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.

Giros, Pugliese and Practice

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After last night’s drunk tango, I had the kind of hangover commensurate with the amount of wine consumed. Which made for a somewhat more challenging two-hour lesson this afternoon than would otherwise have been the case.

In principle, we were just working on technique, and I’d asked Maeve to work with me on two things: improving my dissociation in ochos, and aiming for some fluidity in giros. However, in my hungover state, the lesson included some remedial material too …

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Achievement unlocked: drunk tango

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I’ve never drunk alcohol at a milonga, partly because wine-breath doesn’t seem a great idea in a tango embrace, and partly because I have a finite quantity of coordination available even when stone cold sober.

But we had dinner with a couple of good friends last night, one of whom was a follower who hadn’t danced for a long time. So after way more wine than is reasonable between four people, she and I danced …

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Variations …

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This week’s Tango Space class theme is the forward ocho. Although I have spent a … certain amount of time working on ochos, it was going to provide me with one thing I’ve consistently wanted: practice at pivots. I diarised two classes this week: Monday and Thursday.

Getting some practice really was great. It was a luxury to be doing something where I didn’t have to think about the logistics but could just focus on technique. I was comfortable enough that I was able to play around with the both speed and size of the ochos, and to begin to get a sense of the flexibility available in expressing quite different things with the same core movements …

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The power of pausing, the three rhythms of tango – and fun!

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Tonight was the monthly Tango Space workshop, this one on the three rhythms of tango: tango, vals and milonga. For those new to tango, see this backlink.

I was already familiar with the theory, and a little of the practice. But it was great to get some concrete tips and to have an opportunity to try to put them into practice in a milonga environment; when the workshops are as busy as tonight, you effectively get a crowded milonga for the exercises …

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Learning in the street, and the cross

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Understanding the physics of the tango walk

Walking to tonight’s Tango Space lesson, it occurred to me that I could use ordinary walking as practice. Not a full-on tango walk through Waterloo (though I have been known to do that on an empty DLR platform, which I’m sure amused someone on the other end of a CCTV feed), but just practicing really pushing into the ground. And in doing so, I solved a mystery that had been bugging me for a while.

The first time I ever really got that part of the walk right, Steph could instantly feel it, and Mariano could immediately see it. Yet I couldn’t figure out how that could be. How could something that happened purely inside my own body be not only felt but seen … ?

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Enter the parada (with a glimpse of sacada in the distance)

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When I started this blog, I was mostly doing it as a diary for myself. I figured a few tango friends might enjoy reading it, hence making it a blog. It’s much the same reasoning as the Journeys section of my website: mostly I enjoy reliving the experiences, and interested friends effectively view it as a kind of extended Facebook post.

So I’ve been surprised to see from the logs that the blog gets over a thousand visits a month. I think readers fall into one of four categories …

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