Teaching Tango

Sedona on the 16th – Come and dance!

A Tango Salon*
*Salon: A fashionable assemblage of notables (artists, dancers, statesmen)

The Dream: to create a cohesive community of Tango dancers in Northern Arizona who are interested in improving their dance systematically, consistently, and with commitment.

The OfferingOn Saturday February 16th at the Adult Community Center at 2615 Melody Lane, Sedona we welcome Daniela Borgialli, Director, Educator and Performer… teacher extraordinaire of all dance levels  who is committed to furthering the dance level of our community.  She will hold two classes as follows:


1-3pm
: Semi private group lesson for “oldies” (those with some experience dancing tango)

3-4pm: Beginning class for “newbies” (those who want to learn basics of tango).

4-6:30pm there will be a guided Practica for all levels!

FEES:
All classes and semi-private lesson are on a sliding scale of $7-$15.
Practica free with the lessons or Practica only is $5.00.

There are two slots open for privates on Saturday February 16th from 11-12; and 12-1 and on Sunday. February 17th from 12-1.


Please contact Jessica Sierra at (928)204-1360 to arrange for privates, and/or  for any questions or concerns.

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Necking? or are you a chin jutter?

My students will often ask me when we start working with the embrace, “where do I put my head?” And this is such a great question. In our desire to have the cuddly tango feel inside the embrace we often sacrifice our posture beginning specifically with the head. I see it in followers who reach their necks to search for the leader’s cheek or the leaders who cock their heads either towards or away from the follower to the same end. I used to be one of those followers, jutting my chin forward to get just a little closer to my partner.

Ouch says her neck

Ouch says her neck

Ouch says both their necks

Ouch says both their necks

Besides being out of alignment it’s disrupting proper functioning of the organization of my cervical spine. What to do?

 

Graciela had 1 image for followers that I have worked with and now with my Restorative Exercise Specialist (TM) training that I am doing, it all ties in. Don’t squash your neck vertebra. Graciela’s image that I adopted, that some of you have probably heard me say before is “the fountain”. The idea starts farther down the body but the ending image is that there is water that shoots out the top of your head – if you aim your head correctly you will shoot water over your partner and not get yourself wet. I know that Homer & Christina have been heard to say “nose back”. And in the end if none of those work for you just consider dropping your chin. I think this works effectively for leaders as well.

When you get into your embrace consider your person and your alignment in relation to the other person. As opposed to reaching for them with your head or neck. Arms are made for reaching, touching, embracing, not the face…

Just right!

Just Right!

In proper alignment we want to have our ears in line with our shoulder. Or imagine your head like a ball and roll it so you are looking down and placing your chin on your chest (if you can get it there) then roll it back. So next time you get into embrace don’t be so eager to snuggle, take your time and go for long necks and proper placement. Your body will thank you over the long run.

Thanks to my models: Acacia, Ganesh, Tyler

REMEMBER: Leader and Follower technique class this Saturday!

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That Magic Pill….

Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it. (Amy Cuddy)

Last week one of my newest students to Argentine Tango said that he would just like a magic pill to learn tango. And then I received a link to an inspiring Ted Talk video by Amy Cuddy entitled: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are. I received it as a link from several people as it was blogged about in several different arenas including health. Besides the fact that Ted Talks are usually captivating and moving, Cuddy’s talk made me tie it to tango.

As a dancer I have always been interested in body language. From a young age I found myself observing people and their curious behaviors. I remember being a good mimic when I was little, which became useful during my brief stints as an actor and then again as a choreographer. So the idea of body language changing and shaping behavior was not new to me.

