Category Archives: Private lesson

Double-time in pivots in a great private with Laura, and an impromptu video interview

I’m a little behind on the blogs now, in part because of working, and in part because I accidentally created another little project for myself while I was here! I really haven’t gotten the hang of holidays.

I said before that Diego and Laura have proven the perfect teaching duo, even though they have been working with me independently, and that continued today …

Continue reading Double-time in pivots in a great private with Laura, and an impromptu video interview

My teachers here have never met, but they work in perfect harmony

Diego and Laura (website to follow) have never met, but their teaching couldn’t be more complementary if they were a team. Each is, in theory, working with me on different aspects of my dance, but it all meshes together so well it’s as if they planned their privates with me together.

Today’s private was with Laura, and I find it hard to believe we covered so much in such a short time …

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Last ones standing: Closing Salon Canning at 4am (Video)

A friend suggested I might get more sleep if I weren’t writing my blog posts. In truth, I’m buzzing so much when I get home from milongas that there’s no chance I’d sleep anyway if I tried going straight to bed. Writing is for me a way of winding down, even if I do also do it for a living!

I have made it to bed on previous nights, albeit sometimes at 5am. Last night, however, I was so euphoric that I might as well have had a nose full of cocaine for all the hope there was of sleep …

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Accidentally achieving one of my goals by going to the wrong milonga

I slept for about nine hours, though still felt that was about ten hours short of the required quota. However, we did nothing in the morning, so a bit of lazing was the perfect start to the day.

This was helped considerably by my foresight. I’d decided that a one-month stay was more like short-term living than long-term holidaying, so had brought with me some key home comforts – including my favourite tea, infusers, and pint mug …

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Day two, and time for a tune-up with Laura Heredia

My post-Feast tango famine had left me feeling a little rusty, so I’d booked a private with Laura for the second day of my stay, to work on my technique before I hit the first milonga.

I’ve been incredibly lucky with my teachers. For me, a great teacher needs the ability to combine three very different qualities …

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Balance is just technique – working with Diego on the calesita

When it comes to resolving my tangistential crisis, Filippo had given me a way forward which seemed to be working. Namely, take one element of my less-used vocabulary at a time, and figure out alternative resolutions for every step. Practicing those would then give me the confidence to use them in crowded milongas, knowing that I always had a plan B.

Another aspect of my crisis, however, was feeling unsure how far all my technique work was going to take me …

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A really fun private, addressing one element of my tangistential crisis

I talked last time about my tango existential crisis, a phrase which clearly demands an abbreviated form.

Part of it was how, as the space in milongas gets squeezed, so too does my vocabulary. I had one theory about the reason for that, but in tonight’s private, Filippo came up with a second one – and a fun/sadistic way forward …

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Joining some more dots – in cross-system!

Different teachers have given me different things. David, for example, was absolutely fantastic at giving me variations on things I already knew. At helping me connect the dots – something which has made my dance both more varied and more fluid.

With Filippo, I’m working almost exclusively on technique. But five hours of dancing on Sunday made me realise there is something rather fundamental missing from my vocabulary, so tonight I asked Filippo to provide a solution. It worked out better than I could have imagined …

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A tango crash after the high, and a wonderful new teacher

I kept saying, throughout my extended tango high, that there had to be a crash around the corner. It was a surprisingly long time coming, but when it did, it was an impressive one.

Let’s start with the good news …

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Three years in, learning to stand, walk and turn

Being a tango teacher must take a special kind of patience. Learning to dance takes so long that the only way it will ever happen is via shortcuts. Things that are good enough to work, to get people to the stage where they can dance.

Along the way, they have to turn a temporary blind eye to really fundamental technique issues that will need to be addressed further down the road. Things like learning to stand, walk and turn …

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