Find us on Google+ TANGOFIX: 2009


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Movement in Vals and Tango.

I like progressive movement along the line of dance in tango, and I really like it to move when dancing Vals. It gives the sensation of flying to paraphrase Tete Rusconi.

What I don't like is when the line of dance stops during a Vals and all you can do as a leader is do gyros left and right, it kills the feeling.

Please try to keep the rhonda moving, especially during Vals "The Flying Dance".

If you don't I, for one will make use of "available space" like it or not. I can navigate around other leaders without banging into them. I would rather get behind a couple and follow them, but if the leader in front of me is in his own world (that is to say not dancing with the music or the crowd) he is only making himself and his partner a road hazard for those people who are at the Milonga to dance.

Dancing tango is a lot like driving on the freeway. Think of the really old driver who drives extremely slow and never gets in an accident but can't understand why there are accidents happening all around them all of the time. (Hint: they are the cause, not the solution.)

Standing in one spot IS NOT DANCING.

Now having said that, if everyone in the room hardly moves along the line of dance and I am the only one who wants to move now I am the one who is the pain in the a$$!

Why can't we compromise and keep the line moving, if someone wants to keep it simple they can enjoy the freedom and connection of just walking, But if the line of dance doesn't move there is no opportunity to walk at all (and walking is after all, the "Main Attraction" of the dance).

Friday, December 11, 2009

A few differences between Salon, Milonguero, and Neuvo

Salon>> no crossing steps, always walk "on two tracks" even after pivots during molientes.

Milonguero>> Crossing steps on ochos, and molientes, even walking may be be on "one track".

Nuevo>> overturned ochos, even overturned during molientes to create back sacadas, or walking to create front ochos that progress down the line of dance or back ochos that come towards the leader (hopefully still traveling with the line of dance not against it)

Just a few differences pointed out during a recent workshop.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Following (note to self)

(These are notes to myself and will require some experimentation through trail and error)

I danced with several awesome followers this weekend and I am trying to analyze what it was that made those dancers so Delicious while the memory of them is still in my mind!

When following transfer weight smoothly rolling from toe to heel (when walking backwards)inside of foot to center of foot (when doing side steps) heel to toe (when walking forward)try to keep the foot almost horizontal right before landing when taking front or backward steps.

Try and feel the length of stride that your leader is intending, if he is going to do a traspie or syncopa step it will be shorter due to the amount of time it takes to make the step. Better to be a little bit longer than he intended than too short, this will murder the leaders back after one song because he cannot keep his own axis and must also keep you from tripping over yourself.

Always remain grounded, never fall into the step.

Don't take too long of a step or you will not feel grounded at all to your leader and you my hurt someone that you are unaware of, that the leader is aware of.

Don't block your leader on the open side by keeping your arm too stiff, this is gentle embrace, Not an inflexible frame.

Stiff tight legs are hard and nasty and don't feel good to dance with, and will block a lot of possibilities. Relaxed legs are soft and feel wonderful to dance with and they will react to the lead in the way that the leader intends.

Better to be a little behind the beat than ahead of the beat.

Keep a good spiral in the body by remaining relaxed everywhere, feel your core muscles stretching rather than tightening.

Keep your own axis unless the leader takes you off of it by stretching or compressing the embrace, at that point use these counter acting forces to maintain an equilibrium these forces when applied must balance each other out or the whole thing will go off axis, it would be very embarrassing to fall over (trust your leader and make sure that he can trust you not to apply more force than is given) your leader is not there to help you keep your balance unless he takes you off of it nor are you there to help him keep his.

When taking a step be confident that you are doing what you felt (you probably are) and make a good quality step, getting your weight at least over your hip joint, if it feels as if the leader is trying to dance the Phrase, go with it smoothly, a jerky stuttering step is usually not what we are going for.

(If anyone sees something that is completely wrong with the things I have written please let me know so that I don't get too far in the wrong direction)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dancing the Phrase

In my last post I put up a video in which the speaker demonstrated the development of a musician from the age of seven, at which the young player struggles to hit each note and Really accents each and every note of a classical piece. The speaker then goes on to further demonstrate the development of the musician and at each step the student's accents grow steadily further and further apart, with the end result being that he is able to play the entire piece with out hesitation. It is at this point, that the beauty of the composition shines through, and the emotions of the listener are stimulated quite dramatically.

I am correlating this to my own development as a Tango leader, sadly having only recently (within the last two years) being exposed to this idea, it has taken some time for me to fully express this idea through my dance.

The results are amazing!

In the beginning I stepped and led (often very badly) each beat of the music, stopping and hesitating, unable to feel the passion that was there in the music all the time.

Eventually I was able to dance an entire bar without accent.

Now, it is beginning to flow and I am often able to dance through an entire phrase, caring less about whether or not the follower does exactly what I have suggested, rather working together with her to let the music carry us into the passion.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tango Compared to Kissing

Kissing can be an art in itself. There are a number of people in this world that can rock your world with only a kiss. Unfortunately there are also many people in this world that, well, they suck at kissing.

How do you tell someone that they kiss like a fish/your grand mother/a nun/your dog fido/a blow up doll/a maniquin/a barbie doll/a slice of liver/a sponge/a bowl of raw calamari...etc...

You don't! you just don't kiss them EVER AGAIN.(luckily there are people in this world who have the grace and understanding to put up with some bad kissing long enough to help the guilty party overcome their ignorance, but there are limits!)

Monday, November 9, 2009

OK, This is a Very Good Post (not mine)

This is aimed at (from me) those followers whom give their leaders a very stiff (arm wrestler like) stiff as a board right arm, expecting them (or me, more importantly) to push or pull them through what they should be doing on their own, and leaders/teachers whom teach this damned foolishness.

On either side of the embrace (open or closed side)the arms should be like antennae, that is to say they are there only to give either partner extra information about what the other partner is trying to communicate or how they have received the other half of the communication. A competent leader should be able to lead almost anything (with the exception of off axis turns, colgadas volcadas and soltadas) without arms.

I for one was guilty of leading with the "killer right arm" for a very long time, And I apologize to the many, many, many women that I tortured with this awful practice a few years back (you know who you are). I learned the error of my ways because I was willing to accept instruction from a couple of very competent instructors (Luiza Paes, Deb Scalar).
Click the link to find out what the hell I'm talking about.

