Tango Topics | Exploring Your Dance


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Social Colgadas

The Social Colgada is in many ways very similar to the Single Axis Turn. That’s because they’re from the same family of vocabulary. So theoretically, if you know one, ha ha ha, you should be able to execute the other. Not true actually, there are stark differences between the two.  One primary difference from the Single Axis Turn is that the Social Colgada is done with the partnership in a perpendicular position to each other rotating around a singular axis vs. the Single Axis turn where the partnership is facing each other. Still another is the Single Axis Turn rotates the couple 180 degrees without invoking a second step around, typically. Whereas the Social Colgada is typically a 270 to 360 degree turn! 

The Colgada Rap! Before we go any further, truthfully Colgadas are typically manhandling events that most Follower’s want to avoid like the plague. The reason is a.) that they’re poorly executed. b.) they’re usually arm pushing and pulling experiences, and c.) someone (read that as the Follower) invariably gets hurt because their back has been wrenched this way or that. Most of this occurs because the Lead in question has not learned how to properly generate a Colgada. Where Colgadas get a bad rap is because of these 3 aspects which turns off a lot of people, obviously. However a Social Colgada on the other hand, while it has all the potential for these things to happen, is much smaller, and exists within solely within Close Embrace. When executed properly it can be one of Tango’s more elegant specialty pieces of spice or accent vocabulary.

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What is a Social Colgada ? A ‘Social’ Colgada means that the Colgada itself takes up very little space, that it fits within the line & lane of dance, while the couple is in Close Embrace, and instead of executing the Follower’s Molinete to turn the couple, we invoke a Social Colgada. As to a Colgada aspect ? The word “Colgada” comes from the root Spanish verb “Colgar” which translates to English as “Hang”. The word ‘Colgada’ is the past participle version of the verb which adds an ‘ed’ ending to the word. Which when translated to English is ‘Hanged’ or rightfully ‘Hung’. So ? A ‘Social’ Colgada is a move where the Follower (specifically) is in a hanging state off their Lead, deliberately. More specifically, they’re being placed in a position where they’re going to hang. And that’s where we talk about a shared axis, and more importantly balance.

Ideally the Colgada itself is not about taking the Follower off axis, as you may have been told, but rather about creating a state of shared balance & equilibrium along the shared axis between the partnership. As there is always a shared axis between the dancing couple. Truthfully there are actually 6, not one. There’s the lead’s central longitudinal axis, the follower’s central longitudinal axis, and the shared central one between the two dancers which is created by their relationship to each other. It’s the last one that we’re interested in because it generates the space for a Colgada to exist. 

Difficulty Rating: [usr 4.0 text=”true” tooltip=”true”] Let’s be absolutely clear about something. This is not an easy move to perform. A lot of manhandling can occur if it is not executed properly. Use with caution and under the supervision of an experienced teacher. 

There’s a lot more to this ArticleThere’s the extensive Lead’s Perspective, the deeper Follower’s Technique Perspective, and sometimes we throw in a complete Dancing Perspective part, all of which are only visible to Tango Topics Freemium Registered Users, Gold Subscribers, Diamond Level Users, and Milonga Madness Users. To become a Freemium user, Registration is absolutely 100% FREE, click the button below, and you get access to this article, and over 400 videos, hundreds of articles on a wide range of Tango Topics. So what are you waiting for, go register, then login to your Tango Topics Library page and then select the “ARTICLES” button and you’ll see this article with all that good stuff in there. Easy. No ? 🙂

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The Reality of WHY You Need This: There are many moves, steps, patterns, and figures to Argentine Tango that are really cool. What you may not realize is that most of that stuff is ‘fluff’, they’re nice to have, they’re nice to know, but honestly, you’re not going to use them that often! Mind you this is one side of the argument. This ain’t that! This piece is one of the more venerable selections of Argentine Tango that you will use frequently like Walking, Milonguero Ochos/Milonguero Turns, The Follower’s Molinete/Traveling Ochos, or The Argentine Cross. Tango Topics take this stuff very seriously, and we say that because we use this stuff ALL – THE – TIME! Our case is that you need this stuff because > This is all about foundation, or one of the Seven Foundation Steps that we use all the time to create the dance that we know as Argentine Tango. That’s why! 🙂 That said, you do actually need to watch this stuff. You can learn what you need from this video and then apply it. No lie. No gimmick. As always YMMV and to remember that the video itself is only a stepping stone! You will need some private lessons to go along with it to get the ‘feel’ of things. That is the reality of WHY you need this stuff. So subscribing for a few months to TangoTopics to get what we’re on about wouldn’t kill you. Further, it would probably help to hear another person saying what your current tango teacher has been saying all along. Think of this stuff as one more reminder that you absolutely need to hear.


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About The VideoThis video is 29m:09s in length in 12 sections. Both lead and follower technique are combined and integrated into the video.

Introduction – 00:01:04
The Mordida – 00:02:28
Balance & Planking – 00:03:06
The Kickstand – 00:01:41
The 3 Linear Cologadas – 00:03:08
The Circular Colgada – 00:01:40
The Colgada Embrace – 00:02:15
The Step Over Colgada – 00:02:56
The ‘Social’ Colgada – 00:03:03
In The Line Of Dance – 00:03:44
The ‘Whoosh’ Factor – 00:01:39
A Primary Lead Error/End – 00:01:39

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The Missing Information. Dearest Reader. TangoTopics is glad that you want to read this Topic, so that you can dig a little deeper into your foundation, into the music, into the codigos of the dance. However, you’re missing three important parts to this Article: The Follower’s Perspective, The Lead’s Perspective, and The Dancing Perspective. Which can change your thinking by informing of some important pieces of information that you may not necessarily be aware of. Watching a 5 minute video will not help you to change. Change is a concerted effort and requires a little thinking on your part: Becoming a Freeium User! As the name implies, it’s FREE. Register. You get to see everything above, and a whole lot more! 😉 Have a nice day.

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Why should you subscribe instead ?  Several reasons.  1.) Probably the biggest reason is to save a boatload of money. Buying these things outright isn’t cheap. Besides when you buy you only have access to the one video. Subscribing, on the other hand, gives you access to everything else so you can see the foundational material that goes with this stuff. 2.) Even if you’re a Free User, you’ll get access to free tips that aren’t available to anyone just reading the post like this one. 3.) Sometimes there are slightly different versions of the videos, that add a bit more content for the free user vs. an unregistered user. 4.) Because the Dancing Perspectives (Lead, Follow, and Dancing) are hidden to the open user. And that’s where all the information is at, unless you actually subscribe. Until you do, those very important textual descriptions of what’s going on for both Lead and Follow you want to read. 5.) And the real reason you should subscribe ? If you’re used to YouTube videos where you’ll see a performance, those Youtube videos don’t explain or walk you through how these ideas work! That is why! What you’re seeing is a presentation, a performance. Not how things work! And what you really need to see is how things work, and more importantly why they work! This website shows you that and more! 

Remember that what you’re seeing is a couple that is performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they’re not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about ‘Social Dancing’  or how to make things function on a social dance floor. Social Dance floor ? Your local milonga! They’re showing flashy moves as a presentation! But not stopping and talking about how this works, why you’d want to put that piece of vocabulary there, or how to make things fit. This website is all about those things and more!

You could watch those videos and thereby spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that particular situation. Bend your body this way or that, twist and force this position or that. Place your foot here or there and figure it out. This is known as Tango Twister.  Which can be a lot of fun, but more than likely it won’t help you, because you’re missing something: The explanation from an experienced teacher showing you how to properly excute this stuff from a Leading Perspective as well as from a Following Perspective!

The goal of YouTube videos is to get you to study with those teachers in person. The goal of Tango Topics videos allows you to work at your own pace, in the comfort of your own space, so that you can play them over and over again to improve your understanding of the vocabulary or technique being described to therefore better your dancing experience. The goal of classes and workshops is to get you to come back over and over and over again, thereby spending more money with that teacher. This website and the videos under it are here to act as a resource for you to help you to improve your dance. Pay once and you’re done.

Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. TANSTAAFL! The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlying technique of how and why things work, so you can easily reference those things in the corresponding articles that go with the material, and or any language in the Tango Topics Dictionary. 


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