Back to Tango, back to my shoes!


By Marina, London, May 2021

Oh my goodness.  I’ve learned so much from the online lessons but forgotten so much in terms of the embrace and following.  So I thought it might help others get back into tango quicker if I share some of the things I’ve got better at, and worse at, over Lockdown!

Now, I’ve been reasonably diligent (persuading myself that Tango is my chosen form of exercise and therefore good for both body and soul – certainly the impetus to get up from the desk while working from home has been necessary!).  This means my core muscles and balance have got better but a few things have become a bit… erm… rusty! 

There are three things I noticed in particular as I started to dance with a partner again:

Firstly, my ability to pivot and stay on axis have been helped by not having a partner to rely on.  The flip side of that is that it took me a while to remember how to transition smoothly from closed to open embrace and stay on axis.  I was both not giving my leader enough pressure in caminata and not taking back my own axis quickly enough for pivots and ochos. 

It took a couple of lessons to get back into the way to transition and relax into the embrace again, and gradually the clunkiness disappeared.

Secondly, I have had complete choice about there I go and when for months (rare for a follower 😊).  This has also meant that I step on the beat and move myself in time to be on axis for the next thing I have in mind.  Dancing with a partner meant slowing down and giving time for my leader to indicate what is next.  It’s a really basic thing, and a split second one, but took a while to slow down again and give my leader a chance to catch that barrida!

Thirdly, I haven’t needed to indicate where I or my weight is to anyone but me. So giving weight to my leader, both in terms of grounding and also in resistance, so that he can control the speed and accuracy of the movement, has been probably the last thing to come back.  But now, back sacadas here we come!

I’m looking forward to getting back into group lessons and Milongas as soon as we are able to.  But in the meantime, thank you to my teachers for the online lessons that have kept us sane (and fit) over Lockdown!

Marina, London

One Comment

  1. Marina, this is a very helpful set of reminders. Thank you. I have been far less diligent, but going back into the embrace after so long out of it, there are fundamentals to remember that are key to ‘picking up where we left off’.

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