Argentine Tango Technique
Posture and Embrace
Open embrace: Look straight forward in open embrace, keep spine long and straight. Do not bend neck to look down. Eyes could be looking downward, but without bending neck and head down.
Closed embrace, head can look forward over Man's shoulder, or slightly to right to middle of Man's chest, or toward Lady's RH. Keep spine long, don't break at neck or dig into Man's face.
During ochos, head does move a little naturally, but do try to keep head stable, toward Man, do not flipping head left and right.
Relaxed head. Not stiff.
Communicate without words. Man lift Lady with rib cage.
When Man lifts, Lady feet together in "T" position and just wait.
Lady: toes open/turned out when stepping, both forward and backward.
Lady always collect, wait for lead, first lower into standing leg , reach with straight leg (either to side, or back, or front), create nice leg line for a moment before moving weight onto new foot.
"Waiting" position: Wait with two straight legs, free foot crosses in the back behind standing foot, toe to heel (or instep to heel). Aim for "T" position.
Lower, then get leg there first before getting body there.
Lady always make sure to not let Man pass her - her hip is always in front of Man, not going behind Man (when Lady's RF goes back, turned out)
Lady always collect feet together (thighs together) before stepping to side for better leg line (no gap in thighs).
When stepping forward (e.g. step 1 in 6-step basic or 8-step basic) : do not have hip go forward more than upper body which makes body appear to be back weighted diagonally (in other words, Lady should not swoop her hip under the Man).
Body more forward, not backward, keep forward pitch, especially for ochos, molinete back steps.
Leave arm to Man, reduce tension in arm and hands. Pay attention in ochos, rondes, movement is in hips, less tension in upper body, don't use Man. Arm will contract and expand with the goal to not disturb Man's arm/frame. Focus on the connection point.
During hooks etc. no shaping left or right or back, keep upper body pretty straight up and down, like sitting.
Ronde: start rotating hips first, when hips rotates to max, then leg start ronde circle, then hip can rotate a little extra. Do not push Man using hands.
Changing weight in place: rainbow feeling, but not rise, and not going under. often used to at starting of dance, or to find beat
After collecting the foot, just wait till Man leads the rotation (he may lead other figures than ochos.
For both fwd and back ochos: Move the hip without torso, extending the leg without body weight first, then step on it. extend the other leg for a second before collecting.
During ochos, Lady stay on balanced axis, don't try to get close to Man.
When Lady opens to the right, Lady is really almost perpendicular to Man, Lady's left hip is at Man's right (not behind, it's not like Ballroom promenade position)
after transferring weight onto back foot, hold the front leg straight, extended for just another second before drawing it in.
after drawing in, stay in "collected" position next to standing leg, do not rush to point back (cuz Man can lead to different things), just collect and wait. Only point/extend back with Man when he leads/moves.
when Lady turns her hip to L to extend L leg back, think about growing taller, make sure to open her R shoulder, keep R side of body in one vertical line (don't stick R hip to Man)
Back ochos can even move forward, depending on the twist of the body. "Deep" backward ochos, not big steps, small step, but more twisted.
extend leg forward straight first, standing leg is bent knee
then transferring weight onto the extended leg, still keeping it pretty straight, at this time keep back leg (the previous standing leg that had bent knee before) straight when hip is turning, collecting the leg behind and draw the original back kneed to the standing knee (the moving knee is slightly relaxed), then bend standing leg knee and extend the other leg forward.
after weight is transferred onto the new front pretty straight leg, do not bend "down" knee, think about lifting up the heel and bend the knee (for the fwd leg)
Knees are always soft, not locked.
When RF fwd ocho to Man's R side, allow L arm to slide and open for open embrace (more space)
Showcase Lady's leg. Lady roll L shoulder, signaling Man that she needs more space.
Man allow his arm to slide, giving Lady space, Lady slide her L arm on Man's R arm.
Does not turn head much, head still to Man's neck center.
When LF fwd ocho, L arm slides to closed embrace.
Embrace changes from closed embrace to open to closed etc in forward and back ochos, slide L arm.
Head position: facing front or slightly to right, almost never turn head to left.
Man rise to finish ochos.
Exit on Man's R side, Lady's L side and her L leg is free to go back into step 3 in basic.
Can exit with cross system, in which case Lady always does cruzada/cross
Can exit with parallel system, in which case Man can lead exit directly to resolution or cruzada
Lady's steps (back-side-front-side) are called Molinete,
Man can do Lapiz (pencil); Lady's Molinete with Man's Lapiz together is Giro. Giro ("turn") is when Lady rotates around Man.
During Molinete, Lady remains on Man's R side. (whether it's Molinete to L or to R.)
Lady's back ocho part:
R arm has tension/tone with Man's L arm. Don't follow Man with R shoulder, use opposition. Feels like R shoulder is pulling back.
Lady fwd ocho part:
When feeling the lift/rise up, Man may exit.
Different timing: SSSS; QQSS; QQQQ
when S, Lady elongate legs.
when Q, small steps
Primary points of connection are right side of rib cage, right forearm on lady's back. Secondary is left hand.
To stop follower from moving, give slight lift in rib cage and right arm. If there is good connection, to follower it will feel as if she is lifted up on her toes. The follower's free foot will remain free, until the leader leads the next movement.
A small turn in frame, which should come primarily from pulling shoulder blades back, translates to large turn in follower's hips.
When leading into cruzada, leader does not turn whole torso right, he pulls back right shoulder blade slightly, to lead follower to turn her hips left to make room for her to step with leader outside left.
To lead a step to side from stop, there is a little windup. For example, to lead step to leader's left, leader will lift up slightly, move weight slightly to right, and then lower and extend left foot to left. This both lets follower know what step is coming, and also makes very clear what foot leader's weight is on.
Leader's movement can be independent of the lead. Leader can move around follower without leading any movement on part of follower, and leader can lead follower to move without making any movement himself.