Tag Archives: Tango

Proper Alignment and Improper Alignment

It all started from this short video on Improper Alignment:

Ido Portal, the importance of improper alignment

As Ido Portal says in the video, “improper alignment is a certainty not a possibility.”
Practising therefore for those moments of improper alignment is crucial for our progress but also for our understanding of our body.

Managing the weight transfer

As you can tell from the video when I first introduced this exercise, it was the first step towards better alignment.

Here though I want to invite you to change your focus…instead of looking for the perfect communication path between the different parts of the body, focus on feeling every little tiny bit of your foot; even to the expense of that communication.

For example, see how far out you can take your heels out before you drop to the floor. Notice how that improper alignment makes you feel. Or the reverse how far in you can bring your heels…and again notice how that makes you feel.

Don’t try to fix it! 
Only exaggerate as much as possible without, of course, causing harm to yourselves, and notice, make mental notes of the experience.

A yummy practice for our feet

In this video, we are exploring the limits of our base of our feet. We are creating and playing with improper alignment.

Because if you don’t know where the edge is, what improper alignment feels like. How will you find the centre, a safe place where you can just be without any tension or uncertainty?

And as Ido Portal says there is no proper alignment, but proper preparation… for misalignment.
We can get off balance any second of the day… lets prepare for THAT!

Feet: Alignment and Misalignment

This third video explores transitioning; changing our level, shifting our weight, and moving in space.
Personally, I don’t believe that standing on one leg or doing calf raises endlessly will make your steps steadier, smoother or more powerful and secure.
Becoming aware of the how your feet manage the transition from the right to the left and the front to the back, definitely will though.

Does that mean, that you don’t need to ever to do balance drills again..?
NOPE!
haha
It means that you will have to include them in a more holistic practice, one that focuses on the transition and not solely on the drill itself. One that focuses on improper alignment as a certainty. One that explores the edges and the limits as much as the centre

15 ways to do the basic step– A musicality practice

Musicality…  What do we define as musicality..?

Is it recognizing the beat and the rhythm and responding to it? Or is it our response to the melody? Is it connected to the style, the mood of the music? Can it have any relation to the steps we are choosing? Or does it have to do with our style and mood?
Maybe it is none or all of the above!
We will start with what we inherited
What we have inherited is a basic step. And that basic step is usually taught following a basic rhythm.
For example the followers do:
Side, back, back, cross, back, side, feet together
With the following rhythm:
Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, slow, slow
What will do is not a challenge… I know the title makes it sounds like one: “The 15 ways to do a basic step” haha
But it really isn’t a challenge… It is more the result of asking: “What if…?”
What if I went slower or faster
Or made my steps bigger or smaller
What if I went lower or higher
Or I just kept everything at an equal…
Basically the video is a definitive list but more of an invitation to explore the boundaries and limitations and create more options on the dance floor
Musicality–15 ways to do the basic step

Here are a few things to look out for while going through this drill:
  1.  if you are familiar with the classic rhythm of the basic step, you will be tempted to skip to the juicy stuff… DON’T! Haha
    Instead, go through it a couple of times, identifying the reason behind this basic tempo. It is not a matter of luck or coincidence that the basic step has THAT specific rhythm…
    This is your chance to make sense of it, figure out why!
  2. There are some options that due to technical difficulties..haha..might be unavailable to you. Most of the times when we attempt to go too fast or too slow, we get somehow stuck…
    If that happens don’t get frustrated.
    Instead, notice it and try to see why you are getting stuck; what is it that is getting you stuck
    After you have identified the problem then you can ask yourself: What if…? What if you did those fast steps in X way instead of Y, for example.
  3. Think outside the box. This is not a video with the top best ways to do the basic step. This is a video to explore the rhythm and the rhythmical options of the basic step and of Tango in general. So come up with your own stuff. Try things out. Explore different options.
    Are they all going to be good? Of course not…haha…
    But the fact that you asked the question, that you put your body through the process of figuring it out and that you reached to the conclusion that something didn’t work for the XYZ reason, is the most important part of this video.
So bottom line:
  1. explore history
  2. notice
  3. think further
Enjoy,
Chrisa
More on musicality..? Check this out: Being musical–So much more than doing steps on the beat

Not another success story–Stop reading and start doing

If you do a quick search around the internet, you can find all these success stories, of how people despite the difficulties they made it, they believed in their dreams, they dared to dream big, they sacrificed themselves but it paid off…
KILL ME NOW PLEASE!
This is not a success story
I don’t have a success story for you, as I see my story under the light of, work-in-progress, instead of reaching success.
I bought into those stories though. When I was starting, I wanted to make one of those stories. As I was trying though, I realized it is all BS–pardon my french…but that is what it really is.
Quickly , I realized that:
Yes you have a passion and you have to make tough decisions, make sacrifices and dedicate time to make it a reality. But why on earth to you believe that this is anything special that ONLY very few enlightened people do?
I know my mom made great sacrifices so I can have a good life while being great at her job. I bet yours did too, and your neighbors mom as well, and the lady in the grocery store working 18hours a day does too.
So hard work, dedication and sacrifices is what is a life’s requirement, not what you do when chasing your “dream”
So it is not one of those stories but it is a story about consistency. About gaining experience from everything that you do, about asking and working for more. Plus about making a point of “STARTING NOW”.
I thought I was approaching success, but I was still in the beginning
Take a look at this oldie… This video of little shy Chrisa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-P…
You don’t even have to watch the video, just look at the title… I don’t even have my name there…haha
Let alone my movement, so petite, so fragile, so….Blaaaah…or even worse for a dancer…so CUTE!
The truth is I was shy, I still am actually.
But I am guessing that I was always looking for alternative ways to connect and that is why I was always into dance from a very young age.
And you know a shy child is cute, a shy adult is ridiculous… haha And not because others think so but because I actually felt ridiculous when though I wanted to go out dancing and I ended up staying home because none of my friends could make it out and I wouldn’t dare going out my own.
So even though I should have started earlier with defeating shyness, I started at some point… better late than never…and I took acting lessons!
ALL or NOTHING…hahaha
And being on stage was super fun. Sharing stories was exciting. Improvising with people was like dancing with words.
Singing though, was HELL!
Because I was so shy to sing I couldn’t even HUM.
I am not joking.
I would sit by the piano, sweating and feeling dizzy–panic attack most likely–and every time I would open my mouth to sing no sound came out.
So after getting on my knees and hiding behind the chair, the piano teacher suggest that I hum…
Nope! I couldn’t hum either! Actually by that time I just wanted to die! hahaha
And now that same person, who couldn’t even hum in front of people, is making videos and going uncensored on facebook live. If you had told me, when I was doing that video at the top there, that I would be on youtube and facebook doing videos, I would have laughed in your face!
So why this rant..?
Because to be the dancer of your dreams, there are only 2 things YOU need to do…
  1. Believe that you CAN. If I can do live videos you can dance the way you dream like dancing. Give yourselves the time and the opportunity because you deserve it
  2. Get started! Don’t leave it for later, like I did… I was a shy kid and I managed to hide that in dance, don’t make the same mistake. There is no better time than NOW. START NOW! Choose any of these exercises under the Tango technique tab: https://bautanz.com/argentine-tango… And START NOW. START SMALL and SCALE

 

Enjoy the benefits on and off the dance floor

Chrisa