One thing that might create a feeling of normality in these upside – down times is to choose a Tango practice or class to attend on the web.
There are a lot of options out there, so much variety almost like in “really life” or maybe more. Nowadays you can take a class at any part of world…that in itself is fascinating!
And yes it is true I am putting a class and a practice up there myself, you can read all about it here: https://bautanz.com/intelligent-tango-programs-and-courses/online-tango-classes-live/
but at the same time I want to offer some tips as to how to manage all this great knowledge coming your way
So how do we stay focused and don’t get lost in this see of information that is at our fingertips? How do we set up a practice that works?
Well this is how I do it:
1.Set a theme for your practice
If you have followed Bautanz for some time or if you had been with me during one of the Saturday Live class you probably have noticed that there is always a theme.
On the first Saturday we focused on getting grounded
Then the second Saturday we focused on balance
On the third Saturday we added an external element-music
Aaaand on the fourth one we focused on the relationship of different body parts.
So every practice has a clear theme from beginning to end and the different exercises are chosen based on the theme.
2. Have a clear narrative
The previous point was a bit generic. It makes sense however it also poses the question; how does one choose from an array of exercises fit for one theme? This pointer is something more personal… It has to do with your past experiences, injuries, strengths etc. It also has to do with what you tell yourself you need. A classic example is: “I am hunching over too much, I have to pull my shoulders back more”. This will predispose you on choosing the exercises for your practice. I invite you listen to these “voices” closely and look for many possible answers that will make your body move in many different ways, as there is not one right answer to the each problem.
3.A more technical point, how to start?
I personally like to start with something that allows me to bring my attention to the moment. I most commonly start standing and allowing my body to find its place of balance while breathing.
Second most common way to start would be from the floor or on chair, doing some yoga or fitness moves.
And third option would be to start with a dance, but I honestly rarely do that because I get too excited instead of focused..! Haha
4.How to sequence the different exercises?
I really like to start small, with subtle movement and with controlled distribution of weight and then slowly make it bigger, more complex, faster or more intense etc. So for example in our balance practice we started standing and breathing and then we went to balancing on one foot and trying to find a comfortable place to be and then we gradually added movement to that. Note here also that you might be doing the same exercise/ drill only increase the intensity as you go through your practice, start gentle and make it more intense and vice versa if you want to engage the muscle- start intense and then go gentle to grab the details; while still working on the same drill
5.Accept the fact that there is not one way to do this, so allow yourself to experiment with the pointers above.
6.Micro and macro practice.
Have a plan not only for today’s practice but for at least two practices down the road. There needs to be gradual build up. So if you see the path we followed through the 4 Saturdays there is a logical progression from one thing to the next. All somehow connected but also independent from one another. It is good to have a bigger plan in mind, so you can choose the daily or weekly practice themes wisely according to that plan.
And inescapably we reach this last pointer which is also the first pointer in a way…
7.Have a goal!
Don’t just practice to practice. That can get you started but it can’t keep you going especially during these don’t-dance times…haha… It doesn’t have to be one goal it might be multiple. And it is absolutely personal so it doesn’t have to match with anybody else’s. It might take some time to find and it might also change from time to time. That is why this is not point 1 but it is point 7.
My goal for example is efficiency, I don’t like moving and feeling tightness and strain. I don’t want to have to work extra hard to fit a specific style. And I want to be able to dance with many more different people, which means that I want to be adaptable
I also want to learn my body better anatomically, through movement because I am fascinated by this brilliant design.
These are my goals but they took a long time to form and they changed a lot as the years went by.
So don’t be too fast to attach to them and make them your own. Yours will be chosen by you and that in itself makes them a whole lot more powerful than anybody else’s goals no matter how brilliant they are.
Sooo with all that I hope I have helped in some way..! Haha
P.S: Hope to see you on Saturday for our first online Tango practice