Tango course: Overview and Review
28th November 2008
This article summarises the key points from the 8 week Tango course run by Amir Giles and Jenny Sayer, in October - November 2008.
- Connect with your partner
For more information: Full Week 1 review
Summary: Walking and ochos
- If you push off correctly, you'll usually arrive correctly.
- Relax whilst you dance; if you don't, your partner will feel it
- Dissociate to the side of the forwards foot (when walking forwards or back)
- Technique is forever, not just for Christmas
For more information: Full Week 2 review
Summary: Dissociation and the cross
- Dissociate all the time.
- Dissociation powers the trailing leg
- Push off from the floor not the partner
- You don't need to "lift" to lead a cross
- Take notes at the end of the class.
For more information: Full Week 3 review
Summary: Sacadas and overturned ochos
- Timing must be precise in the sacada, or Pain Happens.
- Musicality - listen and move to the rhythm.
- Don't take diagonal steps - instead, pivot appropriately then side / forward - step
- The side of the leader's step affects the follower's pivot angle
For more information: Full Week 4 review
Summary: Giros and pivots
- Preparing to lead a move is part of leading a move
- Lower yourself a little before / whilst moving, stand up a little when pausing
- Followers should be the same distance from the leader's centre, at the start and finish of a step.
- Pivoting exercises are vital to progress.
For more information: Full Week 5 review
Summary: Change-of-direction ochos and ganchos
- Mirrored giros help you demonstrate and work on dissociation
- To lead a not-pivot, simply don't lead a pivot
- Angle of pivots is determined by both space and energy provided
- When leading ganchos, you need to be close to your partner
For more information: Full Week 6 review
Summary: Ocho cortado and two routines.
- Standing on one leg for a minute a day improves balance
- Followers must confidently follow the lead, even into the body
- When leading the cross from an ocho cortado, leaders must allow space for the follower (move back a bit)
For more information: Full Week 7 review
Summary: The embrace and boleos.
- Preparation should take longer than stepping
- Infinite varieties of embrace - just don't lose the connection
- Embrace usually adapts to match the steps
- Boleos - think of your working foot as a pendulum.
For more information: Full Week 8 review
Looking back over my notes, I'd summarize the course as:
- Covering a lot of steps, although not in depth.
- Just the right mix of technique and form.
- A great set of advice for tango dancing in general
- David Bailey, 28th November 2008