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Posts by yy


Feedback from the past

Due to changes in my personal situation, I have hardly danced in the past 4 years, and this is not likely to change any time soon. As a result I have also not updated this blog as frequently as I’d like.

While updating WordPress and doing some house-cleaning yesterday, I chanced upon some comments left on my site back in 2012, 2013. One had asked me for a digital copy of a Vals to use for his wedding (which I obliged by the way), and another couple thanking me for the good time they had during the milonga during their trip to Singapore.

Although this was some time ago, have to admit that it always feels good to have made a difference (no matter big or small) in someone’s lives.


Dancing with labels

Throughout the years that I have been dancing/learning tango, I must have been extremely fortunate to have met no teachers who force me to dance exclusively the way they teach, or let alone to dance in a “labelled” manner. To be sure, there was a couple of teachers who have but I accept that that was what they were teaching – a particular style – and what I was there to learn, so no issues there. I mean, otherwise it would be like showing up at a class advertised as “milonga” and demanding a lesson for “vals”, no!?

In fact, from now on, I think my response is to ask the person: “Do you feel more comfortable dancing with a label?”


What’s the rush?

In the process of moving the whole site to a different hosting company, I just realised that close to 20 posts have been sitting in Draft mode for over 9 years in some cases! I plan to review and release most of them in near future. Here is something that was last revised on 2011/01/24.

One of the important lessons I learnt in a private class last year (2010) was the idea of slowing down. In the year since I have come to appreciate the concept in a number of ways.

First and the most obvious aspect is the need to wait for your lady (from leader’s point of view) to complete her movement before continuing on to something else. However, not rushing also means that it’s unnecessary to be “doing something” all the time. It’s perfectly fine to be still, or to convey/suggest minute movements in the embrace. In this case, I won’t even label this as a pause, although admittedly there may be no movement in the legs. A corollary to this is to minimise unnecessary jitters – obvious example is the side to side shuffle we often see in beginners and many of the so-called intermediate dancers – be still and serene when you feel it in the music in order to accelerate and create a greater impact when music dictates. This then leads to the notion of taking the time to enjoy the process, and not just the start and finish. Savour the transitions and, from time to time, increase the density of the steps, so that there can be a bigger contrast in dynamics when necessary.

Final aspect is taking the time to advance down the line of dance (this is more in reference to crowded dance floors where it’s less than an arm’s length to the next couple in all directions). While dancing, it is not a race to the finish. And, as far as I know, there are prizes for coming first or to see how many rounds of the floor you can manage.


Video watching

To be honest, I don’t dance much these days, the last being a couple of nights 6 months ago, then another single night 3 months prior. However I still enjoy watching tango videos on Youtube. Here is a nice couple I found out from my feeds on Facebook. A small comment, looking back over their videos from 6 years ago, it seems their favourite combinations haven’t changed much over the years, except more smoothly executed, and more relaxed and less forced into having to cram many highlights into one performance. In fact, I noticed with many well-known teachers, their bread-and-butter moves can remain for as long as up to 10 years, but naturally the execution improves over time. I suppose this is part of human nature that it’s extremely difficult to continue to reinvent yourself?