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

A reflection on learning and teaching Argentine tango

A reflection on learning and teaching Argentine tango

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.

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

Aligning our sacrum

Aligning our sacrum

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.

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

Thinking about collection is bad for your tango

Thinking about collection is bad for your tango

“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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Posted by on Feb 20, 2012 in Announcements | 0 comments

TangoBreath and TangoLab classes, Wednesday, February 22

Argentine Tango classes for beginning and advanced dancers,
Every Wednesday in Asheville!

Followed by a 2 hour practica.

Join us this Wednesday, for another tangoBreath and tangolab.

Check out our new article on Forward head posture.
Last week’s body awareness challenge is “Perceiving the dynamic sacrum”.

In this week’s class we are continuing with creating a yummy embrace as we incorporate and explore the many movements we discovered in the ocho cortado.

In TangoBreath we will continue our work from previous classes with adornos by adding a few more.  These movements are becoming more important as we continue to explore their effect within the embrace in TangoLab.

In TangoLab  we will begin, as always, with presence in the embrace and subtle core movement. This is the perfect way to start learning Argentine tango. We will continue working with variations in linear movement while we begin incorporating the many choices in direction when following a pivot.

Last week we completely dismantled the ocho cortado, this week we will continue to explore all of its parts and the mirrors and reversals of those parts. Including an examination of linear and circular crosses.

As always our class will incorporate changes in direction, and how our internal movement brings life to the embrace. Including how to find which foot your partner is on while creating the opportunity for adornos, and a dynamic, great feeling embrace.

This week’s orchestra is Carlos Di Sarli, which will be quite refreshing after the last few weeks of Biagi. Di Sarli’s music makes it easy to hear the phrasing.  Kiki and bouba, are now living at Homewood, so they will always be available to add a visual to what you are hearing and feeling in the music.

Wednesday at Homewood, 19 Zillicoa, Asheville, NC. Map.

Classes start at 7:00, Practica starts at 9:00, BYOB.

There are no prerequisites for any of the TangoLab classes.

TangoBreath: 7:00 $5
TangoLab: 8:00 $5
Practica: 9-11:00 $7
Entire Night: $12

We hope to see you there!

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Posted by on Feb 14, 2012 in Announcements, Asheville Events | 0 comments

TangoBreath and TangoLab classes, Wednesday, February 15th

Argentine Tango classes for beginning and advanced dancers,
Every Wednesday in Asheville!

Join us this Wednesday, for another tangoBreath and tangolab.

Check out our new article on Forward head posture.
Last week’s body awareness challenge is Balance your head!“.

In this week’s class we are continuing with creating a yummy embrace as we explore changes of direction and pivots. Including variations on the incredibly simple ocho cortado.

In TangoBreath we will continue our work from previous classes with adornos by adding a few more.  These movements are becoming more important as we continue to explore their effect within the embrace in TangoLab.

In TangoLab  we will begin, as always, with presence in the embrace and subtle core movement. This is the perfect way to start learning Argentine tango. We will continue working with variations in linear movement while we begin incorporating the many choices in direction when following a pivot.

We will continue our exploration of the ocho cortado and variations. Find out why the ocho cortado is just a fancy name for a simple everyday step. We will examine this very simple movement, and the options for exiting it as single movements which can be applied everywhere, not just following the two steps that are called “ocho cortado”.

As always our class will incorporate changes in direction, and how our internal movement brings life to the embrace. Including how to find which foot your partner is on while creating the opportunity for adornos, and a dynamic, great feeling embrace.

This week’s orchestra is Rodolfo Biagi, perfect for being hit over the head with phrasing and learning to search out sweetness.  This week we will bring out the kiki and bouba, so the music will be extra fun.

Wednesday at Homewood, 19 Zillicoa, Asheville, NC. Map.

Classes start at 7:00, Practica starts at 9:00, BYOB.

There are no prerequisites for any of the TangoLab classes.

TangoBreath: 7:00 $5
TangoLab: 8:00 $5
Practica: 9-11:00 $7
Entire Night: $12

We hope to see you there!

