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.

Tango secrets


Ok, this one, too, might sound a bit like a return to The Crazy Days, with a practica, group class and milonga all in one evening – but it’s not as bad as it sounds.

Tonight’s Tuesday milonga was temporarily relocated to O’Neill’s this week due to redecoration at the normal venue. As there was no separate room for lessons, they were offering an all-levels class which sounded like it might be fun (‘Tango Secrets’). Plus the milonga was likely to be crowded given the smaller space, so I thought the pre-class practica might be a good plan if I hoped to do any walking …

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Sore feet, for all the right reasons

Sore feet

Today was a little like going back in time to my crazy days of tango, when I signed up for every class and workshop on offer, peaking at seven classes and a milonga in one week.

Today was a two-hour practica, a 90-minute intermediate class and a milonga …

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The tango gods are still my friends

Tango gods smiling

I had to work late, meaning I would – shock! – not make it there for the start of the Tuesday Tango Space milonga.

Steph teases me about wanting to be at milongas when they start (she’s very French about these things), but I like to be there early for one of two reasons. One, I love to walk, and at most milongas the floor will be at its emptiest at the start. Two, at the Tuesday milonga, most people there have already done a class so many only stay for the first hour of the milonga – so that’s the main window of opportunity when it comes to dancing with my fellow students …

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Two hilarious tandas at the Spitalfields milonga


I could only make the final hour or so of the Spitalfields milonga, and had four tandas, two of which were hilarious for different reasons.

Regular readers will know that when it’s clear I’m dancing with an experienced follower, I will do my best to create space for her dance via the parada-and-pause approach: lead a parada, pause, relax the embrace and see what happens. Prior to tonight, I would have said there were three levels of response to this – plus a level zero …

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Tonight, lady tango was washing her hair

tango bridge

I’d heard mixed reports about the Tango Bridge milonga. It’s always hard to find a consensus view, as different people have different tastes, and what is great for dancers at one level may be less so for those at a different one.

I’m of the view that I ought to try each central London milonga at least once – and live music tonight seemed the perfect argument for trying this one now …

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Tonight, lady tango smiled on me

lady tango smiled

Sometimes tango can be cruel, when, for no discernible reason, nothing seems to be working. Other times, tango can be very, very kind. Tonight, she bestowed only kindness on me.

I danced exactly four tandas, far less than some nights, but every one of them felt lovely …

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I love vals, but vals workshops don’t seem to be my friend …


The last vals workshop I did, back in June (a time that already feels a lifetime ago), wasn’t a notable success. I’m hopeless at switching between single- and double-time in general, so something that required me to do so quickly and learn a new sequence was never likely to end happily.

I was hoping today’s vals workshop with Juan Martin and Steffi might be a different story; sadly that was not to be …

Continue reading I love vals, but vals workshops don’t seem to be my friend …