Posts Tagged: learning to dance

Momentous Occasions!

Great News!

Paradise Valley Community College will have a Tango 2 class (Intermediate Argentine Tango class) for spring 2012. I know many of you have waited a LONG time for this momentous occasion so please SIGN UP!  If you have taken at least 1 semester of tango with me, this class is for you! Please register.  DAN125AE #38688. Begins 01/26/2012- 05/03/2012, Thursdays 7:45pm – 9:35pm

Other momentous items!

I love to hear from my students when they have an a-ha.  And many of you know already that I’m a firm believer that “tango comes when you’re ready”.

I think that because tango is so layered and my teaching reveals layers as we go along on the learning journey, that sometimes that top layer, maybe a boleo for example, just hasn’t been able to come out yet.  So that understanding of the function between the torso of the leader and its connection to the followers legs was blurred by the excitement of a follower “finally doing something cool” with their leg.  And then 1 day, a new layer seeps in and poof – a boleo pops out! I had a student come running to me recently “I got the boleo”!

I have had students tell me their a-ha’s for almost everything in tango. I remember the a-ha for Jim’s back ochos. And a beautiful a-ha from a student who discovered their embrace. This particular student finally came to me 1 day and said, “why is it that the women will love a dance with a leader who seems to be doing nothing?” And when that question finally surfaces, I know that this leader might be ready for the answer to tango. So besides hearing me speak, “it’s not about the moves”, a hundred times, I told this leader to embrace me and wait. I told him to breathe, so we stood there breathing together for a few moments.  And I told him not to step or even move until he really felt it was right. We took a few steps, in complete beautiful unison. He separated from me, looked at me, his face filled with emotion, and said, “I get it”.

So I encourage all of you who have been digging into this dance for a little bit of time or a long time to relish in your a-ha moments and trust that they will come and that there will be more!





Read more


negotiation |nəˌgō sh ēˈā sh ən|
discussion aimed at reaching an agreement

I am always repeating to my students that Tango is a negotiation. There is always a negotiation in dance both in the learning and doing of it. And in a couple’s dance like Argentine Tango, i think there’s a lot of it!

I was in Flagstaff last weekend teaching and had a wonderful time. A discussion on negotiating came up again. One thing is for me to say it and then another for students to want to talk about it or need an explanation of how it works.

Negotiations begin in a social setting from the moment we arrive at a milonga – who to sit with? Where to sit? Maybe this is only really about choice or also about negotiating with others or with oneself – the psyche? Or the ego?

When you’re asked to dance – are you already defensive? Then why did you say yes? You have to negotiate this? Can you decide that this will be a new dance? A fun time? An actual dance and not a “roll of the eyes” moment that will be complained about for hours?

When you’re in the dance – I often get asked – what do I do when or if my partner does x or y? My question back is – what do you want? Do you want to fight? Or do you want to enjoy it? can you negotiate in that moment to not struggle?

I think all dance is about negotiations. As a modern dancer there were negotiations with myself, my body, my mind, with my choreographers, my dancers, my colleagues, my teachers. It is the same in tango and I believe in most modern and social dance forms.

A specific example came up:
Leader: What do I do when I feel the follower “vibrating” beneath me? I am not sure if she is decorating or what but her whole body seems to move and jiggle in my arms.

And this leader clearly had an opinion about this jiggling by his tone. So I proposed to him 2 scenarios.

Daniela: well you could try to stop her because clearly you don’t like it. Or what if you actually guided her movement, almost like joining in on it? so it might feel less like she’s vibrating and more like she’s being accompanied in her movement and maybe that’s the support she needs. 

Every scenario is different and sometimes we will choose not to negotiate – a non-negotiable moment!  Just like life!  And other times, I encourage considering a negotiation. And most of all, remember, dancing is supposed to put a smile on our faces!

(Funny how I was searching for a picture to post with this blog and most of the pictures I found were either people shaking hands, 1 person throwing a punch, or there was money involved!)

No throwing punches, no money, and lots of smiling!

Read more

3 more days of Workshops THIS WEEKEND!

Last Friday’s Date Night was a great success and here’s an opportunity to do it again!
Friday, August 26 – 7:00pm – 9:00pm DATE NIGHT an Introduction to Argentine Tango. Includes a FREE Raffle, wine and cheese!   $25/couple or $15/person

Saturday, August 27 – 12:00pm – 2:00pm BEGINNER’S WORKSHOP $20/person or $35/couple

Sunday, August 28 – 12:00pm – 2:00pm ADVANCED COMBINATIONS for the TANGO SALON with Rommel Oramas and Daniela Borgialli $20/person or $35/couple

All classes held at Art of Dance Studio 7077 East Main Street, Suite 11-12
Scottsdale, AZ 85251 (Located in Marshall Square, behind Occasions by Design)

Read more