Level 1 May - July 2017

☆☆ Good Habits - Always remember these! ☆☆
  • 'Apartment building' metaphor:  - one line to the floor. 
  • Be clear where your axis is at every point of your dance 
  • Imagine big black spots in the the big toe half of your feet: Keep weight distributed on the spots (rather than the little toe half)
  • '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 loose and down (this removes tension from your free leg)
  • Never lock your knees: You standing leg knee is softly flexed (not locked) - this gives you better contact with the floor.
  • 'Collection' - Thigh or ankle (as you prefer) connection as you walk
  • Push off the floor as you walk - to make your walk more dynamic.
  • Look forward as you walk (down diagonal is fine but don't look straight down at your feet as this distorts your posture.
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Week 7: Starting July 10
We continued refining the Sandwich and introduced the move of Parada and gave the followers an ornament while in the Parada. Parada means 'Stop' in Spanish. The Sandwich already has two Paradas. The optional third Parada is entered from the Forward Ocho which concludes the Sandwich. The ornament shown in Week 7 is the the final one in the video. 

We also spent some time on walking technique, stressing the importance of being fully on your axis (balance line to the floor) before pushing off into the next step - whether stepping forward or back. Before pushing into the next step you need to have 100% of your weight on your standing leg.


Week 6: Starting July 3
We continued working on the Sandwich and introduced the concept of navigation and floor craft. Overtaking was discouraged!  As the Sandwich ends facing against the line of traffic we suggested repeating it to end facing the line of traffic. 

Week 5: starting June 26
We continued to work on the Sandwich, and then improvise the lead of that from Backward Ochos.

Please note that classes on July 5 and 12 at Bondi will NOT be at the School of Arts as the hall is unavailable over school holidays. We have a choice of the Hugh Bamford Hall in North Bondi and hall at the Bondi Pavilion. Will confirm with you shortly which venue we will be at for those weeks.

Week 4: starting June 19
  • Reviewed the difference between a change of weight on the spot compared to a side step. 
  • Reviewed the Backward Ocho with resolution combination.
  • Introduced the Sandwich - which we will continue playing with in Week 5

Home Play
  • Practice all the moves covered to date.
  • Practice the Lapiz Walk
  • Extra credits for working on the Sandwich!
Suggested reading: 
Week 3: Week starting June 12

We continued with Ochos focusing on Backward Ochos and added a resolution of forward and side step (to the right)

Home Play
Practice disassociation with this exercise:

Practice Backward Ochos with Resolution:

Week 2: Week starting June 5

1) Continuation and refinement from Week 1 with:
  • Walking technique in practice hold - the difference between forward and back walking
  • Synchronising with your partner
2) Introduction to the 4/4 rhythm of tango - in single time we step on the '1' and '3'

3) Introduction of forward and back Ochos (in front of the leader). 


Unfortunately the back ocho video does not show the upper body which is an important part of the lead. You can see the upper body lead better in the following video:


To give you an overview of what we cover in Levels 1 & 2 here's our improvised displays in Week 1 to 'Sin Palabras' by Osvaldo Pugliese. In these displays we link all the moves covered in our beginners series. In at least the first half of each display there are no other moves used.

@ North Sydney with Pablito:

@ Bondi with David Wong:

Homework:
Same as Week 1 - the 'Lapiz Walk':

Week 1: Week starting May 29

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 (check out one of our student's playlists ('beltrancn'). 

I recommend the following album on Spotify: '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.

Homework:

Here's a preview of what we're introducing in Week 2 - the 'Lapiz Walk'. Please practice this at home regularly. It will help you to improve your balance and remove tension in your free leg. A good song to practice this to is 'Cara Sucia' by Di Sarli.