Category Archives: Progress update

Twenty-five milongas in twelve days: lessons from Buenos Aires

Lessons from BsAs

It feels like we arrived only yesterday; it feels like we’ve been here forever. It feels like milongas are the real world, and London is some kind of vague dream.

Forever is also about the time it will take me to integrate everything I’ve learned here, both in lessons and from dancing in all those milongas – but let’s at least make a start …

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Some reflections, some wanderings and an ‘entertaining’ milonga

Marabu.jpg

My sartorial standards in milongas are respectable, but I’ve now given up on mornings. We just made it to the hotel breakfast room before it closed, and I was unshaven, with uncombed hair and wearing my Virgin sleep suit.

Breakfast was spent sorting out some more of our tango schedule. With up to 20 or so milongas from which to choose every day, it’s no easy task …

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An unwelcome hiatus, followed by an unexpected breakthrough

Small spaces

Bad colds suck. First, because you have aches where you used to have energy, and second, because even when you reach the point where you’d like to dance, you don’t want to pass on the misery to anyone else.

All of which explains why I’ve missed two milongas and two group classes. Indeed, it’ll have been a full two weeks between milongas by the time I get to my next one on Tuesday! I have really, really missed dancing …

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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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