Practica and Leading Ladies Coming Up!

Practica and Leading Ladies Coming Up!

Happy August Tangueros/as!
The whirlwind vacation is coming to a close and the fall line-up commences!
Sunday practica resumes August 4th at 6:30pm with an all level class. Tuesday practicas continue as usual (special thanks to Tyler Litman and Acacia Crouch for holding down the fort) and Saturday, August 10th will be another Leading Ladies workshop beginning at 12:00pm at Rhythmic Expressions. I am completely looking forward to that! We’ll start with a Restorative Stretch and dive right into some technique and figures both leading and following. Bring your questions and a towel to roll up. As I have stated previously, I think learning some very basic leading techniques improve our following skills. Come try it out! (Ladies only!)Being tourists

Some of you have been asking about the Saturday workshops and I have yet to post those dates and topics. I will have those soon. I know with all the festivals in the fall and Thanksgiving that there are limited Saturdays which makes scheduling challenging but I appreciate your enthusiasm!

Finally, to say, that dancing in NYC, Boston, and Baltimore has been an exciting adventure: a chance to visit with old tango friends and to make new ones. As I have watched the milonga dance floors I have seen people who have reminded me of tango characters from all my years of dancing. It has been a mirror’s reflection of my experiences: my successes and trials in tango. There are lots of someones for everyone out there in tango world, so enjoy dancing!
And I am reminded that learning to tango most definitely has its stages. But no matter where you are in your journey and no matter where you are the music enraptures, the embrace captivates and it feels good to be a part of something bigger.

See you soon!

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Tango Performance in NYC

Rommel and I had the opportunity to perform at the RoKo Milonga on Sunday night. Hosted by Robin Thomas and Ko Tanaka it is a large space and was a lovely milonga. We saw Robin at his other milonga the night before and he asked if we wanted to perform. What a great opportunity, so we said yes, of course!!!!
Youtube had issues with the 2nd video so this is the 2 songs combined. Enjoy! And an apology to those who received a very old and outdated email with this title on it. I hope that I have now resolved this technical issue.

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Connection and “Where are you”?

Boston Commons 2013

Saying Cool Beantown Style

Hello Tango Friends from the humidity of the northeast!

“But it’s not the humidity, it’s the heat”. No wait, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity that kills ya'”. Anyway, either way, not moving is producing puddles around me as I type. I am in air conditioning but it doesn’t seem to matter! But really, I am not complaining, I am enjoying my vacation in Boston, visiting old friends, favorite restaurants, discovering new ones, walking all over the place, listening to live music, it’s great! I even dropped in on a milonga.

It was a 3 tanda night for me (in a 1.5 hour window). It was nice to dance with new people. There was 1 particular tanda that made me want to write this blog. As I was describing my evening to another tango dancer (not in the same city) their first reaction was, “if the embrace isn’t clear, the connection can’t be and then neither one of you know where the other is. He can’t find you, you can’t find him”. Yep! it’s true! Now mind you, it wasn’t a bad tanda. The music was great, the AC was cranked, he was sweet, but it felt as if I was having a first date with a guy with a heavy brogue.

As I stood in front of him waiting for the music to start the scenario in my head went like this:
Ok he’s coming towards me to embrace me, no wait. Ok I put my right hand in his. O wait. Maybe he didn’t want that ‘cuz he just looked at it dramatically. Gee. I’m getting nervous. I’ll just put my left arm around his back. Oh, no,  yes, no. Ok. we are embracing. NO he moved his right arm from around my back to my shoulder blade. So we’re not ready. He starts to move at the same time but wait, I moved my left arm because he moved his right arm. Then he stops moving mid step. Are we readjusting? Why are we stopped. The music is still playing.
I think most of the tanda was like this. Every time he readjusted his arm I took that as a message that he wanted to do something that might require me to readjust myself in his arms.

I think by the 3rd song we started to be able to speak the same dialect! Mind you, it wasn’t unpleasant. It just reminded me that we do our best, to focus on the dance at hand, in the moment, being present, connecting with that person. Being responsible for my part in the outcome of that tanda….

So fun!

So go practice your connection and your embrace tonight at Practicando!
Rommel is teaching class from 7 – 8:30pm and then practice is until 10pmish. All happens at SNAP at 4425 N Granite Reef Road Scottsdale, AZ 85251. Raffle for wine at 9:30pm.

See you in a few weeks!!

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What Tango do you do? Bag the Labels and Make it Delicious!

The labels conversation is back again!
It appears that my tango class to modern music brought up some good questions from experienced dancers and newbies.
I want to start this blog by saying Frazzled femalethere is ONE tango that will be heavily influenced by your community(ies); those you dance with most; the teachers you study with; the music you enjoy (rhythmic vs melodic); and if you travel to other festivals or communities.
The labels you might hear or see are marketing labels for students. In Buenos Aires the labels are used to capture tourists. The older milongueros are not hung up on labels they merely do what they do, dance tango! And the way they share information is through demonstration not necessarily through explanation! You just dance!
Even the new Argentines learning in Buenos Aires become tourists.  If they grew up with the music, if they are just learning, they too become a tourist to find a teacher to teach them tango. As I have said before the labels don’t get you far. In reality in the US they don’t bring in new dancers and the ones who have been dancing merely seek those teachers and dancers who they most like or identify with, to dance with or take classes from.
I have to say from my years of teaching at the University and growing new tango babies every year, I do believe that there is a fundamental ground work that has to be laid for a tanguero/a to find their way, regardless of the style, label conversation. I believe, as Graciela Gonzalez says, that there is technique that is fundamental to all tango dancing.
I remember a famous Argentine tango dancer sharing a story that a student had asked her to dance in a milonga and he started by asking her what style she danced. Surprised, she responded that she danced Tango. I suppose what doesn’t quite come across in this recount is that she didn’t understand what else they could possibly be doing at a milonga. Style was not the question for her. It never is, really. We must remember that tango is about the connection you have with your partner; that partner in that moment to that music.
So before you worry about what style you may or may not be doing, go for the connection and BE present with your partner, you only have that moment, those 3 minutes, so make them delicious.

See previous blogs here Labels Labels Everywhere Part 1 and Part 2.

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Friendly Reminders

Hello Tangueras/os,
Just a friendly reminder that Sunday night practicas are on vacation for the month of July. They begin again on August 3rd.
The Tuesday night practica continues onward through the summer. Come take class and practice your connection!

I will be off to Boston and NYC and will be teaching in Boston on Saturday July 13th. I am looking forward to that so share with your tango friends back east! (Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/146295682223743/)

I am making plans for August – December and curious as to what workshops you would like to see. Send me some ideas and I’ll get those topics planned!

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