Tag Archives: tango embrace

“Find your passion. Find your love!” Veronica Toumanova

When I asked Veronica Toumanova what would be one phrase that she would like to write on a billboard she said to me:

“Find your passion. Find your love!” 

And then added a phrase of the great Eric Franklin:
“In dance the most important technique is the love of dance”

What I loved about my chat with Veronica Toumanova

You know between Toronto and Paris there is a time difference of 6 hours–they are ahead…! We got this chat set up for Sunday morning 8:30am… What you might not know is that I am not a morning person and that it was Greek Easter on Saturday so I got to bed rather early… in the morning…hahaha

If you are now thinking:
Boohoohoo! Poor Chrisa she didn’t get her beauty sleep..!

You are ABSOLUTELY right!
Because this lady gave me so much energy, so much inspiration, so much power and will and love that I am now empowered for months!

That is what I loved about our chat: her passion and her sharing personality, which I am sure all of you who have taken classes with her have already experienced.

So even though this is a bit longer than all the other Tango chats, I want to encourage you to listen to it, it will make time stop!

If you are looking for inspiration, for answers on why you are suffering in the milongas and classes, for how we learn and why you feel like you are progressing too slow and most importantly how you can keep going when the frustrating moments come..? Then I believe you won’t be disappointed.

So, click on the video above and enjoy!

Chat notes:

How you can reach Veronica Toumanova: www.verotango.com
or through Facebook: Veronica Toumanova
or through Tango Mon Amour: http://www.tangomonamour.com

Read her book “Why Tango”: https://www.amazon.com/Why-Tango-learning-dancing-argentino/dp/1517189470

El Corte milonga/ classes/ workshops: http://www.elcorte.com

Eric Franklin: https://franklinmethod.com

 

 

Dance and the Fear of becoming an advanced dancer

“One of the things I dislike about Tango is that many people settle in routines… I have settled too” J
“I am afraid that if I become a really advanced dancer, I will have nobody to dance with”, M

No no these people are not snobs, quite the contrary…

Translate to: “What if I spend all this time and money and end up dancing the same way?” OR “What is the point of learning new things if I am not going to use them?”
And you will see that you have probably fallen into the same trap!

The fear of becoming a truly advanced dancer

Think of yourself going to your local milonga. You walk in expecting to see familiar faces and looking forward to dancing with dear dance partners.
There are a few people who you love to dance with, because your dances are just amazing. There are others that your dances are fun but not amazing.
And then there is that extra category of people… The really advanced dancers. The dancers you wish danced with you, because they look really spectacular on the dance floor…

Now lets think a few months from now… Say you have taken some more classes and put some hours of practice in.
You are starting to feel more confident. There are all these new things that you have learned and you want to use them during your dance.
Maybe you have learned some new sequences, or you have refined your musicality or technique.

You are now walking in the milonga feeling inspired, in high spirits and with high expectations.
First dance is with a good friend and a good partner… Usually an awesome way to start the night…

But things are not going as you expected…

You are feeling restrained.  Something is off.
Things are working but you are just feeling disconnected. You are trying to use the things you have learned but nothing is working…

This is terrible! And the worst part is that your partner is feeling the same way.

Next tanda no change. Things are just getting worse and worse.
The milonga ends and you feel frustrated: “I took all these classes, I practiced for all this time and for what? What on earth is going on?”

A few milongas go by and bling here is a thought: “Of course I have to adjust my dancing to the level of my partner. Of course nobody is as advanced as I am now”

And down the rabbit hole you go!

via GIPHY

Why this marks the end?

Here are a couple of reasons that you need to pull yourself out of that mindset:

  1. It is not very nice to start with.
    It sounds a bit like you are doing people a favor. Your intention is of a kind and gentle nature but still people might feel you pity them. If they pick up on a vibe like that say bye-bye to those partners.
  2. The above statement might be true when it comes to intricate sequences, musicality games, or demanding routines…But YOUR technique, and how much you are enjoying YOUR movement has nothing to do with your partner–nasty, rude weirdos excluded
  3. It leaves you with no incentive to get any better. If you aren’t going to be using any of the new things you learn then why learn them in the first place, right?
  4. It enhances on the fear of: “What if I spend all this time and this money and end up dancing with same people the exact same way”
  5. It instills the idea that Tango is action-reaction when in fact it is a 2 people coming together to create something beautiful
Stop sabotaging yourself..!
Become the dancer you know you can be

Action Step #1: Change of mindset

Stop counting your level in how many classes, dances, festivals, hours, years you are in…

Action Step #2: Accept the responsibility for being advanced

It is not the years nor the sequences, the embellishments or the number of festivals.
But being able to take responsibility for the overall experience of the dance.

An advanced dancer knows if their dance is bad, why it is bad and what to do to fix it.