Deeper Connection

In order to truly communicate through Tango we must pretend that Tango is the only language that we have in common.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Another Experience in Following

Last night at the weekly Tango lesson in my small city I had another chance to assume the role of follower. Here are a couple of observations;

I found it fairly easy to follow a couple of volcadas, they weren't very extreme still I found it to be much easier than I had imagined (and much easier to follow than it is to lead, I know this because when I was trying to learn this as a leader a couple of years ago it took me a very long time to get)

In order to follow the enganchada (which is what I call a back cross lead with a small hooked shape from the back, a good way to set up for a backward volcada) a very clear lead was necessary, my instructor was leading several in a row and the first one was easy to get, but after that the lead didn't seem as clear. So when leading this one must make sure to follow through, and make sure that the follower is with you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What a Way to Go

Nick Jones and Amy Anderson VERY FUNNY!

I think I saw this guy dancing in Buenos Aires.

An Experience In Following

Awhile back I was experimenting as a follower in a workshop, here are a couple of observations;

1. A couple of the leaders did not give me enough time to do what they had led me to do.

2. One leader had no concept of what the embrace should be (I was solely dancing in an open embrace)

3. More than one of the leaders led from very high in their chest. (I am fairly tall and can only imagine how difficult it would be to follow this type of lead if I were of shorter stature) Leading from the solar plexus would gives a much easier lead to follow.

4. Almost all of the leaders in this particular class had almost no disassociation in their bodies, ie; they did not move their upper bodies independently of their lower bodies,(fused spines?) these leaders were very unsuccessful in leading anything other than linear movement.

5. Most of them almost never looked at their partner (me in this case) this makes it very difficult to connect while dancing in open embrace.

6. Musically all but one did not have a clue.

Granted this was a class dealing with fundamentals, and as such the experience level was fairly low,(especially mine as a follower) still I am beginning to feel the pain of the followers out there and HOPEFULLY learning a thing or two.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Gum Chewing

At a recent workshop with Evan Griffiths one of the exercises was to vary the amount of concentration between your partner and yourself.

The woman I was paired with was chewing gum the entire exercise, this to me indicated that she was only going through the motions and really didn't care to connect with me (or anyone) at all.

I've danced with this woman before and never really felt a good connection, and I've watched her dance with others and noticed that her dance lacked something no matter who she was dancing with. Now I know the rest of the story.

I guess my grade school teacher was right, gum chewing is very inconsiderate, especially while dancing Tango(or making love).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Live Orquesta Tipica!!!! (or Bill Takes a Musical Tour of Heaven)

Orquesta Tipica D'Irelandia

Last night at the Merc. I think I died and went to heaven!

Look for me dancing in the crowd at 0:58, 1:20, 3:20
Five Bandoneons

Five violins




and even a Trumpet, played one of the people responsible for my own tango Journey, Scott Betts.

(there may have been even more instruments than this, but I was blinded by the incredible sound)

After the live music an incredible DJ, John Miller.

and an amazing, outrageous, performance by Nick and Amy that had me rolling on the floor!

Nick really knows how to throw a party!

This festival is going to be one of the best in the country, I can tell already!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sometimes it Gets a Little Steamy in Here!

Some people say that Tango is not a sexual experience.

They Aren't Doing it Right!

(Some of the best dances I've had didn't happen at a milonga or a practica)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Territory

New Territory

I've decided to explore following further in order to learn more about leading.

This should be interesting.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Few Thoughts on Your Feet

1. Your foot is about 6 or 7 inches long from the heel to the balls of the foot.

2. By landing on the heel and transferring your weight to the balls of your feet you move your axis forward (or backwards) by that distance, assuming that you keep your axis over your foot.

3. Your follower is doing the opposite of what you are doing when she is walking backwards (landing with weight on the balls of her feet first and transferring weight to her heel) as indicated by your lead.

4. If you try and put your weight on your toe first (as a leader) you are effectively telling your partner to put weight on her heel as well as stopping the indication that you want to continue forward motion. If that is what you are trying to achieve this is one good way of doing that.

5. Followers should use their heels (as opposed to keeping weight solely on the balls of their feet all of the time) to avoid serious foot problems and possible injury.

6. Pivots should be done with the follower while her weight is on the balls of her foot.

7. As a leader you are responsible to make both of these things happen as required for what you are trying to lead.

8. During single axis turns (when the follower is keeping her shoulders with yours) the follower needs to have her weight on the balls of her feet while her axis is leaning away from the axis of the turn, knees must be bent at least slightly for these things to occur at the same time.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Interesting Note On Followers

There is this one particular follower I get to dance with from time to time that does a few things that I used to find very distracting and somewhat annoying (embellishments, self led lapizes, etc...) what she does is not important, what is important is that lately I've begun to enjoy listening to what she has to contribute to the dance more and more.

I guess it's part of the listening lesson that I have been getting from a couple of my favorite instructors for more than a couple of years.

The point is, that even though I thought I was doing pretty well on this listening thing before now it's beginning to make more and more sense.

As an added benefit I'm finding that it is easier to do single axis turns (small colgadas) with her than almost anyone else, it seems this may have been what she was expecting,( I'm not asking her ) or could it be that I'm improving on this aspect of leading that I have neglected for quite a long time because it is not something that is done very often in the milongas where I dance normally.

Watch out, I think I may be on to something!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Just Perfect!

There is this one particular follower I get to see from time to time when I venture into the Big City.

She is always very warm and welcoming whenever she notices that I am in a Milonga where she happens to be, (I've run into her in three different states, but she is always at home no matter where she happens to be dancing tango)she makes me feel like a million bucks every time.

Her dancing is always extremely connected and it seems (to me) as if we are the only two people in the room, no matter how crowded the floor is.

Sometimes she hums or sings, most of the time her breathing and heartbeat are two more instruments to dance to.

Her curves are a joy to behold and heaven to mingle with if only for a short while.

She loves the tango at least as much as I do (a quality that is truly hard to find).

These are some of the reasons I dance Tango, all wrapped up in one very impressive package.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Floorcraft for Followers

Followers Floorcraft? YES!

On a crowded floor, or when following a leader you are unfamiliar with your feet should remain close to the floor during any boleo to avoid injuring someone during such conditions.

It brings to mind an incident that happened while I was dancing at a milonga in Buenos Aires where I led a very small close circlular boleo, and my follower did a rather large whipping switchblade like thing that caused the follower from the couple in front of us to let out a blood curdling scream (More for effect than becuse of real pain I think). Talk about an embarassing moment.

