Category Archives: Theory

Something else clicked: a way to encourage weight-sharing

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Sometimes lessons can pay unexpected dividends some time later. There can be things I didn’t really grasp at the time, which later make sense. Or things I thought were minor points, which subsequently reveal themselves to be far more important.

There was one of the latter in a private with Maeve. Indeed, I didn’t even include it in the blog post at the time, as it just felt like a reminder of something I already knew …

Continue reading Something else clicked: a way to encourage weight-sharing

Suspensions in slow dance

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The emergence of my half-speed dance – one step every two beats – has been my single biggest breakthrough in tango. It’s given my dance a distinctive feel, and given me much-needed time to decide how best to interpret what I’m hearing, and to focus on technique to a far greater degree than I find possible at a faster speed.

I’m pretty sure a lot of the miradas I’ve received from new followers have been as a result of seeing that slow-motion dance, and either liking it from a previous experience with another leader, or simply liking the look of it …

Continue reading Suspensions in slow dance

A systematic plan for expanding my core vocabulary

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While my longer-term goal is truly improvised dance, I am of course mostly dependent on figures for now.

But the two are in any case very closely linked: the more of my existing figures I can call upon in dance, the more experience I’m getting of different movement possibilities …

Continue reading A systematic plan for expanding my core vocabulary

One further thought on following: chests …

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I’ve written a number of times about the problems with sequence-based lessons.

The bottom-line of most beginner and improver group lessons is that both leaders and followers alike are taught steps. Each knows what they are supposed to do, so there’s no real need to lead a figure (only to do enough to identify it to the follower), and no real need to follow (because the follower knows what’s coming) …

Continue reading One further thought on following: chests …

My parallel learning tracks: a particularly diary-like post

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I’ve often said that my primary audience for my blog is me. It’s a way of reminding myself of what I’ve learned in particular lessons, so I can revisit them from time to time, and of tracking my progress. Anyone else finding the posts interesting is a bonus.

More so than most, this post is a memo to myself …

Continue reading My parallel learning tracks: a particularly diary-like post

Technique in milongas, and taking my chances with Troilo

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There was a discussion on a tango forum recently about how much focus we should have on technique during a milonga.

There were two schools of thought. One, that technique should always be a focus. Two, that milongas are places to have 100% of your attention on your partner and the music …

Continue reading Technique in milongas, and taking my chances with Troilo

A really fun lesson, and a great evening socialising

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Tonight’s tango itinerary was the Thursday intermediate lesson with Luis and Natalia, and then … a dilemma! It was the monthly Tango Space drinks, which I always enjoy, but also Tango Terra.

It wasn’t feasible to do both, so a decision needed to be made …

Continue reading A really fun lesson, and a great evening socialising

Confidence, and the paradox of private lessons

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I was thinking about something Maeve said in my last lesson with her. She remarked on the confidence of my walk, and wanted me to bring that to my ochos.

I realised then something that has been holding me back in my private lessons …

Continue reading Confidence, and the paradox of private lessons

Time for a new approach to my privates

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Scheduling challenges meant I didn’t have any private lessons last month, but now have three arranged for this month: two with Maeve while she’s in London, and resuming my regular privates with Fede and Julia toward the end of the month.

A lot changed for me in BsAs, so I realised I needed to take a fresh look at what I wanted to get out of my privates. Two elements are easy …

Continue reading Time for a new approach to my privates

Eight ways to prevent leaders giving up in their first year

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An experienced tango friend tagged me in a Facebook thread by a tango teacher, on what can be done to encourage beginner leaders to stick with it long enough to graduate from Tango Hell.

I wrote a lengthy reply, and then realised I’d just written my next blog post. Here’s what I wrote …,

Continue reading Eight ways to prevent leaders giving up in their first year