All about Tango Passion
What is different about learning Tango with me?
My primary aim is to demystify the dance. Most new students want to learn quickly so that they can take part in the Tango community and enjoy themselves; I help you to do this by focussing on the natural aspects of learning that you can relate to as an individual. Tango has been evolving since it began, and it will continue to do so because the human imagination is what moulds it. My own experiences of learning from different teachers who all promote specific Tango styles have lead me to discover that there are certain basic principles which are common to all. The good teachers recognise this, but unfortunately there are teachers who don’t and simply repeat the old mantras, in a parrot fashion, without truly comprehending the reasons behind what they are teaching. I believe that teaching Tango requires more depth than this, and I aim to provide that. I teach in a Holistic manner for a reason. It means that not only do I teach the physical steps, but I also provide an environment in which you are able to move your focus, your mind and your body as naturally as nature intended.
More about me!
I was recently reminded that I have been dancing for over 10 years. That is 10 years of dancing, both as a student and as a teacher; experiencing the good, the bad and the ugly. In that time, and from my own experiences as a student, I have developed what I consider to be a sensitive and flexible approach towards teaching Tango. Many teachers insist that their way is the only way, and that their students must repeat their mantras blindly; my aim however, is to develop your true understanding. I have come to some personal conclusions about dancing and teaching Tango which have evolved over the past 10 years, and I would like to share them with you here.
What is Tango for you?
Your own relationship with Tango is unique. There are no rights or wrongs because human beings think and feel different things, which is what brings such a wonderful and exciting variety to the dance floor. For me, dancing Tango is all about connection. When I dance I connect with my partner, with the music, and with the other couple dancing nearby. My feet connect with the ground they are brushing against. I feel a connection with the Argentine culture and traditions. Most importantly though, I connect with myself; I am self-aware and my emotional expression and pleasure becomes magnified to the point of dancing being a meditative experience for me. Understanding how you feel about Tango is a completely subjective experience, so don’t be afraid to dig deep and really ask yourself what Tango means for you. Do it now. Think about what affects you, what heightens your enjoyment, and what enriches your dancing experience. Whatever conclusion you came to is the right one for YOU AT THIS MOMENT. Tango doesn’t change, but people do, and Tango adapts to them. The way you interpret and enjoy it will depend on how you as an individual evolve over time. I hear many different reasons from people for appreciating Tango; I wanted to meet new people… It was a personal challenge… I like the music… I connect with Tango culture more than I do with beer and football… My partner danced and it means we can spend time together… I love to move to music and my personal expression… It gave me confidence to be myself… Once you work out what your own connection to Tango is right now, you will give yourself more freedom to open up, connect and enjoy it.
Which style is right ... For you?
Why limit yourself to just one Tango style when you can learn the basic principles and use your better understanding to then choose the style which feels right for you as your learning develops? A class that focuses on just one Tango style is basically like a pianist playing a tune but only using 25% of the keys on the piano; sure it might work, but there are so many more opportunities to create more depth because there is much more room for expression if they were using the whole instrument! I want you to make the dance your own, and to do that you need all the possibilities at your fingertips. Saying that, dancing Tango in a social environment; with other people in the room, dancing Tango demands respect on many levels. You must learn how to respect the couples dancing nearby, and develop a respect for the dance floor as a whole. A good place to start learning how to dance Tango is to explore the Salon style first, which will give you a better grounding to then go off and explore, and find your own Tango style.
Why don't you post class recaps?
I don’t believe that Tango can be taught by writing about it. Dance is a physical form of movement to music, and you have to feel your body communicating with your partner’s body and with the music in order to truly understand and learn. For this reason I do not post class recaps with any written dance instruction. Nor do I post video clips. Instead, I invite you to experience it all in person when you attend a class, and you are welcome to record video clips for your own personal recollection. Please Note: Any personal video recordings must not be posted publicly as it is not intended to be a complete class, and it is unfair to expect students to try to learn the whole lesson from scratch.
What music is best for Tango?
I encourage you to have a personal relationship with your Tango experience, which includes the music you prefer to dance to. Ultimately you can dance to any music that moves you, and there are some Milonga’s that facilitate more modern preferences. Is it Tango though, if you dance to Jazz or Pop music? This is a question you have to ask yourself. After dancing for many years, my personal preference is Golden Age Tango from 1930-50 as it is so rich and multi-layered, allowing me to fully express myself. It took time for me to get used to it as my music ear prior to Tango was tuned into a more simple melody/beat style of pop. While it is easier for absolute beginners to start with the more simple Tango pop alternatives, I will be playing mostly traditional Golden Age music after classes, during the Practilonga
What is a Practilonga?
Practilonga is a Milonga & Practica in one – whether you just want to dance or you need to practice, there is space here for you.
Some interesting links
Hyatt Studios is my lifestyle photographic studio in Tring www.hyattstudios.co.uk
Some past projects that are now sadly no longer.
The Tango Victoria School where I taught on Wednesdays in Tring for 3 years
www.barefoottango.co.uk Music, movement and meditation - a gentle workshop designed to improve connection, balance and musicality. designed increase your confidence, de-stress and enjoy the pleasure of the dance.
Shoes Shoes Shoes!
Although most leather soled shoes will do to get the best from your dance and stress free feet I would recommend a dedicated dance shoe. Tango shoes range from £30 to £250 depending on the quality and fashion elements.
The best way is to try them on and I would recommend the specialist boutique suppliers that often come to our Milonga events.
Balanceo, Mdm Pivot, Regina are all good brands find them on our facebook page
For Dance trainers Bloch http://www.dancedirect.com/uk/Brand/Bloch/
Ballroom shoes - UK supplier Be aware of the difference between ballroom shoes and tango shoes. While the ballroom shoes are ok - ladies have a lower and wider heel I have found dedicated Tango shoes more satisfying in their appeal on all counts. http://www.internationaldanceshoes.com/
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