Tuesday, March 23, 2021

It grows! My attempts to add an annex to my tango house!


 My plan       

I started leading as a nuevo dancer with open hold and large, space-consuming steps. That developed by the years to a close embrace dance with enquentros as my home events. However, I still felt that the more dynamic, figure-rich dance was calling me to come back home. Not to nuevo anymore but to tango salong.

My early hopeful idea was to squeeze down the large nuevo movements to salong size and via this short cut to reach my goal fast. But no; it did not go that easy!  

I know that in March 2018 one of my followers and I were working on a number of figures from Torres and some other teachers keeping our eyes on the tango salong goal. By practica hours we managed to learn figures but then there was a clear halt. A few obstacles which I had not anticipated at the beginning, turned up!


One of the challenges was the power of rewards the old style of dancing could bring us. When a wonderful tanda started how could we continue training with no reward in sight compared to the bliss the old way could take us to for sure!

Another challenge was the routine followers and I had developed during the years  - we had our best abrazo which we fell into so naturally. It felt nasty to - even if done in the most gentle way - to push her slightly away to a more salong type of abrazo. It was my project and my responsibility but it was hard and I failed often.

There was also fear of losing something during the change process. A renovation or rebuild of one room has often an impact on how happy you are with the rest of your house. It could be some delicate change in my musicality, or some other valuable aspect quietly disappearing forever.

Thoughts in solitude      

My goal was and is to maintain the old way of dancing with all its positive aspects and add the new salong to it. The new questions my mind is elaborating on now are about how to choose the style for a tanda? Should I choose the style according to the music or prioritize the follower's style? Shall I fit the Milonga or to the mood of the night? If followers see me dancing differently with others do they have some interest to return my cabeceo or will they avoid me? At the end of the day, I don't think there will be real problems to place the new dance but these are some of the questions my brain is tumbling around during this year of isolation. 




The renovation of Tango House I wrote about in 2019 has taken this form now! 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Develop your skill and land at the tango heaven!

This is only about skill!
There are a great number of other aspects 
adding to tanda experience.
But not this time.

The skill differences have an impact on our tanda but these issues are difficult to discuss. I like figures/numbers and math so the idea here is formed as a calculation! I suggest that both dancers have a maximum number of resources to offer the partner for building up the enjoyment. Lets set it here as 10. The maximum enjoyment value for a dancing couple is then limited to 20 during a tanda. That's the ultimate heaven!

If you are an experienced leader, well trained in technique the scores get nicely up. We say that this leader has an estimated score value 7 so he can give a beginner follower an enjoyable tanda of 8, (7+1). If this leader is able to relax and smoothly lead a follower he can maybe offer a good tanda to a partner at the highest level, a fully developed follower at 10. The enjoyment will hit the 17 bar for this couple!

On the internet and the talks around the pista are continuously complaining about the leader skill levels. There are also followers who have a strategy not to pay for their learning. They expect that the leaders will for free teach them all they need to know for the local pista. They are also totally confident to tell the leaders about this. I suppose that this drives followers to chase tandas with leaders a lot of levels above their own. It's because this maximizes the learning, the enjoyment!

I wrote earlier about the training needed to stabilize and make your tango movements, forms strong and endurable. This was and is the advantage of dancing with partners at different skill levels. Keep in mind that your skill level is always depending on your own personal effort. You work with your technique at home, you take lessons and get experienced by hundreds of hours at the pista. You maybe get your skill very easily, by a few hours,  compared with me who needs countless hours to get some progress. But a dancer needs profound, personal own skill to contribute,  a way to add your personality to a tanda.

You never get to the highest heaven by riding only on the partner's skill but you need to develop and offer your own stable and independent skill and personality to the tanda.

Your personal skill impacts the tanda enjoyment calculated below!