Category Archives: Group class

Three things

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I tonight did both the beginner’s and improver’s classes again – though the order is reversed on Tuesdays. All four classes taught a different version of a 180-degree turn:

  • Monday beginners: Three rebounds while pivoting
  • Monday improvers: Three back ochos into a pivot, ending with both leader and follower in a cross
  • Tuesday improvers: A cross into a medio-giro
  • Tuesday beginners: A rebound into a medio-giro …

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Changing direction

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Tango Space sends out a weekly email letting us know the theme for that week’s lessons. Usually these reveal the actual figure we’ll be learning, but this week’s email invited us on more of a magical mystery tour! The beginner’s description revealed only that it was on changing direction, while the improver’s class merely added that it would involve a cross … 

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Awarding myself achievement points for three things

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Tonight was the second Tango Space class of the week, again on the medio-giro. In hindsight, I should have gone to the improver’s class rather than the beginner’s one, as that would have further developed my skills; it just didn’t occur to me in time.

But the beginner’s class was still great to get lots of practice, and in a rather crowded room that included adjusting the size and angle to suit the available space, so that was really useful …

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A more successful variation

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Regular readers may remember that the Monday Tango Space classes have a beginner’s class, a 30-minute practica and then an improver’s class. The topic is the same for both beginners and improvers – the latter doing a ‘variation’ on the theme.

You may also recall me deciding last week to stay on for the improver’s class, with what might best be described as mixed results

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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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