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Posts from the ‘Techniques’ Category


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. 🙂

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The look and feel

“It’s not how it looks, but how it feels.”

Over dinner tonight, this phrase popped into my head suddenly.

I guess it may have something to do with the conversation I had with a friend after the milonga on the previous night?

Basically he was commenting on the quality of the performances he witnessed at a milonga. While the Asian performers were impeccable in their execution and timing, the Argentinian couple which followed the first performance committed some errors here and there. Nevertheless he still preferred the number by the Argentinian couple because they danced with feelings and had more emotional “content”.

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Active following

Over the last weekend, Hsueh-tze Lee had just completed the latest series of workshops in Singapore.

As on previous trips, she again emphasized the benefits of “active following” for followers. In fact, after having taken her classes as well as having danced with her in the milongas, I have very high regard for her excellent following and sensitive leading, and some first-hand experience of how active following can enhance the dance experience.

Now what do I mean (or what I understood it to be, from leader’s perspective) by “active following”?

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The simple truth

Over the past weekend, I attended the first half of Hsueh-tze’s Art of Tango workshop series which will run over two weekends. I am happy to say that while some of the materials taught were already familiar to me, I was still able to pick up many subtle technical points. If anything, I think her demonstration of different ways of dancing to D’Arienzo’s “La Bruja” was well worth the price of admission, as they say!

Something that was mentioned in the class really stuck in my mind. A statement which Hsueh-tze attributed to one of her former students went something like this:

A good leader makes everything “simple” (for the follower).

Here the word “simple” can be taken to mean “effortless”. In other words, a key characteristic of a good lead is clarity, so that there is no ambiguity in the follower’s mind and no further interpretation is necessary.

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