It takes you to tango   1 comment

It takes you to tango

All we actually have is our body and its muscles that allow us to be under our own power. — Allegra Kent

To enjoy the task of learning how to dance the Argentine tango, you need to get in shape—in tango shape, that is. You will learn about how to manage your body in terms of balance, motion, and posture. This post and video present the tools you need for successfully stepping onto the dance floor with anybody, anywhere, anytime. With clearly indicated exceptions, these tools are equally important for both men and women. Incorporating new body mechanics as an adult is likely to present challenges to both the brain and body. These new mechanics may not make much sense in your daily life and may go against everything you learned at an early age to keep you from tripping, falling, and looking silly when you walk. Therefore, you will switch your brain to “manual” and refrain from mentally interfering during the process in which you teach your body new ways to stay balanced and to move and be moved.

Tango Barre, a fitness program for tango dancers

Anyone who uses movement for expression knows that the fundamental skills are the tools used for a lifetime in the pursuit of effective movement. Fundamentals are not to be discarded during the passage from a beginning to an accomplished product—that is, you, the seasoned dancer. The more you use and practice the things you learn in this program, the more confidence you will have and the more substance your dancing will have. As you begin to execute the various movements presented here, you might find that your body is a bit tense and not prepared for the flexibility required for dancing tango. You can do many exercises to help you incorporate this unique way of walking the tango into your body memory. Here are some exercises you can use frequently to keep you tango fit.

To develop a natural way to move and respond to the music, make tango fitness exercises a part of your daily routine. As an individual, you will always hold yourself in a balanced position and then send your body in the direction you want to move. This will force you to “fall” off your axis and use the free leg to receive the transfer of your body weight to the next position, where you will assume a new axis and a new balanced position.

With a partner, you must know how to move the other, and you must know how to be moved. You can alternate roles as an exercise or you can hone the particular skills for each role. In either case, the man moves and holds the woman on axis as he moves and holds himself on axis. The woman maintains an axis and allows herself to be moved from axis to axis.

Since most of the dancing is done with your partner to the right, you must be aware of established conventions within the structure of the dance.

1. The first forward step is always an inside cross with the right leg.
2. The second forward step is always an opening with the left leg.
3. The first back step is always an outside cross with the left leg.
4. The second back step is always a diagonal opening with the right leg.
5. Side steps or lateral openings to the left are “long.”
6. Side steps or lateral openings to the right are “short.”
7. The woman dances around the man.
8. The man dances around the floor.

The material here contains the set of basic tools that both men and women will need in order to dance together. We can’t stress enough the importance of exercising, practicing, and developing the skills to use these tools to your benefit.

Tango Barre (c) Planet Tango 1997-2012 All rights Reserved

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Posted May 7, 2009 by Alberto & Valorie in Gotta Tango

One response to “It takes you to tango

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  1. Wonderful, so useful

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