that "didn't feel the connection" or "felt a lost connection" describes what she was responding to?
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
    Angel HI likes this.
  13. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I haven't had time to add a bit of information regarding Argentine Tango and the recent direction this thread has taken.

    This text WAS on Jennifer Bratt's site www.close years ago.

    Tango Embellishments

    Welcome to a new section just for las mujeres. Scroll down for a general overview of embellishments and how to do them. Or visit the 'Embellishment Tutorials' pages for specific embellishments, drills, and exercises.
    Tango Embellishment Tutorials

    1. What are embellishments?
    Embellishments are little flourishes that the follower does to decorate the steps that the leader gives her. In tango followers are always standing on one leg or the other, never both. The leg that the follower is standing on belongs to the leader. He put her there and it is her job to stay on it for as long as he wants her there. However, the free leg belongs to the follower and she can do whatever she wants with it as long as she is ready to step again when the leader proposes.

    5. How do I find the time to do an embellishment?
    That said, once you become good at an embellishment it should no longer disrupt the lead in any way. You must always be ready to cut an embellishment short, even if you weren't 'finished' and move again. How do you tell when the leader is going to move again after a pause? You will be able to feel that the next step coming if you pay attention to the bodies of good leaders. Usually he will flex his knee slightly (or a lot) in preparation for the next step, or start to move his center forward. You should prepare with him, stop embellishing, and match his movement.

    Sometimes leaders will wait for you to finish your embellishment before stepping again. Don't be greedy and bake a whole batch of cookies. Taking more than a couple of beats to do an embellishment looks fake and baroque and doesn't not flow with the music. Not to mention, you are stopping in the line of dance and may be causing a traffic jam behind you!
  14. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    Or if you work in insurance.... just sayin'. :)
    dbk likes this.

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