Argentine Tango lesson notes: 31/05/09
2nd June 2009
This lesson covered the following topics:
(The main practice track played throughout the class was "Epoca", by Gotan Project, from the album "La Revancha del Tango")
We did some walking, to music:
- Walking forwards and back
- Forwards ocho walking
Tips for the leader:
- It's worth taking time at the start of the dance - at least 10 seconds - to establish a good connection.
- Similarly, take your time with walking, you don't need to step on each beat
- Don't stare at your partner :)
Tips for the follower:
- With the back step, ensure you stretch out your back foot fully, and are grounded, before transferring weight back.
- Follower's left arm should be in full contact with the leader's right arm - no gaps between them, as gaps make it harder to lead
- Follower's left hand should not pull down on the leader's shoulder - one way to avoid this is to angle the hand to the side of the leader's shoulder, or on the leader's back, instead of at the top of the shoulder
- When doing ochos, ensure you collect with the pivot - no swinging-out of legs.
Get into the embrace. Establish connection, as before, with exercises and walking.
Walking around the room; forwards, side, back, transfer of weight.
Preparation - "pre-leading" steps, to ensure that the follower is aware (even subconsciously) of what's coming next.
You can use the rock-step to navigate around corners, to pause in the dance, and to decorate / vary the steps.
The forwards-and-back rock-step is similar to the side-to-side transfer of weight used to establish connection at the start of the dance (the "balanaceo").
We did some "Linear giro" (grapevine) walking, facing the mirror, to get used to the basic movements.
We then spent some time leading giro patterns with simple rotations - if the lead simply turns, that's a good indication (for now) to the follower to do a giro pattern.
Lead footwork is not really relevant at the moment, so just shuffle round...
Follower exercise: walk around a stationary object on the floor (handbag / chair, for example), in the following four-step pattern going around the object clockwise:
- Forward onto right foot, pivot 90 degrees clockwise
- Sidestep onto left, then pivot 270 degrees clockwise (this is the tricky one)
- Step back onto right
- Sidestep onto left (back at the start position)
(can also be done anti-clockwise, of course).
Building on previous work, leading ochos - pivoting, practicing dissociation ("twist").
Switching from forwards to back ochos and vice versa - by simply not rotating the follower.
- David Bailey, 2nd June 2009