Eric Gebhart, and the TangoBreath vinyasa
The idea of practicing a set of tango movements in the same way that someone would practice Tai Chi or Ba Qua came to Eric many years ago. When he met his future ex-wife, Susannah, in 2010 he utilized his ideas to teach her Argentine Tango.
It was a very effective process. At the same time it was clear that the community, like so many others, lacked fundamental skills which could raise the level of dance. The practice of tango was often done without intention or proper technique. The idea of giving a guided practice, like a yoga class, Tai Chi or Ba Gua seemed like a good idea.
The vinyasa of tango movement became a class and a practice which proved very effective in helping students learn and improve their tango. This led to more classes using the vinyasa as their foundation. The same visualizations and knowledge introduced in the vinyasa enabled more in depth classes which use guided exploration and discovery rather than steps. A fundamental principal throughout is that we dance with our entire body, not just the parts. At the same time, Eric’s teaching of movement begins at a level much more fundamental than the usual teaching of Tango.
Each movement of the TangoBreath vinyasa is akin to the elemental sound of a language. In learning how to move, to move well, and with the entire body, the tango dancer becomes more connected and communicative with their partner. The possibilities of the dance become an exercise in exploration and discovery.
Eric and Susannah began teaching TangoBreath in March 2011, after over six months of development, incorporating influences from their backgrounds, including yoga, martial arts, ballet, weight training, and other dance forms.</td>
Eric believes that how we think and what we visualize has a profound effect on how we move. For him, the best way to learn tango is through body awareness, proper bio-mechanics, and movement discovery, rather than learning steps.
To that end, he has developed a two pronged approach of teaching both individual and partnered movement and posture through his TangoBreath vinyasa flow of tango movement and visualizations along with his classes, which concentrate on subtle, sensitive communication and movement within the embrace.
He seeks to help students find natural, powerful and graceful movement, sensitivity and subtlety, as well as their own creativity in their dance. If he has a goal in teaching, it is not only to help his students become better dancers, but also to empower them to move through their everyday lives with healthy, dynamic posture, more confidence, and fluidity.
Known for his unique teaching style, Eric has developed a philosophy of learning based on concepts and patterns, which can then be applied holistically to the dance in a multitude of ways. Healthy posture and movement is central to his teaching. Tango movement should involve the entire body which then creates a fluidity of movement within the dance.
With his strong knowledge of anatomy, he applies himself to find more accurate ways of describing movement. Greatly inspired by the works of “movement specialists” such as Eric Franklin and Irene Dowd, He uses a variety of visualizations intended to help students find the posture and movement in their own bodies. Often, his teaching has been compared to http://www.feldenkrais.com/ and Alexander Technique. Additionally, musical expression in the quality of movement is always present in his teaching. Eric continues to study and explore the dance intensively.
Eric is available for private lessons and workshops. He is delighted to work with organizers to tailor classes as well as TangoBreath exercises to focus on the needs and desires of the community.