Category Archives: Progress update

A pause in my privates, and thinking about where I go from here

This is a question I first asked myself so long ago that I can’t even find the blog post to link to: How far do I want to go in my tango journey?

Dancing a lot less than I was, I was finding that my weekly privates (alternating between Emma and Diego) were too much: I simply wasn’t doing enough dancing to put the work into practice in milongas …

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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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Four milongas later, my tangostential crisis is over (for now)

I was going to say it was less than a month ago when I described my tangostential crisis, but as I caught a lurgy and was out of action for half of it, it was actually four milongas ago that I wrote:

I’m now at a somewhat odd stage in my tango – and I’m not quite sure what to do about it […] I feel simultaneously delighted with where I am, and frustrated with where I’m not.

Every problem in tango turns out to be either far simpler, or far more complex, than I imagined. Fortunately in this case it was the former …

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A small but encouraging tangistential test-run at Tango Terra

Having been given a potential solution to part of my tangistential crisis, Tango Terra tonight offered an opportunity to at least partly put the theory to the test.

It wasn’t a particularly crowded milonga, but Terra does have one characteristic which proved useful in the circumstances …

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A heavenly Nacimiento, but a tango existential crisis

Tango highs and tango lows are familiar to anyone caught up in the clutches of the dance. Days when we can do anything; others when we can do nothing. After a time, you just get relaxed about that – or at least come to accept that there’s nothing we can do about it, so there’s no point getting stressed.

But I’m now at a somewhat odd stage in my tango – and I’m not quite sure what to do about it.

Let’s start with the good news …

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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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My 3-year appraisal: Beginning a whole new level

I’ve written a few blog posts with self appraisals of my progress. The differences between six, nine, twelve and eighteen months were dramatic! For me, the real watershed point was when I could Just Dance, without having to think about figures.

Technically, I’m now 2.8 years in, though the pandemic makes such measurements less precise. But now is clearly the right time for a slightly early three-year appraisal – this time taking a somewhat different approach …

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A truly magical experience – and a rhythmical breakthrough – at Negracha

I had to be almost bodily dragged to Negracha. I’d heard people talk about it, and seen a couple of videos, and it was clear to me that the level there was far too high for me.

But the visit was a group one – Emma, Diego, Asia, Steph and me – so the worst-case scenario was that I’d do a little dancing, and have a great time socialising. What happened instead was something I couldn’t have dared hope for …

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Rhythmical dance is bringing me back to basics in a whole new way

I wrote last time about the excitement I feel, at finally feeling like I might start to enjoy rhythmical tandas as much as lyrical ones. But there’s also the other side to this, which is why I choose the above image for this post.

There are times in my tango journey where it feels circular: Oh, this again! But it’s of course really a spiral. We learn something on one level, then we return to it later and explore it on another level. And we continually get deeper into each element – like revealing the fruit beneath the peel. (Hey, this metaphor is worth what you paid for it!)

Turning my attention now to rhythmical dancing is like revisiting everything from scratch …

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Resuming privates, and seeking out complexity!

It’s been quite some time since my last blog post. Lessons obviously had to stop during the stricter lockdown, and it feels great to be able to resume them. Even with regular practice, long gaps in teaching do make me nervous!

But it seems I didn’t have too much to fear. I do have work to do to restore my tango posture, but my fluency seems to be mostly intact …

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