Category Archives: Private lesson

A Diego-engineered turn, and no wonder my barrida was messy!

engineered turn

There’s a turn I saw once in a Pablo and Anne video and which I’ve seen several times in milongas, and it always struck me as one I ought to learn as it had three characteristics I liked.

First, it looked like it would feel really nice for the follower. Second, it seemed a very practical tool for a milonga, as it allowed a significant turn in a relatively small space. Third, it seemed rather simple. Two of these things turned out to be true …

Continue reading A Diego-engineered turn, and no wonder my barrida was messy!

Engineering my giro technique, and a great way to end them

giros

My tango engineer, Diego Bado, was back in town, and I had the first of two privates with him today. We started by just dancing so he could give me his current assessment of where my focus should be, and after that we would work on my giro technique.

He complimented me on my musicality, but then we were straight into the long list of technique issues on which I need to work …

Continue reading Engineering my giro technique, and a great way to end them

Finally losing the cross-system battle, and ‘the best you’ve ever danced’

cross system

Today I lost a long-running battle with Fede … He kept wanting me to use cross-system, arguing that it would open up a whole new world of possibilities. I kept resisting because I felt like it would open up a whole new world of complications.

But as what I wanted was more simple ways to turn, and he said the answer to this was to be found in cross-system, I relented …

Continue reading Finally losing the cross-system battle, and ‘the best you’ve ever danced’

A rough-and-ready close-embrace giro (and a bonus clockwise one)

giros

Today’s private with Fede and Julia was resuming work on the giro, and discovering that my difficulties with it are only partly technique-related; a significant part of my problem has been over-thinking it. (You’re amazed, right?)

We started, as ever, with a warm-up dance – and both said that fewer lessons and more dance is clearly paying off …

Continue reading A rough-and-ready close-embrace giro (and a bonus clockwise one)

Getting the last piece in my ‘simple, musical dance’ jigsaw puzzle

jigsaw puzzle

This week has been an eventful one in my tango journey!

On Monday, deciding to finally put Pablo’s actitude advice into practice, and set aside my inhibited Brit persona during dance – and immediately seeing how well this worked even in a class.

On Tuesday, verifying that I can actually do this in a milonga, albeit with some caveats. On Thursday, finally being able to drop maths from my tango syllabus. And today, a lesson with Diego which put into place the last piece in my ‘simple, musical dance’ jigsaw puzzle …

Continue reading Getting the last piece in my ‘simple, musical dance’ jigsaw puzzle

Finally feeling able to re-introduce giros to my dance

giro

Having called in Julia and Federico to bump my ochos up to a whole new level, and sort out my cross, it was time to tackle my nemesis: the giro.

With ochos, I had a workable open embrace version. They were clear, and I felt I could easily lead them to the music. Things were trickier in close embrace, and there was plenty of scope to improve my technique, but it was a decent starting-point.

With giros, I didn’t really feel like I had that much …

Continue reading Finally feeling able to re-introduce giros to my dance

Figuring out the multiple steps to my one-step cross

the cross

The cross is one of those movements where I’d never felt I’d found the happy medium. If I lead it the way I think I’ve been taught it, then it only works about 50% of the time. And if I lead it clearly enough to get it up to 100%, I really feel like I’m throwing the follower around.

I’ve tried to find a compromise between the two, but that seemed to be the worst of both worlds: it didn’t always work, and it felt like I’m moving the follower rather than moving my chest and trusting her to move herself. So I wanted to devote today’s private lesson with Federico and Julia to the cross, and in particular the one-step cross …

Continue reading Figuring out the multiple steps to my one-step cross