“Slow” is the word

Here is the Tango Sueño Tip of the Week that I sent to my students last Monday. Sometimes I think one assumes that trying to work on a step slowly will not help for executing it at a faster tempo. It is actually just the opposite, albeit counter intuitive.

Tango Tip of the week: “Slow” is the word for strength and control. We start walking at a very young age, yet why is it so difficult to walk with the music in tango? Why is it so tricky to do a sacada?

Tango features many complicated moves which require controlling the body in subtle ways. To walk on the beat with any tempo one has to learn to adjust the pace of leg movement, hence muscle control. To do a sacada in sync with a partner one has to turn the chest at the correct pace, hence muscle control.

Weight trainers and yogi’s already know it: Training slowly increases intensity and efficiency. Doing a move very slowly eliminates momentum and impulse, which in turn causes the muscles work much harder and develop faster. Same in tango: practicing a walk or a new pattern at a slow pace develops the relevant muscles much more efficiently, creating better control and accuracy.

Slow is the word. Don’t be one of those who dance for years (even decades!) with the same lack of control and precision. Practicing a step slowly does not mean you will execute it slowly all your life. It is an efficient way of learning it, like professionals do!

2 thoughts on ““Slow” is the word

  1. Jay Bardalai

    Yes doing/learning a new move is the best way. If fact I take it one step further – I try to learn the move first by doing it in slow motion, so I understand what steps the move entails. At the same time it is more difficult to do Tango moves slowly because I think it requires more balance and control, incorrect positions become more evident and inadequate/incorrect leading and following become magnified – which is good because these become obvious and one can endeavor to correct them..

    Reply

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