Tag Archives: salon tango

Last Tango in Shrewsbury (for this year)

Back again at The Lantern, for the Christmas milonga. As next Thursday is Christmas day this was the last one of the year.

In keeping with the new traditional thing, I turned up in a suit (very milonguero) unfortunately it was not long before I was too hot and had to remove my jacket. For my Argentine readership I should point out that it had been below freezing point the last few days, and for me this was a welcome change.

Again everyone had made an effort and the night went very well. A couple who teach in Warwick had turned up to see what the scene was like here, Ricardo and Sue I think their names were. They had started their Tango in Edinburgh with Ricardo and Jenny so imediately we had some common ground. I think that they enjoyed the night, although the level is still mainly beginners. Hopefully they will turn up again some time. They were on some kind of national tour as Ricardo had told Viv about the other places that they were to visit, I am still curious as to why they selected Shrewsbury, as it is on the same night as Wilmslow.

We had badgered some friends to come as well, and although they arrived late they also seemed to enjoy the night. I think the fact that the women are all followers and the music is important helps make this night.

I again though met up with the same problems; many of the women with whome I danced had been learning figures and could not walk properly never mind follow a basic giro. Hopefully I straightened a few problems out, with me ending up just walking around the room with them.

After all the beginners it was nice to dance with Sue. We started of just walking as always, but we soon got the feel and it gave me a chance to try out a few things which I could never expect the beginners to follow. I tried to lead the cadena and it just did not work, again there is no point blaming the woman, obviously my lead is not yet right although on the plus side she did understand what I was trying to do.

This is the ever present problem, the only more advanced dancer that I regularly dance with is Viv, and by now she knows what I am going to do almost before I do, and so my lead does not improve.

Still it was nice to try some volcadas and other things with someone new, Viv also had a chance to dance with Ricardo and as she knows all my repertoire it is nice for her to be doing something new as well.

It is always a good crowd here I look forward to seeing some of them again New Years Day.

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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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Tango with Sven

As I have previously published, my posture when tango dancing is terrible.  I hope my use of the present tense is now a mistake. The class we took part in on Saturday with Sven and Atilla I think has finally cured me.

This miracle was brought about by the unusual teaching methods of Sven Froese. One of the unusual things he had us doing was walking around the room, just like a beginners class but the ladies would join the men, whilst the men would not break step,then leave again to join another man.

He also made a point of leading with the solar plexus. You cannot do this and tuck the woman under your arm, believe me. The world has now lost it’s number one underarm dancer, I really am cured.

We spent some time in the second class doing crosses in cross system and uncrossing. While Viv had done this before, I had not, at least not in a formal class. However I was not letting this distract me from my main aim which was not to improve my posture. So I must apologise to those ladies who wanted to do what was being taught, as once again I chose to ignore most of what was being said. If I got nothing else from the weekend it was worth it just for that improvement in posture.

After the class we had to freeze our ears off in Wilmslow for three hours, as the legion wanted the room at Three thirty and the evening dance was not due to start until seven thirty. I did enjoy my fish, chips and peas at the Bollin Fee, although the peas were cold. Still you can’t complain at two meals for £7.10  We arrived early which gave us plenty of time to get ready, not that I needed much time to shave , change my shirt, and put on my mask.

What can I say about the dance, the Christmas masked ball. As far as I could tell everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. The masks did not stay all night as I think most people got a little too hot. Live music was supplied by “Frambuesas con Nata” who as usual brought the house down. Viv managed to stay incognito, while her joke shop wig was mistaken for a new hair do.

Finally I must mention the demo given by Atilla and Sven, the standard of dancing was superb as always. They gave a demonstration of pure salon tango, all improvised.  It goes to show that good dancers do not need heavy choreographed routines, like “strictly” or the tourista rubbish that is starting to creep in in some of the salons.

I forgot my camera again I am afraid, but I am hoping some kind person who was there will donate a few pics for me. Any offers??

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