Category Archives: Private lesson

Dancing the corrections

dancing the corrections.jpg

Saturday saw me at Tango Garden for some guided practice with Bridgitta in the practica – plus a floorcraft exercise in the milonga.

Bridgitta started the latter by discussing some scenarios – like someone walking backwards into our space – and different ways to handle them. Then we just walked arm-in-arm so we could focus purely on floorcraft, with Bridgitta having the same view of the ronda as me.

I felt somewhat self-conscious about this strange arm-in-arm thing we were doing in a busy milonga, but it was obvious from quite a few knowing and approving smiles that this was a recognised and appreciated technique …

Continue reading Dancing the corrections

Giros, Pugliese and Practice

Pugliese.jpg

After last night’s drunk tango, I had the kind of hangover commensurate with the amount of wine consumed. Which made for a somewhat more challenging two-hour lesson this afternoon than would otherwise have been the case.

In principle, we were just working on technique, and I’d asked Maeve to work with me on two things: improving my dissociation in ochos, and aiming for some fluidity in giros. However, in my hungover state, the lesson included some remedial material too …

Continue reading Giros, Pugliese and Practice

Enter the parada (with a glimpse of sacada in the distance)

shutterstock_67263034.jpg

When I started this blog, I was mostly doing it as a diary for myself. I figured a few tango friends might enjoy reading it, hence making it a blog. It’s much the same reasoning as the Journeys section of my website: mostly I enjoy reliving the experiences, and interested friends effectively view it as a kind of extended Facebook post.

So I’ve been surprised to see from the logs that the blog gets over a thousand visits a month. I think readers fall into one of four categories …

Continue reading Enter the parada (with a glimpse of sacada in the distance)

One small pivot for man …

shutterstock_717004249.jpg

… one giant leap for his tango!

Today I had a 90-minute lesson with Bridgitta, in which I worked on the medio giro, then into a full giro.

Everyone told me that once you have one pivot, others become far easier – and they were absolutely right. Everyone also told me that from a medio giro to a full giro is really straightforward, and that too turned out to be the case …

Continue reading One small pivot for man …

A tentative tick for the medio giro, and the missing ingredient

shutterstock_689573419.jpg

Another lesson with Maeve, as usual starting with working on my walk, and then moving on this time to the medio giro.

I’d been introduced to three different versions of this between Mariano and two Tango Space lessons. One of the three was easier to remember than the other two, so we worked on that one. (Oddly, it wasn’t the simplest version.)

This reinforced my previous learning: it’s not about the exact steps; these can vary. Whenever I stop worrying about exactly what my feet are doing and focus on the overall shape of the movement, things work much more smoothly. Which is a paradox of tango I’ll return to shortly …

Continue reading A tentative tick for the medio giro, and the missing ingredient

The milonga fun continues!

shutterstock_3540075.jpg

The above is a simplified representation of the impression I’d always had of the steps involved in milonga. But by the end of yesterday’s lesson with Maeve, things were rather clearer.

The two-hour lesson covered three things. First, refining my walk, aiming to get more dissociation into it. Second, introducing the cross-system walk. Third, some simple milonga steps …

Continue reading The milonga fun continues!

Going with the flow

shutterstock_301709159.jpg

Last lesson with Mariano, we just briefly tried the medio giro at the end. Not enough to get a feel for it, but just a taster. So I was rather expecting to pick up this evening where we left off, but no, Mariano and Steph decided we could dive straight into the full giro.

Amazingly, they were right …

Continue reading Going with the flow

One perfect moment … and many imperfect ones

shutterstock_584269093.jpg

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 …

Continue reading One perfect moment … and many imperfect ones

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

shutterstock_717877786.jpg

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 …

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

An Official Declaration

shutterstock_96192980.jpg

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 …

Continue reading An Official Declaration