head pressers

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#22
Very interesting thread... It has always been my understanding that it's up to the follower to decide whether or not to keep a head contact but apparently I'm horribly misguided on this matter:)
Anyways can someone explain to me how exactly a follower could be enforced to keep a head contact against her will, unless the leader uses brutal force, of course? And if this is the case, why on earth would anyone want to dance with such a leader ? A "thank you" after one whole song would be too polite in such circumstances...
If you are in CE, you have a limited range of movement for your head that won't just mess with your balance, technique, and comfort. Where's she supposed to go with it? Take it off and carry it in her hand?

It can be very hard to get your head AWAY from someone who is determined to make contact unless she is the taller partner (and she has to be taller by a fair amount, not just an inch or two). Trust me on this!
 
#23
If you are in CE, you have a limited range of movement for your head that won't just mess with your balance, technique, and comfort. Where's she supposed to go with it? Take it off and carry it in her hand?

It can be very hard to get your head AWAY from someone who is determined to make contact unless she is the taller partner (and she has to be taller by a fair amount, not just an inch or two). Trust me on this!
Exactly. And lets not forget that a head is a very, very heavy part of the body.
I do not dance with head pushers in milongas. In classes, when I happened to rotate into them, I would usually say something, but mostly to very little or no avail.
In my experience, when a person's head sticks out during the dance, lots of other important things are going wrong with that person's dancing. There is no way that single head complaint, even if the person in question takes it into consideration, will correct them all on the spot (or any of them significantly, for that matter). Most of them are nasty bad habits that will take time and effort to get rid of.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
#24
Well I find the easiest solution is just to dance in open embrace.

To be honest, I dislike close embrace if it's not chest to chest. It becomes something to be endured rather than to be enjoyed*.

Still, to each their own .... :cool:

* well unless your partner is an exceptional dancer that is .... lol ;)
Interesting.

I actually find I much prefer dancing with guys who are significantly taller than me. I find it more uncomfortable to dance with men who are roughly the same height as me in heels. (I'm 5'3" in socks.) My teacher was 5'11", and I tend to find things comfortable up until about the 6'1" range. I just turn a little bit to my right to open the embrace a bit, and let my forehead/temple rest against the guy's chin. Or, if the guy is really tall and I know him well, I will rest my head on his chest.

So much better than having the option of either dancing flat-on (parallel shoulders) and looking over his shoulder or opening a bit and ending up with my nose in his cheek. That's just awkward.
 
#25
Hmm ... yes interesting :)

This may explain why I get approached by short ladies for a dance :rolleyes:

Regardless of my preference, most of the ladies in the local community are 5ft 4 or less, so I've had no choice but to adjust. Which is OK. We happen to have a number of good intermediate dancers, so I can still get a nice dance.

On the other hand, I do feel like a kid in a sweetshop when I go outside the area, and there are lots of ladies who are taller than this :)
 
#26
You know what? I think sticking to little people is the way to go........
I like dancing with little people also, especially in CE, but I wouldn't want to reduce my "leader pool" to those under 5'8", there's not enough of them anyhow!


I am very wary of pointing out flaws (even really serious problems) on the dance floor as some guys take it very, very badly. ........
Definitely a case of pride very much damaged. However sensitively put, some people will always take it badly.
That really is their problem, not yours. If you were in pain, discomfort or danger, and said so, politely and matter-of-factly, without aggression or rudeness, then they should be man enough to handle it. I think you have a right to say that you're experiencing a problem, even at a milonga. It is unlikely that they'll be able to sort out such a problem instantly, but it could be the starting point for change.
 
#27
If you are in CE, you have a limited range of movement for your head that won't just mess with your balance, technique, and comfort. Where's she supposed to go with it? Take it off and carry it in her hand?

It can be very hard to get your head AWAY from someone who is determined to make contact unless she is the taller partner (and she has to be taller by a fair amount, not just an inch or two). Trust me on this!
Agreed. I just prefer to call this "determination" brutal force. Apparently I'm too sensitive :cool:...
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#28
Very interesting thread... It has always been my understanding that it's up to the follower to decide whether or not to keep a head contact but apparently I'm horribly misguided on this matter:)
I guess I'm just as "misguided" as you are on this topic. I don't think ever I've never initiated head contact either, and I certainly wouldn't maintain it if the follower moved away.
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#29
I guess I'm just as "misguided" as you are on this topic. I don't think ever I've never initiated head contact either, and I certainly wouldn't maintain it if the follower moved away.
Well, its understandable that you guys are "mis-guy-ded". After all, I'm guessing you don't spend a lot of time following leaders who are taller than you. ;)

Actually, having said that, I should mention that I rarely have a taller leader press downward on my head. The very tall leaders I know typically dance in Open. I do know a few who are closer to me in height who use sideways pressure of their temple to lead in CE. Often these are the same people that I'm trying desperately to make body contact with, but their chest is nowhere to be found...

BTW - I'm not short... 5'5" barefoot and usually 5'-8"+ in tango shoes. (I think that's pretty much right in the middle of the spectrum) So I only have a VERY large height discrepancy with a few guys, and with some, I'm the taller partner.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#30
Although some of these answers go back to the question, of how do you avoid dancing with people when the stand in front of you and ignore the fact that you are obviously suddenly either deep in conversation or frantically searching through your hand bag?
You say, "no thank you".

