Category Archives: Tango

Following … a leader, and my tango heart

I had my third private as a follower, and while I missed plenty of things, I for the first time had an experience of Just Dancing from the follower side.

I also decided to follow my tango heart when it comes to when, where and how I dance …

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A three-hour round-trip journey to dance in Cambridge, and worth every minute

Five months ago, returning from BsAs, I wrote about my determination to keep the Argentine spirit alive in my own tango – and so far, I feel like I’m succeeding.

I’ve reluctantly conceded that one key ingredient here is dancing a lot more outside of the sub-culture that is London tango. Reluctantly, because I’d love to dance a lot in my own city, and I do see London milongas doing their best to bring the Argentine spirit to London …

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The practicality and poetry of the cabeceo: Where the dance begins

There’s a magic to the cabeceo. To make eye contact across a room, with a woman I’ve never met before, whose name I do not know, whose language I may not speak, and be able to invite her to dance – and have my invitation accepted – without a single word being exchanged.

Cabeceo is, for me, one of the most beautiful things about tango. I love it for its practicality, but also for its poetry. For me, it’s the first step in the dance …

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Wonderful DJ, and more following dividends, at El Boliche

When I don’t have the energy for 5-6 hours of dancing, my approach is to go later in the evening. Generally the music gets more lyrical as the evening goes on, and as I appear physically incapable of leaving a milonga before the end, this gives me 2-3 hours of dance.

Arriving at El Boliche around 10pm felt a little like a return to BsAs timings …

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An amazing leading dividend from just two lessons as a follower

While leading and following are two very different mindsets, the technique is the same – just that followers need more of it at any given level.

I knew from past experience that following is a very powerful tool for improving my lead, but I really couldn’t believe the extent to which this paid off after just two (new) following lessons …

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A time to lead, a time to follow

Six weeks ago, I said I was pausing my privates while I figured out my next step. A few days after that, I mulled over the possibility of learning to follow – at least, to some degree.

Sure, I’ve taken a few lessons as a follower, but those have always been geared to helping my lead, rather than actually focusing on following. But I’ve decided it’s now time to have a real go at the opposite (and, I suspect, more challenging) role …

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If I go all the way to Devon, you can bet there’s a good reason for it!

No offence to Devon; it’s a pretty part of the world. But given that I could travel to many European cities in the same time and for the same money, I wouldn’t be heading there without a very good reason. The Feast tango festival was that very good reason.

I first attended The Feast in December, and fell head-over-heels in love with it …

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The only leader is the music: A joyful Feast

Felipe Martinez recently talked about the difference between danceable music and music which moves you, literally and figuratively. I think that’s a good way of describing what is, to me, the difference between rhythmic and lyrical tango.

I’d expected the work I was doing on double-time to increase my enjoyment of rhythmic music. It has, but to my surprise, that wasn’t the biggest benefit …

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A pause in my privates, and thinking about where I go from here

This is a question I first asked myself so long ago that I can’t even find the blog post to link to: How far do I want to go in my tango journey?

Dancing a lot less than I was, I was finding that my weekly privates (alternating between Emma and Diego) were too much: I simply wasn’t doing enough dancing to put the work into practice in milongas …

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Time for double-time: A very delayed post

Despite working independently, Laura and Diego somehow ganged up on me while I was in BsAs back in March. There have been two things I’ve always viewed with terror in tango: cross-system, and double-time.

I’d dipped a toe in the cross-system waters, though always aimed to return to the safety of parallel system at the earliest opportunity. But the occasional rebound aside, I’d still mostly kept double-time at a safe distance …

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