Tag Archives: coming year

Happy New Year

First let me apologise for being a day late, but I wanted to include Dave Bassett’s party in my post.

We brought the new year in at The Memorial Hall Wrexham. Steve, who had organised the occasion was on top form. The group who normally attend these socials are not the easiest to please, but we never heard one complaint.

Steve again brought out his trumpet and gave us a blast, not having tried myself, I can only give the opinions of others, who tell me that to play the keyboard and trumpet at the same time requires some skill. All I know is that we love it and we want more.

New Years day evening is always a bit flat, and so it was nice for once to be invited to Shrewsbury again for a House Milonga. Dave Bassett had invited a few tangueros for an evening of dancing.

He, like most of us completely hooked ones, has a room dedicated to dancing. I was impressed with the technology he had, as well as the obvious sound system, he had a projector screen covering one wall and one of those back lit televisions on the other, and while we danced we were treated to tango videos from Youtube.

The group from Shrewsbury is starting to develope into a knowlegable and friendly group, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Dave. He has a battle on his hands though as the, neo, nuevo, show dance, fantasia, whatever you choose to call it faction, is still in evidence and seem determined to take over.

I will be keeping an eye on the Shrewsbury scene and Dave in particular through the coming year ( as best the distance and my work allows) because with the enthusiasm that is there, I am sure that it will grow and grow.

Prospero Año Nuevo a todos.

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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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Filed under Dance Venues and Schools