I'll never do that again, no matter how good I think my follower is! (or will I?)

Floorcraft is the responsibilty of both dancers.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Breathing and Tango

Being centered is essential to good tango, and breathing and self awareness are essential to being centered.

I have found that breathing in the way of Tai Chi, is the most effective way to create this internal self awareness.

To start with you should be relaxed and stacked up, head, over heart, over pelvis over feet, like a stack of blocks. Secondly your head should feel suspended as if it were filled with helium, or hung by a string from above. Your feet should be very grounded as if they grow roots into the earth each time you take a step. Finally the tip of your tongue should lightly touch the pallet just behind the ridge.

To describe what I am talking about think of it this way (I am only a casual student of Tai Chi and do not consider myself more than a beginner, but I have gleaned some very useful insights even through this limited study). First of all think of your breath as being able to go down much further than your diaphragm, think of it being able to reach the area near where your bladder is. When you breath in try to visualize the air taking a path down the inside of your sternum and reach the area I have described (Tan t'ien), you "belly" should be relaxed and expand outward (this allows more room within your abdomen for your diaphragm to deflect downward as well as lowering your center of gravity, a very good thing when it comes to maintaining balance). Additionally you pelvic floor should relax and expand downward during the inhalation.

Visualize the air following the path I have described and gathering into a spinning ball in this area maybe the size of a large tomato or small cantaloupe, this is your center in my thinking, and where your movements should initiate from, the position is not static and may be moved in many directions, for example forward, backward, diagonally, up, down, or sideways.

When exhaling the opposite of what I have described should occur with the air flowing up your spine, your "belly" contracting (exhale from the bottom up, never completely retract your abdominals), and your pelvic floor rising to complete the cycle(all our muscles should remain just right, that is to say nothing too tight nothing too relaxed). One should always think of this ball I have described as being in position and spinning (down in front up in the back) with some amount of weight (not floating as a balloon would, more like a ball of energy sand, if you will). By maintaining the position of this ball of energy a person will be able to control weight transfer more effectively.

This is a very simplified description of what I want to get across but I think it is sufficient to get a person thinking in a positive way about breathing control and centering.

When leading I try to always be aware of my breathing and use it as an indicator of when I am about to do something for example taking a deeper breath before doing a traspie, or sacada etc... I'll also try and tune in to my partners breathing as another level of connection, very satisfying!

Enjoy the experience, and I hope you get as much out of it as I have.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Leading from the Ground, Up

All energy in tango comes from the ground (it is what we push against to move and it is what we push against to stop or change our acceleration/deceleration to remain smooth), this is why we strive to remain grounded.

I have found that foot placement is one thing that is very seldom taught to leaders, or followers, in the workshops and lessons that I have attended. What I am talking about is placing your foot in a way that pre-leads your body to be in tension (read as twist energy) to lead your follower to do the thing that you are going to lead next, Leading from the ground up.

Many times teachers will tell their students to place their foot in a certain way with out explaining the reasons for doing so. For example they may say place your foot at a ninety degree angle to you other foot, or to the direction of your secada.

What is needed is to make people understand the idea of circular movement (you around her, her around you, each of you around the other, her around her own axis etc...) and the role that creating torsion in your body to make the lead work in a dynamic fashion, this is also true when it comes to creating the same type of forces in your followers body to make the lead "irresistible", in other words getting your follower to do what you intend without pushing or pulling her, make her think that what she did was the only natural thing to do (of course it is).

This being said it is also possible and desirable to put the tension in your body by leading from the top down,(this is what we as leaders usually do with our followers and something that followers should strive to intensify in their dancing, Following from the top down, Another topic often neglected). Leading from the top down is far more difficult but can be done.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Reviewing Old Video from Former Workshops

I recently was going trough some old videos stored on my hard drive in an attempt to get rid of some junk there, and I came across a few old files that show workshop demonstrations from years gone by.

I have a few observations about these old videos;

Most of the material has been incorperated into my dance even though at the time the material seemed difficult.

The videos show the material that these instructors went over in the class and to me it doesn't seem like enough material to occupy an hour and a half workshop.

It always seems like the instructors were trying to get to a more advanced concept but were stopped due to limitations of skill of the attendees. (The tango community where I live is small and often classes are made up of a very wide range of abilities often streching from very advanced to brand new).

There are things that I do not recall in the videos that are extremely important concepts and were discovered through trail and error later.

Sometimes it seems as if the instructors left things out that may have helped the students.

I need to do this more often as a refresher, it was a very usfull excercise.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Elusive Scent

Tango is much like an elusive scent.

You catch a whiff of its fragrance drifting by on the evening breeze and you are transported to a timeless place in your memory, or deep recess of your own mind.

Like the memory of a lover from the past or a dream you once had.

Was it a dream?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Castellano Lesson (Don't Take Too Seriously)

I didn't write this, but, it is absolutely funny and more or less true,and pretty much describes my experience trying to speak Spanish in Buenos Aires.

(it came from here.)

For everyone who invested two, or five years learning Spanish, or for those who took the time on a crash course or just spent hard earned income buying phrasebooks, congratulations.

All your efforts and money will be completely useless in Argentina. But there is hope for you. It's not hard at all to learn the Argentine Language, in fact it only takes a few minutes as the following short read will demonstrate. Take the following Spanish language sentence:

Oye, ¿quien eres tú? Vienes aquí a coger mujeres en la calle y bailar tango con ellas.

(This translates to: "Hey, who are you? You come here to pick up women on the streets and to dance tango with them.")
But saying it like this will render you an ignorant tourist at best, or an inferior sub-human from a neighboring country next to best. With these simple ten, 12 steps below you will be able to make yourself understood in the Argie tongue:

1. Replace "oye" with a 1000% Argentine word, che. No one knows where this word came from, but many say it is derived from brazilian homosexuals, ironic since today virtually none of them are around. Wonder what happened to them?

/// Che, ¿quien eres tú? Vienes aquí a coger mujeres en la calle y bailar tango con ellas.

2. "Che", following Argentine etiquette, is ALWAYS followed by the word "boludo", s term to express respect and friendship. Its closest translation in English language is believed to be "asshole".

/// Che boludo, ¿quien quien eres tú? Vienes aquí a coger mujeres en la calle y bailar tango con ellas.

