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'Play' Your Way to Great Tango Technique!

posted Dec 27, 2014, 8:48 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Aug 15, 2017, 9:54 PM ]
Sharing this inspiring video about Stephen Jepson, a 72 year old man who has developed astonishing physical flexibility and fitness through lots of physical 'playtime'. I'm referring to such activities as hopscotch, jumping rocks, climbing trees, scaling walls - the sort of games kids used to enjoy in the era pre-internet and mobile devices.

Stephen's playtime is the cause of his great balance and agility, and these are essential qualities for skilful tango dancers. The ability to stand well-balanced on one leg is so important, as is the ability to dissociate the upper and lower body when turning. For this reason I often advise my students to take a course in yoga as a complement to their tango training, as a means to improving flexibility and balance. 

Stephen's example suggests that perhaps making your own playground at home or finding a place to play games that develop these physical skills is another option.


My playtime for the past few months has been rebounding on my kids' trampoline to upbeat music for 30 minutes a day. As well as being the cause of some bemusement for my kids, It's a great activity for cardio fitness and lymphatic health. What's more I find this chance to 'fly' loads of fun! It brings out my 'inner child' and is very uplifting to the spirit. The 'fun factor' is  why i have managed to maintain this activity while other attempts to exercise have fallen by the wayside.

If 'Playtime Gyms' were to become the next fitness craze - replacing Zumba, CrossFit and the like - it wouldn't surprise me! 

Now there's an idea...but I'm not ready to give up my day job for that one!

Another idea inspired by the mighty Mr Jepson is to include balance and flexibility enhancing games in my tango classes. I have some great ones up my sleeve...

sydney tango lessons
It may not be such a bad idea after all...

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