Intermediate Elements - The Lean
- Artist Name:
- Song Title:
- A La Gran Muñeca
- Album Title:
- It Takes Q To Tango
- Artist Website:
(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.
- The lean is cool and it’s a gateway to
many wonderful steps...
- ..and you see it a lot in performances.
- And we’re going to break that down in this chapter.
- When I first saw the lean, the teacher said,
"This is fashion all over the tango world."
- "It’s what all the cool people are doing."
- And so I said, “I don’t have to be cool,”
and I sat down.
- Because there was no way
I was going to lean my...
- ..thousand pound weight on my poor leader.
- I wasn’t going to inflict that
on the leader.
- And this wonderful man,
who weighed a lot more than I did said,...
- “No you don’t understand.
It’s not hard at all.
- You just balance your weight
with the other person.
- And you can both be totally relaxed
and it feels really good.”
- And from that moment I've loved the lean
and I still love the lean.
- It starts with a side step.
- Guys, you’re going to hold her in and up
and then reach back with your right foot.
- One more time; as I step side,
I step into her space...
- ..so we’re body to body,
so my body can support her.
- I hold in, so that she knows she’s safe.
- And I hold up,
so she knows not to take a step.
- I reach back with my foot because that
will be where we’re going; not too big.
- And then I go to that foot and it creates the lean.
- Point back, not to big.
- Now as I go to that foot,
you have to push, push, push.
- Don’t try to not lean, try to lean.
- And then as you go back, guys
you’ll keep your chest very far forward...
- ..eventually freeing your other leg,
so you can point.
- So now that we know how to get into the lean,
let’s work on getting out.
- But before that, once you’re in a lean,
take a moment and enjoy.
- And to get out just, point the foot forward,
stand her up, change weight.
- And then go on and do whatever you like.
- Now half of the lean, maybe a third,
is an illusion.
- So the point of my leg, makes it look
as if I’m more in a lean.
- And right now I’m on my heel
but if I shift to the ball of my foot...
- ..then this looks like I’m in a lean
even though I’m not. Right?
- So we can have this amount of lean
without actually any weight.
- And then, when I shift my weight to my back foot,
even that small amount...
- ..by having the weight on the ball of the foot
and pointing with the other leg...
- ..it looks like we’re in a decent sized lean,
even though we’re actually...
- ..in a lean that's that big. Not very big at all.
- For the ladies, there’s this instinct,
I’m the lady, she’s the guy.
- As the guys take you into a lean,
you say to yourself…
- “Oh I couldn’t possibly inflict my weight on him.”
This is the word choice.
- And so as he says lean, you say
"Oh I will but I’ll try to be really light."
- “Don’t lean. Don’t lean.”
And then you end up dancing like this.
- And, yeah, no, we don’t want that image.
- I mean we do want that image but not doing the lean.
- So… here, instead of putting the butt back,
you almost do a small crunch in your abs…
- ..tucking your pelvis ever so slightly -
- It’s a big crunch in the abs.
- Okay, big crunch.
- And then as the leader takes you back,
you keep your body in a plank position…
- ..leaning towards him with your chest.
- And then that protects your low back because
there’s an instinct to arch like this, right?
- So don’t do this, just watch and gasp in horror.
Step side, left.
- We’re here and as she takes me back into the lean,
- ..ladies tend to do this.
And that’s very bad for lower back.
- You know, I’m only going to do this,
only one take and that’s it.
- For the guys, as you go back, we spend literally,
weeks, weeks working with people on this…
- ..working with leaders,
on keep their chest far enough forward.
- Which is really important for the follower.
- So a lot of guys do this.
- And you’ll notice that I’m completely straight
and she’s leaning...
- ..and that means she’s doing all the work.
- She doesn’t get the advantage of using weight.
Instead she has to use muscle.
- So as I back up, you will see that,
unlike just then when I kept my back straight…
- ..here I’m very much leaning towards her as well.
- And therefore it can be really relaxed.
- And for both people it’s true, if you’re not leaning enough...
- ..then what happens is all of the muscles tighten.
- For the followers, if she’s not leaning enough,
- “Can’t lean and all the muscles tighten.”
- Where as if she just pushes forward,
it would be very easy for her. Keep pushing.
- For the leaders, if you’re leaning not enough,
then you’ll feel her tighten...
- ..you’ll feel you’ll need more muscle.
- If you lean more at her using weight,
then it becomes much easier.
- If you lean too much you’ll know and it tumbles over.
So this one is self correcting.
- Once again for the leaders:
keep your chest forward.
- Last two things.
- For the leaders, you really want to make her feel
safe and comfortable.
- And if I ask her to do a lean
and I’m holding her like this…
- She’s not going to go.
- And I say, "Why don’t you lean on me?"
And for some reason she doesn’t...
- ..because there’s this feeling,
probably very well justified,...
- ..that if I just barely hold the tips of her fingers,
I can’t support her.
- So I really gather around,
in firmly and up.
- And while I don’t try to
squeeze the life from her, I do have -
- N: It’s pretty strong.
D: Yes, it’s pretty substantial.
- Now the other point I want to make is that...
- ..it should feel comfortable
when it’s about weight.
- So if you imagine there’s a light pole
and then there’s a cool person...
- ..leaning on the light pole with a hat.
You don’t imagine their struggling terribly to stand up.
- And the questions is,
so I literally want you to at some point...
- ..stop and lean against the wall or something.
- And say, “Look how comfortable it is.”
- And then I want you to ask...
- ...Why does it have to be any different,
if you’re leaning against another person?
- And the answer is it doesn’t.
- And on that thought of a gateway to many things,
we can for example…
- Do stuff. Later chapter