Category Archives: Outdoors

From tango lesson to feeling like a tango god in three easy steps

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Most of my lessons are very technique-focused. The great thing about those is that a small detail can make a massive difference to the experience you give to a follower. The downside, however, is that because you’re always revisiting the basics, it can make you feel like you’re starting all over again.

Today, I went from feeling like starting again from first principles to feeling like a tango god …

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Patio de Tango, La Viruta and a magical evening at Salon Canning

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You’ll have to excuse the blobby photos from milongas. I’m really trying not to take photos this trip. Instead, I’m shooting very short video clips with my phone, and will then edit them into maybe a 5-10 minute overview of the whole trip. This means most of my photos are in fact screengrabs from video, thus not the greatest quality.

The daytime part of the blog is rather brief. We had breakfast in bed, then I lazed (apart from accidentally writing a blog post) while Steph went shoe-shopping for some very nice women’s leading shoes before visiting her Spanish teacher.

I made up for this laziness in the evening, managing one-and-a-bit classes and three milongas …

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Two hilarious tandas at the Spitalfields milonga

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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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Tango on the Thames tangasms, with giros and counter-giros – and accidental ganchos

Tango on the Thames

As with Spitalfields, I’d first seen Tango on the Thames long before I danced; stood and watched for a while, and thought of it as one of those delightfully eccentric English things done by people who aren’t me.

It was an incredibly hot day, 32C ambient, and more in the sun. We estimated when the sun would have dropped beneath the building line and turned up at around 7.15pm, which was perfect timing …

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Mad dogs and Englishmen …

spitalfields tango

There is something special about dancing outdoors. My introduction to the art had been in a Hyde Park bandstand in April, followed by Spitalfields in May. Another visit to the latter yesterday maintained my newly-established ‘one outdoor milonga per month’ tradition.

It was a very warm day, with temperatures in the 24-26C range, but at least there was a bit of a breeze with it …

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Venturing once more into the great outdoors

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After the Hyde Park bandstand milonga, Sunday provided another opportunity to dance outdoors. Rene and Hiba from Tango Fever organise Tango@Spitalfields, held in the Amphitheatre Canopy outside Patisserie Valerie.

It felt strange to be going there to dance: I’d passed several of these milongas in my pre-tango days, and always thought of them as a really fun idea. I never imagined I would one day be participating!

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Dancing in three square feet in Hyde Park

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Warren Edwardes runs regular free milongas in the bandstand in Hyde Park. These are semi-official: held with permission, but without actually hiring the bandstand, so they rely on other park users cooperating. Normally, they also wouldn’t have the lighting, but the Royal Parks people kindly switched them on.

The space is small, and tonight was popular, so things were absolutely packed. Steph said it was almost like a Buenos Aires milonga. All of which left each couple dancing in about three square feet, leaving room for precisely one step forward and one side-step …

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