Friday, 7 December 2012

Xmas social, special Xmas tango lessons, new widget for milonga lift sharing, performance and other news

I hope you're well. It's another packed newsletter this time, so you may like to read it over a tea :)

Xmas social and special Xmas lessons

First to mention is the Tango Lingua Xmas social, this Friday, tomorrow, 7th Dec. For those who are coming regularly to lessons the date was fixed a while ago. I just wanted to post this out for anyone who perhaps hasn't been for a while and would like to join us.

Table is booked for 12, from 6pm but more are welcome! We'll be heading out for a buffet meal at 'The Real China' in Eastleigh, then moving on for some social dancing at Chilworth Hall (Milonga Melodia) for around 8:30pm.

You are warmly invited to join us! Come when you can, but if you get there too late either I or Claudia might have eaten all the tasty food by then (just warning you).

The Real China,
Units L5/6, Swan Centre,
Eastleigh SO50 5FX
02380 617518   £12.95 per person I believe.
(3 minutes walk from Eastleigh train station)

Milonga Melodia,
Chilworth Hall,
Chilworth Road, SO16 7JZ

If anyone wants to come with me I'll be catching the train from Southampton Central at 17:35pm. Chaira and Andrea (and possibly also Dawn and John - not too sure as I'd drunk some port at the time it was discussed) have kindly offered to give people lifts to and back from the milonga (Hannah can also give lifts to the milonga). If there is a group left over, a taxi between 4 will be fairly cheep.

If you're stuck, give me a call.

On to the special Xmas tango lesson menu:
The last 3 sessions of the year will have a special, fun theme - a cool tango movement or concept to enjoy dancing and possibly raise an eye at the milongas with. While quite probably unfamiliar to you, each movement will be carefully taught so you'll really understand and experience how to have fun with it.

Last Monday we did reverse step-overs into a suspended turn resolving in a leg wrap. Nice :) Next Monday you can look forward to something else equally, if not more, cool. These are open classes, everyone welcome! (For the usual price of £8)

The last lesson this year will be on 17 Dec. Back on the 7th Jan.

The Wed sessions at the Slug & Lettuce will resume in the new year.


A big thank you to everyone who came to the Dec 1st Technique Booster workshop! This one we really started to go deeply into the process of moving easily together in close-embrace, for that delicious 'broadband' connection vs. dial-up (you had to be there).

It was a pleasure for me to see everyone finding their way through this beautiful part of tango. I'm also glad the bottle of Tawny Port and Xmas cake went down well (thought it might)! (But don't expect the same at the next one ;) ) There will be another workshop most likely in late January, date TBC.

For anyone in the London area, I'm running a workshop with Liz Bayleythis Saturday afternoon, 4-7pm in Highbury & Islington. For full details and booking see: http://www.tangolingua. com/workshops/london/8th-dec- 2012-tango-magic

Your own tango lift share map!

I've put together a little map tool for you. It's for anyone who would like to either find or offer a lift to milongas. On the one hand it's a small detail in a night out dancing, but on the other it's one of those things that can mean you don't go. Maybe you can't justify the cost of driving on your own, or perhaps you don't want to inconvenience anyone by asking for a lift?

The truth is there are lots of benefits to lift sharing, tango related ones too, so I thought I'd try and help that become a little easier and more organized for our local tango community.

The map tool can be view here:  and the link to be a collaborator (i.e. add your details and make use of it), once you're signed in to your Google account is: ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid= 203369741653538269829. 0004cddae1db464233973

If you have any problems with that link let me know!

It's super simple to use. Put your marker on it and see who's near you or lies along the tango routes you'd like to travel.

You do need a Google account to make edits (it's free, quick and easy to set up if you don't already have one). All the details are explained on the page, and if you per chance get stuck please let me know.

I really want to make this easy to use and your feedback would help!

Your tango development (do you feel you're stagnating? or being left behind?)

Let's say you've been coming to tango classes for a few months or more. How can you assess your progress and which classes are right for you?

Of course what progress means to you will depend on your goals, but I'd like to offer a suggestion and also say something about how the 2 group classes are organized.

The suggestion, for those who are in any way concerned about progress, is to take an active role in your tango development. This means considering what your goals are, and what you'd like to learn more of or about. What do you want from your tango?

If you pass that info onto me, then not only can I help to tailor my input to you more effectively, but you'll also have a clearer way of assessing your progress - according to your goals.

As for the 2 weekly group classes, currently Mondays focus on 'core technique' (with the exception of the Xmas special sessions) for walking and connecting in the embrace, working with a vocabulary of forward, side, back, ochos, crosses and basic decorations.

While beginners come to this class, it can also be considered an advanced class in that I will give you as much detailed input to refine your core technique (thus enabling everything else in tango) as I think will help you.

Wednesdays currently focus on more of the modern dance aspects and influences of tango, including shared axis, free leg movements, ganchos and other adventurous and in some ways more challenging movements. This is also an open class, but the level of challenge starts at a higher point.

The Monday and Wednesday classes are designed to be complementary for those who attend both.

Finally, for anyone who might be concerned about picking things up slowly, I'd like to say that it's not a race and there is no judging panel. I try hard to tailor the class content to suit a wide range of experience and skill. I also believe there are distinct learning benefits for everyone with such a mixed class, that would be hard to get with a class where everyone had the same experience. The key thing is that you enjoy your learning.

A new way of teaching and learning tango

This is one I've been thinking about for quite a while now. In a nutshell it's about offering the opportunity for students to develop their tango learning, by also assisting in teaching elements of tango to other students.

From my martial arts background this was the model for each club (e.g orange belts taught the white belts, greens taught the oranges, blues the purples, and so on, while the sensei supervised, organized the content of the class, made corrections to each group and did demos). It actually worked extremely well. When you teach something you re-learn what you're teaching, thus deepening your knowledge. Yet I don't know of it being used in the UK tango community.

It's not about having to be a master to teach, it's about sharing what knowledge you do have, and helping yourself by helping others. This model is what I'd like to try a little of in my Tango School. It certainly wouldn't be obligatory, and there wouldn't be belts as such (can you imagine!). Rather it's an opportunity for those who are interested. I'd love your feedback on the idea!

Other news

Next Thursday 13th Dec, I've been invited by the Wellcome Collection in London to perform for their Move Your Soul event (part of their Rhythm is a Dancer collection), with Liz Bayley. Details here: http://www. on/events/move-your-soul.aspx
Move your Soul
If you're interested in coming there will be audience participation...

Also of note, on the 24/25th November the 3rd Tango Teachers Symposium took place in London and was a great success by all accounts! Thanks to Anthony Howell for kindly hosting this event. The next one will be back in Southampton early in the new year!

Finally for those currently focusing on their fitness, you may like to try my new Tango Tone-Up classes :)

Enjoy your dancing, take care, and I hope to see you soon,

ps. I have limited slots available for private lessons again now until 21st Dec, and then again from the new year.