This was the tanda I took my glasses off for. I don't particularly like dancing in glasses, I'll admit, and I largely have been doing so recently because I haven't gotten around to getting new contacts. Back in the day, I'd take my glasses off for just about any partner (usually resulting in a post dance-haze grope about the floor as I desperately attempted to relocate them), but I've realized that having that little facial force field has some advantages at times.
Posture in tango is a pretty important thing for me. It, like any technical element, cannot make dancing, but its absence can certainly derail dancing. As spiritual as we wish to wax about dance, at the end of the day the thing that distinguishes it from meditating, listening, thinking, philosophizing, is that it is an extremely physical act. So oddly enough, the physical matters in every detail.
I have two postural pet peeves, both of which I may lapse into from time to time, making my reaction to the visual effect more self-consciously virulent.
The first, I call Duck Butt - where the dancer allows her pelvis to roll out, giving her a bustle effect, scrunching the muscles in the lower back and creating a round extrusion of the abs that my pilates teacher likes to call breadloafing. The effect reminds me of cartoon ducks when they are standing... it's problematic because it disengages the core, breaks up the axis (making the follow heavier and less reactive to energy), and can hurt the lower back.
|Credit to Rinus Bakker an awesome G+ Circle Denizen|
|And may make you appear depressed|
Anyways, Turtle Back can be of varying severity. I tend to keep a straight enough back these days,. but I also have a tendency to finish out that roundness with my neck. I'm very aware of it, because i have a tendency to push my neck forward when I'm engaging with other people - even worse, years of sitting in orchestra audiences where outright dancing is discouraged has given me a small tendency for head-bopping. It's kind of cute to watch me bopping along like a drunk puppy to a perky swing, but in a close dance like tango bopping can become bashing pretty quickly. It was worse when I first began dancing, because I am quite tall even before adding the 4 inch heels. When I began, I would compensate by bending my knees, compressing my spine and - well - hunching. I advise against this as
|Cave Man tango!|
Adding the close embrace gives even more possibilities for bizarre neck strains. When I first went to Buenos Aires, a friend of a friend who took it upon himself to adopt me decided that my heavy-head was a a tango emergency requiring intervention. It was common in the community for people to take the head-to-head nature of tango a bit far, until the contact was a high pressure neck wrestling exercise. I would enter into embrace, and lean my head to the right, locking heads with my lead. I could literally collapse my neck muscles as if I were taking a nap on my lead's face. Apparently, this is poor form! Who knew?
|Dance Partners may be dreamy, but I'm still not allowed to|
drool when I pass out on their shoulders.
So, while I don't necessarily mind the face to face contact common in tango, I don't particularly find it necessary and sometimes find it to distracting. Contact is essential, but when the pressure is such that one feels like she's getting a face lead, this really might be a time to back off. Random roaming hand grips and crazy arms are about as much static I can take in a connection! Glasses can render this sort of aggressive head-butting moot, because they are pointy and sharp and extrude from a portion of my face that might ordinarily make contact.
I'm pretty amazed at how many leads will still try to make head contact despite the glasses, often nuzzling their heads into mine at a certain point in the music, like a cat stimulating his scent glands across my forehead. I guess I should be grateful my leads try to mark my with head butts instead of spraying me - which is not to say that sometimes a particularly heavy cologne doesn't do just as much spray-wise. Still, it's uncomfortable, it is definitely not something that I have invited in any fashion, and it often bends and smudges my glasses. Sometimes, this will be accompanied by a tighter embrace, which I suspect is meant to emulate intimacy and passion, but can sometimes feel more like a wrestling pose (you WILL put your head to mine, damnit! Now hold still while I burrow into your skull!). So perhaps what I'm saying is that I need spiked glasses to don for the particularly invasive leads.