Tag Archives: volcada

Teachers should dance too

In Thursday’s Shrewsbury class we were joined by an Argentine by the name of Guido. He is I believe on of the men that Carol, from Leeds, brings over to help in her classes, over there on the north east side of the country. She had kindly lent him out to us poorer border people for the night. His class consisted of mainly ocho milonguero, and giro miloguero. Although for Viv and I there was nothing particularly new here, he presented it in a refreshing way that gave us much to think about. While many of the beginners struggled with the basic step, the playful repeats he did gave us something to work on, and left me with a smile on my face. My only criticism was that after the class he was reluctant to dance with any of the students. I think it was his great loss, many of the ladies here have come along at a fantastic pace, a real tribute to Sharon’s teaching. Of course he also missed out on dancing with Viv, she refuses to ask the men, and why should she? After years of putting up with beginners, would it really have been too much trouble to give her one dance? I have been to some classes where the teacher makes a point of dancing with every woman, and even some of the men, after all isn’t that part of it, to show what a good lead feels like? This discussion carried over to The Coracle for our weekly tango discussion. Among other topics discussed was again, the men telling the women where to put their feet. Horror, I was accused of doing precisely this. I suppose in some ways I was, whilst leading a giro I was pointing out where the feet should go, not away from me but in a circular motion, so that I am not pulled off axis. To me it is a mute point, I am not trying to get her to do something I cannot lead, merely to do something better. Still that is how it looks, and I suppose those I criticise could be doing the same thing. Maybe I should just, shut up and dance. We move on now to Saturday and a workshop on social volcadas with Haydyn Brown and Sharon.

Three hours of workshop followed by a Milonga represented good value, and as it was in my free weekend, how could I refuse. It seemed at first we were to do anything but volcadas, but all this was in preparation, getting the legs free and trust in your partner are essentials to a good volcada, but I have to admit, even I did not see where we were going at first. We stared off with some low boleos, low and small, something you could do in a crowded Milonga. This we were to learn later is a way of testing any new partner; there is little point in leading a full boleo or especially a volcada if the woman will not follow. Next we moved on to leg wraps, this was all about positioning, as well as learning something new and exciting. Finally we moved on to the volcadas, what we had all come for (although I suspect that there were those who had no idea what a volcada was). I think that it gave some an advantage; I spent most of the time trying to do too much. We have done volcada workshops before and there was I trying to get lots of lean, and lots of sweep, when all that was required was subtlety. Still I got there in the end and we enjoyed the experience. Some reassurance was needed, a lot of gobsmacked faces around. We have been to many workshops often walking away remembering nothing. It is only by doing them over and over that something sticks. Things do stay there, you just do not realise. Next workshop will seem easier and the one after. There is nothing special about us; we have just done so many. In fact I think sometimes the reason I am able to explain things well, is because I found it so difficult to learn, in the first place.

After a break for food we moved on to the nights Milonga. It was a shame so many had to leave, but fortunately more arrived and we had a good number in the end. Hayden, danced with all the women, just as he should, and Sharon gave us men some rest also leading the women. My moan? There is always one: I danced, I think, with all the women, except Sharon. I always feel it a bit unfair that she has to dance with all the beginners and I usually miss her out. Today though she did dance with Haydyn, it must be nice not to have to look down to her partners for once.

Just for your entertainment, I have included a photo of me taken by Jantango outside The Bibioteca Nacional. This is what you have to do to use a Moble Phone in Argentina.

See using a Cell phone is easy

See using a Cell phone is easy

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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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