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 …

Continue reading The healing power of tango, and musical hilarity

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 …

Continue reading Tango lives in the details

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 …

Continue reading Resuming privates, and seeking out complexity!

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 …

Continue reading A tale of two cities, tango edition

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 …

Continue reading Feeling like I’m on a roll now

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 …

Continue reading Finally dipping a toe into the cross-system waters!

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 …

Continue reading Adding oomph: the next step in my tango journey

Ganchos – something I swore I would never learn

Many tango moons ago, Steph and friends commented on ‘men who gancho,’ their less than complimentary term for sleazy men who lead a lot of ganchos and whose motivation does not appear to be to express the music.

They didn’t seem overly fond of the movement anyway, so I decided that was something I needn’t bother learning (though I have accidentally led them). But two things changed …

Continue reading Ganchos – something I swore I would never learn

The luxury of two privates in three days: A more reliable colgada lead

There’s a limit to how much I can take in at one time. With Fede and Julia, 90 minutes is usually about right: an hour can feel a bit rushed, while two hours causes my brain to melt.

But having that private on the Saturday, and another with David on the Monday, meant that we were able to work further on the colgada – and figure out the difference between getting the outward tension 50% of the time and most of the time …

Continue reading The luxury of two privates in three days: A more reliable colgada lead

Resuming privates with Fede and Julia, and diving into colgadas

With Fede and Julia now back from Greece, I was able to resume my privates with them. Thankfully they could see progress rather than deterioration in my dance!

I know I said I wasn’t looking to learn new figures, but I am looking to expand my understanding of the building blocks of tango movements, and having been introduced to one off-axis movement in the form of the volcada, it made sense to me to understand its converse, the colgada …

Continue reading Resuming privates with Fede and Julia, and diving into colgadas
%d bloggers like this: