Going with the flow

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Last lesson with Mariano, we just briefly tried the medio giro at the end. Not enough to get a feel for it, but just a taster. So I was rather expecting to pick up this evening where we left off, but no, Mariano and Steph decided we could dive straight into the full giro.

Amazingly, they were right …

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Perhaps entering stage two of the learning process

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It doesn’t take long learning tango before you become intimately acquainted with what appears to be a universal phenomenon among dancers of all levels: tango highs, and tango lows.

But according to a great diagram created by Steve Morrall of tango school Bramshaw, seen below, I should feel pretty happy to experience either. Both peaks and troughs represent stage two of the learning experience …

Continue reading Perhaps entering stage two of the learning process

Ochos: aiming to move beyond passable imitations

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A new day and a new class: my first taste of the Tango Space Monday class. I’m not the only person to go to more than one lesson each week, so I was pleased to see a few familiar faces.

As with all Tango Space lessons, it starts with the walk. Federico had me lead him, and I again found that my walk comes together nicely when I really concentrate on all the elements – but doesn’t when I don’t. Oddly enough …

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A two-year journey, or deceptiveness in advertising

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Saturday saw me first at the beginner’s class at Tango Garden, and later at a Tango Space workshop.

The Tango Garden class has a constant influx of first-time students, so often doesn’t progress beyond the walk in practice embrace. This was the case again today …

Continue reading A two-year journey, or deceptiveness in advertising

It’s pivot playtime

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I’d made one claim, and Steph and Mariano had made another. Mine was that the multiple lessons spent struggling to do an ocho were actually learning the principle of leading pivots. Theirs was that, once one pivot clicked, others would prove massively easier to learn.

The evidence so far is that both claims are justified …

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One perfect moment … and many imperfect ones

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In my final lesson on Sunday, a 30-minute one with Mariano, I had one perfect moment.

Steph wasn’t happy with my lead. ‘More chest!’ So I stopped. Mentally ran through my checklist for the walk. Feet grounded. Knees soft. Upright posture. Shoulders relaxed. Head up. Push back against the floor. Lead with the chest. Arms doing nothing other than maintaining the embrace. Then I began walking.

Everything came together. ‘Yes!’ said Steph, emphatically. ‘Now you look like a milonguero,’ declared Mariano. Just for that moment, I felt like one too …

Continue reading One perfect moment … and many imperfect ones

Four lessons in a weekend, or ‘Ochos: what was all the fuss about anyway?’

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My tango torrent commenced with four lessons in a weekend, so this blog post will be a long one …

Lesson 1

The group lesson at Tango Garden again had some complete beginners, so didn’t progress beyond the walk. In most activities, redoing the very basics – starting with changing weight – would be annoying, but in tango there is so much to learn and refine even in something as simple as changing weight …

Continue reading Four lessons in a weekend, or ‘Ochos: what was all the fuss about anyway?’

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