Friday, 28 March 2008

Cars & Drivers

A few of you might enjoy this thread on a Scottish dance discussion board: Driven Wild or To Distraction

It's three years old and they're talking mainly about Ceroc and West Coast Jive, so don't leap in there with tango. But I think it's funny. So what sort of driver, or car, are you?

I thought of the same metaphor myself right near the beginning and quickly realised that although my partner may be steering, I am not just the car but, crucially, the aerodynamicist, all the mechanics, project leader and race engineer. So I put my mind to how to be well balanced and put the power in the right places.

One of my teachers actually used to drive racing cars, long ago, and dancing with him is very curious; there seems to be more time at the edges than there is with other people. He was teaching a milonga class and he could get me to do a whole string of ochos at milonga speed, and suddenly, in the middle, there was a double-time. I couldn't deliver this with anyone else - it was always too late by the time I thought "oops, that was a double-time, too late now". With him it had already gone from his mind to my feet by the time I thought "What was that?" Absolutely no intervention by me. It's slightly disconcerting, but it's very impressive.

3 comments:

Alex said...

Well put as always mshedge...

You and I are far across the sea from each other, but we'll hopefully be able to dance together some day.

I thought I was the only guy doing (what I call) superfast ochos in milongas, sprinkled liberally with traspie (or double-time) as you call it. There are only certain spots in certain (milonga) songs where it makes sense musicality-wise. And for me, there is only one follower who can do it - that I can do it with - that we can do it together...okay, two...

Sticking with the race car analogy, you need a very tight chassis...a very tight suspension to do this with...if your follower "drives" like a '56 Caddy...the ochos will be lost in the slow coil and recoil of the springs...or will continue long after they have ended...and you will likely end up in the hedgerow...wheels pointing to the sky and spinning...

I especially like your very lucid "it had already gone from his mind to my feet by the time I thought 'what was that?'"...

Good one....

Johanna said...

That thread was HILAROUS. Thank you for sharing.

Although I would add:

The Lost Driver: unpredictable, doesn't know what side of the street he's supposed to be on, and cuts off any- and everyone without even realizing it.

tangobaby said...

This is a little off-topic but I remember sitting with a friend at Confiteria Ideal and another friend of ours was taking the class. We decided just to sit and watch.

Anyway, our poor friend was paired with someone who was tragically pushing around the floor.

We were so dismayed for her and trying not to laugh but it looked like he was pushing a lawn mower. We both got so hysterical that we had to stop looking at her because then one of us would start laughing uncontrollably. So now we have a joke about someone mowing the lawn with his follower.

I guess you had to be there...