Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Like a princess

"Imagine you're a princess, walk like a queen!"

What exactly am I supposed to imagine, here?

A depressed brood mare leafing listlessly through Vogue? A silly hat? A girl in a pink plastic dress and tiara, trudging grimly back to the car park from Disneyworld? Someone for whom everything goes better on top of a horse?

I realise there are people who admire her Majesty for various personal qualities, but do they really include her walk? I hear Queen Beatrix is good on a bicycle, but I'm not sure how that helps.


I mean, what does that even mean? "Princess" isn't filed in my mind with anything useful, beautiful, or even a tiny bit interesting, that doesn't directly require the presence of at least one horse or a minimum of thirty rugby players. The only walk it's associated with, is Sarah Ferguson's when she got married, and that can't be what they're aiming for.

Communication FAIL.

I have heard worse. The "stand like you're proud of your new breasts" is the most memorably alienating and repellent tango instruction I've heard of so far, but since I wasn't actually there (it's hearsay from a friend) I won't discuss it further.


Anonymous said...

I don't think I would go for the princess/queen imagery ... it makes me think of being haughty and formal.

I have told people to strut, to walk as though they are the coolest person on the street or have just done something really fabulous. I tell them that, in other words, I want them to ooze confidence. Not sure if it makes sense to everyone, but I have seen it make people stand taller and move with a bit more assurance (at least for a few steps, until habit takes over).

Although I must say that pretty much anything is better than telling students to "stand like you're proud of your new breasts." Yikes.

Anonymous said...

hehe! Sometimes things get lost in translation!
One lovely teacher said to me a few years ago now, 'Arlene, you are a Queen, stand up straight.' Best tango advice ever given. He also told me never to lower my posture when dancing with men shorter than me. :)

David Bailey said...

This is another "walk like a puma / panther / other animal of your choice" thing, isn't it?

Next time I hear that, I'm planning on getting on all fours, prowling around, and then looking up at the teacher expectantly.

That said, "stand like you're proud of your new breasts" - LOL, it's brilliant. I wonder if does that... ;)

tangocherie said...

Maybe those pieces of advice don't appeal to you in their choice of words, but you know what they mean: pride, attitude, and confidence. That's the tango walk, and what makes it different than your normal walk down the street.

It's like my advice to ladies entering a milonga: walk in like you own the place.

Without attitude and the good posture that goes with it, dancers can look like "pollos mojados" on the floor (wet chickens).

Anonymous said...

I was told this:

... "lead like you're driving a supermarket trolley" ...

The ladies didn't look too pleased.

Melina Sedo said...

ok... now you Brits have GOT a quenn. And princesses.... And you see them mostly in tabloids wearing funny hats or behaving real silly.... I can understand, that you might have other associations.

But for most other people, the image of a queen conjures the internal picture of a royal, proud person, standing tall and "filling" the scape around herself. And this would be the right Tango posture.

We do use this imagery as well -alongside with "opera singer" to help explain the Tango posture - apart from deconstructing it technically - which can't be forgotten of course.

The effect IS usually the desired: the dancers hold their heads higher and "show" themselves - instead of hiding behing a crouched posture.

But, as I said , the image might create different associations in different cultures. I'm always reluctant to use it in France - you don't know what might happen... ;-)

Good night!

msHedgehog said...

Sure, I know what they mean. It's just that it's such a long trek to get there, and the gross absurdity of it makes me laugh.

And then it's a bore to have to go "okay, I sort of know what you must have been driving at" and then figure out something to imagine which is absolutely nothing like what was actually said. ModernTanguera's approach makes a hell of a lot more sense to me.

Melina Sedo said...

Yes, strutting is fine as well.
But we use different imagery for different expressions in different styles of music... actually 3 different basic styles, three different expressions/images.
The queen image is connected to the general "elegant & proud" Tango.
Used it again this weekend and it makes a differens in 98 % of the people! ;-)

ghost said...


What are the other two?

smw said...

I was told once, to hold myself as if I had a gorgeous necklace on display and wanted to show it off...that's what I always think of whenever I hear the princess/queen/or implant comments.

Ana Saraiva said...

"Stand as if you're regally... in love!";)