3. Quien is spelled the correct educated computer age way in Argentina, "kien"

/// Che boludo, ¿///// kien eres tú? Vienes aquí a coger mujeres en la calle y bailar tango con ellas.

4. Replace "eres tu" with sos vos. Unfortunately, all those verbs in Spanish which had you eating the corners of your textbook are officially worthless. Argentines use an entirely different 2nd person singular pronoun (vos instead of tu), and that means all verb endings change too, so the conjugation of the verb 'to be' is not eres, but sos. Enjoy learning all 25,000 verb endings all over again!

/// Che boludo, ¿ kien //// /// sos vos? Vienes aquí a coger mujeres en la calle y bailar tango con ellas.

5. "Vienes" must be replaced with venís. Again poor you, using the subject pronoun vos, has the effect of completely changing the spelling of verbs.

/// Che boludo, ¿kien //// /// sos vos? ////// Venís aquí a coger mujeres en la calle y bailar tango con ellas.

6. Take out "aquí" and use acá. Aquí is absolutely forbidden from use, as in Argentina this word sounds too much like Spanish, a language spoken in Bolivia, Mexico, Colombia.

/// Che boludo, ¿///// kien //// /// sos vos? ////// Venís //// acá a coger mujeres en la calle y bailar tango con ellas.

7. Here your options are a bit more open for you. You could replace "coger mujeres" ("to pick up women" in Spain and Latin America), with recoger mujeres, which is the correct way of saying "to pick up women" in Argentina. Another choice should be "buscar" mujeres (to look for women), which would fully disclose the appreciation of the chances a stranger has on getting chicks unless he handles the local language. On the other hand, you could leave "coger mujeres" alone, if your intention is to F-CK the chicks right there on the spot, which was probably what you were thinking anyways. But if you want a bit more privacy, we do advice to replace "coger" with "buscar".

/// Che boludo, ¿///// kien //// /// sos vos? ////// Venís //// acá a ///// buscar mujeres en la calle y bailar tango con ellas.

(ps ALWAYS replace "coger" with "tomar" or "agarrar" when saying you want to "take" a bus. In Spanish-speaking nations coger el bus is the correct form of saying "taking the bus". In Argentina saying this will probably lead to a response like "sure, go ahead, I guess you can do so through the muffler".)

8. "Mujeres" is a far too formal expression not a single Argentine would deign to pronounce. A more appropriate word would be "minas" (chicks), a slang which has also the benefit of expressing properly the high consideration Argentines have towards the feminine gender.

/// Che boludo, ¿///// kien //// /// sos vos? ////// Venís //// acá a ///// buscar /////// minas en la calle y bailar tango con ellas.

9. In Argentino, all nouns have their syllables switched so that "tango" became "gotan". So always reverse the syllables of all nouns, it's simple and you won't go wrong in your quest to fit in!!(But it isn't REALLY necessary, unless you want to be a real moron. If you do you are almost Argentinian!!!! KANGRETULAYSHUNS!!)

/// Che boludo, ¿///// kien //// /// sos vos? ////// Venís //// acá a ///// buscar /////// minas en la calle y bailar ///// gotán con ellas.

10. If you are in Buenos Aires, Uruguay and some other areas, further rules have to be applied. To be precise, within the borders of the described regions one should consider all territories below the Tropic of Capricorn, when Saturn fulfill its duty in the fifth house of Uranus, and Mars is conjunction with Titanus. And, of course, during full moon. In Main Argentino you have to pronounce the "ll"s correctly, so switch out "calle" with "ca-sshe", and "ellas" for e-sshas.

/// Che boludo, ¿///// kien //// /// sos vos? ////// Venís //// acá a ///// buscar /////// minas en la ///// ca-sshe y bailar ///// gotán /// ///// con e-sshas.

11. You can leave "en la calle" ("on the street") alone, as this is how every local and tourist ends up when their girlfriend or wife finds out they were carrying out the commands of this sentence. And presto!

12. You are speaking Argentino.

Spanish: Oye, ¿quien eres tú? Vienes aquí a coger mujeres en la calle y bailar tango con ellas.

Argentino: Che boludo, ¿kien sos vos? Venís acá a buscar minas en la ca-sshe y bailar gotán con e-sshas.

See, no difference at all!

(Don't take this too seriously)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

What Does it Feel Like to Lead

I really like this,
when you watch it pay attention to the followers legs, specifically how the "light" falls mostly on her legs and body, much more so than it does on the leaders legs and body, this is where your attention is as a leader (after the connection). Just very well done in my opinion.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Giggle Girl

Sometimes she giggles when I do something fun, or different,
Sometimes she purrs, from the depth of her soul,
Sometimes she claws my back, or bites at my neck...

I don't even know her, still...


I Love it when This happens!

Her (after the song ends): “I think I took over the lead for awhile”

Me (inside my own head): hum, When was that?

Me: “I love it when you do that!”

I Hate it when This happens!

Her (during a song, after hesitating): “Sorry! I was trying to lead.”

Me (inside my own head): WHY did you stop dancing? Please shut up!

Me: “Don't worry about it, I love dancing with you.”

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Denver Memorial Day Weekend Tango Festival 2009

Another Awesome Festival in Denver as Always!

I only attended six milongas and no classes, which is good because when I started out I only anticipated attending two, thanks to a couple of good friends I was able to stay two extra nights. (I really want to attend Daniel Trenner's classes but it just wasn't happening this trip).

Friday afternoon I arrived in time to catch the last hour or so of the afternoon milonga, really only danced four tandas and got to see a few friends I haven't seen for awhile. The energy was good.

That night at the Mercury also was fantastic, as Extasis was playing (always a treat). I especially enjoyed the more danceable tandas (thats a hint, if anyone is listening). I did get two compliments on my musicality (I guess some people have a hard time dancing to Pugliese). The floor was not as crowded as it has been in the past, really it was just right, similar feeling to the crowds in BA. Floor craft was a bit loose but not really bad at all.

The Alternative Milonga Saturday afternoon, This is always one of my favorite milongas In Denver. The music was right on, and everyone seemed to be having a great time (smiles clear across the dance floor). I did see a video of myself dancing during this milonga and was somewhat disappointed with my posture when I am dancing in open embrace with a shorter follower, as I have said before video does not lie so I have some work to do (whats new!).

