Being a Better Follower

When I was talking about my tango cravings last week, I shared some of my thoughts about taking classes. How I want classes that really speak to followers as much as leaders. I missed the two follower technique classes that happened here in the recent past, much to my dismay. I was reminded by Ms. Hedgehog’s recent post that most group classes are not particularly helpful to followers who have progressed beyond a certain level. I find most of my progress happening in practicas.

Korey Ireland is going to be here soon, teaching workshops. The emails and flyers announcing his visit included one thing that I truly appreciate: A list of classes that is more than cryptic titles, that actually includes concrete goals – and a promise to pay attention to both leaders and followers. The classes (and their goals):
High definition tango-Articulation Goal: Controlling the texture of each movement to express the music
Rediscovering the cross Goal: Developing expressive variations and improved technique for the followers cross
Lyrical and rhythmic volcadas Goal: Translating the music with her legs
Single axis turns Goal: Discovering unusual and potentially heartstopping things that can happen when both partners share an axis
Musical variations with acceleration Goal: Leads finding double time and syncopa and followers response to both the music and lead
Dynamic Waltz Goal: Recognizing and utilizing the rhythmic resources of vals for energetic, compact social dancing
Strong emphasis will be given to both lead and follow

Have any of you followers taken classes with Korey Ireland? These do look promising, and I am curious to hear if followers feel that his classes are worthwhile. Whether or not I attend any or all of these classes, I am excited to see what his attention to musicality will do for our local leaders – and what what makes it into our practicas!


10 thoughts on “Being a Better Follower

  1. I have taken several workshops with Korey and Mila, and each one has brought something new to my learning curve. I HIGHLY recommend taking class with them as either a follower or leader. They give instruction, feedback, and attention to both sides of the embrace, and in fact, Korey had said several times in class that what she does is as important as what he does. Korey tend to give feedback on feeling and motion and movement, and Mila gives solid technique feedback, so you get both sides of the tango coin with them.The single axis turn class is very worthwhile by the way…You will love them, I promise!

  2. I haven’t taken any classes with Korey, but I did get to dance with him at a practica at the SFTX. The six (or seven or eight…I lost track!) dances that I danced with him each brought a new understanding of tango. We discussed a lot of imagery and alternative ways to relax, share energy, and listen to each other. It was amazing. I highly recommend him. And I love Rebecca, too!

  3. I should have mentioned! The workshops will be assisted by Rebecca Smith – Mila won’t be teaching. Any thoughts with that taken into account? I am always nervous when classes are taught by a leader with a follower assistant, rather than billed as being co-taught. But if Korey is very clear about the importance of both sides of the embrace, hopefully it will work out well.And thanks for the heads up about the single axis turn class! I was thinking I’d skip it – it’s a partner-only class and my partner-in-crime will be out of the country – but if it’s really good I might have to make a partner-search so that I can do it!Thanks for the recommendation, Heather! You and Debbi are definitely getting me excited!

  4. hi,if you can get a private with korey, i can recommend that~ his feedback one-on-one was both about feeling and technique (small technical adjustments that make a really big difference). i’m hoping to chase down k&m later in the year…

  5. Korey and Mila’s group classes are always very good (I haven’t seen him teach with Rebecca). His classes include elements for followers as well as leaders and he seems able to teach classes that include students with a wide range of abilities, putting in items for the more advanced students without overloading the less advanced students.All the followers I’ve spoken to that have had a private lesson with him have considered it money well spent. All they need is a few leaders up to his standard…

  6. You’re so right about classes. One of the most useful classes I’ve ever been to was about the mechanics of how you express musicality. I’d definitely go for that one.

  7. I took some workshops w/ Korey and Mila. I found them very good as teachers. I also took the single axis turn workshop which was clearly above my league at the time. They were challenging and I’d strongly recommend making sure you know some good leaders going to it. They gave good exercises and fundamental tips that everyone can learn from. All in all, I enjoyed it.

  8. Thank you all for your comments so far!@la tanguera: It’s Rebecca – I don’t know much about her except that she teaches in Oregon.@cindy & david: I’m starting to think that a private might be a better investment than the workshops. Maybe I’ll pick one workshop to attend and then try to fit in a private if I can afford it!@mshedgehog: Do you mean the first one in the list? That’s the one that I think I’ll go to no matter what. It will be inexpensive and convenient, and musicality is definitely something I value and want to continue to improve in my dancing.@tango padawan: If I can find a solid partner, I might take that single-axis turn class. We’ll see!

  9. Rebbecca’s great — as a person, as a dancer and as a teacher. As well as being an exciting follow, she’s an amazing leader. I’d definitely recommend taking any classes Korey was teaching w/ her. (Or classes from her, generally.)

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