Category Archives: Group class

Momentum in lead and follow


I signed-up for an interesting-looking workshop with a teacher about whom Steph seemed enthusiastic. I hadn’t made the connection, but this turned out to be because the teacher, Veronica Toumanova, was the author of Why Tango – and Steph knew I’d enjoyed the book.

The workshop was called Using momentum to lead and follow, and it started well …

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Musicality workshop #1 of 4: Rhythm, melody & bridge


It’s amazing how far being able to walk to the beat and the phrase will get you in your very early days in tango. I struggled with pretty much everything else, but I could land on the beat, and I could do a weight-change to mark the end of a phrase.

It was this, not any aspect of my technique, which led to experienced dancers giving me that famous ‘you’re going to be a really nice dancer‘ backhanded compliment …

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One lesson and four delicious tandas

delicious tandas

Tuesday was the second improver class of the week, with more calesitas. I really like the balance of the Monday and Tuesday classes: the Monday one is always more complex but introduces me to new things, while the Tuesday one is simpler and focuses more on technique.

Tonight, we both entered and exited the calesita via ochos. You could exit with either a front or back ocho. The back seemed to work best when I had enough momentum, while the front was plan B for when things were slower …

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Many calesitas, and two volcadas


I enjoyed tonight’s Tango Space classes a lot – in large part, I realised, because half the class are now friends. So, at best, we’re going to help each other figure it out; at worst, we’re going to laugh at our failures. Tonight was a mix of the two!

The beginner lesson was on the calesita. The improver class then introduced a couple of sequences that could follow a calesita: the first was a cross-system walk into a cross with a parada and forward ocho to exit, while the second was a volcada … 

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Back on form!


This week had looked like a solid plan for refining my ocho technique: a 90-minute private on Sunday, beginner and improver lessons on Monday, and improver lesson on Tuesday.

As things turned out, I had to work on Monday evening, so lost those two lessons. Still, I practiced in front of the mirror and it did seem like my side-steps were to the side, I wasn’t collapsing my inside shoulder to any notable degree, and I was giving a nice (if virtual) hand-push for the pivot. All that remained to be seen was whether this was a solo practice fiction or whether it manifested itself with a partner …

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My delusions of competence left the building

left the building

You know I was saying I was enjoying my delusions of competence, and expecting to continue to do so until Sunday? Yeah, not so much …

In a group class today, my delusions left the building. It was doubly frustrating, as it was a class I was really looking forward to: Understanding the Vals: rhythm and phrasing – how to keep it simple but ‘vals’ to it

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Properly entering the delusional phase


I talked before about the delusional phase most tango dancers get to enjoy.

In conversation among experienced dancers, someone said most people make it through the first couple of years of tango thanks to a healthy dose of self-delusion. By the time they realise they weren’t anything like as good as they thought they were, they are over the hump – or at least, too far in to escape.

I was complaining that having an advanced tango dancer as a life-partner meant that I never got to enjoy that myself …

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