The Elegant Milonga Saturday night, is it just me or does this milonga always feel a little stiff until about midnight (maybe it's just coming down from the high of the Alternative milonga earlier in the day), still I had many great tandas with old friends and new, I really don't remember sitting for longer than two or three tandas all evening (a man has to have a glass of wine and socialize from time to time). Tara finally kicked us out at three thirty.

Sunday Afternoon Milonga at Cheeseman Park Pavilion, this is arguably one of the best settings for an outdoor milonga and picnic that I have attended, despite heavy rain earlier during the day, everything went off without a hitch. Photographers were a bit of a navigation hazard as they were not one bit shy about getting right out there in the thick of things (I would like to get a look at those photos, and videos!). Several people choose not to attend this milonga (fear of rain I guess) man did they miss a treat, it seemed like almost everyone that was there was dancing most of the time (I'm guessing around three hundred people) after eating I danced almost every tanda.

Sunday evening, SLEEP ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Awaking in time to catch the last four and a half hours of the All Night Milonga (in retrospect this might just be the best way to do this milonga, much better than going early and dropping into bed dead at 6:30Am) the best vibe happens during the wee hours anyway! After the music stopped and the applause died down, I got some of the best hugs I've had all year.

Ain't Tango great!

Cabeceo, the trip to BA really taught me a great deal about how to get dances with the followers I want to dance with (don't hesitate, just do it or miss out), and navigating in difficult situations.

I only had two gripes, both about other leaders at this festival;
1. Leaders who will not move. (you can never trust someone who is completely terrified in traffic).
2. Leaders who are only interested in long slow figure demonstration for a nonexistent audience, with a complete disregard for the music and others on the dance floor.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Your Rhythm Drags My Soul"

Your violin inspires me,
Your rhythm drags my soul,
The bandoneon lulls me.


Letra de H. Marcó

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Paradox of Tango

It's not what you do, but how you do it!

We've all heard this golden advice of course.

The thing is, you want to make your dance memorable to the people you dance with (I'm going for in a good way), the point is that the next time they see you in the Milonga or at a festival in the future the person will say to themselves, "Oh yeah, I remember that person, I've got to get a dance with them!".

Everyone out there is embracing their partner, so your embrace must be developed so that it is unusually fine, unforgettably giving, totally connected, and not harsh in any way.

Everyone out there is dancing to the same music, so you must have a unique interpretation of the music, something that will, make your partner smile, or sigh, or make their heart skip a beat.

If you are leading, your followers should feel that you willed them to go where you wanted by some mysterious power, or that you could read their minds, or they yours.

If you are following the same idea in reverse.

These are just thoughts and ideals but it is something to strive for, every once in a while you will get a dance like that and you know that you are making progress.

These are the simplest things, and yet the most difficult, that is the paradox of Tango.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stay in Your Lane A--hole!

A guy In Boulder bumped in to me twice on Saturday, once he was trying to pass me on my right(I prefer to dance in the outside lane if it is moving), once he was trying to pass me on my left.

The floor wasn't even that crowded.

What a dick!

I can't go faster than the guy in front of me Dipshit, and there is no way you can fit in half a lane without colliding with someone.

Why would anyone dance with someone like that?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Watching Tango Makes You a Better Dancer!

I watch a lot of videos on Youtube (at the time of this posting over 7500 mostly tango related). I know, I should get a life, but remember, I live in a Tango Wasteland. As it turns out this may actually stimulate the same areas of the brain that are used during the actual dance (see the link below for reference if you like).

I am not saying that one can learn to dance Tango on the internet, they cannot.

I know one couple that took a few lessons and decided they could study this way and improve their dance. They do dance, and it is unique. It is not tango by any stretch of the imagination, mostly a lot of very poorly executed big moves (volcadas, leg wraps, ganchos, etc... mixed up with a few snipets from other dances all smashed together) Painful to watch! Painful to be anywhere near them while they are dancing, yet they enjoy themselves (who am I to judge).

On the other hand according to this article once someone has a personal knowledge of a dance and has experience actually dancing the dance they can process what they are seeing and actually learn something purely through the visual.

There really is no substitute for one on one personal instruction from a competent instructor.

ref link

Also this

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Perfect Connection

You'll know her when you encounter her.

Sometimes when it happens you forget everything you know about Tango, no move or turn could be worth even a momentary pause of this feeling, or disruption of this magical spell you are cast under. The world shrinks down to two hearts beating and moving as one within the music. You breath as one, a single soul from two, alone in the music, walking, nada mas.

The Tanda ends, the music stops, the night passes, but the connection remains forever in memories and hopes.

I can still feel her.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What the Embrace Can Tell You (Tango Epiphanies 7)

There are times when you just want to dance with a person for whatever reason (mutual attraction usually) and you haven't had a chance to watch that person dance. Perhaps you are in a strange community, or the other person is visiting your community.

Your eyes meet, you make (or accept) the invitation to dance, and meet the other person on the dance floor.

This is the moment that will define everything.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

FloorCraft and Buenos Aires Taxis

Riding around in a cab in Buenos Aires is, to say the least, an eye opening experience.

The paint means nothing to the average driver there. Lanes, well if a car might fit in a slot, the cab driver is going there. Tailgating, a miss is as good as a mile! No wonder almost every cab has a rosary hanging from the mirror.

Don't get me wrong, these are very good drivers and they do this all day and night, every day and night, it's just that the average person driving around in the United States may have different ideas about what good driving is.

Just remember these things when you visit the Milongas in Buenos Aires, and you must be prepared to deal with the dancers there and their ideas about what is, and is not, acceptable behavior on the dance floor (in some cases I'm sure you will be dealing with the same drivers). I'm just glad nobody has thought of giving all of the leaders horns to blow continuously!

Luckily for me I have attended the crowded floors in Denver during the twice annual festivals there several times especially the Mercury cafe during the Friday Milongas. It turns out that this is the perfect environment to learn how to dance in tight situations (The first time went to this Milonga during the Denver Memorial Day Festival 2005 it seemed as if the goal was to keep me personally from moving more than a few feet during a tanda, and turns, forget it, I was almost a statue, what a nightmare). Over the years I have learned to love this type of crowd (even to the point of being disappointed when the Milonga was less crowded).

Great training for navigating in Buenos Aires!

