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.

Four lessons in a weekend, or ‘Ochos: what was all the fuss about anyway?’

shutterstock_717877786.jpg

My tango torrent commenced with four lessons in a weekend, so this blog post will be a long one …

Lesson 1

The group lesson at Tango Garden again had some complete beginners, so didn’t progress beyond the walk. In most activities, redoing the very basics – starting with changing weight – would be annoying, but in tango there is so much to learn and refine even in something as simple as changing weight …

Continue reading Four lessons in a weekend, or ‘Ochos: what was all the fuss about anyway?’

Sometimes your tango doesn’t suck

shutterstock_112203125.jpg

Today was the beginner’s group lesson at Tango Garden. It was supposed to be on the ocho, but turned out not to be as there were several people there for their very first lesson, so we instead just did the walk. But practicing the walk with a partner never hurts, and it was actually a great confidence boost to successfully lead two first timers.

Steph, Brigitta and I went back later for the milonga. The plan was they would dance in the main room, and I would occasionally drag them into the practice room.

Steph had other ideas, and I found myself dancing one tanda in the milonga …

Continue reading Sometimes your tango doesn’t suck

An Official Declaration

shutterstock_96192980.jpg

When I started writing this blog post, this was my original opening:

I look forward to the time when I can stop writing about bloody ochos. I’m hoping this will be at some point within my lifetime. It is, however, not yet.

By the end of it, I’d realised that, actually, it is. This is, despite appearances, not another damn blog post about that damn ocho …

Continue reading An Official Declaration

All my life’s a circle

shutterstock_1017550231

I have a one-thing-at-a-time mentality when it comes to, well, most things, actually. When it comes to learning tango, my theory was to stick with one figure until I felt I had a reasonably good beginner’s version of it – and only then move on to something else.

But in line with my determination to ‘be more ocho,’ instead of insisting doggedly that we stick to the ocho, I left it to Mariano to decide how we spent today’s lesson. Which turned out to be a practical demonstration of how, in tango, everything is connected to everything else …

Continue reading All my life’s a circle

Being More Ocho

shutterstock_408247270

Another Saturday, another beginner’s group lesson at Tango Garden. Except today, a family emergency meant the teacher was unavailable. What was available was a class for ‘beginners+,’ a small but significant suffix I’d most definitely not yet earned.

But I was there, and Maral and Mariano seemed confident no-one would die. The goal, for those legitimately in possession of a plus sign, was a sequence of steps I couldn’t even hope to accurately describe, let alone imitate. Feet flashed and bodies whirled. It looked like an Olympic dressage event while I’d gone there for a seaside donkey ride …

Continue reading Being More Ocho

Tango crash

shutterstock_615022052

I throw myself into things. Between lessons, daily practice … books … blogs … videos. Why Tango. Tango & Chaos. Twelve Minutes of Love.

They give me a feel for the passion and romance. But also show me a world so far removed from my seven-lessons-in walk that it seems a crazy, absurd, impossible idea that I could ever aspire to set foot in a milonga in Buenos Aires, that year-away-goal designed to inspire and propel me forward …

Continue reading Tango crash