Your First Dance - Weight Changes and Walking

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  • It's very often said (and also completely true) that, even amongst the most important elements of tango, walking and weight changes are the most important.
  • For us, this is amongst the most satisfying and pleasurable aspects of our dances.
  • It takes a long time to "get."
  • But time to think can be so valuable:

    "A wealthy old lady decided to go on a photo safari in Africa. She took her faithful pet poodle along for company. One day, the poodle starts chasing butterflies and before long the poodle discovers that he is lost.

    So, wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the obvious intention of having lunch. The old poodle thinks, “Oh, oh! I’m in deep poop now!”

    Then he noticed some bones on the ground close by, and immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap, the poodle exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here."

    Hearing this, the leopard halts his attack in mid-stride, as a look of terror comes over him, and slinks away into the trees. "Whew," says the leopard. "That was close. That poodle nearly had me."

    Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So, off he goes.

    But the poodle saw him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figured that something must be up. The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. The leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Come here monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine".

    Now the poodle sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back, and thinks, "What am I going to do now?" But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet...and just when they get close enough to hear, the poodle says....

    Where's that stupid monkey? I sent him off half an hour ago to bring me another leopard!' "

  • As an aside, the profound things, you don't just wake up one day and there you are, you're profound now. You work, and you toil and you're joyous and, after some time, you get greater profundity. You work and you toil and you consistently apply yourself and, after that, you become deeper and more real and the experience becomes more wonderful. The coolest part is that this process doesn't end.
Artist Name:
Anibal Troilo
Song Title:
A Fuego Lento
Album Title:
A Fuego Lento

Anibal Troilo had a somewhat more lyrical style, and is of the "Golden Age" of tango music ( mid 1930s to mid 1950s). One of the more common people to hear played in Milongas.

00:07
So this chapter is about walking and weight changes,
which are some of the most profound,
00:11
This is what we always come back to.
00:13
And I want you to think about the weight changes especially,
00:16
But eventually once you develop
an increasing mastery of the walking,
00:19
That this is like the conversations
that go late on into the night.
00:23
You're talking with a friend and it's just - you're in this zone of
oneness and bonding and awesomeness.
00:29
And that is what a weight change is like.
00:30
N: That's really good.
D: Yea, yea.
00:31
That's exactly what it is really like.
00:33
It's really that profound.
00:35
And you do it through the touch,
instead of through the words.
00:40
That's one thought.
00:41
A second thought is that you can make a whole dance
with just walking and weight changes.
00:44
And when you add in these other elements; the front and back ochos
and the basic,
00:49
Then you have sort of more than you need
for a whole dance.
00:51
And later on in this video we're going to show you,
00:53
making a whole dance with just walking
and weight changes.
00:55
So, for the weight change I really want you to think
that you take your time.
01:04
We're here, I'm going to compress in.
She's going to match me and be strong.
01:09
I'll take a breath.
01:13
And then I go up...
01:16
Over...
01:18
And down.
01:20
And I really take my time.
01:21
If we do this close to the camera,
it becomes this.
01:25
You hold your partner and you go...
01:36
And so that makes it very real.
01:38
It sounds silly but women really do swoon for this,
if you do it slowly enough.
01:42
For the men it's excruciatingly slow when you start.
01:45
And however slow you think you can go,
it's not slow enough for the women.
01:49
But when you get the guts, and it really is,
when you get the guts to do it...
01:53
The conviction...
01:54
It's very rewarding.
01:56
And now for walking, for now I want you to think
you can go in any direction.
02:00
So we can go, him forward,
her back or weight change.
02:05
Her forward, him back
or weight change.
02:08
We can step side or side or weight change
or weight change.
02:15
Right, so we can go in any direction.
02:16
And if you put these together...
02:17
All of a sudden you can make a dance
with only that.
02:19
Walking forward, back,
side or weight changes.
02:21
And that would look something like this.
02:46
And as you are watching this
you don't say to yourself,
02:48
"Man that's so boring," or "Man that is so repetitive."
You say "Oh that's cool."
02:53
It doesn't take much to make a dance.
02:54
And when you have the good connection and have more technique
with the walking and the weight changes...
03:01
It can really be a very rich experience.
03:04
So think about how this is wonderfully cool and work.
03:10
Walking is really hard. But when it works together
and you're moving as one body, it's really fun.