Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Answer to "How do they do it?" quiz (Carlitos/Noelia)

April 14, 2016


Today I'd like you to look again at the video I posted two weeks ago, and see if you can answer the questions I asked you in that article:
"Note that Noelia’s first 3 steps make only half a giro, yet with a total of 8 steps she completes 2.75 turns.  

"What changes in the second part of the giro sequence to let her make 2 full giros in just 5 steps?  Can you tell the difference between the first 3 steps of the giro and the next 5?"

Please watch the video again, and make note of your answers to the above questions.



Here are my quick answers.  Did you observe either of these?

1) In the first three steps, Noelia's feet are far from Carlitos'. In the second part, their feet are much closer together.  They take turns practically stepping UNDER each other!

2) Squares, Diamonds and Triangles are the shapes that the woman can create on the floor in her giro around her partner, depending on factors like how much she pivots and where she steps in relation to her partner.

Square: At 1:19, Carlitos starts Noelia's first half-molinete by leading half a Square (
a bit stretched out), in relation to him. This part is made of three steps, plus the starting pivot. 

Diamonds and Triangles: The next five steps and four pivots,1:21-1:28, bring Carlitos and Noelia to the completion of almost three full giros.  I measure that number by counting how many times Noelia's back faces the chandelier.  Noelia executes this part of the giro sequence using elements of both Diamond and Triangle patterns in relation to Carlitos.  The angles her steps make depend upon how much she pivots.  Observe how in several of these five steps, she steps in front of him, between his feet. This is a key characteristic of Diamond-shaped molinetes. Observe also that steps #1 and #5 of the five steps each bring her around Carlitos 180 degrees; I'd consider these Triangle elements, because Noelia's big pivots cause acute angles.

In your own tango, you can become more aware of how: 
        - the distance between your feet and your partner's, and 
        - the geometry (square/diamond/triangle) of the woman's steps on the floor 
affect both the style and the feeling of your giros.

For men, this knowledge will give you more clarity and control when you lead a molinete. For women, it will help you follow with more sensitivity to the lead and with greater precision. For everyone, this knowledge will give you greater strength stylistically!

Do you want to do a tight giro with extreme turns, or do you want to do an expansive one?  Or like Carlitos and Noelia, do you want to mix them?

Have fun exploring these concepts!

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