Level 1 May - Jul 2019

Good habits for tango dancers
  • 'Steel vs spaghetti': Your standing leg is like steel - dynamic, strong and grounded, your free leg is like spaghetti: light and loose without tension.
  • Your free leg hip is stable yet loose and lower than your base leg hip (this removes tension from your free leg)
  • 'Collection' - Thigh or ankle (as you prefer) connection as you walk
  • Push off the floor as you walk - to make your walk more dynamic. 
  • Never lock your knees: You standing leg knee is softly flexed (not locked) - this gives you better contact with the floor.
  • Always find your axis - 'it's your beauty and your power'
  • Walk in the line of your hips - Imagine your hips are at the centre of 2 crossing lines: one going forward / back and the other - left /right. The first line is the guide for forward and back steps, the second line guides side steps. 
Tango Music - for practicing 
Check out Sophia's spotify lists:
Tango (Trad) Best for practicing musicality - walking to single, double and half time.
Tango (Neo) contemporary songs (good for practicing technique)

Link to 250 songs
The following link will download a 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: 250 songs download
This link goes to a zip file (little less than a 1 GB file). 

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

Here's what we've covered so far...

Week 7: starting July 8
All moves of Level 1

Backward Ocho from Side Step (Salida)

Week 6: starting  July 1
No new moves introduced.
  • Ochos - Forward and Back
  • Parallel Cross versus C-Step 
  • Linking Ochos and Resolution to Parallel Cross
  • The art of leading and following (Leaders wait for her!  Followers don't move till you feel the lead and maintain your axis so you don't fall out of control into the next move.
  • Navigation - angling moves to use the floor space well and stay with the line of traffic
Week 5: starting June 24
1. Introduced:
- Back Ocho
- Added this to Parallel Cross - Forward Ocho Combination (Week 4):

2. Reviewed 
- Technique for Parallel Cross and C-Step 
- Inside (in front of follower) and Outside (to Follower's Right side) steps

Week 4: starting June 17
1. Introduced:
Forward Ochos (entered from Parallel Cross):

2. Reviewed and improvised with:
  • C-Step
  • Parallel Cross with Resolution
  • Parallel Cross with Forward Ochos and Resolution
  • Parallel Cross with Walk
Week 3 : starting  June 10
1. Reviewed:
  • Lapiz Walk (drill)
  • C-Step
  • Parallel Cross with Resolution
  • Alternated between these two moves to better understand the concept of - two outside steps in succession lead to the Cross

2. Explored the concepts of: 
  • Blocking (by dissociation)
  • Outside and Inside steps
The first side step of C-Step and Parallel Cross, which requires dissociation, can be described as a Blocking step: The leader angles his torso to his right to lead follower to under-step him. The follower angles similarly to her right (to connect with her partner 'heart to heart') as she steps to the right.

Leaders: Note the first two steps of C-Step and Parallel Cross are the same. As with the C-Step the first side step, due to dissociation, causes the follower to under-step the leader.

Outside and Inside steps
The Parallel Cross and C-Step introduce the concept of 'Inside and Outside' positions.

When the follower is lead to Outside position her back leg (left leg) has stepped slightly to her right - to stabilise behind her front leg, crossing slightly to the right of, or behind, her spine.

In Inside position her back leg (left leg) has stepped in a straight line behind her - parallel to her front leg and not behind or crossing to the right of her spine.

Two backwards steps (follower) in Outside position leads to the Cross. 
The first Outside position step is the Leader's right leg stepping forward (Follower's left leg stepping back). 
The second outside step is the Leader's left leg stepping outside (Follower's right leg stepping back).

See Week 1 for C-Step and Week 2 for Parallel Cross videos.

For your interest, here's an end of class display (North Sydney 27.5.19) .

North Sydney 27.5.19

Week 2 : starting  June 3

1. Introduced 'Lapiz walk'. This is a drill for improving balance, walking and musicality. Lapiz means 'Pencil' in Spanish.3 steps forward - Lapiz - 3 steps forward - Lapiz and continue this till end of song. 
A good song to practice this drill to is 'Cara Sucia' by Carlos Di Sarli (see Spotify Tango (Trad)  list). 

2. Introduced Parallel Cross with Resolution:

Week 1 : starting May 27
The focus was on:
  • Synchronising with a partner
  • Balance technique tips
  • Changing weight
  • Walking technique (side, forward and back)
  • Leading from the torso
  • Practice hold and open embrace
The move introduced was the 'C Step':


We also worked on musicality, walking to single time and pausing. We used the count 1-2-3-4 walking on the strong beats of 1 and 3. Counting can also be 'I and 1 and...' 1 here is for the strong beats of 1 and 3 while 'and' is for the soft beats of 2 and 4.