6255  Leading with the Chest vs Arms


Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2009 10:56:22 -0500
From: Michael <tangomaniac@cavtel.net>
Subject: [Tango-L] Nomenclature: Leading with the Chest vs Arms

I've read the heated discussions about leading with the chest vs arms.
In the movie "Cool Hand Luke" which takes place at a prison in the
South, Luke upsets the prison warden who strikes him to the ground and
says "What we have here is a failure to communicate" and this failure
causes flames. I offer an alternative. A good leader doesn't lead
exclusively with his chest NOR his arms but with his FRAME. This is
the area above his waist, so I essentially lead with my chest AND my

When I read that a man leads with arms, my interpretation is he leads
ONLY with his arms. This means he is pulling or pushing the woman and
his arms are moving independently of his upper body, instead of in
concert with the rest of his upper body.

My left arm wasn't acting as part of my frame in the beginning. My
chest would lead the woman into a molinete to my left. My left arm
didn't rotate with my shoulders and acted as a gate. (I won't go into
how I painfully learned to get my left arm to become part of my

When a woman complains of being pulled and pushed, it means she is
lead SOLELY by the man's arms.

I can only dance in close embrace so that my arms and chest move as
part of my frame. My frame envelops the woman like a frame around a
painting or a seat belt to hold a person snugly in a car.

At times, I wonder if posters are talking about the same thing, just
using different terms that throw others off track.

Michael Ditkoff
Washington, DC
Atlanta Tango Festival in March followed by BA in April

I'd rather be dancing Argentine Tango

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