Category Archives: Tango

Balance is just technique – working with Diego on the calesita

When it comes to resolving my tangistential crisis, Filippo had given me a way forward which seemed to be working. Namely, take one element of my less-used vocabulary at a time, and figure out alternative resolutions for every step. Practicing those would then give me the confidence to use them in crowded milongas, knowing that I always had a plan B.

Another aspect of my crisis, however, was feeling unsure how far all my technique work was going to take me …

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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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What is tango?

I’m climbing the stairs in an unfamiliar building in an new city in a country I’ve never before visited, and whose language I do not speak. But already I’m starting to feel at home.

The music drifting down the stairs is known. In my tango bag, my usual companions: dance shoes, a shoe-horn, a hand fan, a box of mints …

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Joining some more dots – in cross-system!

Different teachers have given me different things. David, for example, was absolutely fantastic at giving me variations on things I already knew. At helping me connect the dots – something which has made my dance both more varied and more fluid.

With Filippo, I’m working almost exclusively on technique. But five hours of dancing on Sunday made me realise there is something rather fundamental missing from my vocabulary, so tonight I asked Filippo to provide a solution. It worked out better than I could have imagined …

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Five hours of wonderful dance, and I feel back on track

I wrote last time about my tango crash, feeling that with my newly-improved posture, it was like I was starting all over again when it came to learning how to dance.

Emma diagnosed the issue and provided me with a way forward, but circumstances conspired to delay my first real-world test until the Los Angelitos 10th anniversary milonga on Sunday …

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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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Three years in, learning to stand, walk and turn

Being a tango teacher must take a special kind of patience. Learning to dance takes so long that the only way it will ever happen is via shortcuts. Things that are good enough to work, to get people to the stage where they can dance.

Along the way, they have to turn a temporary blind eye to really fundamental technique issues that will need to be addressed further down the road. Things like learning to stand, walk and turn …

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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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The magic continues with a slice of Buenos Aires in Knightsbridge

Saturday saw a rather special event: the Argentine Ambassador’s Milonga, at the ambassador’s residence in Knightsbridge. It really did feel like being in Buenos Aires!

Admittedly the grandeur of the setting would have been more faded in BsAs, but the crowded floor, the atmosphere and even the heat made for a very convincing impression …

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