All posts by Ben Lovejoy

EU Editor of 9to5Mac. Sometime novelist. Likes words, tech, photographs, bicycles, drones, places that are London, places that aren't London.

The practicality and poetry of the cabeceo: Where the dance begins

There’s a magic to the cabeceo. To make eye contact across a room, with a woman I’ve never met before, whose name I do not know, whose language I may not speak, and be able to invite her to dance – and have my invitation accepted – without a single word being exchanged.

Cabeceo is, for me, one of the most beautiful things about tango. I love it for its practicality, but also for its poetry. For me, it’s the first step in the dance …

Continue reading The practicality and poetry of the cabeceo: Where the dance begins

Wonderful DJ, and more following dividends, at El Boliche

When I don’t have the energy for 5-6 hours of dancing, my approach is to go later in the evening. Generally the music gets more lyrical as the evening goes on, and as I appear physically incapable of leaving a milonga before the end, this gives me 2-3 hours of dance.

Arriving at El Boliche around 10pm felt a little like a return to BsAs timings …

Continue reading Wonderful DJ, and more following dividends, at El Boliche

An amazing leading dividend from just two lessons as a follower

While leading and following are two very different mindsets, the technique is the same – just that followers need more of it at any given level.

I knew from past experience that following is a very powerful tool for improving my lead, but I really couldn’t believe the extent to which this paid off after just two (new) following lessons …

Continue reading An amazing leading dividend from just two lessons as a follower

A time to lead, a time to follow

Six weeks ago, I said I was pausing my privates while I figured out my next step. A few days after that, I mulled over the possibility of learning to follow – at least, to some degree.

Sure, I’ve taken a few lessons as a follower, but those have always been geared to helping my lead, rather than actually focusing on following. But I’ve decided it’s now time to have a real go at the opposite (and, I suspect, more challenging) role …

Continue reading A time to lead, a time to follow

If I go all the way to Devon, you can bet there’s a good reason for it!

No offence to Devon; it’s a pretty part of the world. But given that I could travel to many European cities in the same time and for the same money, I wouldn’t be heading there without a very good reason. The Feast tango festival was that very good reason.

I first attended The Feast in December, and fell head-over-heels in love with it …

Continue reading If I go all the way to Devon, you can bet there’s a good reason for it!

The only leader is the music: A joyful Feast

Felipe Martinez recently talked about the difference between danceable music and music which moves you, literally and figuratively. I think that’s a good way of describing what is, to me, the difference between rhythmic and lyrical tango.

I’d expected the work I was doing on double-time to increase my enjoyment of rhythmic music. It has, but to my surprise, that wasn’t the biggest benefit …

Continue reading The only leader is the music: A joyful Feast

A pause in my privates, and thinking about where I go from here

This is a question I first asked myself so long ago that I can’t even find the blog post to link to: How far do I want to go in my tango journey?

Dancing a lot less than I was, I was finding that my weekly privates (alternating between Emma and Diego) were too much: I simply wasn’t doing enough dancing to put the work into practice in milongas …

Continue reading A pause in my privates, and thinking about where I go from here

Time for double-time: A very delayed post

Despite working independently, Laura and Diego somehow ganged up on me while I was in BsAs back in March. There have been two things I’ve always viewed with terror in tango: cross-system, and double-time.

I’d dipped a toe in the cross-system waters, though always aimed to return to the safety of parallel system at the earliest opportunity. But the occasional rebound aside, I’d still mostly kept double-time at a safe distance …

Continue reading Time for double-time: A very delayed post

Not just another grumble about the F word

I debated whether to write this post. Floorcraft is a perennial topic, and the view from friends who’ve been in London tango far longer than I have is that nothing is going to change, so there’s not a lot of point in yet another discussion about it.

But at the same time, it is without question one of the biggest differences between tango in Buenos Aires, and that of London – and during my recent month-long stay in Argentina, I came to see the topic in a whole new light …

Continue reading Not just another grumble about the F word

Bringing a little Buenos Aires back to London with me

Last time when I returned home from BsAs, I found myself wishing that London tango were more like, well, Argentine tango. I mean, I looked forward to dancing with friends and favourite partners, of course. But I felt the contrast keenly in a number of ways.

This time too. The difference was deciding that, while there are factors I can’t control, there are others that I can – whether directly or indirectly …

Continue reading Bringing a little Buenos Aires back to London with me