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Posts from the ‘Techniques’ Category


Rock step

The humble rock step is something probably most people have come across in their tango education very early on. It might have been taught, for example, as a way to change direction, or simply to mark time etc.

I recently saw someone marketing on Facebook his “wisdom” on the rock step. The photo shows a couple in embrace, their knees bent, and sinking down at the end of the rock step (by “end” I mean either the forward rock or backward rock). This immediately reminded me of the amusing experience I had during my first and only trip to Buenos Aires in 2009. In a single day, I was corrected on the rock step by no less than three different teachers during my private classes! On each occasion, I was reminded that, as a lead, I should be rising (and hence as a couple) instead of going downward. The three different people consisted of a globe-trotting well-known teacher, a well-respected milonguero and a young teacher for whom I have a lot of respect for. Through this, together with my subsequent experiences on the dance floor, I am convinced of the correctness of what I was taught on that day.


Useful advice on embrace

Despite the often silly arguments regarding salon vs. so-called milonguero, this video from Sebastian Arce in my opinion offers lots of valuable advice on the tango embrace, regardless of whichever style you thought you might be following. Whether one chooses to adopt everything wholesale, or selectively pick out elements on posture, method of holding, etc., there’s enough to benefit anyone.


Improvement to-dos

Two things that I have been meaning to work on in my tango since some private classes I took last year, which happen to be at opposite ends of the spectrum.

  1. Slow down – less noise.
  2. Be less “safe”, and dare to make mistakes.

Old but stylish

Tango vals is something that I have always enjoyed, since the beginning of my tango journey.

Here is a clip of “some old-timers” (well, they are Osvaldo and Coca who incidentally are the winners of Tango Salon category in the Tango championship in 2004) dancing to a Canaro vals, showing many of the typical qualities of milongueros in Buenos Aires. As a matter of fact, I can confirm that they dance with just with as much zest and playfulness as in this demonstration in a regular milonga, as seen in the wee hours of the morning at Gricel. Age may have slowed some of the milongueros down, but it certainly has not dulled their playful spirits or creativity. In fact, I can definitely pick out hints of the sacadas and deft footwork that are part of the repertoire from the likes of Julio Balmaceda or Javier Rodriguez… 😆