Tag Archives: forward steps

10min Tango practice on leg strengthening, alignment and side steps

Okay! Now there is tip-heavy video coming up on leg strengthening and alignment so I don’t want to take time here to give more tips instead I would like to use this space to suggest a few Practice combos; a few other videos that could work extremely well with this newer video so you can grow your practice

First things first though… Your video for the week…

10min Tango practice on legs, alignment and side steps

Sometimes 10 minutes are more than enough.
Especially when you are starting to build your individual practice it is better to start small and expand steadily as the time goes by.
Why?
Simply, because you are still unsure of what you need to work on, what you should focus on, what your strengths are, what you should invest more time in and how…

You also need to consider this: if you START with a 1 hour practice where are going to go from there?
How will you grow beyond that, when your body and mind starts asking for more..?

When you are building your practice therefore you need to make sure that your short-term goals are not shadowing your long-term goals.

If though you are ready to invest a bit more time here are few directions you can take your practice towards…

1. Focusing on leg strengthening and balance

Add on the video we were working from 2 weeks ago if you want to work more on leg strengthening and establishing a stronger base:

10min Tango Practice on legs and balance

2. Focusing on biomechanics–how our body was built to work

Many of the tips in our video for this week have to do with how our legs move inside our hips and our hips move around our legs.
Understanding anatomy through movement not only will give you greater freedom when you dance/ move but it will also allow you to get to know your body and yourself better.

So if you want to take it into that direction, you can add this video along:

Followed by this video:

3. Making it a well-rounded practice

Depending how much time you have and how much time you can spend on your Tango during the week, you can schedule your practices in two ways:

  1. Every day you focus on something different, ex: one day on legs and balance and the other on ochos
  2. You only practice a couple times a week and so you need to work on all the fundamentals in one go, ex:
    A 20min Tango practice on posture, walks and ochos
4. Focusing on musicality

You can even take this into musicality. Technique and musicality are not at all separate. Aside from the obvious connection–aka the stronger your technique is the easier it will be to focus on the music–there is a more physical connection as well.

How you step, how you twist, how you hold your body and overall how you move will allow you to express yourself differently on the music.
Therefore after this week’s leg strengthening video can do this one:

And then this one:

It all started with leg strengthening…. But you have many choices

We started with a video on legs and alignment and look at where we are now..! haha

You have so many options, the above are only a few examples of the plethora of options that you have.
It all depends on what you want to focus on, what are your strengths and what are shortcomings.
No option is better from the other. All of them have something equally important and interesting to offer you. So it is really up to you where you want to take this!

And that is the beauty of Tango overall..!
You start with leg strengthening but from there you can grow in many many different directions all of which will make you a much better dancer and most importantly a better human.

If you decide it is worth investing your time in moving better on and off the dance floor, Tango is a great dance for that. It is heavy on technique and it throws in your face the question:

Do you want to Tango only for fun OR do you want the opportunity to move freely, get to know your body and yourself better and even become happier?

If you want the latter you should also check this out: Intelligent Tango

Let me know how your practice is going and don’t forget to have fun while you are it!

Chrisa

P.S: I read every email so don’t hesitate to shoot me an email with your questions. If I don’t answer you right away, please don’t get offended… instead give me about a week max..! 😉

 

 

A 20min Tango practice on posture, walks and ochos

When we hear “tango practice” what is the image that comes to mind?
Most popular answer: “Hours in a studio practicing with and without a partner on things we suck at..!

Does it have to be this way though? NO!

Tango Practice can be enjoyable and motivating!

Tango practice doesn’t need to be that painful.
It can be hard work, but if it is structured correctly and timed properly it can actually be short, sweet and fun!

As you will hear me say in the beginning of this video, a Tango practice can’t start before we identify what the problem really is… Going in a studio to practice just because someone said you have to, will only get you frustrated.

So before you start your practice, take a moment to:

  1. think of any struggles you might be facing regarding, posture, walks and ochos (or Tango in general if you are not following the video above)
  2. find what you are REALLY good at regarding posture, walks and ochos
  3. draw the connecting line between what makes you good and what makes suck…
  4. build your practice based on #3… like a story that builds on a narrative.

So even though most people will tell you to just practice to correct your shortcomings, I want to encourage you to do almost the opposite!
Double down on what makes you good.
Figure out what is that ONE thing that makes you good. And then see if you can use that to correct what you suck at it….

*Note: I said “if”…
We all suck at something and we are all really good at something else. Nobody is perfect at everything. There maybe somethings you can’t fix… Accept them and bet on your strengths instead!

Tango practice can be short, sweet AND fun!

There is also another myth, around the length of practice…

For some reason most people think that the more the better. But really what is the point of practicing  for hours if you are going to be on your phone or on autopilot..?
And most importantly… what is the point of practicing when your technique is failing you?

As Terry Laughlin, swimming coach and founder of Total Immersion had said: “Stop when you realize your technique is failing you
And Luis von Ahn, the founder of Duolingo suggests around 20mins of practice a day to avoid burn- out..!

So why do we think dancing is any different than swimming or learning a language..?
Going past a certain time- limit, just for the sake of being in a studio will offer zero results and bring only disappointment and frustration.

