Festivals

2nd Place Champions at the USA Argentine Tango Salon Competition

Daniela and Rommel with 2nd Place trophy

I am happy to announce that Rommel Oramas and I took second place at the USA Argentine Tango Salon Competition in San Francisco this last weekend.

Below are videos from our final day of competition. Each round has 3 songs and thus 3 video links below. Each video shows the finalists that were in Round 1 of the competition. We were #14.

http://youtu.be/K5kQPd8PJws

http://youtu.be/fCz4FOWDP7k

http://youtu.be/uWTVb1NAZYw

We were finalists last year and placed 5th. Ramada and Yumiko were 2nd then and were clearly in favor to win this year and they did. Rommel and I have enjoyed are experiences at the competition. We have met such nice people both years and we do feel a shared camaraderie and sense of community regardless of the competition. I believe that it is this way because of the size of the competition, which is still quite small. I know that the organizers hope that it will grow over the coming years. Their goal is to have a representative from every state compete.

Rommel and I put all of our focus towards the competition for several months. This included training with several teachers, practicing together, listening to and dancing to a wide range of musical choices, and for me, my gyrotonics classes.

Now the question hangs in the air as to whether Rommel and I will go to Buenos Aires for the World Championships in August. I will keep you posted. What do you think?

Thank you all who read for your continued support.

My facebook has received over 100 likes and comments and the support is very much appreciated.

 

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Tango Hangover

Announcement:
8 week Argentine Tango 1.5 course at Plaza de Anaya call (480) 894-8777

Tango Experience teachers and board

After an action packed tango week comes the tango hangover.

The ASU Tango Experience was a step up from last year’s festival. Although I was thoroughly immersed in assisting classes and being on time it was so wonderful to watch as students took their dancing challenges head on.

I realize for this entry that I have so much to write about: the festival experience, my time with Graciela Gonzalez, the classes, the milongas, etc.  And even though I am Faculty Adviser to the tango club and only really supposed to be advising, I was asked to jump in and help in several aspects of the planning and execution of the event.

I also think it’s important for people to understand that bringing instructors to teach is an expensive endeavor. The teachers all have fees for their time investment as well as their travel and lodging expenses. ASU Tango Club applies for support to fund venues and a few other miscellaneous items but it’s the support from attendees that actually make it possible. And because it’s a student run organization they are learning valuable life skills: communication, delegation, organization, handling budgets, etc.

Having Graciela Gonzalez stay with me for a week and working as her translator in classes gave me a renewed appreciation for our dance. The intricacies, the nuances, the explanations for styles, the embrace, the walk, where vocabulary comes from, why do we dance the way we do? It is pretty amusing to speculate that at some point in time milongueros just did what they did, they danced!

Until my next encounter with her, I am left with exercises and reminders – not just dance reminders but life reminders. The notiTango Festival Classon of using the whole foot in the dance is one that I am so happy to have heard her say as I have been leaning in this direction with my teaching and so to hear her say it was a relief! Although she has let go of her famous “fountain” image for followers I really appreciated the idea of a fixed point for both the follower and leader – an intention that helps to suspend us 50% up and 50% grounded. She had mentioned that an ideal room would be one that would allow us to hang suspended from the ceiling, with our legs dangling towards the floor. A lot of what I heard from her this weekend addresses an issue that I think is a current trend, posture and alignment. I think this will continue to be a hot topic since many of us spend so much of our time sitting down in chairs that don’t serve us posturally.

She mentioned that she had an obsession with hands this weekend. She kept reminding me to touch her when we were demonstrating, that somehow my touch was too light, that I wasn’t really touching, holding her. You can hold your own body up and hold your own arms up and still touch and connect through the hands with your partner. She reminded us that our hands help us to to balance as well.

Graciela, Jaimes & Christa

Graciela, Jaimes & Christa

Graciela also reminded me that I have to be on my own, working on my dance, in my body. We can’t blame someone else for our bad dancing or our disconnection from the dance or our partner. A good one right? And all I could think about was, where did I go? Have I gotten lost in the mentality of “I have to do more to get better” when all I really need to do is be me and enjoy dancing? This is a tricky one for me, as I was a trained dancer and an only child – I have always felt comfortable on my own. I took class and trained my body – and I was responsible for it and I knew that! So how did Tango become different in my mind? I guess it’s just a simple reminder that I am me and you are who you are and if we dance honestly without wanting to change the other it will be great!

