Archive for May, 2008


This evening was the last at Eastern Market for some space of time while the building is renovated, and there was a great crowd there. I am feeling a bit melancholy this post-dance evening, as I am wondering if I need to say “sayanora” to social dancing for a space of time while other things are attended to. We will see. But I will need another “tango push” in order to scrabble up to the next level, and I feel myself plateauing in my skills and falling back to patterns instead of improvisations.

Classwork with Jake tonight dealing with sacadas within ochos. Play with sacadas within ochos: With forward, as the follow travels counterclockwise, sacada with the left forward, moving into her space as she vacates it, pivoting together and making your sidestep for the next sacada. Harder to do than write about, and only “got it” a few times, actually. With back ochos to the right and left a radial overstep for a boleo-like figure resolved with by simply leading forward out of her cruz into another ocho. It would be worth playing with to experiment with various permutations of sidesteps and pivots just with these.


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Flying boleo

In this figure, taking her out of a cross across to your right (or perhaps, an ocho or molineta), a sharp secada with the left foot as your shoulder leads her to the right, followed with a secada with the right. What she does is make a dramatic and chest high gesture with her right as you bring her around.

🙂 Make sure you’ve got enough clearance so you don’t take anyone out. A few weeks ago I saw a stiletto go into someone’s chest at Devino’s with this. The follow was so skilled (performer level, who was practicing for a show) she stopped before completing the figure and injury to the bystander was avoided. This seems to be an adorno or a choreographed step, as I do not know if it can be led.

Chevy Chase Ballroom.

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Watch this milonga presentation. .. ganchos, hooks, altas, giros, sacadas .. all to a milonga beat.

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Vals drills

Vals walking drills: The “pendulum” – con tiempo. Don’t rush. Practice forward and back.

Remember the “V” shaped basic vals pattern.

Practice a secada with the left forward while the follow is stepping out of the cross (she must change her weight as soon as she crosses) and step around her holding her in place until you again look down the line of dance.

Practice: A sideways “molineta” like figure which subs a collection for the side step (both in, both back, both in, etc.) — and then the lead after a few iterations walks her into a cross and then out. Practice that walk by yourself both to right, left, and both directions. Same for the “v.”

An 8 count in vals is best done with a back step on one, and on the iteration with a pronounced movement of the left shoulder back on this back step. Begin with a side.

Cococabana with Carina.

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So, sometime in the past few weeks I’m dancing with a lady at Eastern Market, and at the end of the set I compliment her on her following technique, since she had picked up quickly on some oddball moves I threw in. She says to me that she was a feminist, and it had been a hard thing for her to learn to do well; to be “led.” I say to her “and I’m an evangelical Christian.” And we both had a good laugh at that without the need for further commentary. Not that we had been dancing, but that we both had to get past some of the complicating aspects of each of those respective belief systems.

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I have a software program on my computer that lets me perform custom equalizations on music being played. Around last December or January for awhile I was listening to tango music after stripping out the mid and hi tones, thus better to hear the “beat.” I find myself returning to this now, and I am wondering, basically, where I have been in my musicality.

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YouTube generation

While poking around I found this as well. In general there’s a lot of cool tango instruction and demo to find there, so go find your own to watch!

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