Tango: Stopping Extra Momentum

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by caw, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. caw

    caw Active Member

    I have a move in my routine, it's a reverse turn modified to be faster. The steps are the same, but the counts are QQ&QQS

    My partner, as a follow, seems to have no problem with this move, and when I try it as the girl, I don't have a problem either. It seems when I roll back onto the flat foot moving backward, it is easy to stop myself. But going forward is where I have a real issue.

    I just can't stop myself, and so I end up cutting all the power out of my steps a few moves before, so my momentum will decay to a point where I can stop it, but I am told this makes it look boring.

    Are there any tips from the Standard Pros out here?
  2. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    not a pro but dance lower and more grounded
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    also not a pro....but a general rule is, if too much is continuing to go forward, you need to figure out what needs to go backward at the same time

    (and my guess would be that it might need to be your butt and your head)...then again, I am not a pro
  4. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    i was trying to find a nice way to say that.. perfect
    ajiboyet likes this.
  5. caw

    caw Active Member

    thanks. I'll try that, and by "pro" I meant I stink at standard and my broom dances better than I do, so you're all pros :)
  6. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I'd have to see it to tell you for sure, but make sure you're not shoving your head forward (leading with your head). Keep your blocks lined up--Head, shoulders, hips, ankles. Make sure the momentum and drive are coming from your backside and not your head and shoulders. Think about being heavy, sending your weight and energy down into the floor, particularly on the second to last step.

    Oh, and and when you stop at the end, think about engaging all your core muscles--squeeze your butt, pull your tummy to your spine, squeeze your legs together (or feel like you are, even if they're apart).
  7. vit

    vit Active Member

    Doing something slow / decaying the momentum isn't forbidden in tango. It's the contrast between quick/sharp and slow movements that does the trick and avoids looking boring. So take care you do last two quicks early and sharp enough so you have a time to arrive to the last slow step on time. Last step (if it is closing step) doesn't need to be rushed, it is slow so you have a time to stop
  8. caw

    caw Active Member

    The last step is a passing step, but it makes sense that if I'm late on the previous steps that the last step would be difficult. I'll pay attention to that, and to keep my head and butt back, squeeze my but, adductors, and core, and send my energy into the ground. I'll let you know how it goes.
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not sure I concur about Squeezing the butt, because that (IMV) would have a tendency to make you want to take your hips forward and you really want something more like sitting...so keep an eye on that
  10. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Yeah...don't do it so much you thrust your hips forward. Mostly you just want to engage the muscles to stabilize you.
  11. vit

    vit Active Member

    So is it Open finish and you proceed backwards or into some swivels (otherwise there would probably be no need to stop)? In that case, don't make long step, retain the poise back, you need it to counterbalance as it is a check. You can also use some shaping to help this
  12. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I'm puzzled. If you are dancing either a closed or open finish with timing QQS, that is the standard timing, so I can't see why you are having difficulty 'stopping'. On which step are you having difficulty, and is it really related to the QQ& first three steps, or something else?
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I am also thinking that compressing enough may be a significant factor here
  14. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    CAW, the solution to your query is an old technique known as Split-weight.

    And it's very simple.

    At the apex of your step (that instance when your feet are widest apart) check that your body is centered between the feet (thus your "weight is split" between both feet), instead of 8 or so inches behind the forward-travelling foot.

    Controlling the stop should be a whole lot easier.

    Probably the only time I would advise the use of split-weight movement in Standard.






    m
    Gorme likes this.
  15. caw

    caw Active Member

    I tried some of the suggestions at practice today, and nothing really had definitive results for me. I may need to see a coach.


    The next step is a point through to promenade, so I kind of have to finish with my weight over that foot. I'm not sure being split weight there would work, unless I was to end split weight, then transfer weight forward onto the foot to stand on.

    Yes, I think the QQ& is causing me to build up so much momentum, that I glide over my feet on the QQS and have trouble stopping. On the other hand, maybe I've been doing the QQS wrong my whole life, and I have only not had this issue before because the previous steps were slower and allowed me to cover up my inadequacies. In all probability, I am probably doing something significantly wrong during both parts ;)

    Are you suggesting that I compress more on certain steps, or maybe on all of them?
  16. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member


    Not talking about the FINISH--but the halfway point in the step before you get there and HOW you manage the transfer of weight.

    Might not seem obvious at first, but having the split-weight slows you down without effort--gives you more time and control when transferring your weight to THAT foot.

    Done correctly it's effective in dispersing momentum.






    m
  17. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    The "allotment " of weight between steps, is the key to stablising progresson.

    Using a slight" delay" on the back foot, is also paramount to getting control of progression. To remember, there is a defined division of weight BETWEEN the feet, when dancing progressive movements. Also , your "poise " maybe in question, on your backward motion ( dropping your weight to the back heels, to a " sitting" position )

    And, try counting the sequence as.. QQ "a " QQ andS .

    Trying to resove your problem with the written word, is no substitute for a visual check. So many things to consider ( not even mentioning your pertner ) .
  18. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I suggest that you check your footwork on steps two & three. It is very tempting, when speeding up the basic reverse turn, to start to dance with rise & fall, but the man's crossing step (step 3) needs to come to what amounts to a complete standstill, if only for a moment.

    Standard footwork is 1. H; 2. BH & 3. Whole Foot. It is a very common error to leave the H of RF off the floor as the cross is made, but the whole movement is danced down, so the RF H should lower, and the cross be made with the LF foot flat. It is very difficult to have the upper body topple beyond the feet with correct footwork.
  19. vit

    vit Active Member

    Yes, 2nd step is indeed written as BH. But ... I checked two videos - New steps to success with Gozzoli and ABC of Ballroom with Krapez and they don't put the heel on the floor in reverse basic turn. Considering those are world's top dancers, I'm asking myself, why would I put it on the floor ? Especially in QQ& rhythm - doesn't feel right at all

    Actually Krapez was trying really hard to put the heel down during several demonstrations of the figure, once even succeded to touch the floor briefly

    (just my peronal opinion)
  20. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    If I had that quality of poise, I could probably dance on tip toes all night, and still be grounded: standard technique is for the rest of us ....

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