The Weekend and Tango Cravings

I am so glad the weekend is over. I was woken up at 9:15am on Saturday (after leaving the milonga the night before at 2am) with a work-related phone class. I left work at 11:30pm that night. Needless to say, I missed the follower’s technique class that afternoon. But now I have a small break in the hectic pace at work, which means more energy to devote to the rest of my life.

Both milongas were great this weekend. As the second song of the tanda came on, we settled into the embrace. “X said that you are a wonderful dancer; I think so, too.” This from a leader I last danced with about 9 months ago. Lovely. Another leader I dance with regularly told me, “I was watching you in the mirror, and I noticed that I need to give you more time.” Awesome! This from a leader with great musicality but who sometimes rushes me. A whole host of leaders ended each song with a big smile for me, one which I happily returned. It was a good weekend.

I also had a thought about classes. As a follower, I want classes that focus on universal technique. I am craving improvement in my embrace, my walk, all those little things that make me enjoyable in any leader’s arms. I want to feel good to my partner, any partner. I want my leaders to take classes that deal with this kind of technique as well, but they also need to learn how to confidently lead different steps. I get tired of class after class that teach steps, but I know that leaders need to know how to properly lead a cross, an ocho, a volcada, … whatever it is they want to lead on the dance floor. And classes, even ones that teach technique, often focus on these steps. I want a whole class that is all about embrace. And a class that is all about how to be grounded but light. And a class that teaches how to walk smoothly and clearly. Classes where we rotate often and give lots of feedback. This is the kind of improvement I am craving.

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4 thoughts on “The Weekend and Tango Cravings

  1. A good follow should have strong (even heavy)feet and have a strong presence in the embrace. As far as being light, it is probably good for intermediate leaders. Being a light follow doesn’t help with developing strong walk and the dynamics.I’ve danced with Andrea Misse, Silvina Valz, Maria Blanco and other good portenas in practices and milongas. They all feel very strong in the embrace, not light at all. Just my little experience as a milonguero. 🙂

  2. I am making a distinction between strong/weak and light/heavy. I want to be strong without being heavy.My problem is that I have never gotten clear, immediate feedback about these things. I have been told that I am great to dance with, am not too heavy, respond well, am present in the embrace, etc … but I have never had an opportunity to talk about technique for these things in a clear, class-like setting. I haven’t ever been able to experiment with different embraces or walking differently with the intention of stopping to get feedback about those things.Maybe I should just make that my goal for the next practica I attend.

  3. The problem is that few teachers understand the mechanics and importance of good embrace and walk to dance well in the milongas. It is not in the tango culture here. If the teachers don’t know how to embrace and walk, how could they teach? I often scratch my head when I see the popular teachers dance in the milongas…

  4. For being present in the embrace, but still light… people kept telling me to connect from my chest, etc., but I don’t like the butt-out S curve some tangueras get from this. It finally made sense when Felipe Martinez took my rib cage, lifted it up and forward, and explained that’s where it should be. One of my practice partners said that the difference was like flying instead of walking. A more crass image that came up at SFTX that actually helped me a lot on placement was “boobs on the table.”I agree that not enough teachers talk about mechanics. As a follow, I go to very few group classes, because too many people teach only steps, which aren’t useful to me.~Ruthreadingthetea.com

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