Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Want to be a dream to dance with? Do this one thing.

At our Welcome Reception and Milonga last week, my first evening of dancing with and observing our Coaching Retreat guests, whose levels ranged from Pre-Intermediate to Advanced, it occurred to me that the most important thing I could communicate to them for the whole weekend was the importance of mastering one simple skill.

The thought came to me with such clarity the next morning before our first classes, because in dancing with almost all the men our first night, I had the feeling that they were rushing, and also rushing me.
When women anticipate the lead, they are also rushing!

The simple but critical skill is “Articulating your Tango”, which I also call “the Split Second Difference in your Tango”.
  (This is the focus of Module 6 of my Tango Improvisation Mastery online home study program, in which this is featured as our “bonus skill”.)

The skill of “Articulating your Tango”, though simple, has different facets:
  • Knowing how to start, execute, and finish every movement in balance. (I teach this first and foremost in all my virtual and live programs.)
  • Thinking “I’m here. I’m here. And now I’m here,” rather than “I’m going, I’m going, I’m going.”
  • Creating a “micro-pause” between steps, which is also what I call “The Interval” or “The Gap”, in addition to creating a relative “macro-pause” between musical phrases.
  • Executing every movement with fullness and purpose, with a clear beginning, middle and end, followed by The Interval to separate it from the next one.  Doing this rather than smearing your movements into each other. In other words, conduct every movement with intention.
You can focus on one of these facets at a time to start improving and giving more meaning to your tango. You can keep a list of them on an index card and choose one for a practica or milonga, thinking “Today I’m going to improve my tango in this small way.”

And watch how your tango starts to transform, and how you become a much more desirable partner at milongas. By the way, on our last day of the Coaching Retreat, all our men felt pretty dreamy to dance with!  Our local Tango Ladies were delighted, and so was I.

Once you’ve learned to articulate your tango, you can start filling “The Gap” with your presence. Your tango will start to have a magical quality for both you and your partners.

Let me hear from you! I invite you to share your discoveries from the "Articulating your tango" exercise in the comments area below this article.

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