Planeo playtime, and back into the tango high!

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Well, that was a quick transition from ‘WTF?‘ to ‘Oh! Fun!’ …

I spent half an hour before work this morning practicing the leader movements for the beginner version, fixing one issue at a time. After about 20 minutes, everything felt right – and I even videoed myself to be sure it looked right. (No, you can’t. We’ve had this conversation before.)

Of course, without a follower, there was no reliable way to be sure, but it gave me sufficient confidence to brave the improver’s class tonight …

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Puzzling over Planeos

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Hang on, that’s a planet. No wonder I was getting confused.

Monday was the first Tango Space class of the week, this time on the Planeo. A movement in which the leader lowers his height to lead a pivot, and the follower drags one foot on the ground in a semi-circle. 

In the version we were doing, I was finding there was rather a lot to think about at once …

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Ballet fitness, musicality, and a truly shared dance

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Ballet fitness class

You’ve got the tango bug pretty bad when a friend talks you into doing a ballet fitness class.

Bridgitta’s argument was that ballet training offers a lot of benefits for dancing tango. It was hard to argue against this given that I’d already booked a ballet taster class next month for exactly that reason.

I’d expected the class to be all women. As it turned out, a third of the class was male. But that third was me …

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Three things

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I tonight did both the beginner’s and improver’s classes again – though the order is reversed on Tuesdays. All four classes taught a different version of a 180-degree turn:

  • Monday beginners: Three rebounds while pivoting
  • Monday improvers: Three back ochos into a pivot, ending with both leader and follower in a cross
  • Tuesday improvers: A cross into a medio-giro
  • Tuesday beginners: A rebound into a medio-giro …

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Changing direction

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Tango Space sends out a weekly email letting us know the theme for that week’s lessons. Usually these reveal the actual figure we’ll be learning, but this week’s email invited us on more of a magical mystery tour! The beginner’s description revealed only that it was on changing direction, while the improver’s class merely added that it would involve a cross … 

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What goes up …

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That was a long tango high! But what goes up …

Today’s lesson with Mariano wasn’t a full-on tango crash. It wasn’t like I couldn’t do anything any more. But I just wasn’t feeling it. My movement felt clumsy. I was getting mixed up with a simple sequence of steps (a new-to-me form of ocho cortado). My pace was off. And I was really inconsistent …

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Dancing the corrections

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Saturday saw me at Tango Garden for some guided practice with Bridgitta in the practica – plus a floorcraft exercise in the milonga.

Bridgitta started the latter by discussing some scenarios – like someone walking backwards into our space – and different ways to handle them. Then we just walked arm-in-arm so we could focus purely on floorcraft, with Bridgitta having the same view of the ronda as me.

I felt somewhat self-conscious about this strange arm-in-arm thing we were doing in a busy milonga, but it was obvious from quite a few knowing and approving smiles that this was a recognised and appreciated technique …

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