The Walking Turn. Right from the start the 2nd or 3rd thing a Lead must learn is how to turn the Follower. Usually, most Leads are taught the sexier turn, learning to lead the Follower’s Molinete to their Lead Giro. It’s a harder turn to learn for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that the Lead must master disassociation first and foremost, and secondarily not to use their arms or hands to push or pull the Follower. That along with the timing of certain aspects of the guidance of the Follower’s Molinete can make it rather challenging. So you would think, given all that, that teachers would eschew teaching the Lead how to generate the Follower’s Molinete in favor of a much simpler turn. Nope. Most teachers go right for the Molinete/Giro combo and skip right past the simplest turn of all: The Walking Turn!
What is a ‘Walking Turn’ ? It’s a turn where the couple walks in a very tight circle within the line of dance. Obviously this type of turn has issues, in that 2 of it’s steps will go AGAINST the line of dance. However, this can be alleviated by ‘cutting’ the corner of the first turning step, thereby curving the turning step towards being even tighter.
There are many benefits to this type of turn even though it isn’t taught that often if at all. One benefit is that the turn allows for the continuation of walking with your partner. Still another benefit is that it also allows one to engage any one of the five of the six ways of walking! Usually this turn is done in Close Embrace, and in Parallel Walking System. However, that doesn’t mean that it has to stay that way. 🙂 It can be a very nice exploration, musically speaking, of Close Embrace walking on 3 tracks or Milonguero Ochos or a host of other things.
The primary reason we use this turn is to add to our repertoire of available turns. We could use the Follower’s Molinete or the Milonguero Turn, or it’s kissin’ cousin, the Calecita. Which, as a side note, is a great addition to the Walking Turn itself. You can go from Calecita to Walking Turn in a continual cycle back and forth. Just a thought. 😉
The Problem: There’s a reason why this turn isn’t taught all that often. Actually 3 reasons. 1.) It is all too easy for The Walking Turn to become a navigational hazard, meaning that the turn can go outside one’s line and lane of dance when executed by a beginner Lead. 2.) It’s not sexy by comparison to the follower’s molinete, but rather it is very functional. And for some reason we like sexy and eschew functional. 🙂 The problem is that the turn itself while being very easy to learn, can be difficult to execute. 3.) Probably the biggest issue is that after about 2 or 3 steps, depending on the size of your steps, you will invariably be facing against the line of dance. And this is a major no-no! And if this something your teacher has not told you about, then fire that teacher immediately! Because this is one of those things that you should have drilled into your head! One never, ever, ever walks or dances against the line of dance!
For these 3 reasons, this is why the turn is almost never taught to beginner leads, because they’ll end up doing all 3 things, thereby freaking out when something doesn’t go right, and thereby screwing up the line of dance which in turn creates a navigational nightmare!
However, with a little judicious study, and some hard work, the turn can be taught, and then executed with a great deal of control and precision, and eventually can become a useful staple of every Lead’s arsenal of turning tools in today’s modern version of Argentine Tango.
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There’s a lot more to this Article! There’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.
About The Video. This video comes in at 1hr:8m in length in 19 Sections. Both lead and follower technique is combined and integrated in the video.
Section 1 – Introduction – 00:01:00
Section 2 – Set Up: 5 Embraces – 00:01:20
Section 3 – Basic Floorcraft – 00:02:00
Section 4 – Tango Hapitcs – 00:01:02
Section 5 – Without The Lead Back Step – 00:00:37
Section 6 – Set Up – Relationship = Alignment – 00:01:23
Section 7 – Starting The Turn – 00:02:00
Section 8 – The Walking Turn – 00:00:58
Section 9 – The Walking Turn with the 5 Embraces – 00:07:47
Section 10 – Follower Technique – 00:06:11
Section 11 – Lead Technique – 00:01:37
Section 12 – The Relationship – 00:03:21
Section 13 – Footwork: Close-ups – 00:04:59
Section 14 – Why Walking Systems – 00:00:58
Section 15 – Walking Turns with 6 Walking Systems Explained – 00:06:49
Section 16 – Walking Turns with 6 Walking Systems Applied – 00:11:38
Section 17 – Walking Turns – Errors – 00:05:44
Section 18 – Embrace Reminders – 00:04:46
Section 19 – Closure – 00:02:07
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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!
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