Connection - Arm Tone & Placement
We think our favorite thing we say about the embrace is that the arms are to hold the follower, to make the follower feel loved, and the body is to lead.
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- It Takes Q To Tango
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(From the website): Created in July, 2009 by Erskine Maytorena, a third generation tango musician and opera singer, QTANGO performs authentic Argentine tango arrangements as often as two to three times a week throughout the Southwest for tango dancers and listeners.
- One of the really cool things about Argentine tango is the way the embrace has an energy to it.
- And, part of the reason that you have this energy is because the body isn't fixed.
- So, when you do this, "Ungh", and you tighten everything, it, sort of, blocks energy.
- And on the other hand, if you... So, we don't use the placement of the hand to communicate.
- It's not like, if the arm is here, she knows one thing. And if I move the arm here,she knows another thing.
- N: It's code, yes.
D: Yeah, yeah, you know.
- Underarm turn, double underarm turn. Quadruple, don't stop.
- D: Whatever, I'm exaggerating.
N: So, what's this mean?
D: Yeah, yeah. Fall down.
- So, it's not about placement. Instead, what I do is I have a few pounds of pressure.
- And, if I increase the pressure, she uses that. For example, in this case, to turn.
- D: But, you notice, the hand, actually, doesn't move.
- And, because we're using pressure to communicate, we can keep the arms loose. And just use these few pounds of pressure.
- So... Loose is the wrong word. Let's say, energized. But not fixed, not rigid.
- N: Engaged.
- So, if we do this, what I want you to do, just as an exercise at home, right now,
- Is take both your arms and just reach out, "Ughh". You don't have to make the noise.
- N: I don't know if it works without the noise.
D: So, you reach out. You reach out. Yeah, it helps to make the noise.
- And so, then, after you reach out, I want you to have a friend. Or, even, actually, you could hold on to something.
- And, you can just softly pull in.
- And, I'm pulling in very much from my back. I'm not doing this. I'm doing this, from my shoulder blade.
- And, once we have this sense of reaching out and in, just gently, a few pounds of pressure,
- Then, you can hold each other with a few pounds of pressure. And have this length in the body.
- And then, I want you to be able to softly move the arms.
- N: This is a really good exercise.
D: While keeping pressure.
- And so, the first thing you do in the exercise is that you would be here.
- And leaders, I want you to keep oh, a couple of pounds of pressure with the followers.
- Followers, so, you're not going to move your arms, at the beginning, until he establishes his pressure.
- And then... And then, after that, he's going to move it.
- And I want you to let him move it any direction he wants. And I want you to keep a couple of pounds of pressure.
- Now, guys, the goal isn't to trick her. Go, "Ah!" She didn't get it, right? So, you move slowly.
- But, I want you to say, "Well, does she feel stiff this way? Can I go this way and it's the same pressure?"
- N: This is, actually surprisingly difficult when you start it.
D: Or, will she go this way?
N: And, as it gets easier, the following gets really easier.
- D: And, it's much harder than it seems
D: To keep the pressure the same in all directions.
- So, first, I want this... The leader to do this with the follower.
- Whether can the follower keep the pressure constant as he moves. And then, switch.
- N: OK, let's switch.
D: Oh, yeah, let's switch.
- So, now, I'm following. She's leading.
- So, here, it's hard. 'Cause I'm coming away, and he has to keep pushing.
- And, this is, actually, very good for you, leaders, too. Because it trains you not to make the arm too fixed. Because it tends,
- With many leaders, this tends to happen: "Ugh. Ugh, you, there."
- Right? And it becomes very much arm'y. Instead of just using this gentle pressure.