One of the last questions I asked Graciela was “is it supposed to just feel easy?” and she opened her eyes widely and cracked a smile, nodding her head, and said, “yes”.

Now you know why there’s a tango hangover. Graciela changed my dancing when I first met her and she continues to do so. I am grateful for her insights into the dance, its people, and feel that her images are clear and easy to assimilate. Anyone who takes class with her is always impressed.

Thanks to all who shared the festival with us. Keep dancing…

 

 

 

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Action Packed Tango Week

Gentle Reminder of the week’s activities. See you there!

TuesdayGraciela Gonzalez will be teaching at Practicando.

ThursdayGraciela Gonzalez will be teaching the tango class prior to Mijana Milonga.

FridayASU TANGO EXPERIENCE: A NEW FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE beginsASU Tango Club Logo
ASU TANGO 101: AN IMMERSION FOR THE BEGINNER with Momo Smitt from Portland, OR.
Classes begin promptly at 6:15pm on the Main Campus of ASU in Tempe in the Physical Education Building East.

Milongas

Friday – 9:00pm-2:00am at Tempe Woman’s Club
Saturday – 8:00pm-12:00am at ASU Art Museum 51 East 10th Street  Tempe, AZ 85281
12:00am-6:00am at ASU Gammage Promenade
Sunday
12:00pm-3:30pm ALTERNATIVE MILONGA at Memorial Union (Student Union)
8:00pm-12:00am at Memorial Union (Student Union)

There is a lovely Pasta Dinner on Sunday night catered by the Memorial Union which includes your choice of pasta and sauce, sides, salad, cake, and beverage. This will keep you close to the dancing and must be purchased in advance.

ParkingParking Sign

I know that this is often a complaint coming to campus. And we do understand the frustration that is sometimes involved. ASU Tango Club Board and myself are doing what we can to communicate clearly about this.

The link to the festival map is to be updated soon but in short:
Parking for campus and for classes is covered on the link to the map. Remember to read the signs or to avoid meters.
Friday’s milonga there will be additional parking at the Church on Mill at 1300 S. Mill Ave.
Saturday and Sunday there will be a lot of activity on campus and at Gammage. We will have further recommendations in the upcoming days so check the ASU FESTIVAL WEBSITE.http://tangofest.events.asu.edu/node/18

Enjoy the weekends events and remember, ASU Tango Club can produce this event only with your support.

Oh, and one other thing, remember you milonga etiquette and try out your cabaceo!

 

 


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A Few Announcements!

THIS SATURDAY

Saturday February 4th 11am – 1pm I am hosting a Lunchtime Practica at Plaza de Anaya Fusion Studio at 524 W. Broadway in Tempe. This is an opportunity to involve my new 8 week fundamentals class to the idea of Practicing and to other dancers. I am looking forward to integrating them into a positive experience of social Argentine Tango.

I have 40 brand new students in that class and they are enthusiastic and very focused. I look forward to introducing them to everyone who joins us. SO come on out and get some practice in!

ASU TANGO EXPERIENCE PLUG March 2, 3, 4, 2012

I want to continue to encourage people to register for the ASU Experience. And if you have never danced before TANGO 101 will be just for you. I can’t stress enough the quality of instruction, the new format that will be explored, and the good time we will have. Here is a list of highlights:

The TEACHERSGraciela Gonzalez

*Graciela Gonzalez will be in town for the festival and for a week. She is available for private lessons. She is the teacher most responsible for changing my dancing. I am honored to have her with us again. Don’t miss out.

Tomas Howlin and Shorey Myers*I had the pleasure of taking a Tango Teachers course with Tomas Howlin last year and respect him highly as a teacher. He has lots of great stories and incredible information to share.

