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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Milonga/Practica Organizers and those considering hosting tango events in your community.

I host 4 practicas and 1 milonga a month, why?...mostly because there is not enough tango in the area I live, but also because I am tired of paying someone else to dance.  I would encourage anyone to do the same Especially the Practicas because the best and only way to improve is to practice.

I am also tired of being overcharged so that I can enjoy some chopped up veggies and ranch dip or a piece of grocery store ham on a cracker...Damn it, I came her to dance Tango, not to add to my waistline.

My Practica price is based on half of what it would cost to rent a small studio for one hour in the area where I live (and the practica lasts for two hours). My Milonga price is twice the cost of the Practica because it lasts twice as long.  I am thinking of the person who brings a date and pays both entradas.

Occasionally I will host a free Milonga or Practica for invited guests, the Milongas and Practicas that I charge for are open to the public.

If you are hosting an event and want to exclude people based on their ability to pay, go ahead and charge as much as you like, but remember anyone who has a computer and a dance floor can, and will, start their own events.  "let the one percent dance with their own kind".

As for paying for Dj's, I say, let people know that the Dj is working for tips only and stick to it (of course they also get to attend the event without charge). This way the crappy Dj's will be weeded out by starvation, vote for your kind of music with healthy tips.

If you think that Tango is a money maker, think again.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tango Posture Imagery

I've found fantastic imagery applicable to Tango.

Notice the differences between the five posture types represented here, White, Blue, Red, Green Yellow.

For the purposes of tango my preference is the posture represented on this link by the red figures...if I had a tail it would point back, but not up (do not cause yourself pain or injury).  My hat would resemble a baseball cap. My eyes would look straight forward.

The white isn't bad it's just that the red is ideal for leading of following tango (notice that the white figure represents the standing leg being straight rather than slightly bent...bent is good for balance and grounding in tango).

The link is Here

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tango is Not Ballet!

I sometimes enjoy watching Ballet and am amazed by the control and grace that those who dance well exhibit,  this post is not meant to take anything away from the art.

For those of you who took ballet when you were young there are a number of things that you must let go of to execute Tango at  a more advanced level...I've come to these conclusions after many years of dancing tango and many, many different lessons taught by both famous and successful dancers as well as other ... well, not so famous or successful.  I've also watched many of the most successful dancers in innumerable videos which are widely available on the Internet and in person (you, of course, can do the same to prove or disprove these theories for/to yourself).

The energy in Ballet is decidedly feminine (in my opinion this is why men who dance ballet are often put into the "questionable sexual orientation" category, very unfortunate, but true), in tango the emphasis is on accentuating both feminine as well as masculine energies, and the fact that in is an interaction between the two that makes the sensual connection work.

 Turnout is not desirable in tango.
In Ballet the first thing that young (3 year old) dancers are taught is first position turnout, and every effort is made to increase turnout as the young ballet dancer progresses.  It is desirable in tango to increase the distance between partners feet and hips (keep your "sex" at a distance) (hips should be back when dancing tango) when dancing in close embrace (and open embrace, because you many not wish to use entirely different technique when switching between open and closed embrace), the rotation of the thighs required to produce turnout moves the hips forward and decreases both of these distances.  In tango the feeling of the gluteal area should be"open" and relaxed (happy) in ballet "closed".

Standing leg

In tango the weighted leg should remain bent slightly in order to increase balance and maintain ones own axis, and weight should, more often than not, be on one leg only except during weight transfer from one leg to the other (which should occur gradually in a rolling motion with the movement of axis from one leg to the other).  Ones fully extended leg (unweighted) should remain straight (not bent).  In Ballet pivots are often done en point (on the toes, with legs straight or even locked back) in tango pivots are done on the balls of the feet never on the toes (toes should feel as though one could spread them apart during pivots or before the axis is passed by the moving foot).

In tango the spine should maintain its natural relaxed curve, no attempt should be made to straighten the spine out in the lumbar or cervical regions.  The chest should be forward and the hips back, keeping the sternum vertical (not leaning back away from your partner nor forward into your partner unless an off-axis move is led (even then, the posture remains the same, no planking nor bending).  Your neck should retain its natural curve as well, no attempt should be made to straighten it, it should be held back slightly to compensate for keeping the chest forward and up (the head should not be tilted forward).


In Ballet the man is used as a barre, in tango both partners maintain their axis (except during off axis maneuvers lead by the leader).  This is a partner dance and both persons dancing need axis and balance because without it you are reduced to being used by the other.

Only used during show style performances in tango, used always when dancing ballet.

Tango is danced for your partner alone, and a very good embrace and connection are very difficult for others to see.  When dancing ballet one is dancing for the enjoyment of the observers.  There are those dance tango that look fantastic but are nightmares to dance with.