Category Archives: Group class

Perhaps entering stage two of the learning process

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It doesn’t take long learning tango before you become intimately acquainted with what appears to be a universal phenomenon among dancers of all levels: tango highs, and tango lows.

But according to a great diagram created by Steve Morrall of tango school Bramshaw, seen below, I should feel pretty happy to experience either. Both peaks and troughs represent stage two of the learning experience …

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Ochos: aiming to move beyond passable imitations

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A new day and a new class: my first taste of the Tango Space Monday class. I’m not the only person to go to more than one lesson each week, so I was pleased to see a few familiar faces.

As with all Tango Space lessons, it starts with the walk. Federico had me lead him, and I again found that my walk comes together nicely when I really concentrate on all the elements – but doesn’t when I don’t. Oddly enough …

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A two-year journey, or deceptiveness in advertising

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Saturday saw me first at the beginner’s class at Tango Garden, and later at a Tango Space workshop.

The Tango Garden class has a constant influx of first-time students, so often doesn’t progress beyond the walk in practice embrace. This was the case again today …

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One perfect moment … and many imperfect ones

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In my final lesson on Sunday, a 30-minute one with Mariano, I had one perfect moment.

Steph wasn’t happy with my lead. ‘More chest!’ So I stopped. Mentally ran through my checklist for the walk. Feet grounded. Knees soft. Upright posture. Shoulders relaxed. Head up. Push back against the floor. Lead with the chest. Arms doing nothing other than maintaining the embrace. Then I began walking.

Everything came together. ‘Yes!’ said Steph, emphatically. ‘Now you look like a milonguero,’ declared Mariano. Just for that moment, I felt like one too …

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

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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 …

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Sometimes your tango doesn’t suck

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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 …

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Being More Ocho

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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 …

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