Monday, May 9, 2016

Our First Practica! Argentine Tango has a Floor in Jacksonville!

Our First Practica  -  Wonderful!

I arrived at our new dance floor early and was able to watch all the young dancers working on their routines! They were an enthusiastic group with plenty of awards to show for their efforts. There was plenty of room in the reception area to visit with Argentine Tango dancers while we waited for our turn. I was surprised to see some dance family that I had been missing for a while.  

For me, I thought we had a very nice turnout! Although Sunday afternoon from 2 -4 seemed like the perfect time for dancing, apparently I was mistaken! Although I did enjoy my time in our old location, my best partner had become the wall! Now, there are many advantages in dancing with a wall! My cohos are much improved, I picked up some speed in my pivots, as well, my posture is improved. 

What is lacking when one dances alone is the opportunity to dance in response to another. I find this quality of Argentine Tango very compelling. As a dance that happens between two dancers in response to the music - having a partner helps me learn to listen, to be mindful of my center, to be aware of each step because there is either someone following or leading each one. 

For those who have stumbled across my blog, I am writing about “salon” style tango, which is a social tango. We can become more and more advanced, and learn all sorts of “adornos” or embellishments with time - but the heart of the dance is the connection between the dancers. 

Two dancers who have found that “connection” are able to dance the simplest steps and have them seem so elegant and beautiful because all the other elements of Argentine Tango are perfected, and so go un noticed by the untrained eye. I will post a video at blogs end for you to enjoy.

Back to the practica! Some dancers attending had over ten years Argentine Tango experience, and some came for their first class. The experienced dancers could enjoy practicing with each other, perfecting those advanced moves, while new dancers enjoyed a relaxed overview of the principles of the dance. 

“The Walk”in Argentine Tango is not at all like ordinary walking, and it is the principle of the walk that is the foundation for all the rest of the moves you see in show dances and impromptu tangos by more experienced dancers. 

One of the ideas continue to work with and of course to perfect, is the “one-footed” nature of the dance. Our weight, centered on our axis - or as it is sometimes called axe - is always only on one foot at a time.
It is this one footed way of being that makes the Argentine Tango work. The leader knows where the follower is because he or she has “placed” the follower on the left or right foot depending on how the leader transfers his or her weight.

Often the leader and follower are both weighted in such a way (for example the leader may choose to be on the right foot, placing the follower on the left foot) that the walk unfolds perfectly. 

The length of the step is determined by the leader, and this is communicated through the embrace with “intention”.

Often people want to know if you signal your partner with your hands, or with gentle squeezes or whispers……. but no. The dynamic that creates Argentine Tango is the unspoken connection transmitted through a good embrace, based on the agreement that both leader and follower will be ready, listening to both music and each other to create a dance. 

I hope you enjoy my notes. I hope you that they bring you pleasure, perhaps intrigue you a bit, where ever you are. 

This is not a gender specific dance. Here in Jacksonville, Florida we have one Male leader who dances regularly in practices and we see him at milongas in Gainesville and elsewhere. I am informed there are men who dance Argentine Tango in Jacksonville   - our male dancers find us on Meet Up and drop in because they are passing through town, have been too long at sea, and just have to dance!! 

As a student who has been validated to teach by some very fine instructors - I am the one who has the most experience, therefore I teach. I really feel as if I am sharing my joy - my excitement, my discoveries and am holding the floor open until such a day comes that the floor is full - we hire a DJ and offer our first MIlonga! 

See, you don’t have to buy a package to dance. You drop in and dance when you are able. This is possible because I am a free lance artist, designer and consultant - and am able to offer this space with no expectation that  teaching dance will support me.

I have great respect for those who live the “Tango Life” and rely on classes, workshops and Milongas for a living. I hope that we may become a resource for all those excellent instructors, the world class dancers who will come for weekends. 

Until that day, I hope to keep the floor open for us all.  

Please enjoy this video of an elegant Argentine Tango that is a fine example of the walking nature of this dance. 
Of course you are watching a master of the dance with a younger partner. It may be hard to see how he leads her - which makes this video all the more compelling for me. 

No comments:

Post a Comment