Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Second Tango Sin . . . and its antidotes (part 2 of "The Two Sins in Tango")

Last week I wrote about how the first "tango sin" according to my maestra, Graciela Gonzalez, is the woman's anticipating, and I talked about how developing an attitude of curiosity is one way to eliminate that habit and enrich one's tango experience.  To read the article again, scroll down to the preceding post (below).

Graciela said that the men's "sin" is hesitating

Men have the opposite problem to the women's: when they fear making a mistake, they may hold back before deciding their next action in a tango, or do the action tentatively. Hesitation sends a message of insecurity to the woman!  It's not the best way to express your magnetic masculinity, nor does it help your self-confidence!  So here's what to do if you can relate too well to this discussion. 
There are two things that I recommend that men do to stop hesitating: 

1) PAUSE OFTEN, deliberately, as often as the phrasing of the music suggests, and during the pauses strategize your navigation and your potential next moves.  I say potential because there will inevitably be unexpected occurences that will, in addition to your own creativity, affect your improvisation: a) what's happening in the music, unless you know the piece like the back of your hand, b) the woman's response to your invitation, and 3) changes in the "traffic" around you.  When you have mastery over your balance*, by the way, you can always stop abruptly, yet calmly, on a dime, making the lady (who's in the vulnerable position of walking backwards) feel secure, and when you can always pause calmly and in balance, you'll never step on her feet!

2) ERR BOLDLY! I always advise my students that when in doubt about a movementyou're about to make, as long as you maintain your balance*, go ahead and do it anyway. Because there are almost no mistakes in tango.  You can incorporate almost any "error" into your improvisation, if you do it decisively.  By moving boldly and decisively, rather than hesitantly, you'll stay in balance much more easily and you'll discover an increased feeling of confidence. You'll also discover how "mistakes" fuel creativity, and how accidents that ruin your plan can produce delightful new results. "Erring boldly"  will increase your improvisational skills! And finally, would you rather boldly make a mistake and laugh with your partner about some ridiculous result because you took were playful enough to take a risk?  Or would you prefer to timidly venture a movement and sheepishly say "sorry" to your partner? :P

Here is a video example of a man moving boldly and decisively as he dances tango, and pausing often with the phrasing of the music.  In fact his dancing is so clear and simple, that I'll bet anyone reading this with 6 or more months of tango training (or less) can analyze this tango structurally from the man's point of view. Go ahead and see how many structures Jorge's using that you can recognize or understand.  He's being very playful, using his own variations on traditional movements, and this could only have come from prior experimentation!  

Please enjoy this video of Jorge Dispari and Maria del Carmen

If you found these comments helpful, and would like to go deeper, Modules #1 and #7 of my "Permission Seduction™ Tango Learning System" will help you accomplish my suggestion 1) above, "Pause often".  Modules #1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 will help you accomplish my suggestion 2), to err boldly!

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