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Monday, August 24, 2009

Leading from the Ground, Up

All energy in tango comes from the ground (it is what we push against to move and it is what we push against to stop or change our acceleration/deceleration to remain smooth), this is why we strive to remain grounded.

I have found that foot placement is one thing that is very seldom taught to leaders, or followers, in the workshops and lessons that I have attended. What I am talking about is placing your foot in a way that pre-leads your body to be in tension (read as twist energy) to lead your follower to do the thing that you are going to lead next, Leading from the ground up.

Many times teachers will tell their students to place their foot in a certain way with out explaining the reasons for doing so. For example they may say place your foot at a ninety degree angle to you other foot, or to the direction of your secada.

What is needed is to make people understand the idea of circular movement (you around her, her around you, each of you around the other, her around her own axis etc...) and the role that creating torsion in your body to make the lead work in a dynamic fashion, this is also true when it comes to creating the same type of forces in your followers body to make the lead "irresistible", in other words getting your follower to do what you intend without pushing or pulling her, make her think that what she did was the only natural thing to do (of course it is).

This being said it is also possible and desirable to put the tension in your body by leading from the top down,(this is what we as leaders usually do with our followers and something that followers should strive to intensify in their dancing, Following from the top down, Another topic often neglected). Leading from the top down is far more difficult but can be done.