*Jaimes and Christa run the 8th Style School in Seattle. They too come with a breadth of knowledge and in-depth understanding of the dance form. I am happy that they will be joining us!Jaimes and Christa

The CLASSES

* There are only 6 classes during the festival. Each class slot is designed with a different concept in mind. For example: the first class on Friday is conceptually about “Walking, The Embrace and Connection”. The teachers who will be teaching at that time have been asked to design a class around that concept. AFTER each class there is a 30 minute PRACTICE slot for you to spend time refining what you learned, dancing, playing, meeting new people OR asking the instructors on hand for more assistance on that particular class.

* Take advantage of this new design. We know you’ll love it!

The MILONGAS and the DJ’s

* 5 milongas – plenty of dancing time over the weekend. These include Friday night at the historic Tempe Woman’s Club, Saturday night at the beautiful ASU Art Museum and the all-nighter on the Gammage Promenade, Sunday will be in the Memorial Union with the option of a pasta dinner. There is also an alternative milonga planned for Saturday afternoon.

* Our DJ’s have been chosen by the Tango Club as some of their favorite DJ’s. Mike from Portland milonga scene, Michelle from Albuquerque, Shorey from San Francisco, and our very own Acacia. We love these DJ’s and know how important it is for them to keep us dancing. I know they will.

The PRICE

* This is one of the most economical festivals. ASU Tango Club created the festival for a love of the dance and not for a business. A full pass is just $185.

* Registration is through google checkout. There have been some glitches with it but don’t despair. Just send a check or let me assist.

AND FINALLY- YOU!

Those people we enjoy dancing with. We have lovely dancers joining us from Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; Minneapolis, MN; MA; CA; DC; and all over AZ!

Keep dancing!

daniela

 

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New Year, New Students

Classes have begun!

What an amazing week! ASU started their classes and I had 60 NEWBIES – all of them new to Argentine Tango in my Tango 1 class. They are an enthusiastic bunch and eager to learn. Even with just 2 classes they have reminded me about the importance of our “tango walking body”. How do I walk? and What am I carrying around at the moment? Can I find my axis and stack myself up for my Tango Walk?

I have around 22 students in my Tango 2 class and they immediately grasped onto some more advanced walking concepts and have totally impressed me!

My Interlingua class is really small and intimate (comparatively). The vibe is so different from my big classes. It’s refreshing to be able to answer individual questions from everyone and to feel that I am able to help each one of them on a personal level.

Tonight was my first class at Plaza de Anaya. This is pretty much the first time that I have stepped into a studio setup to teach. It is a studio with a really nice comfortable feeling and to my delight we had an amazing group of 40 students there! It was an eclectic mix of dancers asking magnificently detailed questions, musicians, people coming from work, etc. We laughed quite a bit! The energy was festive and joyous.

Already into the 2nd week of 2012 I am easily reminded why I love to teach. And in turn I remind you all that it’s a courageous thing to start something new. And always that first step, that first class is sometimes the most difficult.  So CONGRATULATIONS to all the new courageous people I have met this week in their beginning Tango Journey.

Reminders:

ASU Tango Festival is less than 7 weeks away!!!!  Register now for a fantastic weekend of Argentine Tango Instruction and Dancing and at unbelievable price.
http://tangofest.events.asu.edu/node/18

Talented instructors handpicked for this event – Jaimes and Christa will be here from Seattle, La Maestra Graciela Gonzalez will be here from Buenos Aires, and Tomas Howlin will be in from Montreal.
DJ’ing the milongas will be Mike McCarrel (Portland, OR), Michelle McRuiz (Albuquerque, NM), Shorey Myers (San Francisco, CA), and ASU’s very own, Acacia Crouch.
A weekend not to miss!

There is still time to register for Semester Long courses:

Paradise Valley Community College
NEW INTERMEDIATE Argentine Tango
Begins 01/26/2012- 05/03/2012
Thursdays 7:45pm – 9:35pm
DAN125AE #38688

Scottsdale Community College
Beginner Argentine Tango

Begins 01/24/ 2012 – 05/11/2012
Tuesdays 7:15pm – 9:15pm
DAN125AE #36054

AND

Rommel Oramas and I will be in Flagstaff and Sedona on January 21 & 22.

Keep dancing…

daniela

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