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Posted by on Feb 13, 2012 in Article, Beginning, Posture, Visualization | 4 comments

Forward head posture and Argentine tango

Forward head posture and Argentine tango

Bad posture is a common problem.

I recently gave a weekly challenge to create awareness of our posture, “Scrunch your shoulders, fix your posture!”. The exercise is specifically targeted at slouched shoulders and a forward head posture. After posting it, I received a few emails from tango dancers and non-dancers, all thanking me for the reminder. Many said that this particular exercise is something they’ve been told to do. As I was writing this article, it came time for another body awareness challenge, so I posted “Balance your head!”, which generated even more feedback. Clearly, bad posture is a problem that many of us are struggling with.

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Posted by on Feb 10, 2012 in Asheville Events, Past Events | 0 comments

TangoBreath workshop with two tango classes and a milonga.

TangoBreath workshop with two tango classes and a milonga.

Two special focus tango classes and another great Homewood milonga.

Saturday, February 25th, in Asheville.

At Homewood, 19 Zillicoa, Asheville, NC. Map

Hips, sacrum, coccyx.If you have been to our tango classes, you know we always incorporate the pelvic floor in its role toward solid, fluid and confident movement. Here is your chance to get a full dose of what it takes to be fully aware of how to use your hips, sacrum and tailbone in every tango movement.

Creating a dynamic embrace with internal spiral and the resulting adornos is key to creating smooth fluid movement that feels good to your partner.

Fibonocci spiralWe follow up our pelvic floor class with a class on how to visualize and attain fluid movement. This includes creating dynamic tension and compression within the embrace, and how adornos and internal movement play a part in making the embrace feel amazing, all while we explore several different sacada’s and how to find them. All of the visualizations and technique for creating fluid movement can be applied to all aspects of dancing tango. Learning to find all 36 regular sacada’s can change the way you think about Argentine tango movement, and open doors to many other possibilities. These classes are all level, but will increase in difficulty to challenge dancers of all abilities.

CLASSES

From floor to pelvic floor: free your hip, the rest will follow.  1-2:30 PM Coming to a deeper understanding of our dynamic pelvic region gives access to stable & fluid movement. Using the pelvic floor is the key to being a solid lead or follow.

Visualizing and creating fluid movement on the path to every sacada.  3-4:30 PM Learn visualization and technique to create fluid, delicious movement within the embrace, while we learn how to find all of the sacadas. Visualization of pivots and spiral while creating various adornos is a big part of this class. This class will be equally challenging and interesting to both leaders and followers. The pelvic floor class is a pre-requisite for this class.

HOMEWOOD MILONGA 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM

Lisa Jacobs will be our DJ.

Acupressure and Tui Na (Chinese massage) by Katie Bruce L.AC.
We are pleased to announce that Katie Bruce L.AC. will be offering acupressure and some Tui Na (Chinese Massage) during the milonga.
Visit Katie’s web site for more information!
Katie will be available from 8:00-10:00 for suggested donation of $10.

Some wine, snacks and, as always, a special treat prepared by Susannah will be provided. BYOB.

Private Lessons

As always, we will be available for private lessons. Please contact us to make arrangements.

PRICING

Full pass (both classes and milonga) $40
A la Carte “From floor to pelvic floor.” $25
Milonga $12
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Posted by on Feb 10, 2012 in Beginning, Challenges, Visualization | 0 comments

Balance your head

Balance your head

head forward posture is bad for you.This week’s body awareness challenge is continuing with posture awareness. This week we are creating awareness of forward head poster with “balance your head”. Forward head posture can be the source of several other posture problems. All of which make Argentine tango and life, more difficult.

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Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in Article, Beginning, Concepts, Visualization | 0 comments

Moving With Your Line of Gravity

Moving With Your Line of Gravity

Moving the line of gravity literally covers more ground

In the last post I described how the relationship between the center of movement and the line of gravity created internal dynamic tension which is a part of what creates presence or intention within the embrace. Moving the line of gravity literally covers more ground, but is easier to explain than the micro movements that create dynamic tension.

Any movement starts by moving our center away from our line of gravity to create dynamic tension. Our center of movement can be imagined as being a spot at the top of our sacrum in the center of our body. Standing still, the center of movement is intersected by our line of gravity.

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