Step Two

13th March 2009

(More Next Steps articles.)

Introduction

(Step One is explained last - trust me, it'll make more sense if you read them in this order)

You can do this with either a practice partner or an imaginary one. A real person will give you a better feel for the dynamics and hopefully better feedback. An imaginary one may prove to be more relaxing...

Step Two

Either way, take up any position you like. It could be the starting embrace, or part -way through a sequence, or anything you like really.

Check that both your posture, foot placement and axis are right. Now either :

  • The leader takes a single step

  • Or:
  • The leader leads the follower to do a single movement - step / pivot, whatever.
And stop.

Questions:

  • Why did you go where you did?
  • Were either of your posture, foot placement or axis disrupted at any point?
  • Did you remain in balance throughout?
  • Did the embrace change appropriately and smoothly?

And so on.

Feel free to repeat it again and pay attention to the different parts each time.

Step Three

Having completed Step Two, now try:
  • The Leader takes a second step form this new position
  • The Follower is lead to do another single movement
  • You abandon the position entirely and start from another position

Step Four

Add in a restriction, for example:
  • The outside edge of the dancefloor is there
  • There's a stationary couple here
  • There's a moving couple here moving this way

Step Five

Add multiple restrictions and increase the number of steps that you take.

Step Six

Put on a piece of music. Go back to Step One. Start at different points to the music. Try different pieces of music.

Step Seven

Go back to Step One. Try to lead specific things - for example, "how could I lead a boleo from this position?"

Step Eight

Various combinations of the above

Step Nine

Chat away about something not related to tango in the least. The idea is to distract your "thinking" brain

Step Ten

Whatever else takes you fancy!

And finally...

Step One!

Michael Gelb created an interesting method of teaching juggling.

The first step is to get the student to the throw the ball and deliberately not catch it. Sounds kinda strange.

What he realised is that the big problem with juggling is that people tense up when they miss a catch or come close to missing a catch and this messes up the flow. Whereas it is possible with rubber juggling balls if you miss a catch to simply let the ball bounce of the floor, catch it and carry on. Indeed most people watching will assume this was deliberate.

So the actual first step here is just to do things wrong for a bit. Do them gently, but the important thing is to get used to staying relaxed regardless.

 - Christopher O'Shea, 13th March 2009

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