Category Archives: Tango

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 …

Continue reading A tale of two cities, tango edition

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 …

Continue reading Feeling like I’m on a roll now

Finally dipping a toe into the cross-system waters!

Fede has been trying to get me into the cross-system for what feels like most of my life, and I have always fended him off with crosses, garlic and silver stakes.

But a combination of two things meant that I finally felt ready to dip a small toe into the cross-system waters …

Continue reading Finally dipping a toe into the cross-system waters!

Adding oomph: the next step in my tango journey

More than a year ago, I wrote a lengthy post about finding my own dance.

Lengthy mostly because there’s a long pre-amble intended only as a personal reference. The relevant part here is this …

Continue reading Adding oomph: the next step in my tango journey

Another great private, and another change to the blog

It seems hard to even imagine it now, but there was a time when I gave tanda-by-tanda descriptions of my milongas.

That made sense at the time, because in those early days I was dancing perhaps three, four or five at a milonga, and learning significant things from each. I dropped that approach in July of last year, and I think now it’s time for another change …

Continue reading Another great private, and another change to the blog

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 …

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

Fake paradas, and connections in the contra-giro

I have dim and distant memories of learning the contra-giro, but my only memory of actually using it is at Tango on the Thames with Steph and having a fantastic time just winging it!

I tried this during yesterday’s practice session, and it worked beautifully once, reasonably well other times and badly a couple of times! So tonight I decided to make that the focus of the lesson …

Continue reading Fake paradas, and connections in the contra-giro

A mystery solved, and five take-outs from a lesson which fried my brain

Five takeouts fried brain.jpg

David’s view of what I can manage is flattering, but not always entirely accurate! Cross-system always fries my brain, so a sequence involving crossing, uncrossing and then exiting in cross-system was never likely to end well – especially after I’d been woken at 4am by damned mosquitos and so was really tired.

I did, however, partly solve a mystery around this, and got five really useful things from the lesson …

Continue reading A mystery solved, and five take-outs from a lesson which fried my brain

Wobbly leader crosses, but a less wobbly understanding

Leader crosses

I’m not looking for more figures, especially not complex ones, but sometimes a whole new type of figure can be a really effective way to open my eyes to new possibilities in terms of types of movement.

I would have sworn there couldn’t be a version of the forward ocho I didn’t know, but I was wrong …

Continue reading Wobbly leader crosses, but a less wobbly understanding

An introduction to the world of off-axis dance

Off-axis

When David asked what we wanted to focus on in tonight’s lesson with Wai Fong, I took a deep breath and asked him how realistic it would be to tackle a volcada.

My only previous experience of one was when it was just thrown in for fun at the end of a Tango Space improver class, but it had always struck me as a lovely-looking movement …

Continue reading An introduction to the world of off-axis dance