Category Archives: Progress update

Six-point-three lovely tandas, and my one-year appraisal

one year appraisal

When Fede said my dancing on Sunday was my best yet, he was referring to my posture and technique. Behind this was a single secret he’d been trying to share with me for some considerable time: do one thing at a time.

With a back ocho, for example, lead a side-step first. No more than that. Don’t enter the side-step deciding in advance that it’s going to be a back ocho, as that will lead to me blending the two, compromising my posture in the process …

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A perfectly-timed giro technique workshop

giro workshop

Ok, so I’m doing three lessons this week – two group classes and a private – but the extra group class was a special case. It was on the giro, my main focus at present; it was a technique workshop; and it was run by Olga, who ran the excellent musicality series (1, 2, 3, 4) …

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A giromaniac is born, and a whole new tango world opens up

giromaniac

I am officially now a giromaniac.

After a false start a couple of months ago, I’m finally able to fluidly lead giros and contra-giros in a milonga. I cannot tell you how happy that makes me feel! Partly just the relief of finally getting there after so long, but mostly because it completely transforms my dance and the crowded milonga experience …

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Tango on the Thames tangasms, with giros and counter-giros – and accidental ganchos

Tango on the Thames

As with Spitalfields, I’d first seen Tango on the Thames long before I danced; stood and watched for a while, and thought of it as one of those delightfully eccentric English things done by people who aren’t me.

It was an incredibly hot day, 32C ambient, and more in the sun. We estimated when the sun would have dropped beneath the building line and turned up at around 7.15pm, which was perfect timing …

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Kicking off the Just Dance phase, and a new approach to the blog

Just Dance

I’d decided that moving fully into a Just Dancing phase – as in ceasing all lessons for a time – was just a bit too radical for now. In part because pre-milonga group classes are the best way to meet followers and decide which ones I’d like to cabeceo given the opportunity.

But my focus at present is very much on enjoying the dance, and worrying less about what I’m learning. Which also, I think, needs a new approach to the blog, but I’ll get to that …

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Fewer classes, more dancing (though not in 37C temps …)

fewer classes more dance

As someone put it today, it’s 37C in London and Boris has just been appointed PM: we have officially entered hell.

No more so than in the back room at the Shield Cafe, which is an oven at the best of times …

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Getting the last piece in my ‘simple, musical dance’ jigsaw puzzle

jigsaw puzzle

This week has been an eventful one in my tango journey!

On Monday, deciding to finally put Pablo’s actitude advice into practice, and set aside my inhibited Brit persona during dance – and immediately seeing how well this worked even in a class.

On Tuesday, verifying that I can actually do this in a milonga, albeit with some caveats. On Thursday, finally being able to drop maths from my tango syllabus. And today, a lesson with Diego which put into place the last piece in my ‘simple, musical dance’ jigsaw puzzle …

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