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Showing posts from 2014

Choreography or not? (a beginner's guide)

I recently got drawn into a tango blog discussion as to whether a tango demo was a video or not. They said it was improv, I disagreed, and suddenly I was called upon to justify my view with evidence and tempers were starting to flare. A bit of an over-reaction but that's the world of tango blogs for you. People care about this stuff. A lot.

Rather than publish it there I thought that I'd publish my beginners guide here, instead.

At the outset I probably need to say that I don't like watching demos, although I appreciate that they're great as a means of drawing new people into tango, and motivating people to improve. However I was sidetracked for a few years by perceiving demos as examples of good dancing.  I see many dancers here and overseas in the same situation, so I now see demos as simply a diversion.  A bit like ballet, another dance that doesn't push my button.

I also won’t be linking to any demo videos as I don’t want to pick on anyone in particular as you’…

Advice for Followers

This post is about the most common questions that I'm asked about following.  It's a companion piece to my Advice for Leaders post. Read both, especially if you don't do both, because you need at least some perspective into the other half of the dance if you wish to improve.  My apologies for the use of gender when describing leaders and followers, sometimes my typing fingers get tired.  Regarding 'style', I've posted elsewhere on this site about that but suffice it to say that this advice is for a tango approach where a leader and follower move together to build a dance that is greater than both of them.
My post on leading talks about accepting followers as they are, strengths and weaknesses, just like in the movie Bridget Jones' Diary (one of my faves). However, followers can be on the receiving end of some pretty dreadful technique which sometimes means that they have to react rather than follow. 
Having said that, you should always be trying to give you…

Advice for Leaders

This post is about the most common questions that I'm asked about leading.  It's a companion piece to my Advice for Followers post. Read them both, especially if you don't do both, because you need at least some perspective into the other half of the dance if you wish to improve.  My apologies for the use of gender when describing leaders and followers, sometimes my typing fingers get tired.  Regarding 'style', I've posted elsewhere on this site about that but suffice it to say that this advice is for a tango approach where a leader and follower move together to build a dance that is greater than both of them.
Good leading is largely about accepting followers as they are, identifying their  strengths, then leading to those strengths (eg wonderful musicality, great connection) and avoiding areas of weakness (eg no axis, not very stable, connection not very good). Having said that, you should always be trying to give your partner the best possible time. Even if t…

Janis Kenyon on Ricardo Vidort

Here's a profound post by Janis Kenyon, reproduced by Tango Commuter, about Ricardo Vidort.
Ricardo taught people 8 lessons and then told them to go away and develop their own style.

Exactly. There's a lot of overthinking and overselling of tango which gets in the way of learning the dance. If the top of the tango mountain appears to be moving away rather than getting closer, then it's time to look for different advice.




Wellington Tango - An Interview

Wellington Tango
A written Interview with Tango Dancer, Geoff Nicholls by Chris Watson, September 2014

CW: Thanks for taking time to talk about tango in Wellington, Geoff. Firstly, could you explain why you think tango is so special in Wellington? GN: I think the main reason that tango here is so good is a combination of Kiwis' love of travel and the direct flights that existed between Buenos Aires and Auckland for years (but have now gone). This means that at any local Milonga more than half of all the dancers have been to Buenos Aires at least once and many of them have been many times. Each of those people brought back a small piece of Buenos Aires with them, and all of it has added to the local scene. Now that there are no more direct flights from Auckland it can be more expensive to get there, which may slow down what was at one time a constant “conveyer belt” between Wellington and Buenos Aires.
Another element in the slowdown was that the rising standard of tango in Wellington …

My Garden of Linkly Delights!

I've been sending out links on a weekly email list for a few years now, as well as to my Sacada TangoFacebook page and the New Zealand Facebook page Tango Dancers.
Many of them were archived into a post on this blog A Few of my Favourite Things where I organised them into coherent groups. This post is where I shall put them in future as an archive. They'll tend to look like a bit of a grab bag but I prefer to think of them as a wilderness garden... ___________________________________________________________________________
Ricardo Vidort and Anna Maria Ferrara, nice milonga! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6pjyyyoBnM

Overcharging of tourists in BA
https://jantango.wordpress.com/2017/09/21/overcharging-tourists-is-nothing-new/


I looked over some of my old blog posts and thought this was worth re-posting, questioning the need for endless lessons.  http://tangogeoff.blogspot.com/2015/07/more-lessons-really.html

Here’s a fun video of Tete doing role reversals with an unnamed lady https:…