Dancing at the first milonga in london after lockdown

Tuesday night saw the first London milonga re-opening after 14 months of lockdown, one day after ‘freedom day’ in England and Wales. I was of course there, despite the 30C temperature!

The evening began with a one-hour mixed-level lesson that turned out to be more mixed-level than expected …

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Clockwise giros, and the long list of technique issues my attempts revealed!

Long-time readers will know that it took me a lot of time and a lot of privates to reach the point where I felt happy with my giros. They remain basic – you won’t find me doing any lapices or sacadas during them – but I’m happy with them for now.

Clockwise giros are another matter. Turning toward the closed side of the embrace feels a lot tricker, and my track-record with them is patchy …

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The healing power of tango, and musical hilarity

I’m currently awaiting a hospital referral for recurring abdominal pain which has left me largely out of action for the past month or so. The unpredictability of when the pain will strike, coupled to tiredness from broken sleep, has made it difficult to commit to anything in advance.

However, when a friend suggested an on-the-day decision to attend the Tango Amistoso class and practica, I decided to give it a go. By the time I got there, I was already questioning the wisdom of this decision …

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Tango lives in the details

I once saw an interview with Carlos Gavito, toward the end of his life, where the interviewer asked him what he was working on at that time. ‘My walk,’ he said.

I guess at a high enough level in any discipline, people still work daily on the fundamental techniques, but I can’t think of many other activities where we consider ourselves beginners for two years and are still having lightbulb moments about the most basic of things …

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Resuming privates, and seeking out complexity!

It’s been quite some time since my last blog post. Lessons obviously had to stop during the stricter lockdown, and it feels great to be able to resume them. Even with regular practice, long gaps in teaching do make me nervous!

But it seems I didn’t have too much to fear. I do have work to do to restore my tango posture, but my fluency seems to be mostly intact …

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A tale of two cities, tango edition

I wrote last month that I was feeling like I’m on a roll now. Things that once would have felt complicated now quickly feel straightforward; things I would once have had to think about now feel obvious; I’m able to think about how I want the follower to move, rather than my own steps; and finding exits to new things is now instinctive …

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Feeling like I’m on a roll now

This evening’s lesson with David began with more technique refinement and texture.

On the former front, for example, David approved of my collecting my feet fully in the side-steps when leading ochos, but wanted me to ensure that I was dragging my feet along the floor, not lifting them …

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Finally dipping a toe into the cross-system waters!

Fede has been trying to get me into the cross-system for what feels like most of my life, and I have always fended him off with crosses, garlic and silver stakes.

But a combination of two things meant that I finally felt ready to dip a small toe into the cross-system waters …

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Adding oomph: the next step in my tango journey

More than a year ago, I wrote a lengthy post about finding my own dance.

Lengthy mostly because there’s a long pre-amble intended only as a personal reference. The relevant part here is this …

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