What should we do instead?

Remember step #2 mentioned above?
*find what you are REALLY good at regarding posture, walks and ochos*

After you go through the Tango scan in your mind on what makes you good at posture, walks and ochos, change ochos to pivots and then revisit ANY activity you are really good at.
All activities have some version of posture, walking, and pivoting.

Bring drills from those activities into your Tango practice.
Everything is connected… believe me! The only thing you need to do is identify the connecting path.

By doing that you are not starting from 0.
You are starting from something you are already good at, you are already confident with and you are taking the details you find are common to Tango, into your Tango practice.

Not to mention how much more motivating this strategy is…
You are not practicing in the dark, you can actually have a plan. Then you are not starting from 0, even if you are a beginner in Tango. And lastly, you start from a place of confidence, from a place of power and that allows you to explore more and at a deeper level.

Is this something super easy to do..? No, but it is totally worth it!

And if you need help, subscribe to bautanz and you can get videos just like this one weekly in your inbox… Along with other inspirational goodies every Sunday..!

😉
Chrisa

P.S: Did you know we have an online course based on these very principles?
Check it out here: Intelligent Tango

 

 

 

 

 

Being musical–So much more than doing steps on the beat

Remember last week when we were talking about music?

About the magic, the power that music has… That great magical power to bring back memories, to fill us up with joy,  grief, nostalgia, hope, love.

Aaaah! Yes!

So what on earth happens when it comes to dancing to the music? Why, even though we want to be musical and expressive, do we throw all of that out the window?

Is it Tango music that is complicate or are you not paying attention?

We completely ignore of all that beauty, all that power mentioned above and either focus solely on the beat, trying to find that damn 1

Or even worse we ignore the music in TOTAL and we focus sequences that don’t even matter…

Now I am not saying that sequences are not important. But it is good to make a distinction here of what they really are… they are nice sentences that will get you to start a conversation BUT won’t ensure that your conversation doesn’t end up being boring..!

Oh shoot! I forgot…there is something even worse… Doing both of those at the same time..!

Being musical–SO much more than just steps on a beat vol. #2

Our focus in this video is to find a way to become more musical, more expressive with the music.
For this reason, we are using basic almost primitive–Tango wise– elements. This way we don’t have to worry about the technical aspect of the movement and we can explore freely the different moods in the music and take a step further towards embodying the music.

Here are a few tips to help you out:

  1. Don’t dive into it right away, listen to the music first.
    Listen actively,  for the changes in rhythm, for the changes in mood, for any melancholic melodic parts, or strong beats and of course listen for the pauses. To become more musical, you need to start from the music

  2. Then after you start feeling more secure with the song you choose–YES stick to 1 song–start making little choreographs in your head. Imagine yourself dancing to it, see in your mind your options

  3. Time for your SIMPLEST options to come to life.
    Keep it simple. Walks and shifts of weight, that is all I am doing, and I encourage you to do the same.
    Focus on learning the music through movement instead of trying to fit different sequences to it.

  4. Last but not least, ENJOY it.
    And how do you do that, give permission to yourself to suck! haha
    The first few times will feel strange and awkward and you will find yourself thinking that you don’t know what you are doing.
    That is absolutely normal and the FUN part of the whole process.
    Let yourself be moved by the music and you will find your way. Start simple, be patient and laugh at your fails!

Oh! I almost forgot… HAVE FUN!

Chrisa

P.S: If you are wondering why it says vol. #2 it is because we had a
vol. #1 some time ago, here it is: https://bautanz.com/2017/09/13/musicality-means-embodying-music/

Musicality Vs Technique–One of the most common Tango debates

Usually we see Tango technique classes being offered separately from musicality classes and that is not a bad approach, on the contrary, as long as it is not the ONLY approach.

Sometimes you need to put the 2 together..!

Like Joey in Friends:

musicality together
Joey Tribbiani, Friends

hahaha

Musicality OR Technique– Put your hands together!

Remember the last video we did on Ochos- Realign from toe to HEAD

There we were being very technical, focused on finding the proper alignment for our heads.
We were going slow, giving ourselves time to notice what we are missing, what we know and how the details are feeling. Because this is indeed part of how we learn.

At the same time though you need to put things into perspective.
Why are we doing all this?
To enjoy our dance more!

How is that going to happen?
If we manage to put this new technique element into our dance!

Is this difficult to do?
Yes, most of the times it is. Anything new takes some time to sync in… To make the process faster you need to practice THAT new element with… MUSIC

And so with no further ado, here is your video:

Have a prism- based practice

The cool thing about this, is that you have more than one options on how to execute it.

You can keep your focus on both musicality and technique–like I am doing in the video, or move closer towards one end or the other.
If want to work more on musicality, using the same drills, you can change songs and notice which option best matches the song you are listening to each time
Whereas, if you want to focus more on technique then you can choose ONE song that you know well, and that is NOT too fast, and possibly spend more time going slower than faster to give yourself time to work out the technical details.