We're guys. We don't take "hints" particularly well, (and we don't want to guess). If it's unclear what the woman's intention is, the easiest way for us to find out, is to simply ask her. Most of us will get over (and for that matter forget all about) a rejection, unless the follower does something to make to the rejection memorable.

If you want the guy to ask you again (later on), you need to tell him to ask you later, when "whatever" has occurred (to make it clear for him). If you don't want to dance with him anytime soon, then just say, "no thank you" without any emotion in the rejection. If you don't want him to ever ask you to dance again, then make the rejection something he'll remember.

The rejections I actually still remember, are the couple that I received with a big smile, and one that was very rude (actually it was during a class with partner rotation). I found them all equally to be very strange, and awkward. Going forward, I never approached any of those people (even for a conversation), unless they made it crystal clear that they were OK with me. Funny thing is, the follower who dissed me in the class, actually did that, (months later), so I have no issue with her now.

Also it is hard to say no to 'nice' people, even if the dance is excruciating, so I can see why saying "thank you" early or an outright "no" might be hard. I am very wary of pointing out flaws (even really serious problems) on the dance floor as some guys take it very, very badly. In my experience, some guys will take you pointing out that it really hurts when they twist your arm/ crush your neck/ stamp on your toes as an attack on their masculinity no matter how you put it. I remember hearing an exchange a few years ago when a follower suggested that a guy might want to adjust his step size down (he wasn't giving enough forward intention for the size of step-I'd already noticed this and had spent several months doing the "I'm in fear of being broken" cat-on-hot-tin-roof tango walk). This was not well received and he spent the next few weeks in a massive strop and slagging her off to anyone who would listen.

Definitely a case of pride very much damaged. However sensitively put, some people will always take it badly.
It really isn't about pride. It's more about not wanting to be with people who don't like us.

One technique that I think is helpful for followers, is to tell the leader what they like, rather than stating the the leader is doing "whatever" wrong. I think most leaders actually do want to know what various followers like. If you tell us, then (assuming we know how) we can make an accommodation (or even a change) in our dance.

However, there is a possible side effect in communicating your preference (or complaining to the leader). The leader may simply conclude that the benefit of dancing with you, isn't worth what he needs to do, in order to make you happy. Thus he could decide to ask others, instead of you (assuming there are other people who actually do want to dance with him). It's up to you whether that is a good side effect or a bad one.

With me, I'm always looking for ways to improve, and expand the number of people who might want to dance with me, but I also know who I am and what I like as well. I can accept that some people just don't like my style. It's nothing personal.

It's a risk for the follower to communicate about issues, but guys take risks in just trying to figure out if the woman wants to dance with him. Everyone is different (and some people are jerks), but it's very likely that even a nice guy will never fix a problem he has, if no one ever tells him about it.





BTW, I have heard more than one teacher say that if the follower gets her foot stepped on, that it's possibly her fault, for not creating the space for the leader to step into.

:twisted:
 
#31
You say, "no thank you".
... if the follower gets her foot stepped on, that it's possibly her fault, for not creating the space for the leader to step into.
That is definitely true, if a woman does not translate the leader's stepping impulse into a corresponding size step. It usually happens if the women does not have/use sufficient core strength.

With much energy in the step, braking (=not stepping upon) might be impossible for the leader ...
 

jfm

Active Member
#32
D and W: that's all very well, but you are probably coming from a personal knowledge where you can lead a step. There are guys who don't give much impulse forward and have their weight backwards on their heels, if you are a small woman dancing with a very tall man who does this, and you are not an advanced and therefore infallible follower you are in trouble. I'd also like to point out that in a small community it is very hard to get people who have been dancing for 10 years (badly with no progress for at least 8 of those years) to change, and you can't afford to make enemies.

Like the poor girl who complained about being stamped on and got all that bother back, it's not a case of not "liking" them, it's a case of not wanting to be hurt. I think compromise goes a long way, if you notice that every time you dance, when you do certain things (like suddenly decide to take massive steps very quickly without any warning in terms of adjusting your forward intention etc) things go wrong, why not try to accomodate your partner. if she can't do something (it might be a giro, or take massive steps, or traspie whatever) don't lead it.

on the subject of head pressers:
I think I'm going to have to go with saying "no thank you" or stopping the dance early, even though it does seem very insulting to say thank you after one dance and there is always the worry that people will notice (they do watch for stuff like this-i know i've had people tell me they've seen it) and will think you are a cow and not ask you just in case you do the same to them.
 
#33
Well, you know, perhaps it is their loss then. A girl has to have some standards.
What if the partner was a pervert? Would you tolerate inappropriate touching just to look like a nice person in the eyes of other leaders? I guess not. Why would you tolerate physical pain and harm for the same reason? How is it more acceptable? It is your body.
 
#34
I'd also like to point out that in a small community it is very hard to get people who have been dancing for 10 years (badly with no progress for at least 8 of those years) to change, and you can't afford to make enemies.
That's true. We usually have to work with what we've got.

I think I'm going to have to go with saying "no thank you" or stopping the dance early, even though it does seem very insulting to say thank you after one dance and there is always the worry that people will notice (they do watch for stuff like this-i know i've had people tell me they've seen it) and will think you are a cow and not ask you just in case you do the same to them.
Yup, some people seem to have time at milongas for this kind of observation.:confused: Me, I prefer to be dancing, chatting or dreaming. Also, even though I've (almost) never done this to anyone people seem to think I will anyway - so you may as well please yourself, jfm.
 

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