Podcast Episode 61 now online!

Hello Friends!

Episode 61 of Joe’s Tango Podcast is now online!

Listen here

My guest today has been dancing tango for well over two decades and he’s taught and performed all over the world. Having studied with a variety of different maestros and being familiar with many different styles of tango, today’s guest is known for focusing much of his teaching around perfecting one’s axis.

He’s originally from Australia, but is currently based in Poland.

Let’s meet Damian Thompson…

61 Damian Thompson

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THE MORE WE ACCOMPLISH

On our tango journey, we’ll encounter a numerous internal obstacles such as voices of doubt, lapses in confidence, and irrational fears of judgement by others. In the face of all that, we push ahead anyway.

But those obstacles don’t go away as we improve. In fact, they get bigger. The fearful voices in our heads get louder.

The more we accomplish, the more reasons we’ll find to quit.

We’ll never completely silence the voices of doubt, but that isn’t the goal. Instead, we need to be careful not let our internal fears drown out the objective, observable improvement in our tango. The process of getting better is a worthwhile endeavor, even if it’s never a smooth journey.

OVERCOMING-OBSTACLES

More here: www.wisconsin-tango.com/blog

#tango #blog #fear #doubt #improvement

LET THE MUSIC TAKE YOU

When we feel like we’re actually dancing, we realize that we’ve let go of anxiety and the mental struggle of remembering countless technique points. That feeling of smooth movement, even if it’s fleeting at first, gives us a sense that we can indeed become tango dancers after all.

The sensation is like riding a bike for the first time, when the person teaching us lets go of the seat and leaves us to balance on our own. On the dance floor, we capture that feeling when we start making a better effort to move with the music.

We may still stumble every now and then as our muscle memory takes shape, but the key to our next tango breakthrough is closely tied to the music. So let’s pay closer attention to it, trust it, and not be afraid to let it take us.

tangomusic

www.wisconsintango.com/blog

#tango #blog #music #dancing #feeling

DON’T CELEBRATE GOALS

It’s important to have specific goals with our tango, whether it’s to attend a certain festival, learn a particular step, or build the courage to perform for an audience.

Reaching a particular goal feels great…for a short while. But focusing on that single moment is a waste of time in the long run. Nothing magical will happen, and chances are we won’t be suddenly transformed.

We also need to think about what a particular tango goal means. Upon reaching it, what have we learned? What other opportunities have opened up? What have we been doing wrong up until that point? What do we need to do more of? Or what do we need to stop doing?

Celebrating a goal, like dwelling on failure, becomes counterproductive after a while. They should be looked upon as occasions to honestly evaluate ourselves before moving forward.

c3po-ironman

www.wisconsintango.com

7 WAYS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF GROUP LESSONS

Whether we’re taking a class to reinforce basics or challenging ourselves with something new, group classes or workshops are an obvious choice for moving our tango forward. But once the class starts, it’s easy to become flustered and frustrated. Sometimes our brains feel overloaded, and we find ourselves struggling to keep up mentally.

What to do? Here are seven strategies to organize our thoughts and alleviate much of the anxiety. It’ll help make the most of our tango, and get our money’s worth.

1. FOCUS ON UNDERSTANDING – NOT MASTERING – THE SUBJECT MATTER
If the instructors are introducing a new exciting step or technique concept, it’s not going sink in right away. And that’s fine. Our teachers make it all look so easy because they’ve been doing this forever. Rather than try to waste all our energy trying to perfect the step within the workshop’s 60 – 90 minute timeframe, let’s focus more on understanding the subject matter. Once we grasp the concept, the bulk of perfecting the material will happen during our own practice time.

2. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY
Teachers will often introduce a new step by giving us a sequence to work with. Instead of just going through the motions of the sequence and treating it as a to-do list, it’s much more important to pay attention to what our bodies are doing while we’re working through it.

How much are we pivoting? How close or far away do we have to be from our partner? Are we on balance? Are we pushing or pulling too much with our arms? What are we doing right? What do we need to improve?

3. TAKE THINGS LIGHTLY
Even though we’re serious about our tango, remember that even the most challenging tango class/workshop is meant to be fun (as opposed to torture). Let’s put in our best effort, but keep the perfectionist tendencies in check. If we start to put ourselves down, then we’re doing it wrong. Taking things too seriously is counterproductive.

4. TAKE VIDEO
Most teachers will do a video review or demo at the end of their classes, which summarize the topics they introduced. Have your phone or camcorder handy, and take the video! Or at least get a copy from a fellow student. Never rely on your memory, as you’ll be surprised at how much you forget after the workshop ends.

5. TAKE NOTES
Yes, old fashioned note-taking is a great way to retain new tango knowledge. Jotting down your own description of the workshop’s main points (along with the video summary) will go a long way in committing the information to memory.

6. COMMIT TO PRACTICING, AND THINK LONG TERM
When the class or workshop ends, out tango teachers will remind us to practice. This isn’t just a final pleasantry before saying good-bye. They’re serious, and the class or workshop is only the beginning when it comes to the next stage of tango growth. After the motivational, feel-good rush of a fun workshop wears off, it’s on us to work the new ideas into our bodies. Sometimes it takes weeks, or months for the material to fully sink in. But if we had a great time at the workshop, why wouldn’t we want to keep working at it?

7. SHARE THE KNOWLEDGE
Did some of our tango friends miss the class or workshop? Let’s show them what we learned, and spread the fun! Sharing new knowledge is not only good for our communities, but it’s a great way to solidify our own understanding. Everyone wins.

I hope this list is helpful, and thanks for reading!

tango-silhouette

www.wisconsintango.com

Wisconsin Tango blog archive (2013 – 2017)

Hello everyone!

All of Wisconsin Tango blog posts from 2013 – September 2017 are archived here.

Just a reminder that the blog has relocated. It is now part of the main Wisconsin Tango website, so you’ll no longer have to visit two different sites. Again, all previous blog posts will remain here at WordPress.

Clicking here will take you directly to the blog’s new home 🙂

Thanks!

moving