Category Archives: Milonga

Playing tango dodgems at the Clore Ballroom

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The Royal Festival Hall regularly offers free social dances in the Clore Ballroom, a wonderful open space at the back of Level 2. Tango with a live orchestra takes place every year on 27th December.

It all sounds delightfully romantic. A festive time of the year, an amazing location, a fantastic live band, lots of friendly people. And it is all of those things …

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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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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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Five lessons and a milonga

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Curiosity and obsession …

I get curious about anything and everything. I flirt with understanding everything from the construction of modern skyscrapers to how DLR trains know where they are. But every now and then, I take an intellectual lover.

My bookmarks were packed full of articles on everything from floor-craft to musicality. Our cleaner was bemused by my practicing my walk in my home office before work. YouTube had virtually stopped recommending anything that wasn’t a tango video. From flirtatious glance to tango leaving her toothbrush in my bathroom had taken but a few weeks …

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