In our previous post we focused on the milonga and the key differences it has with Tango.
One of those differences referred to posture. Specifically we observed that in Milonga due to speed we stay in the neutral zone while in Tango we have the time to shape the movement.
So this week, we will look into what we call neutral and range of motion and what shaping looks like.
Defining range of motion to figure out neutral
I am sure that you have heard or even used the term neutral position, for example keep your back in a neutral position.
What does this mean though exactly?
To understand better what it means we need to first speak about range of motion.
Range of motion in a joint can be simply defined how far we can move around a specific axis, for example how far can we go in extension or flexion. Range of motion differs between different joints. And in the same joint it differs between different directions and around different axes.
So for example we have a different range of flexion/ extension in our hips compared to our knees. Also though for the hip itself we have different range of flexion/ extension than rotation and we have more flexion compared to extension.
Bottom line it is all different so proceed with caution and keep exploring! and of course it is needless to say that each of us has different ranges of motion as we are all unique makes of the same grand design.
So now what is neutral
Well once you know how much range you have in a given joint, you know the end of range of a movement around an axis. The space between, the space before you reach the end of range is neutral. Neutral is an area, a zone not a specific point. The middle of the neutral zone where we are not committing in any direction we would then be in 0.0 posture..!
What does that all mean for Tango
To make things a bit more specific let’s look at one part of the Tango posture. Let’s look at the mid-back, where your thoracic changes to lumbar.
Here we have it all, flexion-extension, rotation and side reach. We have much more flexion than extension, like we see below.
And anywhere between the end of the flexion-extension range is the neutral zone. In the middle where the joint are not going into flexion or extension we are at 0.
Taking a step
Finding 0 posture is one thing and takes some practice and exploring. But going from that 0 posture into a simple forward step can be tough!
It is actually like we will see in the video below one of the toughest transitions to manage.
And now on top of that we have different walking options, small steps, big steps or tiny steps. Those require a different skill.
Not that we forget or put to the side what we talked about above but when we are dancing we need to be aware but not limited by our anatomy. Every step is or can be unique, responding to the constraints of the dancefloor, to the style of our partner and most importantly the music.
Let’s see how the different types of steps can match some wonderful Tango music
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