Tag Archives: teaching

Atilla

I am feeling extremely lucky of late, after what seemed to be years of dearth, suddenly there are Tango venues cropping up all over.

Despite my admiration of Atilla’s teaching methods I have been unable to attend any of her classes of late, the distance and time involved of getting to Wilmslow meant that for most of the time it was just not worth my while. I have a grouse to go with this as well, why are the workshops always when I am working? but more of this later.

After that preamble, Atilla took over The Groves Wednesday class this week. So for one week only we abandoned our usual Wednesday dance and attended The Groves.

It was really nice to meet Atilla again after so long, after all the greetings we were soon into the class. We were all asked to do a warm up dance, and I was amazed at the range of skill levels. How Atilla was going to run this class was going to be a revelation.

It was necessary to keep it simple as we had first timers in the class and even some of those who had been coming a while were still unable to grasp the basics. The class consisted of conitas and half giros, but with enough variation to keep the rest of us interested.

What happened to the hour? as usual Atilla’s class passed in a flash, and we were into the practica part of the night.

The ability to pitch a class across so many levels and keep us all interested can only be put down to her vast experience. I look forward to her next visit in a fortnight.

A new experience for me as well, I finally danced with Atilla. I do not know why but I have been too nervous to dance with her. One of those totally irrational fears that bug our lives, anyway she did not eat me, and for me anyway it was a pleasant experience.

There is an up coming weekend of workshops starting Friday 27thFebruary. This will be with Rodolfo and Miho, and again I am working the whole weekend, Thursday and Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. I could start to believe it was on purpose, except I know it is just the way it goes. Three years ago I did not miss one weekend. Those of you who followed my old blog on AOL will remember that I have not seen Miho since we met in Salon Canning in September and Rodolfo even longer.

Miho was returning for the last Wilmslow Tango weekend while I was in Buenos Aires. It is a shame that I keep missing them as I find Rudolfo not only a great teacher but also he keeps us all amused while we learn (maybe that is his secret).

They will be at The Roundhouse Theatre on Monday 2ndMarch for the usual Manchester Monday Class. I hope to catch up with them there. I must apologise beforehand  to Sharon for missing her class that night, but as I  am working all weekend this will be my first opportunity to catch up.

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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