Finally feeling able to re-introduce giros to my dance

giro

Having called in Julia and Federico to bump my ochos up to a whole new level, and sort out my cross, it was time to tackle my nemesis: the giro.

With ochos, I had a workable open embrace version. They were clear, and I felt I could easily lead them to the music. Things were trickier in close embrace, and there was plenty of scope to improve my technique, but it was a decent starting-point.

With giros, I didn’t really feel like I had that much …

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My trainee tanguero clothing tips for men

wardrobe

A recent wardrobe re-organisation reveals that a full 25% of my shirts and trousers are Designated Tango Clothing.

Not actual tango clothing – that would feel a bit pretentious at my stage of the game – but clothing almost exclusively used for tango. This includes an unlikely mix of expensive shirts and cheap trousers …

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Mild facial aphasia, or why you have to introduce yourself to me multiple times

mild facial aphasia

As some of you will know, I suffer from mild facial aphasia, also known as partial prosopagnosia. Since tango people are often curious about it when I mention it, I thought I’d write a brief primer …

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When dancing in a pub is an achievement rather than an embarrassment

Dancing in a pub

Tonight was the monthly Tango Space drinks, when students and teachers get together to drink wine, talk tango and– Well, ok, we pretty much just drink wine and talk tango.

The pub plays a pretty eclectic selection of music, but I’d never before heard any tango music. On this occasion, however, it was playing something that sounded like a pretty convincing impression of a milonga …

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Musicality workshop #3 of 4: The delightfully mundane secret to a collaborative dance!

collaborative dance

Tonight’s musicality class was all about collaborative dance: Response to our partner. To agree, to change, to add.

To me, the transition from me leading everything to a collaborative dance is one of the most exciting prospects. I’d previously seen this as a very advanced skill, one where I’d have to develop my own dance skills to a high level first, but Diego Bado had given me a different perspective on it. Paraphrasing him from a conversation we had …

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Actitude, Pugliese and following the follower

following the follower

I realised today there’s quite a difference in musicality between what I do in solo practice at home with Mrs Mop, and what I do in milongas. Part of that is entirely understandable: at home, there are few demands on my attention dollar. I normally decide in advance what types of movement I’ll be practicing, so I can spend 50 cents each on technique and musical interpretation.

In a milonga, of course, my partner and the navigation need a lot of my attention, and usually I’m deciding on the fly what movements to lead, but there’s another factor …

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Dropping the beginner class, and getting some bonus experience as a follower

levels

Many years ago, I did an introductory scuba diving course. Known as the PADI Open Water Diver course, it took four days, and comprised about a day’s theory, some swimming pool exercises and then a couple of days of diving. Do that, and you emerge as a certified diver.

Want to become an Advanced Open Water Diver? Certainly: go on to do one deep dive (30m), one navigation dive (following a compass to swim in a triangle) and three other ‘adventure’ dives (eg. a night dive), and suddenly I’m an ‘advanced’ diver – with all of eight days in the water.

Tango gradings aren’t quite that bad, but schools definitely use inflated levels designed to flatter the student …

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