A small tweak and your gym routine can greatly support your Tango technique. So if you are already visiting the gym, add these exercises to your gym routine, and you will see great results in a reasonable amount of time, in your balance, posture, steps, disassociation and other basic tango elements.
Tango Technique made fun: Embellishment for back ochos
Maybe this particular embellishment is a no-no for most milongas, but it is wild YES for a practice session. It makes you work on timing, balance, posture and the balance between tension and relaxation in the legs. Perfect!
Tango Technique made Fun… Embellishments
Embellishments can inspire us on and off the dance floor. Not only they spice up our dance, make us more expressive and help us connect to the music but they can also inspire our practice sessions. They can actually make our practices a lot more detailed and deeper… So shall we?
Finding freedom in the legs, hips and arms
This is video is all about space and freedom. Freeing up the legs can give you opportunities to embellish your dance; freeing up the hips can give you more stability with less tension; while freeing up the arms will give you warmer embrace without loosing your leading/ following skills
A 20min practice on balance, posture, walks and ochos
This video’s mission–haha–is to help you discover what makes posture, balance, walks and ochos effortless… with the first step being understanding of the body as one whole system and movement as a way to flow through it, to revisit it, to be in our bodies.
2 exercises for better posture
Posture is often times a painful subjects for many dancers..!
It takes often times years to establish and those years are full of frustration, tension and discouragement.
Well, not any more..!
Here are two exercises that can help you build your posture in a much more enjoyable way, without tension and incorporating movement so you don’t feel stuck during your dance
10min Practice on legs and balance
One extra tip to help you out:
Focus on the connection between the lower and the upper body not though through muscle but through the bone structure.
Feel how your bones are built to move and avoid squeezing, pushing, pulling, pressing etc.
Muscle is level #1 lets grab the opportunity to experience our body on level #2 which is an experience of our bone structure.
Ochos– Get Unstuck!
“Conditioning is something that happens to you when you built, refine and imprint a skill” Bill Boomer
You don’t need a six- pack to get your ochos to be steady, secure and effortless.
What you do NEED is proper stress-free alignment, and timely coordination between the upper and the lower body, ESPECIALLY during a rotation.
This drill works exactly on THAT!
It makes your whole body work in a united, efficient way.
Add this routine at the end of your workout in the gym or do it at home, aiming for controlled, smooth, flow-y movement and NOT just a high number of reps..!
Sometimes, especially when we are doing something for too long we can’t distinguish any differences between the rules that run in our mind and the movement our body is creating. We know something is wrong but we can’t figure out what it is, we only feel tensed and uncomfortable.
THAT is why Tango drills are not enough!
Challenge your body and your mind, having as a primary goal, NOT strengthening your core BUT embodying the Tango rules about rotation.
DO IT LIKE CR7..!
I am not sure about you, but I used to get so bored working out in the gym…SOOO BORED! Until one day I thought to myself: “Who cares about health and a strong body, just do it for Tango!” haha
You are not doing squats, you are getting your legs stronger to last longer in those heels. OR
No no its not lunges, you are working on your Tango steps, understanding natural biomechanics in order to make those steps steady, strong and smooth…OR
You are not planking, you are building a better, stable and effortless posture! SEE?
Two birds with one stone, you are working on your Tango technique, your balance, posture disassociation etc, while doing a workout, without having to look for extra time on your schedule!
While looking for some training inspiration, I saw this picture: https://www.instagram.com/p/BLoiPAYAZL7/?taken-by=cristiano&hl=el
So a thank you to Cris!
Barcelona fans I apologize…Hell! I am a fan as well! But when it comes to training inspiration he is the guy to turn to!
So from that picture above I made this video for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olGwkDzTu34
You will only need a resistance band and some mental preparation for some serious work…like Cris there..!
“Michael Phelps: Going Five Years Without Missing A Single Day Of Training” Forbes Magazine
FIVE YEARS! FIVE YEARS!
365 days a year..That is 1.825 days!
ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIVE DAYS
Our first reaction to this is usually:
“WOW! Well of course, that is why he is an Olympian athlete!”
“Talent, you either have it or not…”
“These people are special..!”
And you are right!
He is special. Talented. He is an Olympian.
The question here though is… SO WHAT?
Yes you heard me…so what?
Did his victories, his successes affect our lives in any way?
After these one thousand eight hundred and twenty five days did he make a difference in your lives?
If your answer is: “Nope! Not really..!”
He is about to…
If your answer is: “Yes of course, he is promoting athleticism, a healthy living etc..”
We are talking about an impact on how you live YOUR life…and we are going to see how, right now.
These wonderful people can be our mentors, they can teach us important lessons for life.
We can see in the video how he responds when he is asked how he became the ultimate athlete.
Watch his response. How his dream of becoming the best, became a goal and a plan…with all his workouts, all his life focused on the sport.
THAT is what you need!
Getting inspired and learning how to practice, how to train, by the BEST!
Did he only train in the pool all day long?
No! He combined it with focused workouts.
And that is exactly what we are going to do here!
Follow this video to build on your Balance, back projections & disassociation
Add a few repetitions of this exercise–minding your balance and posture–to your workout routine, and you will feel your balance improving immediately. Your posture will be get stronger. Your projections will be well defined and your disassociation will be safer and demanding less and less effort.
Mikhail Baryshnikov…Insight by a great artist! — Learn and be inspired by the BEST..!
“I do dance class every day, but now I’ve also started to do yoga and gym, just to get my muscle tone and especially my torso a bit more in tune. I feel lighter (…)
In dance, you are trained to identify the wrong stuff and get rid of it: the line of your body, or a clumsiness of movement. So awkwardness, or really nasty weather, or badly designed shoes—these things bother me.” Read the whole interview here
“Why are you so good at what you do?”
