MILONGUERAS: Tall vs. other – Part 1
To begin with, your height is a biological fact that cannot be changed. It may have an influence on dancing and/or life itself.
Many people feel superior or inferior depending on their height but it is really related to self-esteem. But nevertheless, it is still an important issue for society.
In relationships, in jobs, and in decision making. Great height is also associated with greatness and dominance.
In these anecdotes maybe you feel identified or remember a friend who has gone through these experiences.
In elementary school I (Analía) was always first or second in line; every day, with my classmate behind me, we measured each other to see if we had grown a little and to know who was first or second in line that day (heh!).
Growing only 1 cm and feeling taller than her made me very happy… In reality, we were always the same, just my mind imagined it.
And although my height was never a serious problem, the fact of always being exposed in front and opening the way for the others generated pressure on me since my face was the first one to be seen, as well as the taller girl who felt giant at the end of the line, today I tell you this as a nice anecdote to introduce us to the subject: the heights in our dance part 1.
Those who already know me know that I am not one to hide, but many times I wanted to be in the back, I can’t deny it heh.
When my passion for tango began, one of the requirements of the auditions for the shows was height.
Little question: Height? Height? ………………….
To put it bluntly: I was not selected. With the heels, I always added 10 cm more to my height in the description; but of course, there were many taller girls, and that could not be camouflaged. They were looking for tall dancers.
Auditions were quite an issue when you had to write how tall you were.
Finally, and luckily, time passed and it was no longer a condition, and the shows with different heights began. Many times it depended on the profile of the dancer they were looking for and the style. Even the clothes that were already available in the place and/or show.
In the milongas (social dance) this is not a hindrance, more variety of heights is better. There is something for everyone.
To understand where this preconception comes from, you have to travel back in time: since when did women dare to show their legs more?
In the 1930s, liberation came with the introduction of swimwear that allowed women to show off more of their legs; however, sometimes the police made sure that no one showed too much, so as not to offend the crowds. Already in the ’50s, famous actresses showed more legs, and obviously, the most daring women began to copy them.
Just as in life, the same thing began to happen in dance: first, the costumes were long, and little by little, for more comfort and as everything evolved, the legs began to show more and more. In tango, the legs are fundamental pieces to be elegant.
It doesn’t matter the size and the aesthetics, but how you move them and show them off.
Now, when it comes to improvising in a milonga, the reality is that the height and length of the legs don’t matter too much; however, there are people who do care.
If you have been reading me for a while, you will know that I am very curious, and I pay a lot of attention to the women’s legs, both in my classes and in the milongas; I like to observe the different styles that pass dancing in front of me, and that, consequently, makes me see if they are making good use of their physical conditions.
I don’t think that being tall has more benefits than being shorter, but it will be different and unique.
I tell you a short story of a student who felt insecure because she has long legs.
Maria is tall, long-legged, and beautiful, yet she has a hard time responding to a long stride because she feels she is too tall and gets disconnected if she stretches her leg too far. In addition, she looks for low heels so as not to appear taller, and then she shrinks. This causes her to be more concerned about liking the leader than herself. It is called FEAR and INSECURITY.
If you are tall, the good thing is that your step will come out naturally and even more if you are marked with a long step, by projecting and stretching your legs, you will already be responding easily to the leader’s mark, who determines the length of the steps.
«Dance at your height, it will be a pleasure and the others will chase it».
I advise you to practice some technical details to control the flexion because it is not exact, you have to be comfortable, not too much, not too much, not too much. It depends on the step, the sequence. The articulation of the knee will make you more flexible. Each woman has a different pace.
On the other hand, if you are from my team, from another height, you will have to focus on your technique from another point of view, part 2 is coming.
The first thing I learned… «Long step that short step is already out» and I continue to deepen.
The lunge is going to be a little bit stronger to move more. It all depends on the mark and there our reaction. We can not guess but are ready for different proposals.
Ready for everything and everyone.
Sometimes we will find that we are asked to dance milongueros who are much taller or shorter than us. As the embrace is flexible, you will be able to adapt to different moments (it is not a closed and/or open obligation).
You may not feel the same comfort in the embrace as if it is your height. But no one is stopping you from getting out there. Go ahead and give it a try.
The important thing, in any case, is that you learn to love your height and leg length. That will make you feel more confident, and you’ll be able to enjoy your dancing much more. Getting to move naturally.
PS: If you are team Centurion, wait for the next article. Part II is full of curious information for you.
Recommended movie on Netflix… I loved watching it.