I stopped during the practica last night and looked around at the volcadas, the sacados, even the ochos … I watched for a bit, then I turned back to my partner and kept walking.
I have been walking a lot lately. And noticing when leaders avoid walking. I was surprised, when I started paying attention, at how rarely leaders just walk. It is so often a single step, which then vaults us into a parada and a gancho and a boleo and so on … until there is space for another step or maybe two.
Walking really is the hardest thing to do. Walking last night I was aware of my head and neck (which I have been working hard to keep relaxed—I know I have been guilty of some head-pushing), of my shoulders, of my sternum, of my ribcage … and now I feel like I could just launch into a tango rendition of “Dry Bones.”
I have been working a lot on walking. For a while I was working on my legs and feet—pushing off with my standing leg/foot, rolling through the foot, etc. Then I remembered that a lot more goes into walking than just the lower body. The main things I am thinking about now: Keeping my head & neck relaxed, keeping my chest lifted, keeping my core engaged, etc. It’s fun, but it is hard to let go of practice mode and pull myself together during the milongas!
That’s the process, isn’t it? Just when you think you’ve got it, you pull it all apart and piece it back together. And each time, hopefully, your dance is a little bit nicer. 🙂