We want to be grounded
By keeping a strong connection with the Earth (gravity, the floor), we protect our own and our partner's stability.
What and why
In tango, strong stability is what we call being well-grounded. It refers to the combination of body-structure, floor connection, partner connection, and how we place our movements to give us powerful stability that even onlookers can sense. It is an aesthetic look with a practical benefit.
Being grounded means using our body and controlling our movement to protect our Balance. If we or our partner misstep — step too far away, too close, at an unexpected angle, under or over-balanced — it can upset either or both partners' balance.
(P.S. Grounding our partner refers to a technique (to be covered in a future Step 2 of the Game) that leads our partner to stay with the legs in an open position, with weight on both of them.)
Video and transcript
We play with our strength of grounding in the “try to tip me over” experiment. We push against a wall or partner, using zero body energy to resist. We tip so easily! Or we organize our body to resist. So stable!
- Grounding is the concept that we are so firmly rooted to the Earth that it will be hard for anything or anybody to upset our balance.
- Our body can instantly organize to resist a pull or push trying to upset our balance. Some angles of force are harder to resist.
- When we dance dynamically with another person, even with ourselves alone, it can be easy to lose balance. A misplaced step at any time can threaten balance.
- Stability—balance in movement—is a skill we can make stronger and faster. When we have a strong grounding, we can support not only our own balance but also back up our partner's balance.
- Experience the range of possibilities, from zero to strong resistance to being pushed over. We are always adjusting our body tone to match the needs of each moment.
- Add in a range of speed changes in the pushing pressure.
- In the experiment:
- Be sure to do it from all sides.
- You can do the same thing with a partner.
- Do it with odd angles.
- Do it as a daily life play.
- Do it with each step.