Learning Tango

End of February Workshops at SNAP

It has been raining a lot here in Austin and has been cold! Perfect weather to get things done, sleep, eat, and get organized! I have signed up for a German language intensive class and have reunited with some old tango friends, as well as a friend who I knew nearly 30 years ago!!! Aside from doing a little bit of teaching here I have organized a weekend of classes in Scottsdale.

Daniela Teaching with AmandaThe workshops are scheduled for the end of February @ SNAP – Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1st.
Saturday will be geared to Beginners/Intermediate students and
Sunday will be geared to Intermediate/Advanced students.
3:00pm – 4:30pm we will concentrate on technique, drills, and clarifying vocabulary
4:30pm – 6:00pm we will use our technique to refine our dancing for the social dance floor. I will teach vocabulary and musicality.
I am looking for 16 students for each class each day so please register directly to me to confirm your spot. $35/day or $20 for each class.
SNAP 4425 N. Granite Reef Rd. Scottsdale, AZ

Your support by spreading the word is always helpful.

I look forward to seeing you all in a few weeks.

PRIVATE LESSONS:
There is limited time for private lessons and semi-private lessons so let me know ASAP. Private lessons will be held at SNAP and in Chandler. Private lessons are $85 for 45 minutes, $160 for 1.5 hours + $10 floor fee (per hour). Semi-private lesson of 6 persons or less $160/1.5 hours + $10 floor fee (per hour).

CONTACT ME DIRECTLY by Sending Me an Email or by calling me or texting me : 480-442-9550

 

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The Tango Workbook First Edition

The Tango Workbook BookcoverIt has been about 5 weeks since I left Phoenix and I’m happy to report that I finished The Tango Workbook in time for the new semester. The Tango Workbook is a 65 page PDF document geared to the beginning Argentine Tango student. It is NOT a how to dance book – it is however, a supportive text for those students who learn visually and like to read what they might have heard or missed in class. I cover milonga etiquette, leader and follower technique reminders, a short history of Argentine Tango history; I talk about pivots, la cruzada, molinetes and more!

I have spent the last several years writing this workbook and have received feedback from students who have actually used it in their Argentine Tango course. Here are some of their comments:
It’s easy to read and to follow along with the class.
I liked the workbook and the information is super useful.
I sometimes miss things in class so when I read the workbook it helped me remember what we learned.
The section on Milonga Etiquette was very helpful. I was so glad that I read it before my first milonga experience. I was prepared!

 

 

 

 

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WELCOME 2015

It has been 2 weeks since I left Arizona. I have been visiting with my parents, sharing alignment tips with them, and working feverishly on my Car in TexasTango Workbook for the upcoming tango newbies who will be enrolled at ASU. I have been going through old boxes that my parents had stored as well as registering my car in the state of Texas. It has been a busy couple of weeks and the weather has been as emotional as I have been!

In preparing to Welcome 2015, it has been fun to come across new ways to bring in the New Year by goal setting and making resolutions.

3 of my favorite:

1) From David Wolfe: get colored slips of paper and write 20+ goals for the new year in a jar and put the jar away. Open them at the end of 2015 and see what magic you created.
2) From Liz Gilbert: almost like a vision board but more of a mood board. Cut out colors and textures that you want for yourself in 2015 and create a collage. Takes some of the stress off the vision board thing!
3) Forget the resolutions, make a list of those things you are most grateful for, wonderful things that happened to you in 2014, go for at least 10. The End.
What will you do to prepare a great new blank set of 365 days?

Have a Happy New Year!

And a gift to you: the following video from my Ladies Technique Class summary that I did in ABQ after 6 hours of private coaching. Of course, the material has been pieced together from all of my great teachers. I thank them.

See you at the end of February 2015 in Phoenix.

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Technique with Maxi and Jesica Friday

As you probably are aware, Maximiliano Cristiani and Jesica Arfenoni are back in town for workshops, private lessons and performances. We have created a schedule of classes that is progressive in nature starting with a Leader and Followers Technique class on Friday night. No partner necessary just a desire to work on yourself. Maxi & Jess 4

Friday 8:00pm – 9:30pm Followed by an informal practica: a chance to just dance and to ask Maxi and Jesica questions.