Thanks Tom!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Observations of Buenos Aires Tango 3

1. Afternoon Milongas, I found the afternoon Milongas very disappointing. The quality of dancing at these events was generally poor compared to the late night Milongas.

2. Plaza Bohemia, Maipu 444, I really enjoyed this venue and attended two different Milongas here three different nights during my two week visit (Cachirulo twice, and
Shusheta once). I have noticed that when you return to a Milonga more than once you are greeted and recognized by the hosts and the dancers, this is a very good feeling when you are a stranger in a strange land. As I was leaving Shusheta the hostess grabbed me as I was going down the stairs and insisted that I dance with her (she is very short and very round), she also invited me to attend another milonga that she was hosting at a different venue, I didn't go but I certainly enjoyed the hospitality.
I was seated in the same spot both times I attended Cachirulo, at first I thought it was a poor location but as it turned out it may have been one of the best seats in the house for Cabeseo, I was directly behind a large number of women and could see most of the other followers in the place (also right beside the entrance to the ladies room, every follower in the room knew exactly where I was sitting).

The only bad thing about the place was the quality of service by the two young waitresses whom were far more interested in texting people than waiting on tables (seems that poor work ethic is a problem no matter where you go).

3. A note on Buenos Aires Women, There seem to be more beautiful women per square inch in Buenos Aires than in any other place I've ever been, a trophy wife walking down the street on every block, people in general are far less prone to obesity than they are in the United States.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Observations of Buenos Aires Tango 2

1. After my last post I now have a NEW favorite Milonga in Buenos Aires, Lo De Celia. I went there last night and the place, and everyone there that I met or danced with, was fantastic. This place has an energy that is totally unique, it's the mixture of the lighting, the stone floor, the cool green colors, but mostly it was just the people there that made the evening so terrific.

These people know how to have fun!

I got there around 12:30am and finally left at 3:30 or four, wishing I could have spent more time there.

I danced with one woman who may have been the best dancer I have encountered here, not once but twice.

This is the reason Tango is so addictive, every once in awhile the moons and planets all line up and nothing can go wrong, if that ever happens to you you are a goner!

2. I really wish that I had gone there last Saturday instead of going to La Viruta, that place is not a Milonga it is a night club. They did dance tango there about 50% of the time, but the place has no soul, like I said it feels like a hip hop club without the hip hop music. Just a bad experience (is there such a thing?).

Lesson learned!

3. Practica X (equis) WOW! What an incredible rush, to dance big after dancing nothing but close embrace six hours a day for a solid week, this dance is kind of a hoot! I did feel like sort of an outsider at this practica due to the fact that most of these people all are very familiar with each other, and not with me, but of course that feeling went away after my first tanda (no tandas there, no cortinas, just lots of room, and tons of incredible dancers).

For people who do not like this style of dancing, all you have to do is look around this room and notice that all of the young energetic people, (natural leaders), are here, doing this style, to realize that this is going to have a major impact on Tango as we know it. I personaly think it is for the better!

Question: Why don't they dance like this at the downtown Milongas?
Answer: The venues aren't big enough.

Question: Why don't they get larger venues?
Answer: Money$$$$$

Question: How do you get more people into a smaller space for less money and more profit?

Answer: Close embrace.

Don't get me wrong! I also love close embrace with a passion, I just enjoy really expressing myself in this style just as much!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Observations of Buenos Aires Tango 1

1. I had absolutely no trouble getting dances at any time using cabeseo.

2. The venues here are much smaller and not as crowded as I have been led to believe.

3. The tango I learned in the states works very well here, I am very pleased with the fact that I can lead any follower here with ease, and I have received numerous compliments on my dancing.

4. The tango danced in most places here is very simple and straight forward, of course the Nuevo venues are the exceptions.

5. Argentine followers compared to followers where I come from are much heavier (feeling) and far more off balance and axis, I would place all but a few of them that I danced with in the intermediate category at best.

6. Navigation on the dance floor is far superior to navigation in the states.

7. I went to every Milonga on this trip by myself and did not reserve my seat, from what I saw it would have made almost no difference (from the stand point of a solitary leader).

8. The performances I witnessed at both Practica X and TangoCool were possibly the best I've seen and I don't even know who the dancers were.

9. The best all around Milonga that I attended here was El Beso. The level of dance there was far better than anywhere else that I went. I saw several well known milongueros there and was very impressed with the way things were done overall.

10. The worst Milonga I attended was Gricel, very poor dancers, poor selection of music, dark with a funky feel to the place. When I got here the hostess tried to seat me way back in a corner of the room even though there were empty tables everywhere (this was late in the course of the Milonga)I insisted on a better seat and she gave in. I did meet a very nice woman from Ireland there that I have been running into all over town ever since that night so it wasn't a total loss!

11. I also attended a Milonga called Viejo Correo, this was a very good and interesting experience. Everyone there was at least 70 years old, excepting my self, the place is deep and narrow. Everyone there was Argentine excepting myself as well. Seating was strictly segregated, with the men on one side of the room and the women on the the other with only enough room for a passage between the opposing tables (about three deep on each side). Couples were seated on the other side of the dance floor completely isolated. It felt very odd and sort of like a junior high school dance. Everyone there that I talked to or danced with was extremely nice, even though I felt like I was under a microscope the entire time I was there I would not have missed that experience for the world. I was not that impressed with the quality of dancing there but it was a genuine insight into the way milongas may have been back in the fortys and fifties.

12. Getting around the city is not that difficult as the cabs are everywhere and very affordable compared to any other spot I have ever used taxi service. The subway is also very efficient and dirt cheap, about $0.30 a ride. I used Manuel Tienda Leon to get from the airport into town it cost about $45 AR (about $12 US).

13. It is worth while learning at least some Spanish before coming here, most of the locals do not speak English beyond the very basics. You should at least learn how to tell the cab drivers where to go and know how much money to give them.

14. Use the ATMS for currency exchange, they are all over the place.

15. The most annoying thing that I have encountered here are the people trying to hand out ads on every corner (if you have ever been to Las Vegas you know what I am talking about) next time I'll bring my taser (just kidding, sort of).

16. Don't let anyone fool you, the food here sucks! especially if you like vegetables, these people don't have a clue. Find a large supermarket and cook your own food.

More later!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Buenos Aires Milongas addresses and contact information

Here is a Link that gives addresses and phone numbers for many Buenos Aires Milongas on different days of the week.

It was created by Shuhrukah Merchant.