And of course you can mix and match. You can go through the same drill a couple of times, shifting your focus accordingly, keeping your practice fresh and interesting!  Making something like a Tango cross- training system!  Haha

What to do after every practice, for better results

This is something most dancers, miss… Tracking their progress..!

Whether you are working on musicality or technique or improvisation or partnering or anything else for that matter you need to find a suitable way to track your progress.

After every practice take a few minutes to think how, what you just did, can help you in your very next milonga.
Take a few moments to think of how it made you feel, to recognize your emotional, psychological and physical state before and after your practice. And lastly try to notice if you did better than last time…!

There is really NO point going through different drills without tracking whether you are in fact getting better and feeling better–that is a vital part of an artistic practice– and  without making the connection with real-time dancing.
If you are practicing and you are getting more overwhelmed, more frustrated, more unaware, more unable to put those things in your dance… Then what is the point?

Keep it real, keep it interesting, keep it fresh and keep it fun!

Chrisa

P.S: Want more on musicality? Visit: https://bautanz.com/argentine-tango-technique/musicality/

Tools and Tips on how to get a better Balance

“Oh! My balance is sooo bad!”

“I am doing great when I am practicing but I am still struggling when I dance”

“I get so frustrated when pushed, pulled and shuffled around by people who can’t lead and just copy sequences off youtube”

“Close embrace feels so unnatural. I feel I am continuously falling over”

Any of that sound familiar?
I am guessing you are nodding “Yes” here…haha

Many people struggle with balance but the reasons are NOT physical…

Balance is a rather common problem, even if your balance is good, I am sure you have danced with people who are very wobbly or you have been in classes doing the classic drills and have seen people huffing and puffing through them…

The problem is rarely physical. It is more about getting rid of common balance lies, and embodying very helpful rules.

Some common balance lies:

*It is something you have to hold
*You are either balanced over all or not
*Our partners are responsible for our balance
*To get better you have to do balance exercises

Some decapitating cues:

*Pull your bellybutton in
*Squeeze the glutes
*Stretch up through the crown of the head

Oh dear I feel I am getting a workout just by writing this…haha

THERE IS A BETTER WAY

Here are a few ideas on how to get out of your head, where a bunch of rules and taboos are not allowing you to move and express yourself, and how to get in charge of your body, your axis and your balance.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUIsS0opV3Y)

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5oTOnMgAgM)

Rules that can help you improve your balance

I want to make it clear here, that no matter how great the rules are, if you just copy them they won’t work, you need to practice in order to feel them in your body.

The great thing about dance and Art in general is that it gives the chance to discover your body, to discover yourself.
It is not worth throwing all that away looking for shortcuts that don’t even work…

So here we go:

  1. It has to do with alignment, breathing, gravity, weight and fear managment
  2. You find balance through movement, not through holding
  3. Don’t rely only on muscle. Go deeper, find the movement of your bone structure–spine, ribs, hips
  4. You are responsible for your balance NOT your partner
  5. How you enter in the embrace and how much you engage in it will affect your axis and your dance
  6. Dance is NOT action-reaction BUT offer, absorb, create and give back!

Read more on Balance in our FULL BALANCE GUIDE Vol1 that you can get by subscribing here at this site!

Hope to see you inside,
Chrisa

P.S: We cover this in great detail, and through various channels in Intelligent Tango give it a look…!

Moving Fast in Tango means more than just walking fast…

Moving Fast….

via GIPHY

Maybe not quick as Flash… haha… but fast enough to causes us trouble

So most people, after they manage to extablish a connection with their partner, moving at a regular pace is rather comfortable for them.
And it is usually going faster or slower or changing their speed during the song, that they can’t really control all that well, and that messes their dance and connection up.

So this drill goes somewhat like this…
You will start at a pace that YOU feel comfortable with.
Don’t put any music on, for now.
Instead, start with a speed and a rhythm you feel comfortable with, that you have control over.

The biggest mistake most people make is starting from the rules, starting from where they should be instead of, from where they are.

So start from where you are, and most importantly start paying attention. Start listening!

2 things to look for here:

  1. How the rhythm of your walk matches the rhythm of your breath
  2. Take your mind to different parts of your body and notice how they are moving. Your spine, your head, your hips, your shoulders, your hands, your naval, everything
Moving Fast doesn’t just mean walking fast

This is a very important shift of mindset that you need to create.

Most people have problems, moving fast, because they believe that they only need to move their feet fast.
In reality though, you need to practice on moving your whole body fast through space.

So what usually happens, to most dancers is that they are having a great dance and when they attempt to move a bit faster, they tense up and become robots again.
Or exactly the opposite, there are some people who can move their feet fast enough without tensing up, but they are still missing on the experience of moving their WHOLE body fast, which makes them tense up when they try to slow down.

So as you are practising your walk, find your inner rhythm, notice how that inner rhythm organizes/ directs your body’s movement, and then attempt to change your speed.

When you start to feel confident with this it is time to add the music!
And as you will hear me say in the video, find a song that you like WHICH though starts slow and builds up in speed.

So with no further a do, here is your video:

And if you want more musicality, subscribe to Bautanz to get the Musicality Guide Vol.#1 and other Tango goodies along with that

Enjoy,
Chrisa