Technique

Aim

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The most radically precise piece of my pedagogy is so finicky that I apologize when I teach it. It’s not abstract, but 9/10 experienced marks flat-out refuse to pay attention to it. They believe that what they are doing works well enough, and this point need not concern them.

psoascolorBut the revels can feel the difference.

And when I discipline myself to use this technique on girls who I’m having trouble dancing with at a milonga, things improve – and without resorting to tension or force (which I flat-out refuse to do because I’m not going to create bad habits just to get through a tanda).

On one level it’s simple: Aim your force at the right part of her body. On another level it’s –at first– cumbersomely precise:

  • As you arrive at the end of each step, aim your base leg’s arc of muscles (from your base leg’s heel to the top of your abdominals) at the rib cage of your partner’s base leg. (=suspension, presence, balance…)
  • Then, to mark the next projection, shift that arc to point at the top of the free leg’s psoas muscle (I use the bottom of the corresponding ribcage as a focus point for the top of the psoas) and then use your arc of muscles (not your hands!) to pull or push on the top of her psoas muscle. (She’ll feel your pull and its vector through her points of connection to you – hands, heart…

The first time you try this method you’ll be overwhelmed by trying to figure out which ribcage to look at. After a bit of practice it makes so much sense that it feels like driving a familiar car. When you focus your muscle on the right part of her body, she feels it so easily.

The revel’s work in this relation is to hold her base’s arc of muscles strong and pointed at the mark’s center and to be sure to give him her free leg, projecting it softly with the psoas muscle in the direction he shows.

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