Monday, February 11, 2008

Tango Technique :: The traspie side step in milonga

Here are Javier y Andrea again...demo'ing a milonga...note the traspie side step...from time stamp 0:32 to 0:36

He also leads it right from the get go with Geraldine Rojas in this demo to Biagi's "Flor de Monserrat"

I still have issues leading that...I can lead it "to the beat"...but when I try to lead it traspie, I lose the follower. One of my teachers told me the key is to uplead it...then she has no choice but to move her trailing foot quickly to stay with me...

Any comments?


Johanna said...

Alex, I think there are several ways to keep your partner with you.

One is a very slight lift to the trailing side of the step side (lift her left slightly when moving to your left, her right side slightly when moving to your right). It is critical that the exact position of the arm be maintained through the steps. Any dipping, even the slightest, causes confusion. This will prevent her from full changing weight to the other foot and allows for quicker weight transfer to the leading foot.

It also helps if I receive a slight squeeze towards my partner's chest. This keeps me very close to him and locked in for very quick steps.

And finally, a tiny bit of tilting in the direction of the steps is likewise a good indication of where we're going.

All these are very light touches. I don't want to be pushed or anaconda'd while dancing :-)

Alex said...

Thanks Johanna!

I'll try this. I always try to "tend my lead towards zero" - make it as absolutely subtle and gentle as possible, but still be crystal clear.

My lead changed dramatically when I took privates about a year and half ago with a visiting porteña teacher. We danced and danced. She would stop and explain/correct me. And then we would dance some more. It was almost as if my lead was being tweaked in real time - or as close as that could be.

By the end of the lessons (several over a period of days), it felt like I was dancing with a butterfly. I will never forget that - her name was Gabriela.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

Johanna said...

Please do :-)

Caroline said...

I'm taking a milonga class this winter - nothing like a fast joyful dance to fight off winter blues.
Leaders in class struggle with same issues as you - I explained to one of them that basically, you always have to give cues to the women in milonga to get ready for a change of routne - which is a slight lift of shoulders or a pause. Basically, men have to remember that women cannot read minds so they need to use their bodies as almost like a cue card. The other thing is that milonga requires keeping the arm closer to the chest so that man and woman's elbows are almost touching, this allows for quicker response time.
I had the most fun milonga last night - the guy was incredibly articulate - realized why - he kept his frame very solid and let his legs do the talking - there was no loosey goosey arms or blurry steps, everything is crisp and clear. And we were dancing fastfastfast! I didn't make one single error in 4 songs.

Alex said...

Hi Caroline!

I should have been a little clearer, and I know this is going to sound arrogant, but the traspie side step is the ONLY issue I have with my milonga lead.

I am the guy women line up to dance milonga with.

But, your comment is good for any other readers who might be having milonga lead issues. Which brings me to a new post/topic.