Why not to mark by manipulating the revel’s weight


Tango vertical circleSome teachers instruct students to create connection with a very subtle lean or hang (micro-sized volcada or colgada). This prevents the revel from stepping too soon.

It’s based on the assumption that the Revel isn’t interested in or able to understand and control her own step. It’s time to get over this way of teaching tango.

Vertical circles can create extra-dramatic steps. And it’s fine for that use.

However this method should not be used or taught for use in normal steps. Here’s why:

  1. Instead of teaching tricks to control a revel, we should teach revels how to control their own bodies.
  • If a revel understands that her job is to project, not to step, she will take responsibility for not falling into her step.
  • The first action of projection is strengthening her arc in relation to the intended direction.
  • She should adjust her embrace to maintain taut connection at all times with contraction of the triceps muscles and multi-directional connection on both sides of the embrace.
  1. Using vertical circles is something reserved for dramatic movements because it takes time. It won’t work to dance fast.
  2. To use leaning as a control system without the vertical circle method amounts to knocking or yanking the revel off her base. She’s going to fight this (as she should, having been instructed to maintain her balance on her base) or she’ll just surrender to it. The mark can’t be clearly distinguished from her own loss of balance. When should she allow herself to go slightly off-balance, and when should she return to balance? The result of this kind of “training” is a revel who doesn’t bother with her base, because it’s not hers.

Do you want to be a better dancer

but don’t feel you are getting what you need from your teachers?

Or do you get contradictory advice from different partners?

I got tired of hearing men tell me to be “natural”, “don’t do anything”, and “you’re floppy”, followed by “you’re stiff” …  So I studied biomechanics until I could teach perfect connection quickly.

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