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Finding release in the pelvis

Posted by on Mar 10, 2012 in Challenges, Concepts, Practice, Visualization | 0 comments

As a continuation of last week’s challenge, Finding stability in our pelvis, in which we perceived subtle engagement in the area between the sacrum and hip joint, we are going to concentrate on releasing this same area. Balancing the internal dynamic between engagement and release is important to achieve our greatest flexibility, strength, and resiliency in our joints.

Imagery and the internal flow of movement in Argentine tango.

Posted by on Mar 8, 2012 in Article, Beginning, Concepts, Visualization | 0 comments

The flow of movement between partners can appear magical.

Every week in TangoLab, we start class with some exercise to create awareness of our partners through the embrace. Our goal is to encourage dancers to create and sense movement in response to one another. Beginners, even those that come from other dance backgrounds, are always amazed at how this internal flow of movement works to create a conversation between partners. When done very subtly, it can be difficult to see any flow of movement, yet we are speaking volumes, and responding to one another. It might seem like magic.

The way we think and what we think can either enable us, or hinder us, in our goals to create beautiful dynamic movement.

Explaining what needs to happen to internalize the flow of movement is difficult, however, which is why it is so important to choose our words and imagery carefully. There are many phrases and words that are commonly and casually used when teaching or learning Argentine tango.  In our teaching, we have discarded many of them because they are vague or have multiple meanings. It is a careful practice to put these things away, not use them, and find a thorough and meaningful replacement when needed.

A reflection on learning and teaching Argentine tango

Posted by on Feb 29, 2012 in Article, Concepts | 1 comment

Asking ourselves about our roles in learning and teaching Argentine tango.

Eric and I have been busy writing articles for this website and are enthusiastic about sharing our thoughts and explorations. We thought that now would be a good time to reflect on why we approach our learning and teaching in the way that we do and our goals in writing what we do.

We have been so grateful for the positive feedback from around the world and would like to thank everyone for having open hearts and open minds when reading our notes, since they are sometimes a bit unconventional. We are constantly seeking to find innovative ways of coming to a noble dance, while honoring its foundation and canon.

We also understand that some people who read our articles, but have never attended our classes or who do not know us personally, might be skeptical.  We often contradict very common modes of tango instruction. Our goal in writing these articles is not to say that there is a right or wrong way of learning and teaching tango. Indeed, it is quite the opposite.  We feel that being exposed to a variety of teaching approaches is crucial in becoming a well-rounded dancer. It is very likely that the synthesis of several different instructors teaching the same thing, each in different ways, finally creates the connections that a student needs to learn a concept.

Aligning our sacrum

Posted by on Feb 23, 2012 in Challenges, Posture, Practice | 0 comments

Last week, our challenge was to bring awareness to your sacrum and the ways that your sacroiliac joint moves.

Adjusting your sacrum in two easy steps.

This week, we have encouraged our students to make a more specific adjustment to their sacrum.  This is a good exercise to do when you get up from being seated, when you are standing, and before you begin walking.

Thinking about collection is bad for your tango

Posted by on Feb 21, 2012 in Article, Beginning, Concepts, Visualization | 2 comments

“Collection” was eliminated from our tango vocabulary for many reasons.

I’ve written about collection in other articles, “Moving with your line of gravity” and “How we think affects the way we move”, so it is no secret that I don’t like what thinking about collection does to our dance. When we started developing our TangoBreath vinyasa, “collection” was one the first things we eliminated in our teaching and in our descriptions of Argentine tango movement.

We wanted to avoid “collection” for many reasons. One of them is that it is completely unnecessary. We never mention it in our TangoBreath vinyasa class, yet everyone, complete beginners and advanced dancers alike, all do what “collection” is intended to instruct. Their feet pass each other nicely in every movement. Another reason to discard “collection” is that it is mostly harmful to our development as dancers. We do mention it as something that happens as a result of well executed movement, but collection is not something to which it is necessary to give any thought. A beginning tango dancer has enough to think about already. Later on, it will be essential to think about what it means to have pretty foot movement. But that is a topic far beyond collecting.

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