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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Enter the parada (with a glimpse of sacada in the distance)

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When I started this blog, I was mostly doing it as a diary for myself. I figured a few tango friends might enjoy reading it, hence making it a blog. It’s much the same reasoning as the Journeys section of my website: mostly I enjoy reliving the experiences, and interested friends effectively view it as a kind of extended Facebook post.

So I’ve been surprised to see from the logs that the blog gets over a thousand visits a month. I think readers fall into one of four categories …

Continue reading Enter the parada (with a glimpse of sacada in the distance)

One small pivot for man …

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… one giant leap for his tango!

Today I had a 90-minute lesson with Bridgitta, in which I worked on the medio giro, then into a full giro.

Everyone told me that once you have one pivot, others become far easier – and they were absolutely right. Everyone also told me that from a medio giro to a full giro is really straightforward, and that too turned out to be the case …

Continue reading One small pivot for man …

A tentative tick for the medio giro, and the missing ingredient

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Another lesson with Maeve, as usual starting with working on my walk, and then moving on this time to the medio giro.

I’d been introduced to three different versions of this between Mariano and two Tango Space lessons. One of the three was easier to remember than the other two, so we worked on that one. (Oddly, it wasn’t the simplest version.)

This reinforced my previous learning: it’s not about the exact steps; these can vary. Whenever I stop worrying about exactly what my feet are doing and focus on the overall shape of the movement, things work much more smoothly. Which is a paradox of tango I’ll return to shortly …

Continue reading A tentative tick for the medio giro, and the missing ingredient

The milonga fun continues!

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The above is a simplified representation of the impression I’d always had of the steps involved in milonga. But by the end of yesterday’s lesson with Maeve, things were rather clearer.

The two-hour lesson covered three things. First, refining my walk, aiming to get more dissociation into it. Second, introducing the cross-system walk. Third, some simple milonga steps …

Continue reading The milonga fun continues!

There’s something odd going on when …

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… you can’t tango but can milonga.

Ok, both are exaggerations, but all the same …

Steph and I rented the Tango Movement studio in Moorgate for a couple of hours (a really lovely space). Lessons are fun, but also work. It requires concentration to focus on something new, so I thought it would be good to spend a couple of hours just playing. Not trying to learn anything new, not practicing, just dancing …

Continue reading There’s something odd going on when …

Playing tango dodgems at the Clore Ballroom

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The Royal Festival Hall regularly offers free social dances in the Clore Ballroom, a wonderful open space at the back of Level 2. Tango with a live orchestra takes place every year on 27th December.

It all sounds delightfully romantic. A festive time of the year, an amazing location, a fantastic live band, lots of friendly people. And it is all of those things …

Continue reading Playing tango dodgems at the Clore Ballroom

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