Level 1 Feb 2017

Week 7 (starting 20.3.17)

We added the Forward Ocho to the Parallel Cross:


Here the Ochos are exited with a change of weight:

Weeks 5 and 6 (starting 6.3.17 & 13.3.17)

We introduced the Parallel Cross with Resolution:


Week 4 (starting 27.2.17)

Drill (same as Week 3)
Review of the C-Step

Here's the promised video...


Week 3 (starting 20.2.17)

Drill

1. Walking technique 
Key point: The torso moves first, then the legs move underneath the torso. (remember 'see-saw' exercise from Week 2) 
Imagine the torso is a 'carriage holding the king and queen' and the legs are the servants or the wheels of the carriage taking the king and queen wherever they need to go. The torso is primary, the legs are secondary. The torso dictates where the legs go. The legs only move because the torso chooses to go somewhere. The leg is the stabiliser, the torso is the initiator.

2. Lapiz walk
See Week 2 video on the Lapiz walk

Purpose: to develop good balance and differentiate the free and standing legs. 
The standing leg is dynamic, powerful and connected to the floor. It holds 100 % of your weight.
The free leg is loose 'like spaghetti' . It is free of tension.
Note that the hip of the free leg side should always be lower than the hip on the standing leg side.

3. Connection walk
Couples walk together. Follower places her extended arms on Leader's chest. Leader walks forward in two parallel lines (lines are close together not wide apart) The Leader walks inside the space cleared by the Follower's free leg as she walks back. Both visualise that the Follower's free leg being connected to the Leaders' torso. 

Purpose: to synchronise with your partner with correct walking technique.

4. Disassociation turns - on the spot.
Turning clockwise and anti-clockwise in quarter turns. Upper body moves first, then lower body.

Purpose: to practice disassociation - a  fundament concept in tango
This is where the upper body (from navel up) moves differently from the lower body (from hips down). In tango we can move in 'one block' or 'two blocks'
one block: upper and lower bodies move in the same angle
'two blocks': upper and lower bodies disassociate, moving at different angles.

C-Step Combination

We introduced the C-Step combination (video is on the way). The steps are as follows...

Step 1.  Leader steps to his left (side step) with left leg.  As the Leader steps he turns his torso to his right but his hips stay as much as possible in the same angle as at the start of the move (so nil to minimal change of angle in the hips). The follower matches this body movement. Both Leader and Follower will feel a twist in their torsos. 

Step 2. Leader steps forward with his free leg (right leg) slightly outside of the Follower. The Follower steps back with her free leg (left leg)  to balance with him. Both Leader and Follower have torso pointed to each other ('heart to hear') and hips aligned at same angle.

Step 3. Leader steps forward with his free leg (left leg)  inside the space cleared by the Follower as his torso moves forward. Follower steps back with her free leg (right leg) to balance with him.

Step 4. Leader steps sideways to his right with his free leg (right leg). Follower steps sideways to balance with him with her free leg (right leg).

Step 5. Leader changes weight on the spot (axis change) from right leg to left. Follower changes weight on the spot (axis change) from left leg to right.

Notice the pattern?

Both the Leader and Follower always step into the new step with their free legs: There is no change of weight without moving somewhere (either side, forward or back) - except for Step 5 which is a 'change-of weight-on-the-spot' step. 

Although Step 5 technically goes nowhere it is as important as any of the other steps. In tango the size of the step doesn't determine it's importance! Every step matters, as it is the entry to the next step.

Homework

Have a practice partner? Practice all of the Drill and the C-Step
No practice partner? Practice the Drill excluding the Connection Walk. 
Leaders can practice the C-Step with an imaginary partner. 
Followers - it is best not to memorise this move so do not practice the C-Step unless you have a partner.

Week 2 (starting 13.2.17)

Further work on the tango walk, posture, balance and connection. 
We introduced the 'Lapiz Walk'. Please practice this at home regularly. It will help you to improve your balance and remove tension in your free leg.


Week 1 (starting 6.2.17)

Introduction to walking and connecting (synchronising) with your partner.
Here's a move to practice synchronising with your partner:  'Forward-Side Step':


Tango Music - for practicing

You can find tango music on Spotify. I recommend the following album: 'Serie de Oro' by Carlos di Sarli. This album has good songs for practicing. Avoid the last song 'Tu Palida Voz' as it's a vals.

The following link will download a fabulous collection of 250 of the most popular songs (tango, vals and milonga) played in milongas around the world! Focus for now only on the tangos. Also focus on instrumental songs as opposed to vocals as these are easier to find the beat. Di Sarli is one of the better orchestras to start with.

http://www.muraterdemsel.com/250TANGO.zip

This link goes to a zip file. It's a little less than a 1 GB file.

Here's a link to help you better understand tango music for dancing.