Tango Trance - Boom and Bust

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by aaah, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    One of my most influential teachers once gave me a lesson focused on side steps. It took about half the lesson before I figured out what she was talking about. Ever since then I've realized the value of giving myself completely to the "simple steps". If I can't put expresion and nuance into a single side step, how am I going to put it into anything more complicated?
  2. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Tiredeness inhibits rather than facilitates - you're conscious (especially if you've sought it) of being tired - neutrality is a thing to aim for ('neither affirm nor negate').

    Man, I'm 'only' a beginner and I'm cruising through this stuff... though, to be fair, a 'bad' choon wrecks me completely....
  3. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    its also stopping for a delicious piece of cake and some tea. ;)
  4. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised to hear guys saying that the right music can be conducive to a trance dance. I certailnly understand that poor music can make it difficult or impossible to get into that feeling. However, there's a ton of music that suits it just fine, IMO. I see no problem in programming an entire milonga with music suitable for great dancing. To me, the components necessary for trance dancing are: a good partner, my own suitable frame of mind, and no interference from other dancers.
  5. Madahlia

    Madahlia Member

    I've been feeling for weeks, if not months, that I don't enjoy tango any more. If I go to a milonga, then it's to catch up with friends, which I greatly enjoy. Actual dancing is coincidental to that, and of mediocre quality.

    So, attending a practica last night, I was delighted to get an unexpected whole hour's worth of smooth, connected, lively and musical dancing where I was relaxed, engaged and focussed without any feeling of effort. It reminded me why I always used to like dancing. Thanks, guys.

    Hardly trance-like but still greatly appreciated.
  6. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    By "Dialing in" to your partner, it is almost always possible to be in that magical tango trance.

    The trick is to learn how to "Dial in" to your partner
  7. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Sorry to be frivolous, but I first read your post not logged-in, so the dots were those 'Only registered users can see links' messages: I never would have correctly filled in the blanks in a million years... and I've read your blog!...:lol:
  8. Madahlia

    Madahlia Member


    That works because you are (I guess) a very experienced and competent lead in command of yourself and by extension, your follower.

    Do you think it can work the same if circumstances are reversed, i.e. a follower being led by an inexperienced or incompetent lead who is not fully in command of himself and therefore may pass those uncertainties and inaccuracies on to her?

    I don't think it can. The follower may choose one of various positive ways to respond but tango trance is probably not one of them.
  9. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    No, you are right. It would be difficult if it were reversed. That's why I write my blog. So that, someday, someone who leads could learn from my mistakes and make every dance a good (eventually great & loving) experience for their follows.
  10. Madahlia

    Madahlia Member

    I think that nevertheless you are generally right about dialling-in, even in difficult circumstances. I used to be able to do it much better than I can now. I wonder why that is?
  11. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    Sometimes (IMHE), I get tired. Not physically, but mentally and emotionally. Tango can be draining over a long period of time. I am not immune from the ebb and flow of skill. I feel that when I'm in a lurch. I try to be a little bit more sensitive, with a little more patience, with a lot more focus.

    Only by this, do I regain my abilities to Dial in to my partner and give her a good tanda. It is after all, in the end, all about HER.
  12. Tsaheylu

    Tsaheylu New Member

    Recently, I asked a stranger to dance, and without doing anything very complicated vocabulary-wise, with music that was uninspiring at best (it was some kind of non-tango music at an "alternative milonga" event where that was the featured) I had the kind of connection that caused me to stop and stare into space at the end of the first song, in order to collect myself before I felt ready to look into the beaming smile on my partner's face. That incredible connection continued into the next & final song of the "alternative tanda". Two regular tango tandas (normal Golden-Age stuff) at the next day's milonga yielded much the same staggeringly powerful experience. When we finally parted, it was as if cords were yanked out of my heart...sad to say, I haven't seen her since.

    While I've been devoted to AT for many years, and have socked away some nice vocabulary in a variety of "styles", in these tandas I hardly did anything more complicated than a shared-axis turn on her back cross to the closed side, all in close embrace. Turns out she'd been dancing less than a year. While we were able to replicate this experience in all three tandas, there's no telling if it will happen if I ever dance with her again...but what I DID notice was that the very strong MEMORY of the trance/bliss/connection allowed me to have very much better dances than usual with my more frequent partners - I would recall the state I was in with the mystery woman, and my heart would sort of soften, and then I would start to have a much better dance with whoever I was with.

    It's not exactly a practical technique, but maybe the take-away lesson is to remember the best dances you've ever had with anyone, and then when you're dancing with someone else, try to let the memories affect your state of mind in your current dance...
  13. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Sometimes I find myself in a distracted situation and realize my dancing is suffering because of it. The distraction might be caused by other dancers on the floor, inaudible music, my own tiredness, or anything else. I've realized that I can purposefully refocus, or dial-in, my own attention toward my partner and the music, shutting out other influences, and step up my dance another notch. I know that I don't have to remain distracted and that I have the ability to become un-distracted. I refer to it as changing my mind, which can be done in a moment.
  14. Valis

    Valis New Member

    I don't dance very much at milongas because I often find the music uninspiring and downright boring, but it's a good opportunity to watch other dancers. I can only dance to the music I can connect with, be it golden age, nuevo, alternative, whatever. When I connect to the music I dance better and I think this is what makes it a more enjoyable experience for my partner, at least that's my intent. To find the trance we need to be immersed in the music and to dance like this requires an effortless elegant simplicity with lots of pauses without the distraction of doing a lot of figures. This is how we (my partner and I) experience the magic of the trance.

    Then again, it's just plain fun to cut loose on an empty dance floor, kick out the jams and give it the old rock n roll. I suppose it all depends on the music, the mood and the intent.

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