In Tango an advanced dancer knows very well that:

  • When things work out it is on THEM
  • But when things DON’T work out it is AGAIN on them

Action Step #3: Go from action-reaction to connect and create

How you connect with someone is a marker to how advanced you actually are.

Beginner way of connecting: My partner pushes and I push back
Advanced
way of connecting: Energy offered, absorbed–>movement created and energy is offered back and absorbed

Leading and following are interrelated at a much higher level than just action-reaction

Action Step #4: You CAN inspire

People are not only inspired by great teachers. They are also inspired by someone who puts in the effort, the time and the courage to push his/her limits and grow to a really advanced dancer.

By “ordinary” people who commit to something they are passionate about. People who want to be great at a hobby because it is valuable time spent on themselves.

You can inspire someone by living a richer–in experiences–life on and off the dance floor!

If you want to be an advanced dancer, we can do it together..!

 

 

 

 

Tango embrace–Are you keeping your end of the deal?

When someone like Gary Vee goes Live on Instagram this happens:

3144 people watching…and comments like: “Sorry but Gary crushes Tai. He is not selling you any packages. He is giving you all this for free”

When I do it… I get my best friend sending me  little hearts and saying: “Ooooh! Nice hair..!

Clearly, there is a lot of work to be done..! hahaha

I still though got to chat with people about Tango, the embrace, what makes a good dance for them and how they know that the other person is enjoying the tanda with them…

How does magic feel like to you?

Here are some responses that I found interesting:

“It feels like falling in love”
“You are dancing and you feel you can trust the other person”
“I know from the first step. If they are moving with me. If there is motion, breath in the body instead of their body being silent, stiff.”

Now the question is how can you become THAT person?

I was trying to find good ways to ensure that when I go on the dance floor I can be THAT dancer. I can offer an embrace, a connection like the described above… This is what came up with…
FB LIVE Practice on Connection

Now your turn…
Please don’t tell me you just show up in a milonga, dance only with your friends and then walk out because that is just depressing…

So how can you become the dancer other dancers trust.?
How would you go from a stiff and silent to a vibrant and active embrace?
And how can you fully engage in your dance without being over the top and all over the place and if so how do you that?

Leave me a comment below, I want to hear what you are doing to become THAT dancer!

 

 

 

 

 

Intelligent Tango–Posture and the element of the embrace

And so we have been chatting about posture and as we all know that chat never ends…NEVER! haha
So I won’t break such important traditions, instead I will keep on chatting on posture but this time through the embrace!

“The frame might have rules but the embrace is yours..!” Sebastian Arce

This is the beauty of Tango, so many rules that can be broken from within from anyone willing to get past the intimacy boundary and explore him/herself a bit further while in a partnership.

The embrace is the first place that you start to see such a differentiation. People getting a bit more expressive, slightly changing the embrace depending on the partner they are dancing with or the song or their mood. And they are still dancing Tango, or better NOW they are really dancing Tango.

I heard that phrase from the great Sebastian Arce back in 2015 but it took some time for me to wrap my mind and body around those words.
I was working so hard to make the rules fit my body that when I danced my ego wouldn’t let go…
“Don’t you dare leave this posture… After 2 hours a day of practice YOU are NOT letting go!” Chrisa’s Ego

haha

After some time though I missed feeling free, I missed moving. And that was when I started practicing on experience, on how things feel, and not on how they are supposed to look or feel.

After a couple of months I danced with a friend I hadn’t danced in a long time. I found myself enjoying our dance so much and avoiding the discomfort his habits caused me in the past, by allowing his embrace to affect my embrace and partly my posture–within the Tango boundaries of course, we didn’t end up dancing salsa don’t you worry.
Maybe that wouldn’t be the way, the style, I would personally choose to dance in but it was the way I could enjoyably dance with him and that is what made it special!

Don’t fight it, embrace! 😉

How can the different types of embrace effect your posture

Before I give you the video, I want to say this…
When we read or hear the word “effect” immediately we get defensive. As if something really bad is going to happen…Really really bad! haha
But think about it, do you hug your grandma the same way you would hug your daughter, or your spouse?
I hope not..!

So why would you embrace everyone in the same way. They are different people, different body types, you probably have a different relationship with each one of them and most importantly they are offering a different embrace too.

In the video following you can see the different embrace styles, taken down to 3 basic holds and connected to the movement of the spine which creates our posture.

Here is your video: Intelligent Tango: The element of the embrace

The purpose of this video is to offer insight on how the movement of our arms is connected to that of our rib cage, and therefore to that of our spine.
Also to give you a nudge to start exploring all the different cues different teachers have given you regarding posture and the embrace so you can figure out the common ground supporting all styles, understand how you have your whole body involved to the embrace to make it more efficient and enjoyable, plus find the styles that work best for you!

What this video doesn’t intend to do is say which is the real, the true the one and only, the absolute best Tango embrace.

Find YOURS!

Chrisa