Tag Archives: Bob

Basic eight and more

OK so last night I took the Chester class. I had planned to do something about the lead and the embrace, but Sharon had asked me to go over the basic eight in preparation for the coming year.

There was one guy who was fairly new, but in general everyone including the new guy was very soon doing the eight with no problems. We went on to make it a seven, leaving out the back step, but this was never going to fill two hours.

I decided to ask if anyone had anything they wanted help with, and everyone either said ochos or giros.  We spent some time going over the steps of the giro, until someone asked the killer question “if tango is improvised then why do we learn steps?” it was as if I had planted the question. Now I could break the moves down into their basics and show that any ocho or giro could be started or finished at any point. The lady must wait for each lead, because the man may not go the way they think he will go.

I then gave them something of a demo; I chose a fairly new partner and asked her forgiveness for what I was about to do. I played Poema by Canaro, I think one of the most beautiful pieces ever written.  I then proceeded to ignore the music and do every move I could think of, it was horrible, she hated it, and every one could see that she was struggling.

I apologised again and asked how it was for her. Now I asked for a second chance, Poema again, but this time I listened to the music, we did nothing but walk, but changing speed and direction as the music dictated. She was happy, we looked good, our audience enjoyed it and I did not even lead an ocho.

I set the class back to their tasks, telling them not to lead just giros and ochos but fill in with walking and feel the music. I picked my drink up as my mouth was dry and when I turned back everyone was dancing, not as in a class, not practicing , but just dancing.

At this point I gave up teaching and just left the music on. I no longer had a class, but a group of Tango dancers.

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Feliz Navidad

I hope everyone had a good Christmas. As usual things have gone a bit quiet twixmas.

Last Monday we had a class in Chester that involved some balloon work. As the numbers were more or less balanced, I sat out and just watched the fun. The people taking part in the class seemed to have enjoyed it, but sitting on the sidelines, I was in stitches most of the time.  I am sure a lot was gained and it was worth the struggle, I know in the times when I joined the class as either a leader or follower, it was definitely helping everyone. But this was one class that I was more than happy to just watch, when trying to dance with three balloons the comic effect was indescribable. Sharon had been asked about volcadas by some one who had seen Strictly Come Dancin. She decided wisely to show the basics but not how to lead into one. Everyone wants to run before they can walk. Even though this class have advanced amazingly, they are not yet ready for moves this advanced.

Thank you to those who sent me birthday wishes, it is nice to know people care. There was an absence of dances and we were planning to just go for an Indian, but at the last minute Steve invited us to join him at Cricieth.

There are regular coach trips to the Lion Hotel, groups of, usually pensioner, who stay for tinsel and turkey breaks. ( Christmas comes from mid October until mid February) Steve is one of the regular acts who appear. You never know what he is going to do as it all depends on the crowd.

Anyway, last night we had a wonderful meal there, after which we sat out and waited for the entertainment. ( the waiter said we could stay, to which I replied that we had no option as we lived fifty miles away and had come with Steve).

As he got started we had a waltz but only one other couple joined us. It did not look as if we would get much dancing. Although I did lead a conga chain (Steve always singles me out) the only other dance we got was a foxtrot at the end. To be fair they were a difficult crowd, but even Sharon (Steve’s wife) enjoyed the show, so he was on top form, and everyone left happy in the end.

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Chester Milonga

This tradition thing is catching on; Mondays class was dedicated to learning how a Milonga works, and the traditional music.

Sharon had a basic class at the beginning, where we learned a simple step that would allow the beginners to keep moving around the room. After this some time was spent on the etiquette. No overtaking, no walking across the floor, no back steps, and no stopping the flow, to teach a move that was not followed because you could not lead it. 

This is my favourite bug bear, if a woman does not follow what I have led, and asks what should I have done, I always respond “just follow” if she does not get it I will try again later, modifying my lead until she does. There is nothing worse than someone stopping the flow with both parties in a couple looking at the floor, trying to do something that is obviously beyond them. It is, ok, to just walk to the music.

OK back off my soap box; We were arranged around the room, men one side and women the other, eye contact being the only form of request allowed. Again I must admit to walking up to one or two women to ask them to dance, as they were too busy talking to catch my eye.

The music was kept traditional and arranged in tandas. I liked the choice of Aker Bilk as a cortina.

Sharon has taken a few photographs and has promised to forward them to me, I in turn promise to post some of them here as soon as I have them.

I cannot end without a note to say that all the women had made a special effort and were all beautiful, there was not one there that I would not have been proud to have on my arm.

Una cosa mas, as they say in Buenos Aires, I would be glad to hear of anyone who would like a regular Milonga in the Chester Area. If I do organise anything it would have to be irregular, maybe once a month. My shift working prevents me doing something on a weekly basis, that is unless someone else comes in with me.

I think that the size of the crowd we have at present, a weekly Milonga would anyway be unsustainable, at the moment. But any ideas or offers are welcome, lets get something moving.

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How we Dance

We were asked to Dance at the Birthday Party of Francheska, and Tony, kindly Videoed it.

The filming is excellent, but I am afraid we were rubbish. All my teachers  comment on the same things, but it is not untill you actually see yourselves that you realise how bad you are. Juan always says head up feet together, now I realise what he means. It is a shame it took so long to see myself, even though I now know what I look like I will still tell others to keep their heads up, or maybe because I know how bad it looks on me. Apologies for not posting it, I have not been able to post it either on this site or Youtube, as soon as I have sorted the problem I will post  here.

All I would like to say is if you are a dancer, or learning to dance’ get yourself on film. It will be the best learning experience you can have.

For those watching for events, we will be at Northwich Memorial Hall on 22nd November, Ballroom and sequence with Goodtime Combo. we have booked  tables one and two, and already we have fourteen names. If you wish to join us drop me a line we can always book more tables, you can just pay on the night.

I missed Tango in Chester tonight, sadly I have to work for a living. I will miss all my friends there, but I should be in attendance next week.

We will be at the wekly Dance in Ewloe Club dancing to Deryk and Geof on Wednesday. No Tango here I’m afraid, more sort of, grannies get with it. I hope that does not sound derogatory, but the average age is well into the eighties, this is absolute living proof that dancing keeps you young. These people are more alive that most that I know who are half their ages. So if you want to stay young: Come and join the Dance.

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