Spiraling in and out

A less commonly considered spiral

Most of the time when we think of our spiral energy as it relates to tango, we consider the torsion that happens in our torso, as our hips and ribs twist in opposite directions. However, there are many other “spirals” that happen in our bodies, and we would like to draw attention to the spiral that happens in our legs as we take a step.  Understanding how the leg articulates at the hip joint during our walk can also transform our dance.

Finding circles and spirals in our walk

Becoming aware of the circles and spirals that happen in our body as we walk.

This challenge builds on our last challenge, Sinking into our Standing leg.  We will use that same exercise, but apply it to every step we take as we walk.  Walking down the street, the hallway, the grocery store, give this a try, but try not to think about it too much. Do this once at home, with focus, then do it whenever you walk somewhere, even if it is just for a few steps. Our goal is to become aware of the circles and spirals that our body creates internally as we walk. Ultimately we want to relax into a healthy balanced walk and remain aware of how our body is moving and how it feels.

Sinking into our standing leg

Aligning our whole body, sinking into the ground through our standing leg

For those who come to TangoBreath, you have heard us often recall the image of Michelangelo’s David.  We talk about sinking into the standing leg through the whole side body and dropping, or relaxing, the free hip.  Much to our delight, when we were in Tuscon, Murat and Michelle Erdemsel showed a picture of David in one of their classes on alignments! They also shared a picture of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, which provides us a connection to the feminine form.

Finding release in the pelvis

A continuation of last weeks awareness challenge, finding more awareness in our pelvis.

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.

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.


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