Category Archives: Thoughts

Feeling that festivals are my tango future

I know, I’ve only been to four events across two festivals so far, so it may be rather early to draw any firm conclusions. But certainly my limited experience to date suggests that festivals (and BsAs, of course!) may be where I do most of my dancing in future.

If this does prove to be the case, it’ll be the next stage in a gradual process for me …

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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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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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Not just another grumble about the F word

I debated whether to write this post. Floorcraft is a perennial topic, and the view from friends who’ve been in London tango far longer than I have is that nothing is going to change, so there’s not a lot of point in yet another discussion about it.

But at the same time, it is without question one of the biggest differences between tango in Buenos Aires, and that of London – and during my recent month-long stay in Argentina, I came to see the topic in a whole new light …

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Bringing a little Buenos Aires back to London with me

Last time when I returned home from BsAs, I found myself wishing that London tango were more like, well, Argentine tango. I mean, I looked forward to dancing with friends and favourite partners, of course. But I felt the contrast keenly in a number of ways.

This time too. The difference was deciding that, while there are factors I can’t control, there are others that I can – whether directly or indirectly …

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Saying farewell to Buenos Aires with one last milonga – and one last protest

I said at the beginning of the trip that I’d be adopting a more relaxed approach this time around, after last time visiting 25 milongas in 12 days.

One reason for staying here a month is to take things easy – an absolute maximum of one milonga per day. Yes, really. Honestly. You’ll see.

This claim was met with a certain amount of scepticism (‘100%’ is a certain amount, right?) …

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This person, this music, this moment: Reconnecting with the essence of tango

I remember returning from Buenos Aires in 2019 with a whole new understanding of what tango is about – at least, to me. Back here now, I realised that I’d lost some of that understanding along the way.

Well, perhaps not lost, nor really forgotten, but allowed it to become somewhat buried by other things – by the other world which is London tango. Here, now, I’ve reconnected with it …

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