Tango Foundations course, Week 6 class notes
22nd February 2010
- Musical interpretation
- Barridas - the "sweep"
- Social dancing
- Overall Course Summary
- James Bond will return...
- For more information
Dancing based on last week was crossing, and cross steps - so we played a track for us to dance to, focussing on doing these steps.
We covered a few of the common problems people had encountered.
- Topic 1: Balance
We talked about balancing exercises - mainly focussing on how the follower can improve her balance. We went over some balancing exercises also. As a general point, often if we lose our balance it's because we didn't step correctly in the first place; if you step correctly you don't usually need to worry so much about balance.
- Topic 2: Dissociation
Dissociation is used all the time when walking, but it's most used with pivot-based steps such as ochos and giros. Dissociation increases as you step further from your partner.
- Topic 3: Ochos
And talking about pivot-based steps... we revisited ochos, practicing with these for a while. The key concept to remember is that an ocho is a pivot, then a step; one follows the other. Don't try to pivot and step in the same motion.
- Topic 4: Giros
Finally, we looked at giros - getting into them, out of them, and of course doing them! A few tips with this:
- Followers, don't "overtake the chest" - you always follow the chest movement, don't anticipate it.
- Followers, the back-step part of a giro sequence is quite tricky; you'll need to put a bit more effort into the pivot part of that, to ensure you don't start walking away from your partner.
- Leaders, when stopping the giro, make sure it's a "sure stop" - don't slow down and "run out of steam", as this gives confusing signals to your follower.
We briefly did a barrida as part of a giro movement, sweeping the sidestep after the backstep of a giro.
- Leaders, don't force the move - no pushing of feet please. The feet simply happen to be in contact when you lead a step - as normal - with the body.
- Followers, similarly, move your feet as normal when led to do so - ignore the fact that the feet are touching; don't react differently based on this.
Note: barridas are not essential parts of Tango dancing, so don't panic if you don't get the hang of them immediately. Also, this step is simply an example of a class of steps; it's not something vital to memorize.
A very brief overview of "Dos and don'ts" list for social dancing:
Advice for leaders:
- Obey the line of dance.
- Don't overtake, it's not a race.
- Ask for dances courteously.
- Above all else, protect your partner.
Advice for followers:
- Be careful with your heels, they can be dangerous weapons.
- Accept or reject dances courteously.
Advice for all:
- Milongas are not practice sessions - if you want to practice, get out of the way or attend a practica.
- Remember the "3-dance" rule - "tandas" are groups of dances separated by interlude music ("Cortinas").
- "Thank you" means "Goodbye".
- Respect the other dancers on the floor.
- Use common sense - ganchos and big steps on a crowded dance floor are Silly Things To Do.
- If you make a mistake, tell them you learnt somewhere else...
Note: I will review and expand on the social dancing aspect in the upcoming "Tango Extensions" course.
Quickly reviewing the topics in this course:
- Week 1: Connection, walking, side/front/backsteps, rocksteps
- Week 2: Open / Close embrace, and introduction to ochos
- Week 3: Ochos
- Week 4: Giros
- Week 5: Crossing and the Cross step
- Week 6: Barridas, workshop and social dancing
March "Tango Extensions" course
I'll run a "Tango Extensions" course in March - April, on Sundays 14th / 21st / 28th, April 4th, 18th and 25th (note break in April for Easter).
This course will introduce a new series of steps, and will expand on areas such as social dancing and technique for basic movements.
If you're interested, please contact me and let me know.
- David Bailey, 22nd February 2010