[Tango-L] 8-count (ho-hum) basic
Crrtango at aol.com
Wed Feb 13 12:01:34 EST 2008
The argument about the value of the 8-count basic step is pretty amusing and
comes up perennially on the list, but I think many (especially relative
beginners) are missing the point. Tango is an improvisational dance which uses
certain basic steps as a foundation. Most of the time it is the 8-count basic
because that figure uses most of the steps you will need to dance, but the whole
point is that you adapt to the situation on the dance floor. There is nothing
dreaded nor rigid about it. It is only a starting point. You can stop it and
start it at any point, and should. I disagree totally that it can not be danced
socially because I dance it all the time, sometimes just like I learned it
years ago, but I also turn while doing it, I often break it in the middle, I
don't always start from the same foot, I don't always go to the cross, etc, etc.
The problem is that people get stuck on repeating it unchanged and can't
figure out why it doesn't work, therefore they blame the step, or the teachers, or
the crowded floor, or something besides themselves. Tango is about
improvising, not about doing all the stuff you learned in the latest workshop or blindly
following the 8-count.
If you can not get out of the 8-count rut, you should practice trying to
break it up (instead of the ganchos or volcadas or whatever other
step-of-the-month has distracted you), like not always going to the resolution, for example.
Didn't your teachers ever teach you how to lead a follower to not cross? They
should have and that is one way to break it up, among many. What about rock
steps? You can stop it and start it anytime or anywhere as long as you do it on
the beat. Most of the time, dancing is no more than avoiding collisions on the
dance floor, but if it is done smoothly and rhythmically, then you are
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