Archive for October, 2009

Straight legs? Bent legs?

October 22, 2009

A friend had different teachers tell her different things about the leg – should it be straight? Should it be bent? She, like many others before her was confused.

I’ve done a lot of my own research and listened to many teachers and their opinions and came to the conclusion that one should not be thinking about the legs. Just be natural. Most people learnt to walk since when they were about 1 year old. So they already know how to walk. How come after 1 lesson of tango, a teacher somehow convinces them that they no longer know how to walk?

I think the teachers have it wrong when they say straighten your legs or bend your knees more. The students start to think about the legs, those who get told to straighten it start to lock it and those who get told to bend it really bend it and lose structure.

Look at how you walk normally on the streets, as your stepping foot lands, your leg is quite straight, but not perfectly straight and definitely not locked. Your knees are quite soft, and may be a little bent. If you happened to trip over something, most of the time, your legs react quickly and reposition themselves to stop you from falling over. They can only do this if they’re relaxed. It doesn’t matter whether you tripped while your legs were straight or bent. If your legs were tense and hard, then there’s no chance they’ll save your fall. Your legs need to be alive and ready to react, with spring and structure.

The idea is soft but not weak and strong but not tense. This is the natural way.