How to become a good dancer –and keep getting better.
I like to share with you my experience and advice. So let’s start with these exercises:
Change of weight
At the most basic, weight change is the fundamental core of all Argentine Tango moves. Achieving an efficient, elegant, and smooth control of it will bring these qualities to your whole dance.
Argentine Tango makes walking a work of art.
Basic box pattern
Argentine Tango is improvisation. However, choreographic patterns develop similarly to idioms in a language and as personal creations. This pattern we work on here is basic and will allow you to apply what you have learned before.
How to move?
It is often “how” rather than “what” that defines Argentine Tango.
Pivoting most efficiently is an essential skill to dance Argentine Tango.
We can understand our walk and leg’s motion as a system of pendulums.
Being a good dancer requires you to manage your time to maintain an active and aware relationship with your body.
Bar and chair exercise
Here are some of the best exercises you can do to improve your Argentine Tango.
You need to know this to make turns when you dance Argentine Tango.
Explore your body’s possibilities.
Do what our life in our societies do not require us to do.
One of the appeals that Argentine Tango offers is the possibility of exploring our bodies beyond what we usually are required to do in our everyday life.
What are we required to do?
- Stand up.
- Lay on the bed.
- Walk (very little) and, occasionally, run.
- Bend over to pick up something, which may be the most challenging move to do.
These simple actions –being very effective regarding productive activities– constrain our bodies, making our movements rigid, decreasing our elasticity, and developing the habit of not relaying in ourselves, always requiring outside help.
We lose awareness regarding the continuity between these positions.
We ignore how we transit from, for instance, sitting to standing up, and then walking, and then sitting again.
All our movements become clumsy.
Furthermore, we become rigid in our personas, losing the ability to adapt to changing situations, becoming stubborn, insecure, unfriendly, and prone to isolation.
- Replace sitting in all activities that require it with alternative positions.
I like to use a standing desk for office work, and I combine it with laying on the floor on my belly, on my back, on my sides, and crossing legs sitting on the floor or my chair.
- When you need to stand up for a while: squat, bend over, stretch, do tree pose, etc.
Pay special attention to how you move from one position to another, making your moves fluid and aware.
Explore your spaces beyond their expected use.
It is common to fill our rooms with furniture and appliances that invite us to be still or impede our movement: couch, television, chairs, tables, etc.
I invite you to clear your rooms to make space for yourself.
Do not put yourself under unnecessary stress.
As well as we fill up our space, we fill up our time to the extreme of not having any time.
Give yourself time to enjoy the pleasure of existing.
Do not remain connected to the whole world all the time. Turn off your devices. Read the news one or two times a day and focus on your life plans more often. Give yourself time for good conversations with your partners, friends, and family. Read, listen to music in an active way (not as background music), watch a good movie once in a while, visit a museum, appreciate art and history.
Enjoy challenging yourself.
Do not force or exhaust yourself doing what you or others demand you do.
Enjoy your body.
Find all possible ways to give yourself joy by participating in your body’s existence.
Good meals are enjoyable.
No more sleep deprivation.
Find a good teacher/instructor/coach.
Do not approach them trying to bargain. Instead, take whatever deal they present to you. Get to know the value they provide you before making financial assessments.
Do not depend exclusively on classes.
Instead, have your own routines, create your own exercises according to what you can find out about yourself, research -you have tremendous resources that you can tap thanks to the internet and smartphones-, develop your method, the one that suits you the best, without getting fixated to it, remaining open to evolving.
Eventually, show your teacher your work. It is always necessary to have the objectivity of an expert outside view.
Learn by allowing yourself to make mistakes and keep trying.