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!
In my weekly e-mail newsletters to my students I have been including small bits of information about tango since April 2013. These are in some ways an opinion, but also a result of many years of teaching a large number of students of various ages and backgrounds. They are also what I learned by visiting Buenos Aires and meeting many tango teachers and dancers; some legendary figures, some young rising stars.
Here is one of them from January, 2013, the rule for cruzada was mentioned by Gloria and Eduardo when I was in Buenos Aires several years ago:
Tango tip of the week: To Cross or not to cross? That is the question. For some reason, this simple tango idiom is sometimes unnecessarily blurred. The cross during the tango walk has deep roots in its origins. The rule is: Ladies when the man walks on your right, you (intend to) cross the following step. Guys if you walk outside partner keeping her on your right, expect your partner to cross and create the “cruzada”. And that is it!
All the rest is secondary and unrelated: Turning the chest, going up, lifting, turning the foot, cross system, parallel? Forget it, remember the rule and think simple…
Tango! The fascinating passionate dance that we love and cherish. What is the mystery of tango? What makes many people around the world with diverse cultures, religions and ethnic backgrounds become so attached, deeply immersed and in some ways addicted to it? Assuming that we want to experience this mystery and maybe someday, somewhere, at some unexpected magic moment lose ourselves in the embrace of another person, what is the best way of learning it? We will explore the answers through this blog…