During the Technique class we worked on improving our SPEED – no, not speed (we saved that for Milonga!) but SPEED, the learning methodology developed by Tanguito that makes your learning easier: Stepping, Posture, Embrace, Emotion and Dissociation.
This part consisted in a wide variety of short activities aimed at strengthening each element for us as individual dancers, with a strong emphasis on style and embrace. The class was then divided into leaders and followers to work on adornments.
The leaders worked on improving their technique of ‘lapiz’ and ‘enrosque’, and learnt new ways to combine them. For those who aren’t aware, a lapiz is an outward circular motion of the leg, with the foot pointed ensuring that the ball of the foot is in contact with the dance floor for stability and tidiness. An enrosque is when a man closes one leg behind the other in a cross then pivots; usually 180 degrees. There are several variations of this and you can merge a lapiz and enrosque together and be as creative as you like.
What about the ladies?
In the meantime, the ladies worked on boleos. These are similar to ganchos except they are performed on the lady’s self as opposed to her partner. ‘Boleo’ means ‘to whip’; and it certainly doesn’t disappoint! A follower can use boleos in many instances during a dance, usually when pivoting is involved. They can be performed around the front of the supporting leg with a kick up from the knee or behind, either keeping contact with the floor or flicking up. It’s important to get the right intensity of energy and in the right place and to keep knees as tightly together as possible to create a neater finish. The class ended with individual improvisation to two juxtaposing songs.
We then moved on to the Milonga beginner crash course…
At 8.30pm, the Milonga workshop began with a warm-up tanda to wake our tango brains up and refresh our memories of last week, or for some to get introduced to milonga. (What is milonga?) This lesson we recapped every step we have learnt in previous weeks which was handy for those just starting milonga for the first time, and valuable for everybody else to revise steps and iron out any bad habits that may have developed with one step whilst focusing on the next. Some common imperfections were ladies’ heels being apart when pivoting, men forgetting the music as well as bobbing and interesting posture from both genders!
By the end of the class the progress was obvious. Towards the end of the class we learnt two new steps. One involved both partners crossing their legs, the follower on demi-pointe and the lead pushing his thigh into the follower’s to lead easier. The next step involved both the leader and the follower pivoting their hips to the right whilst side stepping, both in time – mirroring each other, making sure that their torsos close and still. This step is not one of milonga’s basics despite being popular at milongas, so it doesn’t have a name that we’re aware of. One student from Turkey found the step amusing as it reminded him of Turkish belly dancing – so it is now referred to as the Turkish belly dancing step by everyone at the class! We will never look at the step in the same way again! It’s great fun though and can be adjusted to the tempo and style of the song very easily.
Fancy joining us for either/both next week or perhaps in the future? Read about our Wednesday Workshops in more detail or take a look at our group class timetables. It’s available for anybody of all ages and abilities, so there’s no excuse! We look forward to meeting you