Category Archives: Progress update

My 18-month-ish appraisal: Stage One improvisation unlocked!

I’ve given myself appraisals at six, nine and twelve months. I thought another one would fall due at 18 months – but then at 16 months, the world stopped.

I tried a few video lessons, but in the end that grew too frustrating. I had a six-week break from tango before the opportunity arose for both in-person privates and practice, albeit in compromised form …

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Clicking giros; continuing variations; and leading with my breath

Practicing giros and contra-giros yesterday, something clicked. I was able to enter the giro directly from the side-step, forward ocho and back ocho – without my customary ‘side-step then outside walk’ entry – and I could no longer recall why I ever felt the contra-giro was any harder than the giro!

That’s a pretty huge step forward, and David declared my giros relaxed and fluid …

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Making lemonade under lockdown

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We’ve decided to make the lessons with David a weekly fixture during the tango famine, working on that same mix of technique, and variations on things I already know how to do.

We worked this week on the planeo …

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Deliberately taking one step back to get two steps forward

one step back

There’s a Catch-22 with my plan to expand my core vocabulary. The stuff I’m now adding in to milongas feels less fluid, so I’m reluctant to interrupt the flow of the dance by using them too often – but unless I use them more often, they won’t feel more fluid.

That feels like a particular dilemma when I feel like smoothness and musicality are what I’ve got going for me right now as a tango dancer; if I put those at risk, I have nothing …

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A systematic plan for expanding my core vocabulary

systematic plan.jpg

While my longer-term goal is truly improvised dance, I am of course mostly dependent on figures for now.

But the two are in any case very closely linked: the more of my existing figures I can call upon in dance, the more experience I’m getting of different movement possibilities …

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My parallel learning tracks: a particularly diary-like post

parallel tracks.jpg

I’ve often said that my primary audience for my blog is me. It’s a way of reminding myself of what I’ve learned in particular lessons, so I can revisit them from time to time, and of tracking my progress. Anyone else finding the posts interesting is a bonus.

More so than most, this post is a memo to myself …

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Time for a new approach to my privates

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Scheduling challenges meant I didn’t have any private lessons last month, but now have three arranged for this month: two with Maeve while she’s in London, and resuming my regular privates with Fede and Julia toward the end of the month.

A lot changed for me in BsAs, so I realised I needed to take a fresh look at what I wanted to get out of my privates. Two elements are easy …

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They make long hours at this time of the year

Why does no-one ever believe me when I say I’m only staying for the first hour of a milonga?

Today was the final Tango Space workshop of the year, a one-hour one billed as lessons Pablo and Anne had learned from their students, followed by Prosecco and mince pies – then the monthly Browns milonga …

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Fourteen months in, I’m in a good place

Fourteen months

Tonight was my type of music, my type of followers, my type of dance.

Mara Ovieda was again DJing. There were a lot of lyrical tandas, and the more rhythmical ones still had depth to them. I only sat out a few tandas, and that was mostly because I was busy chatting …

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