A first venture into the Tango Space intermediate class, with cambio de frente

cambio de frente

I’d always shied well away from the Tango Space intermediate class, having seen the end of the Tuesday class a number of times. It always looked like a complex sequence, well in excess of my step memory.

But several friends told me I’d like the Thursday version with Luis, not because the final sequences were any shorter, but because he has a strong technique focus and breaks down the sequences really clearly – though it turned out Pablo and Amy were teaching tonight as Luis was away …

The topic was cambio de frente, which certainly looked interesting when I watched a brief video clip. It was a new sequence to me, but it somehow felt familiar. It was only when Pablo said it that it suddenly clicked: this was a linear version of the giro!

For the follower, it was a side-step, back step, side-step forward step – and for the leader it’s a flattened clockwise giro.

It felt nice. There are some sequences introduced in intermediate classes that I let slip from my step memory immediately afterwards, as I’m never going to use them in a milonga. But this one, where there’s room, I think I might well use.

The room was too small and too crowded to be able to get much practice at it – there were a lot of aborted attempts, and I have huge amounts of work to do on my technique – but I did feel I knew what I was doing. It’s something to try out at a practica, especially as there were at least two followers there who go to it.

More generally, I got to see that the standard in the class didn’t feel particularly different to the improver classes. The same fundamentals were covered, the same reminders issued, the same explanations given, the same issues identified. Provided the steps are broken down clearly, as they were this evening, I do feel I should cope.

And I think the increased variety of movements will help with the ‘everything is connected to everything’ appreciation. One of the ways Pablo resolved the sequence was with a parada and ocho that I realised would be a lovely way to end a conventional giro too. I have to figure out exactly how that would work, but I can do that.

So far, then, so good! If the next couple of weeks work out too, then I will finally consider myself to have officially upgraded.

The label still feels absurd. I’m a one-year beginner, so describing me as an ‘intermediate’ dancer is silly. But I’m not going to worry about inflated tango school labels, only about whether the class feels appropriate for what I’m trying to achieve. We shall see.

Image: Shutterstock

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