Argentine Tango: What do you need to improve?
Everything good about Tango dancing is the result of practice.
Regular exercise of walking, change of weight, pause, pivots, turns, “paradas” (stops), “calecitas” (merry-go-round), and embellishments create the foundation of your freedom while dancing.
You don’t need a partner to practice.
Many essential elements of Argentine Tango require being practiced alone.
Another aspect needing your attention is musicality:
The way to improve your musicality is to engage in active listening to Tango music, knowing what you are listening to.
Start learning Argentine Tango The following tips apply either for individual practice as well as practicing with your partner:
1- Improve your walking:
You can always improve your walking.
Start your practice always by walking. You have four speeds for your walk: regular, fast, slow, and very slow.
Start with slow, taking 4 counts for each step.
Then practice regular speed, stepping on each downbeat.
For fast walking practice what is called “corrida”, walking to a quick-quick-slow rhythmic pattern, or down-up-down.
Tango challenges you to make your walk -and your entire life- a work of Art.
More walking exercises…
2- Change of weight:
Change of weight is a variation of walking.
It happens in the same place, without displacement.
Do at least one change of weight when you initiate your dance.
Do not make too many.
Here you can find some exercises to practice and improve your change of weight:
Make them with a calm attitude, and while dancing with your partner, this element should give a sense of calm to your partner.
More change of weight exercises…
Pauses are among the most important elements of Tango.
When you practice your elements, search for opportunities for pauses.
You can make a pause when you do a salida to de side, also called “salida in 2”.
You can make a pause in position 3:
After change of direction:
To practice pivots, you can start with bar exercises.
If you do not have a bar, use a chair, preferably with a tall back, helping yourself placing your hands on the back of the chair to practice forward and backward ochos.
Then, challenge yourself to practice ochos without the help of the bar or chair.
Practice forward and backward ochos with displacements and without displacement.
The best exercises to improve your turns are chair exercises:
Practice all exercises in both directions of turning: clockwise and counterclockwise directions.
Practice chair exercises but without the chair.
Other elements used in turns are “rulo”:
6- “Paradas” (stops):
Another very important skill to develop to dance Argentine Tango is the control of your inertia and the couple’s inertia.
A great way to work on this skill is to propose yourself to be able to stop at any movement from the 1 to 5 already listed.
A classical example of stops is the “sanguchito” or “mordida”:
This element requires that the follower aligns her axis on the top of one of her feet, allowing the leader to pivot her continuously on one direction.
A good foundation in your dance makes it beautiful.
Think about embellishments as a natural projection of your good technique, not as a kind of plug-ins movement.
If your walk is deficient, no matter what extra moves you add to your walk, it won’t look good.
Embellishments should arise seamlessly from the work you do on your dance.
The way to improve your musicality is by engaging in active listening to Argentine Tango music.
Every day we publish a song on our blog.
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Keep in mind:
Practice regularly and consciously, taking care that the practice provides nice sensations of joy to you.
By doing so, you are making yourself generous in extending this joy to your partners and the other dancers that share with you the dance floors of the classes and milongas.
That’s not all:
Dancing shouldn’t be your biggest challenge.
It should rather be the time of amusement, of creativity and exploration of yourself, socializing, relaxing, and releasing stress in a calm and friendly atmosphere.
However, in other to be able to dance with such sensation of freedom and confidence, you will need to expose yourself to a challenge that is greater than dancing Tango, and that is the class and practice.
Take care of yourself, with stretching and regular exercising.
Healthy habits of eating and sleep will positively influence your dance.
Dancing Argentine Tango presents itself as a way for you to organize your life towards empowering yourself, helping you to achieve your life’s goals, and even provides you with such goals:
To make life beautiful.
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