Does anyone have any information as to email addresses for these milongas so that a person might get reservations that way?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mixed Messages about Buenos Aires

I've been thinking about taking a trip to Buenos Aires for a couple of years now and after talking to several different people I've gotten varied responses about what to expect

"Expect nothing"

"Go with a group"

"Men have a different experience there than women"

"You a good dancer, you'll have a great time"

"If I were single like you I'd go down there for awhile"

"Don't go with a group, you may as well just go to a festival as do that"

"It's hard for a foreigner to get a lot of dances, especially with the non foreign women there"

"Take a woman with you"

I've decided It's time to find out for myself so I bought ticket today

I'll be there April 7 - April 20

Tango is not for the meek!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tango Epiphanies 6

Video does not lie and will show you the reality of your tango. There is no better way to learn from yourself.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thoughts on Floorcraft

Lane width does vary according to the volume of dancers on the floor. Good floor craft requires that a leader follow the couple in front of him (Provided that said leader is following the line of dance) without passing or changing lanes. What is so hard about that?

As for "tailgaters" once you have vacated your space it is no longer yours, it now belongs to the couple behind you. Tango is a progressive dance (along the line of dance). If you are having trouble with people behind you being in your way, you are going the wrong way.

If everyone on the floor followed these simple principals, floor craft would be easy. Just keep moving along the line of dance taking care to follow the couple in front of you (even turns can progress along the line if the leader has the proper skills). This is why some clubs will not allow corte's, they stop the progression of the dance. When it is very crowded it is the only way to move more than a few feet during a tanda (think about it, if one person stops, everyone stops).

Passing, changing lanes, and leading your follower into space that is behind you are three things that lead to most collisions during the milonga. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

I would also add that if your dancing requires that you dance a sequence that you need to work on your improvisation skills (these skills are what made Tango what it is, a dance that can be changed in a fraction of a second).

I have visited areas where there is complete ignorance about floor craft, in these milongas it is often a free for all (Total chaos) this is the direct fault of "instructors" and shows everyone the skill level of those "instructors".

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tucson Tango Festival

March 5th - 9th 2009

I think this is the first annual festival in Tucson.

With over 30 hours of milongas, awesome instructors, a hit and run milonga, and perfect weather to break Winter's back, this sounds like a great time.

Instructors: | Murat & Michelle Erdemsel | Ney Melo & Jennifer Bratt | Ruben Harymbat & Enriqueta Kleinman | Grisha Nisnevich |
DJs | Subashini Ganesan | Paul Akmajian | Sabah Chammas | Erik Fleming | Dave Donatiu | Varo Boyajyan |
Yoga Morning Warm Ups | Rose Kress

I'll be there!

POST FESITVAL UPDATE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was one of the better festivals that I have attended, mostly because of the instructors. People from the Tucson area seem to be very friendly and did an excellent job!

The venue was somewhat rundown(rooms that I observed anyway)this was the only drawback that I observed.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tango Epiphanies 5

Too much vino may have an adverse effect on you tango. (Duh!)

Tango Epiphanies 4

Good tandas only happen when both partners want to dance with each other, this is why cabeseo is so great.

Tango Epiphanies 3

Creating a spiral in your followers torso is the key to creating pivots, ochos, circular boleos, and over turned ochos, for followers you must allow this to happen.

Tango Epiphanies 2

A moliente may be led while the leader progresses along the line of dance. This way the follower is not led into the space belonging to the couple behind them. Disassociation is required to pull this off.

Tango Epiphanies 1

It's not about me, it's about her

Couples at Milongas

Am I the only one that has been taught that a woman seated with a man is of limits for Cabeseo until the male half of the couple dances with another woman?

Personally I feel that maintaining as much of the culture, etiquette, and tradition in the milonga as possible helps to keep the feeling as it should be in tango, that is, it brings a small piece of Argentina, and the culture of tango to where ever you happen to be dancing thus making it a more genuine experience.

Having said that, the one thing that I would personally do away with is the tradition of seating single men and women apart from one another, luckily I have seen that only once in the country where I dance. (I hated it but, I guess like the other traditions and tango music itself, it is an acquired taste.) The only purpose for it that I can see for it is that it would eliminate "babysitting", there is nothing worse than asking a lady to dance when a man is camped out next to her.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Teaching Patterns

For myself, as a leader and occasional instructor, I have found that the realization of the fact that any pattern learned in a class or workshop can be broken down into many smaller movements was the crux in learning how to lead in an actual social situation. It has been the patterns that have taught me the various possibilities and where I might insert those smaller movements into real time situations. No pattern is ever set in stone, floor craft simply will not allow it. Many instructors of tango disregard this simple fact when teaching, and it is a shame because it is the very thing that makes this dance so fulfilling as well as challenging. I might also add that in my opinion the improvisation required to navigate on a crowded pista (as in Buenos Aires) is responsible for almost all of the movements that make Tango what it is.

What is helpful is when the instructor explains the reason for each particular part of a pattern so that the students might begin to explain the nuts and bolts of what they are doing rather than blindly repeating.

One good thing about patterns, when everyone in the room is doing the same thing it makes it much easier for the instructor to see what is wrong or right with what the students are doing.

Patterns might be useful during some type of Tango Fantasia for show tango or as I said earlier as a teaching and learning tool but the dance is about leading and following and giving yourself to your partner and to the music. What is dance if not movement. As Gavtito once said anyone who steps on to a dance floor is a dancer, and should think of themselves as one.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Dead Zone

You know what it is, it's that place where you sit in a milonga where cabeseo is almost doomed to failure. Usually its back in a corner or up against the wall in the back or at a table full of couples or poor dancers.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Embrace (Lets be Flexible!)

I dance with what I call a flexible embrace.

What I mean is, sometimes I'll start out in a close embrace and open up so that We can express something musical, or some times I'll go the other way in order to better feel the connection. Sometimes my embrace will go from a "square" embrace where our shoulders are parallel to a "vee" shape where body to body connection is only on the closed side or rolls across the chest to allow Ocho's or back sacadas, leg wraps, gancho's etc...

I always think of the embrace as being elastic, that is to say, it may open up or change shape temporarily, or even break for short periods (as is the case for soltadas)but will eventually return to the shape it started from. The connection always remains and is paramount.

