Not too long ago, I wrote a blog entry on the importance of being bold and taking “big steps” in order to move our dancing forward.
But in the past, I’ve also made the case for paying attention to “smaller steps,” such as fundamentals and the finer details of body awareness.
I’m sure other tango teachers have given similar advice emphasizing one approach as well as the other. So which is it? Is there a right way? Should we choose one according to our personality, then stick to it?
Perhaps the answer is a little more nuanced. I’ve found that when choosing to go the “bold” route, we definitely accomplish a lot. But at some point, we come to a place where we have to step back and work on fundamentals and finer details.
But I’ve also found that when choosing to focus heavily on basics and small details, we eventually find ourselves pressed to take bigger, bolder leaps. This can include going to a festival for the first time, taking a more challenging class, or attending a milonga in a different city.
The issue isn’t about choosing one path over the other. It’s knowing when to transition from one to the other – and perhaps back again – while motivating ourselves to break the mold each time.
At every turn, it seems that tango won’t let us stay in any comfort zone for long.
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Here’s a quick and dirty video I put together focusing on the leader back sacada (into the follower’s open step).
By isolating this particular moment, we can figure out which elements we need to focus on (balance, pivot, projecting, etc)
Complete tango exercise playlist can be found here
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Continuing on with my previous video, here’s a video on how to do the leader lápiz & back sacada with an actual partner. Please note that this version shows the back sacada into the follower’s open (side) step.
In the next few days, I’ll post a video that demonstrates another back sacada variation with a longer leader pivot.
Please be careful not to kick each other while practicing.
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The full playlist of tango exercises can be found here.
Here’s a helpful exercise utilizing the leader lápiz to back sacada. Be patient as you practice and refine your balance.
In a few days, I’ll post a video applying this movement while dancing with an actual partner.
Thanks for watching! Full playlist of my tango exercises are here
#tango #backsacada #exercise
Are we thinking of trying a higher level tango class that we know will be challenging? Are we thinking of attending our first festival? Or going to a milonga in a different place? Or perhaps we’re thinking of going to our first milonga ever?
Moving our tango forward won’t always happen in small, incremental steps at a pace we’re comfortable with. Sometimes, we’ll have to think a little bigger and push ourselves a little harder. And even though we’re doing this for ourselves, it’s still scary.
But as we dive into those experiences, we not only improve, but we create momentum. And if we keep building on that momentum, the next personal challenges we accept become more fun than intimidating. Being a little more adventurous becomes more of a habit than a special occasion.
Let the desire to think big outweigh the fear of being in over your head.
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Getting good at your back ochos? Need another tango challenge? Ramp things up with this back sacada exercise. All you need is an appropriate floor and a few bottles of liquor…
Thanks for watching! If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to the blog and share!
#tango #backsacada #exercise
Regardless of where we are in our tango journey, we stand to benefit from the many insights, observations, and philosophies of instructors and organizers. Sadly, much of this knowledge doesn’t come to light during lessons and workshops due to time constraints.
My goal is to help change that…with the launch of my podcast!
Yes, in in mid-September 2017 I’ll be launching Joe’s Tango Podcast! The show will be done in an interview format, and I’ll be speaking with various tango instructors and organizers.
I’ve already had the pleasure of interviewing several wonderful people already, and what they’ve shared has been eye-opening and encouraging; I can’t wait to share their conversations with you in a few weeks!
This is a long term project, and as my interviewing skills gradually improve, my hope is that this podcast will serve as a free and valuable resource for your learning.
So starting next month, tune in to Joe’s Tango Podcast. It’ll be available on itunes, and within the next few days I’ll be deciding on a hosting service.
We’ll keep you updated!