Tango- Whipping head?


Well-Known Member
The WDSF mentality about athleticism may play into that.
I think it certainly does. Some of the quicksteps (and even VWaltzes) are just plain scary...I would be too scared to join the traffic...I'd just stay in the centre of the floor and do fleckerls...LOL (imagine doing 1:45 of fleckerls). And don't even get me started on the Youths...

But I digress...
Re: the Clifton clip... If my partner and I could dance like that someday, I would be thrilled! I'd leave it to the small number of coaches who had danced at that level or above to suggest we tone the flicks down... ;) It's a style thing... I enjoyed their shades of slow movements contrasting with exceptionally quick ones...
I once took a lesson with Joanne and the take away from that - in relation to head movement and some other things - is reaction time for the lady.

You have to practice being super fast in reacting to the cue the lead gives you, and that's what makes the head whipping work.

There is a short WDSF 'academy' vid on youtube (if you try finding wdsf academy you may find it) in which Paolo Bosco talks about the 'impulse' in creating the lady's head movements. That's when he kind of vibrates through the body and hands to make the lady whip her head back and forth; so the lady is really reading the signal through the body/hands and connecting that instantaneously with the head whip (that's really me putting it in very imprecise terms, for what it's worth ;) )

And yes the head is definitely not just flopping around, the movement tends to be connected with some other action in the body, for example you whip the head to the other side when closing the hip. I didn't get dizzy at all, just got sore neck muscles the day after!

Oh yeah and I agree the kind of QS they do in wdsf really scares the cr** out of me just watching!


Active Member
This probably makes no sense, but I have a quick question. I have seen many couples while dancing tango flick/whip their heads around really quickly. I can understand doing it once and being fine (look right look left look right) but I have seen couples flick/whip their heads back and forth 2 or 3 times back to back and sometimes even more. How do they do this without getting a major headache or getting dizzy? I like the look of whipping the head multiple times, but I cant seem to do it without my head hurting afterwards.
I'll leave aside the dramatic effect of head-flick. Instead I'll focus not on the length of movement but on the lightning speed -- to be effective the flick needs to have whipcrack action.

If I hold a laptop in my hands then flick it with the same acceleration then instantaneous stop, the laptop will likely develop problems? Anything not nailed down will eventually shake loose.

The human brain is more fragile, containing cells and brain coils and biochemicals in liquid suspension, not semi-conductors with the strength of rigid materials. Violently shake a bottle containing multi-coloured liquids and the liquids will get thoroughly mixed up. There are proven cases of manslaughter, where an exasperated adult shook an infant to stop it bawling, with the infant dying soon afterwards due to the shaking, possibly due to brain injury.

I saw Arunas dancing tango 9 days ago. He didn't do violent headflicks in 2 dimentions to gain attention. He moved his head in 3 dimensions like along a wineglass rim, wide at the top, giving tremendous shape. It made the same point. When Arunas wants to gain height I bet he can rise 8 inches in the air effortlessly without need for high heels.
as an aside, I find that what makes the head movement striking is more about the stillness after the flick than exerting a lot of energy on the flick...and, as the lady, most of the effectiveness in the flick is about being loose enough to receive it

Yep, I think this sums it up well. I would also add that many people try to do too much when just a small change or smaller action will produce the result they were looking for.

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