Amy Cuddy in her Ted Talk discusses not only how our bodies can change our minds but that our minds can change our behavior and our behavior changes outcomes. She conducted studies to test hormonal levels of testosterone and cortisol when people were feeling powerful and when they were not. She had them embody poses, what she calls powerful poses and lower power positions. Several experiments were conducted and there were noticeable differences in testosterone and cortisol levels. Those people who spent 2 minutes in a power pose prior to the task of participating in a job interview showed a rise in their testosterone levels and their cortisol levels dropped. Whereas those who were asked to spend 2 minutes in a low power pose had a drop in testosterone and an increase in cortisol levels. Please see her video for her explanation and her statistics from her studies.

So how does this relate to tango? I am so glad you ask!!!

I have been adapting what Maestra Graciela Gonzalez refers to as the lion and the lioness in my tango teaching, which I have been referring to as our tango attitude.  We can act and embody the idea of a confident lion moving into space or a lioness about to devour her prey in our tango. Tango attitude is about walking and claiming space with confidence. If you can do it in other aspects of your life you can bring it to your tango. For both roles we want to embody presence, passion, enthusiasm, authenticity and confidence, words used in Cuddy’s presentation as well. I challenge all of us to spend 2 minutes in power poses before we tango. See how it feels. Let me know.
See how my ASU Tango 2 students embody power poses.
powerpose1 powerpose2 powerpose3

 

 

 

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2013 Saturday Workshops

I am pleased to post the dates and class topics for my Saturday workshops. Below is the list for the 1st half of the year!

The Tuesday Practicando and Sunday Evening Milonga will continue weekly in the New Year as well. We will be celebrating the Holidays on December 16th – Bring food or beverage if you would like! (No Sunday MILONGA on December 23 and 30)
The last Practicando will be on Tuesday December 18th and No PRACTICanDo on December 25 and December 1.

All Saturday Workshops in 2013 will be held at Rhythmic Expressions – 617 S. McClintock Dr. Ste 3, Tempe, AZ (Just north of University on the East side of McClintock. Look for McClintock Center)
12:00pm – 1:30pm Intermediate Level:
If you know how to execute topics listed in Fundamentals then the Intermediate level is designed for you.
1:30pm – 3:00pm Fundamental Topics:
All that you need for dancing socially – designed for those new to tango.
$15/class or $50 for any 5 classes
PLEASE
register in advance so I can balance the class and save you a spot! Call 480-442-9550 or email me!

  Intermediate 12:00 – 1:30pm
Fundamentals 1:30pm – 3:00pm
January 12 Int./Adv. Turning Walking Essentials: Parallel and Crossed Feet System
January 19 Sacadas Walking part 2: embrace
February 2 Boleos La Cruzada – Tango’s Signature Step
February 9 Int./Adv. Leader and Follower Technique (with Tyler Litman) Cruzadas Part 2
March 2 Int./Adv. Vals Milonga timing
March 9 Milonga Timing Pivoting – Ochos
April 13 Int./Adv. Cruzadas and Uncruzadas Pivoting Part 2
April 20 Int./Adv. Giros with Enrosques Vals
May 11 Int./Adv. Turning with Lapiz Turning in the dance: Giros
May 18 Musicality: Suspension in Pugliese’s Music Turns part 2


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Working with ABIL and Multiple Abilities

It was about 1 year ago that Belinda from the community approached Rommel to start doing Tango with ABIL – Arizona Bridge to Independent Living at SPOFIT (the Virginia G. Piper Sports and Fitness Center for Persons with Disabilities). What a wonderful journey it has been and it continues to be.

Adaptive Tango

Rommel and I have taken some of the basic concepts from Tango and presented them to our students. We have had any number of students with a range of abilities. We adapt the tango material for each situation creating a space for creativity, exploration and fun. It might not look completely like what we know as Argentine tango but we are going for the feel and looking for each person to connect with another. We discover more as we go along. We discover that we truly accept each person wherever they are in their body. We all really have mixed abilities and it is what we do with them that matters.

Thank you to Tim, Terry and Wyatt as well as Belinda and Rommel for a wonderful journey and showing me once again how powerful Argentine Tango can be…

 

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