Category Archives: Private lesson

Four lessons in a weekend, or ‘Ochos: what was all the fuss about anyway?’

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My tango torrent commenced with four lessons in a weekend, so this blog post will be a long one …

Lesson 1

The group lesson at Tango Garden again had some complete beginners, so didn’t progress beyond the walk. In most activities, redoing the very basics – starting with changing weight – would be annoying, but in tango there is so much to learn and refine even in something as simple as changing weight …

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An Official Declaration

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When I started writing this blog post, this was my original opening:

I look forward to the time when I can stop writing about bloody ochos. I’m hoping this will be at some point within my lifetime. It is, however, not yet.

By the end of it, I’d realised that, actually, it is. This is, despite appearances, not another damn blog post about that damn ocho …

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All my life’s a circle

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I have a one-thing-at-a-time mentality when it comes to, well, most things, actually. When it comes to learning tango, my theory was to stick with one figure until I felt I had a reasonably good beginner’s version of it – and only then move on to something else.

But in line with my determination to ‘be more ocho,’ instead of insisting doggedly that we stick to the ocho, I left it to Mariano to decide how we spent today’s lesson. Which turned out to be a practical demonstration of how, in tango, everything is connected to everything else …

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Ocho, ocho, wherefore art thou ocho?

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Yeah, I know it means why rather than where, but I never let facts stand in the way of a cheesy title.

One word. One move. You’d think one lesson might be enough to get me to the point where I could produce something which might bear a rough approximation to an ocho if viewed from a distance on a dark and foggy night. But no …

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The right teacher for the right time

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A recent experience made me appreciate just how much is involved in a great teacher-student relationship.

It starts with compatible goals. A student who collects moves in much the way a philatelist collects stamps will need a different teacher from one who wants to achieve a certain level of proficiency with one move before embarking upon another …

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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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The impossible journey

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‘Love music, can’t dance’ had had for so long been a part of my self-identification that the very notion of this not being an established fact seemed hard to imagine. And yet it was an illusion shattered with a single evening of ceroc.

I discovered, to my great surprise, that when you combine a halfway decent musical ear with some well-taught fixed steps, the result is something which looks not entirely dissimilar to dance.

In retrospect, it ought to have been abundantly obvious that this was merely step one in Steph’s Machiavellian plan to turn a non-dancer into some variety of tanguero …

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