Monday, June 2, 2008

Backleading and Musicality

Ok, help me here...

How do I prevent myself from floating away to the sweet lead of the music?

Dread of dreads, I find myself backleading. I don't want to do it, and it's not that I don't appreciate my lead or that I think I can lead it better. It's simply, sometimes the music whirls around me and swallows me whole, and then I feel it. I feel it moving me, and sometimes I stop listening to my lead. Not because I want to, but because the music is a stronger clearer leader. Which is a lovely experience until I come back crashing to the ground and realize I have a lead standing stock still, staring at me, amazed at the heinous crime I've just committed, and horribly offended.

I'd like to tell him that I felt safe enough in his embrace to let go and be in the music, that I wasn't worried I'd be crashing into people, or tripping over feet, but somehow that doesn't seem quite enough. So I smile sheepishly, and work very diligently at not listening to the music for the rest of the tanda. Which may make me a better follow, but it also diminishes the joy for me.

How do you listen to both the lead and the music when they aren't saying the same thing?

7/16/08 Edited To Add
Ok, I am getting better at this. I am learning that when I find the right groove with the right dancers, it just happens naturally and there's no need for me to disassociate from the the music. I can feel the music through the lead. As my dance improves, I find that I do less and less of the backleading, and find more and more ways to express my sensations of the music within the dance the lead is offering.

I offer my most sincere apologies to the gentlemen that were victims to my inexperience and eagerness. Thank you all for your kindness and generosity, and for still dancing with me.

1 comment:

ModernTanguera said...

One great thing about tango is that there are so many layers in the music to dance to. One frustrating thing about tango is that there are so many layers in the music to dance to. ;) In my experience, a good leader will listen to you and the way that you seem to be hearing the music.

Sometimes I endure tandas with leaders who seem disconnected from the music. Usually these are leaders who I know are trying to improve their musicality, and I can see them get better over time. But in general I gravitate toward leaders who hear the music as I do, so that I don't feel the need to ignore the music. And if a leader seems to be leading on the beat but not to the elements of the music that I am hearing, my challenge is to hear the music as he does.