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Author Topic: Stepping on toes  (Read 2485 times)
captain jep
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« on: April 15, 2009, 01:10:01 PM »

I am currently having another bout of "stepping on people's toes". I know all about intention before step. But still I find somehow that I am unable to project the energy in the right way all of the time. Especially if the music has an upbeat tempo. What should I focus on to correct it?

I am thinking here BTW of close-embrace walking.
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David Bailey
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 55


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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2009, 02:07:59 PM »

It may be that you're not allowing enough time between projecting your intention with your chest, and moving your feet? Or that your projection is not definite / clear enough? Might be worth trying projection without foot movement as an exercise - that is, getting your partner to start moving her foot back based on your lead, but not moving your feet yourself.

Or, it could be that your partner's posture is wrong, or that she's not following your initial lead. In which case I advise stepping on her toes until she gets the message (OK, not really...)

As a workaround, I find it's very very very useful to step heel first - that way, if you do step on your partners toes, it's less painful for them.
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malakawa
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2009, 02:37:39 PM »

i don't have problem with stepping on a toes. i have problem with knees. it seem like i am on the wrong way with my knees. i always punch my partner.  Huh
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Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels.

It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer.
captain jep
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2009, 04:14:39 PM »

Hi David

Yep that's my current workaround - stepping lightly.

We were actually doing some of that exercise this weekend - the one where you move the follower's leg by intention alone. Im OK at that. Trouble is, it's easy to do in slow mo but much harder to do at normal tempo.

My thought is that I could be leaning forward too much. As I understand it the intention is not so much from the chest as from the ground up. Im trying to "fake it" by using my chest by itself. Again, easy to correct in theory. In practice the fact that you have a woman against your chest makes it a bit more tricky :-)

Yes I dont have too much trouble with the better followers - probably because they project back more than the beginners. But hey Im not going to use that excuse. After all, it's always our fault isnt it?!
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captain jep
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2009, 04:18:10 PM »

i don't have problem with stepping on a toes. i have problem with knees. it seem like i am on the wrong way with my knees. i always punch my partner.  Huh

Dont understand, mk. you mean your knees hit theirs? is your leader projecting his step forwards? it should be the toes first ;-)
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Do not go gently into that good night ...
David Bailey
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2009, 04:20:50 PM »

Hi David

Yep that's my current workaround - stepping lightly.
Of course, the trouble is, if you do it wrong, this can actually make things worse - your partner feels your hesitation and so hesitates herself...

I speak as someone who's been there, done that and got the Tshirt...
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David Bailey
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2009, 04:22:14 PM »

i don't have problem with stepping on a toes. i have problem with knees. it seem like i am on the wrong way with my knees. i always punch my partner.  Huh
Pretty much the same thing, I suspect. If the leader doesn't project and step forward with authority and confidence, the follower won't respond to that. It's a bit of a catch-22 really.
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captain jep
Moderator
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2009, 04:38:57 PM »

Hi David

Yep that's my current workaround - stepping lightly.
Of course, the trouble is, if you do it wrong, this can actually make things worse - your partner feels your hesitation and so hesitates herself...

I speak as someone who's been there, done that and got the Tshirt...

it's a comfort knowing Im not the only poor b*st*rd out there  Roll Eyes

I was also trying at the weekend to dance more open embrace - in an attempt to reduce the problem. But the ladies kept pinning their chests to mine.What's a man to do?!   Cool
The trials of being a leader (or a man!)


« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 04:40:49 PM by captain jep » Logged

Do not go gently into that good night ...
malakawa
Open Bronze
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Posts: 830



« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2009, 04:48:14 PM »

i don't have problem with stepping on a toes. i have problem with knees. it seem like i am on the wrong way with my knees. i always punch my partner.  Huh

Dont understand, mk. you mean your knees hit theirs? is your leader projecting his step forwards? it should be the toes first ;-)

no, if i am going forward (in a leg hook - kill me, but i am still lerning the AT language), i should be more in between his legs, but i kick him with my knee.  Roll Eyes
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Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels.

It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer.
David Bailey
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 55


WWW
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2009, 04:55:46 PM »

I was also trying at the weekend to dance more open embrace - in an attempt to reduce the problem. But the ladies kept pinning their chests to mine.What's a man to do?!   Cool
The trials of being a leader (or a man!)
Like most things we try to do to fix stuff, this may also be wrong - in that you have less connection in open anyway, so your leads may be less clear.

Let's face it, the only real way to fix it is to have a good lead.
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captain jep
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Posts: 299



« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2009, 05:00:09 PM »

Re Malakawa's post ! :

you mean a gancho I think. Its difficult to advise without seeing what you are doing.

The most common problem with ganchoes is to think of it as a kick. Its not a kick - it's a wrap. Your leg needs to press against your partner's thigh and the foot needs to slide on the floor before being raised. You may need to twist your hips to get into the correct position.

 Without seeing what's happening though it's hard to advise more..
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 05:01:51 PM by captain jep » Logged

Do not go gently into that good night ...
malakawa
Open Bronze
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Posts: 830



« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2009, 05:04:39 PM »

Re Malakawa's post ! :

you mean a gancho I think. Its difficult to advise without seeing what you are doing.

The most common problem with ganchoes is to think of it as a kick. Its not a kick - it's a wrap. Your leg needs to press against your partner's thigh and the foot needs to slide on the floor before being raised. You may need to twist your hips to get into the correct position.

 Without seeing what's happening though it's hard to advise more..

i am going to have a video of my first AT. i'll try to post it here. yes, i mean gancho. i'll do some more practicing.
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Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels.

It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer.
captain jep
Moderator
Bronze
****
Posts: 299



« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2009, 05:06:48 PM »

I was also trying at the weekend to dance more open embrace - in an attempt to reduce the problem. But the ladies kept pinning their chests to mine.What's a man to do?!   Cool
The trials of being a leader (or a man!)
Like most things we try to do to fix stuff, this may also be wrong - in that you have less connection in open anyway, so your leads may be less clear.

Let's face it, the only real way to fix it is to have a good lead.

yes I know - catch 22! is it something you think that might happen when you are feeling down? Im worried that it's caused by lack of confidence or something. Going though some tough times at the moment. That sort of thing doesnt usually affect my dancing but maybe it is ...
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Do not go gently into that good night ...
SamsTheMan
pre-bronze

Posts: 15


« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2009, 05:34:19 PM »

A number of reasons:

In close embrace and looking at both of you from the side there should be a slight V shape.

Follower not stepping with long strides backwards at the point of feeling the intention for her to step.  I.e.

1. Lead's intention.
2. Follower steps
3. Lead steps

In that order.

It can also be that the Follower is too slow in stepping after the invitation to do so.

The exercise to move the follower without stepping is good practice. Keep with it.  Also, try walking slightly to the outside of your follower and this should help prevent toes touching.

Same applies for the "knee-knocking" syndrome.


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David Bailey
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 55


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« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2009, 05:40:07 PM »

yes I know - catch 22! is it something you think that might happen when you are feeling down? Im worried that it's caused by lack of confidence or something.
Tango is the most connected dance I know. In salsa or MJ, you can pretty much fake it to a point.

In Tango, if you're hesitant, your partner feels it. She may not know she feels it, but she does. And yes, lack of confidence really does get transmitted to your partner. It's like some scary telepathy thing.

Like with all Tango Crises, the key is sheer pig-headed stubbornness - at least, that works for me.  Wink
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