All that being said, the contact with the hands is always kept light and leading with the hands or pressure of any kind is to be avoided. The lead should always come from the core for linear movement or weight changes, and the torso for circular movement, and more often than not I will do both at the same time (leading a circular gyro while moving along the line of dance), this requires taking a back, front, side, or crossing step along the line of dance(to lead a movement with La Rhonda) while at the same time using disassociation of my hips from my shoulders to lead a circular movement of the follower around my axis. Any pressure from the hands (enough to push the follower off of her own axis) will make the dance very uncomfortable for the woman I am dancing with, and that equals a poor lead.

Rigidity leads to blocking or pressure, flexibility allows your partner freedom to maintain their own axis and freedom for self expression. If you are pushing someone around with your hands or a firm grip how could they possibly be having any fun.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cabeceo for Followers (Why Doesn't it Work?)

All over the Internet I've noticed followers generally complaining about the fact that they are not getting asked to dance as often as they would like, going as far as to break with custom and actually approaching leaders and flat out asking them to dance (this usually is fine with me and I will generally will accept when I am offered, however It is considered extremely rude and is contrary to Argentine culture, and Latino culture in general).

I have also observed women behaving in ways which discourage and undermine their chances of getting asked to dance by the traditional method known as Cabeseo.

What Cabeseo is, for those that may not know, is a method of invitation to dance in which the leader (traditionally a man) asks the follower (traditionally a woman) to dance by inviting her to engage in direct eye contact from a distance. To accept the invitation the woman has simply to allow the eye contact to continue (that is to say if she wishes to accept the invitation she simply looks back into the eyes of the man with out breaking eye contact). When the woman returns the eye contact, the man must indicate that it is indeed an invitation to her with some type of head motion (a nod or motion toward the floor, the follower then nods and smiles in agreement to dance.

To decline the invitation she simply chooses not to return the eye contact.

Here are a few of the behaviors that I have observed personally, and a few ways to increase the chances of getting invited to dance.

1. Don't act like a bitch.

(a). Remember when you are at a milonga people are observing you and almost nothing goes unnoticed.

(b). If you snub 3 or 4 leaders in a row I for one will not be giving you a second look.

(c). If you snub me twice in one night I won't be asking you to dance again (until I forget).

(d). If you turn down one leader and then get up to dance one minute later with a different leader you are obviously too good to ask to dance.

(e). Don't sit around with your friends making fun of beginners (remember you were a beginner once).

(f). If you attend workshops at festivals don't skip over people in the rotation (this is just bad for the tango community and 1.a. above applies to workshops as well, remember the leaders in the workshops are the same people that are potential partners if not at the milonga later that night then maybe in six months or two years from now ).

Be a positive person rather than negative, it's just more attractive in every way.

2. Pay attention to leaders around you. It' possible you are missing invitations without even knowing it.

(a). Socializing is fine, and half the fun of milongas, but if you want to dance, look around at the beginning of every song and especially at he beginning of each new tanda. Occasionally separate yourself from you group of friends (sometimes it's hard to tell the followers that want to dance when they are laughing and talking nonstop, remember most of us were taught not to interrupt conversations when we were children).

(b). Remember, if you are sitting behind people they must turn around to notice you, (the leaders that really want to dance will look back) and if you are in front of people there maybe someone you want to dance with behind you.

3. Greet anyone that you know when you see them and introduce those around you (networking is the way the world works).

4. Find a good high traffic location. (near the isle where everyone walks off the dance floor, by the water, on the way to the restroom, close to the snacks}. return there often so that if someone wants to find you they know where to look.

5. Smile!

6. There are some postures that just say "I don't want anyone to dance with me right now."

(a). Taking off one or both shoes.

(b). Being deeply involved in conversation.

(c). Sitting back in a chair as if you are totally exhausted.

(d). Sitting as a couple, or anything that might indicate that you are at the milonga as a couple (this is another thing about Latino culture that some people may not be aware of).

7. Women who generally look "pissed off" probably aren't going to get a lot of invitations.

8. If you are busy fiddling with something, looking through your purse, texting people, talking on the phone. These are all ways of saying "I don't want to dance, especially with you".

If you do all of these things and still aren't getting the invitations, It never hurts to get a private lesson or two, It could be that there is something about the way that you dance that is just a little off (remember that guy you dance with a couple of years ago that squeezed you too hard, or was always leaning on you and really sucked)(by the way, it is possible that he may have learned a thing or two since then, give him another chance). I've danced with women who've danced for many years and aren't aware of how uncomfortable that they are to dance with, and I've learned through experience that sometimes one lesson with a competent instructor will make you into a much better dancer.

It's a learning process, but it can be done.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tango Networking

Great new networking site for anyone interested in Tango

The purpose of this group is to join individuals with one common interest: Argentine Tango. This is a free access website. Members can add friends, send them messages, instant messages, update your own personal webpage, list tango events, make groups, photo/video sharing, meet fellow tangueros/as, blogging and more! Once you join, please click on groups you would like to be a member of to receive the latest information or provide information. Also click, who you want to be friends with and invite your friends to join.

uploading music to this site seems to take awhile, still I really like what I see.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Her Tango


Walking Technique for Leaders

I know this guy that lands, and teaches students to land (with weight) on his/their little toe while walking forward, because it "looks better".

He has chronic problems with his ankles (hard to figure out the reason).

In my opinion a leader should only think about relaxing his ankle and the only ones that will know the difference are him, and his orthopaedic surgeon.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Best Tango Workshop So Far!

Today I attended a last minute workshop from one of my favorite instructors, Nick Jones, along with his current partner from Denver, Amy Anderson. I say last minute because it only came about last Monday when Nick called Scott and let him know that they were going to be in town for a demonstration, and wanted to know if they were up for a workshop.

Nicks classes are always fantastic, this one was out of this world. during the class he never showed us one step, or pattern and basically assumed that everyone there had proper technique (except that they did point out that without proper posture and balance none of what they taught would be easy and they said that if something isn't easy you weren't doing it right).

The classes had to do with leading through disassociation, for almost the entire day all of the leading was done with absolutely no contact between the leaders and the followers. Toward the end of the class it was almost effortless I've been thinking about this principle since the first time I saw a video by Murat and Michele, here (there was another video that was better, but it is no longer on youtube).

Anyhow, if you ever get a chance to experience a class with Nick teaching do it, his style of teaching is so relaxed and easy, fun and dynamic, like I've said before he makes what seems impossible seem easy.