Category Archives: Theory

There’s no tango maths required after all!

tango maths

Sometimes a tango teacher will say something that’s blindingly obvious once they’ve said it, but which hadn’t occurred to me before then.

One earlier example was the times I was unsure where my follower’s weight was. The blindingly obvious solution to that, of course, is to lead a weight-change – then you’ll know where it is because you just put it there! And yesterday Irina Zoueva kindly messaged me in response to my previous blog post

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A difficult question, that turned out to have a very simple answer

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I posted at length last month about the kind of dancer I want to be, the executive summary of which was:

  • A warm embrace
  • Dancing to the music
  • A clear and comfortable lead
  • A collaborative dance
  • Simple things, done well

That second bullet is key …

Continue reading A difficult question, that turned out to have a very simple answer

Michael Lavocah on Troilo, and more learning about leading through following

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Sunday’s tango-related fun kicked off with a 90-minute talk on Troilo by Michael Lavocah, author of Tango Stories, Musical Secrets.

I couldn’t even begin to do justice to the talk in a brief blog post. Lavocah clearly has an immense breadth and depth of knowledge, and boundless enthusiasm for sharing as much of it as humanly possible …

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Geometry lessons

An experience common to most beginners in tango, I suspect, is learning something in a class, feeling somewhat comfortable with it by the end of the lesson – and then struggling to remember it later.

Bridgitta recommended creating drawings as aide-mémoire for myself. There is, she suggested, something about the drawing process itself that helps embed things into our memory …

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Tango stories, musical secrets – and emulating an untalented three-year-old

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I’d set myself some musical homework, and Bridgitta had set me some more.

Bridgitta’s was to listen to some tango songs and dance only one instrument at a time. Express only what that one instrument is doing, and when the instrument is silent, be still …

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Learning in the street, and the cross

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Understanding the physics of the tango walk

Walking to tonight’s Tango Space lesson, it occurred to me that I could use ordinary walking as practice. Not a full-on tango walk through Waterloo (though I have been known to do that on an empty DLR platform, which I’m sure amused someone on the other end of a CCTV feed), but just practicing really pushing into the ground. And in doing so, I solved a mystery that had been bugging me for a while.

The first time I ever really got that part of the walk right, Steph could instantly feel it, and Mariano could immediately see it. Yet I couldn’t figure out how that could be. How could something that happened purely inside my own body be not only felt but seen … ?

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