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February 11, 2009

Re-learning to walk

In March 2007, we organised a series of workshops by Hsueh-tze Lee. After hearing so much about her, finally got some first-hand experiences!

Here are some snippets of thoughts after the lessons, which (the writing, that is…) have stayed in incubation for the better part of a year. 🙂

  • Learning a different walk.

    Although I used the word ‘different’, in fact, the method of walking is intuitively not contradictory to what I have been doing all along. The emphasis less on chest as typical of many salon dancers (which can introduce unwanted tension) but done with a simple straight but soft upper body, and project more with the legs (standing and free). There is more waiting and engaging the partner when moving forward – from the leader’s perspective obviously.

    However, the change in timing results in a less jerky walk, and ensures my partner and I both land almost at the same time. This also means I am much more sensitive to the woman’s movements. There is also less force required from the chest. The overall feeling is comfortable and moving at ease.

    As mentioned by Jean-Michel here relearning the basic walk is really key to good Tango.

  • Next is to work out how to integrate into my natural movement, and also be able to still move dynamically.
  • During a couple of private lessons, spent the better part of 1 1/2 hr just on walking and building up connection. With posture more upright, relaxed and the contact point just below the sternum, walked with a soft and ches.

    The amazing part is that you can really feel the extension of the follower’s leg along every part of the step! It is actually possible to actually control the speed, the extent of the extension of the follower’s steps. I guess supposedly the follower can also feel the closure of my feet. Sadly, not yet able to repeat this every time.

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