Category Archives: Progress update

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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A tale of two cities, tango edition

I wrote last month that I was feeling like I’m on a roll now. Things that once would have felt complicated now quickly feel straightforward; things I would once have had to think about now feel obvious; I’m able to think about how I want the follower to move, rather than my own steps; and finding exits to new things is now instinctive …

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Feeling like I’m on a roll now

This evening’s lesson with David began with more technique refinement and texture.

On the former front, for example, David approved of my collecting my feet fully in the side-steps when leading ochos, but wanted me to ensure that I was dragging my feet along the floor, not lifting them …

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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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