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Showing posts from December, 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…