Level 1 Sep - Oct 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 
Spotify 
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


Weeks 6 and 7: Starting October 7 and 14
In the last two weeks of the course we reviewed, refined and linked all the moves of this course:
  • The Tango Walk
  • C-Step
  • Parallel Cross
  • Forward and Backward Ochos
  • Ocho Cortado

Week 5: Starting September 30

1. Introduced Ocho Cortado


2. Reviewed Forward / Backward Ocho from Parallel Cross Combination (see Week 4 video)
3. Linked and improvised with all these moves with increasing focus on musicality and navigation

Remember classes are on as usual in North Sydney next Monday (despite Public Holiday)

Week 4: Starting September 23
1. Introduced Forward & Backward Ochos - entered from the Parallel Cross:

2. Improvised by alternating between Ochos and Resolution from the Parallel Cross.

Here's a display using these moves:

Week 3: Starting September 16
1. Continued refining the C- Step and Parallel Cross with Resolution.
2. Alternated between and improvised using these moves.
See Week 2 Review for video of Parallel Cross.

Sneak Preview
Here's what we're doing next week:

Homeplay
Practice the Lapiz Walk to 'Cara Sucia' song (see video and notes from Week 2)
Leaders - memorise the steps of the Parallel Cross with Resolution - your steps and the followers (particularly the Cross)

Week 2: starting September 9
Here's what we covered in Week 2:

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) or go here for youtube link to the song.

2. Reviewed C-Step (see Week 1)
3. Introduced Parallel Cross with Resolution (a.k.a 'Basic 8')
4. Alternated between and improvised with C-Step and Parallel Cross:


Notes for Parallel Cross:

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. 

Leaders and Followers: 
The Parallel Cross and C-Step introduce the concept of 'Inside and Outside' positions.
Note that 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 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).

Week 1 : starting September 2
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':

C-Step


The first side step of C-Step, 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.

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.