A trip to The Light, a milonga way above my pay-grade

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If Tango Terra and Los Angelitos are the milongas that make me feel like a grown-up, The Light is the one that made me feel like a toddler! It was the highest level dancing I’ve ever seen in London. 

I danced exactly three tandas, all with the same friend. The rest of the time, I just watched …

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Mmmm … Tango Terra! And a more streamlined approach to the blog. Maybe.

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I love that milonga so much.

Emerging after four hours of almost non-stop blissful dancing, you feel like it’s about 2am. But it’s still 8pm, and even allowing the obligatory blog post and time needed for the buzz to wear off, you can still be in bed at a civilised hour …

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Something else clicked: a way to encourage weight-sharing

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Sometimes lessons can pay unexpected dividends some time later. There can be things I didn’t really grasp at the time, which later make sense. Or things I thought were minor points, which subsequently reveal themselves to be far more important.

There was one of the latter in a private with Maeve. Indeed, I didn’t even include it in the blog post at the time, as it just felt like a reminder of something I already knew …

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Returning to the scene of the crime, at Tango Garden

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It was on 28th October 2018 that I first ‘danced’ in a milonga at Tango Garden, after a grand total of five lessons, with the courage fostered by not knowing what I didn’t know.

Some fifteen months later, I figured the various broken limbs would have healed, and the building been repaired, so decided to pay a return visit for the 7th anniversary of the popular Saturday afternoon milonga …

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A minor mystery solved, and a bit of Tango Terror

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The theme of this week’s Tango Space intermediate class was advertised as a cross-system sequence. This would usually be enough to send me running for the hills but for two things …

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Suspensions in slow dance

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The emergence of my half-speed dance – one step every two beats – has been my single biggest breakthrough in tango. It’s given my dance a distinctive feel, and given me much-needed time to decide how best to interpret what I’m hearing, and to focus on technique to a far greater degree than I find possible at a faster speed.

I’m pretty sure a lot of the miradas I’ve received from new followers have been as a result of seeing that slow-motion dance, and either liking it from a previous experience with another leader, or simply liking the look of it …

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Deliberately taking one step back to get two steps forward

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There’s a Catch-22 with my plan to expand my core vocabulary. The stuff I’m now adding in to milongas feels less fluid, so I’m reluctant to interrupt the flow of the dance by using them too often – but unless I use them more often, they won’t feel more fluid.

That feels like a particular dilemma when I feel like smoothness and musicality are what I’ve got going for me right now as a tango dancer; if I put those at risk, I have nothing …

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