“Please don’t make me think about this. This is the worst thing one can do: sit around and think about how good you’ve gotten at something. Besides, I’m not always so great—ask my wife.” Read the whole interview here
Mikhail Baryshnikov is still working, he is still creating, he is still evolving and through his works we can learn and evolve as well!
One very important thing I have learned from him is to be open to change!
In one of his interview where he was describing how he enters his practice every time expecting to change!
I hope you are feeling inspired enough for an exercise on balance, posture and disassociation
Balance, Posture & Flexion–A Drill, tips and common mistakes
I don’t know about you but when I started Tango any of these three was messing with ALL the others.
You get in position and you are feeling like a million dollars.
Thinking: “I GOT this!”
You start flexing, to take your first step and KABOOM!
No balance! No posture!
You are falling back, you are falling forward, you are falling all over!
And then it is time to try again…
So I used this drill to help me understand HOW balance, posture and flexion are connected.
How can someone– through finding the proper alignment–move within the posture and manage to create flexion and movement without tension and challenges.
Here is the video.
Grab it! Its yours!
Tango technique–Balance & shifts of weight–Define your projections & make your steps stronger
What we usually forget, is that when we dance we use different muscles and difference muscles groups at the same time.
So, even though isolated exercises–like crunches for example–are very helpful, they are not enough, as they work one muscle/ muscle group at a time.
Same goes, for isolated balance exercises, like standing on one foot, they are good but not enough, because as we dance we need to continuously redefine our balance while moving, instead of keeping our balance while standing in a specific position.
Which means that isolated exercises are important–don’t stop doing them–but if you want to start seeing measurable results in a reasonable amount of time, you need to add compound exercises–which work multiple muscles/ muscle groups at the same time.
Here, I chose an exercise that will work your legs, gluts, core, and (possibly) arms–depending on which variation you choose to do. It will also help you focus on your alignment instead of your balance, so you can stay balanced while moving.
So, without further ado, single- leg dead-lift & back lunges
Throw it in your gym routine, and you will feel a great difference in your balance and in the way you create and execute your back projections and steps.
A warm-up for Tango dancers– Argentine Tango technique on balance
I have been talking to people about what it is their #1 Tango pain…
80% of them—leaders and followers—put BALANCE as number ONE.
So I came up with the 7 on 1 Balance Challenge
Here you have it guys 7 exercises on each leg.
Repeat each exercise 8-10 times, for example, 8 circles before you change to pedaling arms.
Try not to stop in between the exercises, go all the way through smoothly going from one exercise to the next. If you lose your balance, you can get some help from the free leg and the floor…You know… hop or tap your way back on the leg you were standing on. Just try not to stop completely.
A warm up is supposed to get the body READY for our workout, and this routine does exactly that!
It prepares you mentally, bodily and gets you ready to move.
You can even do with light weights if you like, if you want to give yourself a bit of an extra challenge. Just be careful not to overdo it, usually somewhere around 1/3 of what you use during your workout is good for this warm-up. For example, if you use 25pound weights during your workout then you can use 8pound weights here.
Argentine Tango technique– Practice Balance Dynamically
“You know the most balanced people are the ones who for the most time are off balance” my Dad
In the beginning I thought he meant it in a psychological, mental way, which was partly true but that was secondary, he was actually being literal.
I pondered on that for a while until I realized how insightful that was from a man who never dances.
How would you know if you are balanced when you are NEVER off balance?
Put yourself off balance, create the uncomfortable situation of being off balance to redefine balance.
THAT is what we are doing in this video.
A few tips to help you out:
- If you haven’t used a BOSU ball before start by stepping over it’s center noticing how your balance changes and then walk to the front edge, to the right, left and back edge.
- As you are trying to get into your posture DON’T let your heels, that will be sinking into the ball, pull you back. Activate the front of the leg to redirect that downward power and lift through the sitz bones as well.
- If this already feels like too much work, don’t worry step down and finish the exercise off the ball. Build on your Tango technique by adding a bit to it every day.
- As you disassociate notice the internal connections our body creates to keeps us standing. This is not only about managing not to fall. It is mostly about becoming more aware of how our body works, so even a small, little, tiny twist would be a good start.
- Lastly, of course you can do it without a BOSU..! Work on your Tango technique on or off the ball, the BOSU is there only for the extra challenge.
Argentine Tango technique–Side steps
This video speaks for itself so I won’t bore you with too much writing but I would only like to point this out.
It is always important to practice on your technique using Tango drills, to practice with a partner, to practice on musicality, embellishments etc. All of that is important.
You have to find though ways to revisit the Tango fundamentals under a different light. Work on your Tango movements from a different perspective.
Why is that important?
Because you will get to understand your movement better, when you approach it from a different perspective. Plus the more you practice in this way, your brain will learn how to identify the common elements. That means that when you are going to be in a fitness class, or a yoga or walking down the street your brain will be automatically identifying details that can help your Tango!
So you are practicing Tango, you are working out and you are also learning how to learn!
Tango Technique Winners mentality
When it comes tango technique practice, you have two options either to repeat what you have done in your group/ private class– which will also do the job for some time until you reach a plateau.
Or you can get really creative and find alternative ways to put some Tango in your everyday life.
In the first case, you will end up with a loser’s mentality:
“I have tried everything and nothing works, I still feel stuck”
In the second case, you will get a winner’s mentality:
“It is time to make a change in my practice, to keep progressing and to start getting better results again”
Be a winner!
I would to love to hear your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions!
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