Why take a technique class? Let alone focused only on myself for a couples dance?
I think this is a good question.
Technique is a fundamental basic part of your dance. Like a building, if this isn’t well established you will not be as sturdy. How many times have you asked about how to improve your balance or about how to do a more elegant embellishment? Or how about those enrosques that you have been wanting to try? All of these and more are possible when you understand your own body and have a technique to build upon.
I have found that taking technique classes helps me to find my own axis and to be clear about it on my own. It allows me the time and space to make connections to things in my dance that get blurred when working within the couple: like the relationship of my arms to my pelvis, for example. What? They are related??? See!

If you need more information contact Rommel 928-301-5215. I can only encourage you to support the improvement of your dance and take advantage of these 2 great teachers.

And lastly – $50 for the Friday class and practica and we will include the Saturday milonga. It all happens at Bond Hall at SNAP 4425 N. Granite Reef Rd. Scottsdale, AZ.

 

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Tango Etiquette and the Infamous Cabeceo

The rituals surrounding the milonga are prized among dancers. Almost like a rite of passage that once you know and have put them into practice you feel like you have actually been admitted into the social realm of Argentine Tango.

Fanning HerselfCabeza translates to “head” and a cabezeo is a nod of the head. This “codigo” or custom signals the invitation to dance. You do not need to approach someone to ask them to dance you can merely catch their eye, nod your head, and if there is a nod in response you have an agreement to dance. The follower will stay seated to wait for the nodee to come to her table to be sure that there is no confusion in a crowded milonga.

There is a lot written about this custom and in the US many argue for it and against it. The cabezeo means never having to say “no”. If you choose not to accept a cabeceo, you merely look away and no one needs to know.

Some milongas are small and it is convenient and expected to use the cabeceo. Other milongas are in very large dance halls and it is very difficult to cabeceo long distances. In this case the dancer looking for a dance (either the lead or follow) may approach who they would like to dance with and try to make eye contact from a closer distance. The goal is always to be subtle and polite. If you are at a milonga in a new city, observe to see what the locals are doing.
(Taken from the Tango Workbook Draft)

I want to make it clear at this point that I am not arguing the usefulness of this invitation, or the reason why it exists or why many people outside of Argentina (read mainly US, where I am most familiar) are very attached to this codigo. Tango etiquette and the infamous Cabeceo are part of the allure of the milonga! But I had a very interesting experience during my most recent trip to Buenos Aires.

I had the pleasure of taking several fantastic classes with well known teachers/dancers / performers. And the one remark that applies here is the following: “Times are different in Buenos Aires’ Milongas. Each milonga now has their own etiquette. Not every milonga uses the same rules.” And this applied to the cabeceo as well. There are milongas in Buenos Aires that are very ritualized and very adamant about los codigos. It is very clear from the moment you enter those milongas, I think you can feel it in the air, if you can’t see it right away. There are milongas where the women are seated by the hosts on one side of the dance floor and the gentlemen on the other, with the veterans or the faithful attendees sitting at their reserved and expected table every week. Ironically the spacing of these milongas usually adds to the ritual, as you often can not walk around and seek dancers out, you must be found at your seat or do the seeking from your seat, thus the cabeceo functions pretty well.

There are other dancing casuallymilongas where you find dancers searching for their friends, (in a dimly lit crowded space) and the gentlemen will approach a table, wait for the woman to look at him and nod respectfully and sometimes even ask, “Bailas”? If the woman ignores his hangout out by her table, he moves on. (Just as there are milongas where the dress code is different.)

Other milongas are in very large halls, a cabezeo from your seat would be almost ridiculous, although it is done. As the ladies scan the seated gentlemen during the cortinas,  you may spy a head nodding dramatically, emphatically and adamantly with eyebrows lifted in your direction. I think it is important to remember too that in Buenos Aires, if you do not live there and are only visiting, that you are entering into their weekly ritual. Dancers have milongas that they regularly attend and expect to see their friends and favorite dancers there. I always recommend that if you go to Buenos Aires, you must go for no less than 3 weeks and make your schedule milonga -filled (if that is your intention, which usually it is). Dancers will begin to recognize you and you will see what the etiquette is for those milongas you attend.

Generally speaking the milonga rules and codes are good ones. They respect others, the flow of the dance, and yet, the cabeceo is the one that people have the hardest time with. It takes a little practice and it’s not so unfamiliar to us in this culture. I see it among the young crowd in a “hey, what’s up man”, accompanied by a nod of the head.

Happy Dancing!

(Quote taken from The Tango Workbook that is currently in a draft stage.)

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