Dropping the beginner class, and getting some bonus experience as a follower

levels

Many years ago, I did an introductory scuba diving course. Known as the PADI Open Water Diver course, it took four days, and comprised about a day’s theory, some swimming pool exercises and then a couple of days of diving. Do that, and you emerge as a certified diver.

Want to become an Advanced Open Water Diver? Certainly: go on to do one deep dive (30m), one navigation dive (following a compass to swim in a triangle) and three other ‘adventure’ dives (eg. a night dive), and suddenly I’m an ‘advanced’ diver – with all of eight days in the water.

Tango gradings aren’t quite that bad, but schools definitely use inflated levels designed to flatter the student …

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One small step for man and woman, one giant leap for their tango

one small step

I love technique workshops, because the changes you make as a result of them are often tiny, but the payoff can be huge.

The seemingly infinite amount of refinement possible with the tango fundamentals is really quite astonishing. The walk is the obvious example, but as today’s workshop demonstrated, the same is true of the embrace …

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Three workshops in a day – or not winding down quite yet …

speed

As I mentioned last time, my plan to tone things down doesn’t kick in quite yet. Today had two afternoon Tango Better workshops with visiting teachers Fausto Carpino & Stephanie Fesneau, followed by an evening Tango Space one on the milonga rhythym.

The first workshop was on Connection and lead, which sounded like it could be relied on to be exploring fundamentals rather then requiring me to learn new steps. The same wasn’t going to be true of Milonguero Turns, but they did make learning the steps very easy …

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Musicality workshop #2 of 4: Melody and counter-melody

musicality-2

Although I’ve vowed to rein-in my tango schedule, there is a slight lag as I complete my booked workshops – including the remaining three musicality workshops. Last week was about switching between dancing the beat and the melody, and this week took things to the next level: switching between the melody and the counter-melody …

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A relaxed milonga, and a plan to tone things down

relaxed

It could be said that a case might be made for the possibility of formulating the bare bones of an argument somewhat suggestive of the idea that I may have been taking my tango schedule to something of an excess.

Mounting a defence against this accusation would be a little tricky in a week in which I was initially scheduled to have nine group classes, a practica and a milonga …

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Practicing energetic tiny steps with 89,999 other people

fleetwood-mac

Bridgitta had suggested I needed to find my inner 8 year old to give me ideas about new ways to improvise to the music. I’d assured her I didn’t have one, and that I was born aged 40.

However, it turned out I was wrong: it just needed rather specific circumstances to find him …

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Momentum in lead and follow

Momentum

I signed-up for an interesting-looking workshop with a teacher about whom Steph seemed enthusiastic. I hadn’t made the connection, but this turned out to be because the teacher, Veronica Toumanova, was the author of Why Tango – and Steph knew I’d enjoyed the book.

The workshop was called Using momentum to lead and follow, and it started well …

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