Tag Archives: basic

Back to the grind

The Christmas and new year festivities are over, and along with most of Britain, I am back to the daily grind.

Mondays Tango class saw a new influx of beginners, and judging by first impressions, we could have a whole new crowd joining this wonderful world.

Also among these new arrivals was Viv, she has agreed to attend Mondays, if I let her go to line dancing on a Tuesday, more of this later.

The basic class went well, nothing but walking so far, but it was a challenge just to stop everyone swaying, salsa style. Confidence is always an issue for the men, just believing that the woman will not be there when you step, but all this will come in time.

The intermediate class consisted of a lot of walking in cross. A nice move changing sides with a half ocho. I am afraid this confused some people, and they could not get out of the ocho once they started. This is not my class, so I must be careful, but never the less, I did get some satisfaction when a guy who was having particular problems, finally got it.

The numbers were more or less balanced, now that Viv had joined the class, so this left me free to watch and help where I could. Roberta only appeared when Sharon needed to demonstrate a step. So we have the strange sight of a man being led by a woman. (this would never happen in BsAs).

A nice thing that has happened now is that people are staying from the beginners to practice at the end, hopefully this will continue. If the group continues to grow, I may yet fulfill my dream of having a local Milonga. We plan to soon have a house party as a starter, watch this space.

Back now to Tuesday, no tango I am afraid, just ballroom and sequence, at Flexis in Acrefair. As Viv has gone to line dancing, and released me (for the night only) I can now dance with all the local ladies, unfortunately, this week they were rather thin on the ground, so I was limited to just two. Still it was a good night, shame on those of you who missed it.

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Everything goes wrong

This Monday we did a repeat of what was done at the Upton Magna workshop, but this time I got the chance to do it as a leader. I still had some dificulties as I find constantly changing weight problamatic. While it was a useful excercise, I have never seen anyone doing the valz quite like this, and I think it unlikely I will use it in the dance. Using the basic eight as a turn however can be quite useful, the various parts of the turn can be used independantly, and it is not necessary to always use the back step along the line of dance.

An explanation is in order here, for people who were not at the class. The valz turn involved a one two three similar to the vienese waltz but always leading on the same leg. The basic eight turn, involved starting with the back step along the line of dance, turning into the cross then turning again so that the man is again back to the line of dance. This as I said can be broken down to use in different ways: finishing or starting with a half giro or conita or even just a way to recover if you find yourself facing the wrong way.

Apart from the vals turn I had other problems as well. You would think that the time that I have been dancing that it would all come easily, but this is never the case, there is always something to learn, and a class is always an artificial situation.

In my case after viewing the video of myself, I am making a real effort to keep my head up and my weight on my toes. This has brought about new (old) problems, I danced milonga with Sharon and she was just not getting it, and I find that this was because I am now tucking her under my arm, another bad habit, but one I thought I had cured. Dancing often with beginners it is easy to think the mistakes are always the fault of the follower, it helps to be pulled up now and again.

At another dance Viv and I had the chance to practice a bit of Tango before all the ballroom started. When I did a giro with a lapice, it all went wrong. Cue Viv getting irate and saying it is because I do too much following. Truth was I was trying to stop her tucking under my arm while staying on my toes and keeping my head up. I never was much good at multi tasking. One thing I am good at is knowing when to shut up though….

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