Friday, March 7, 2008

Scouting tour continues...(David and Lisette)...

March 7 – David Caditz & Lisette Perelle lesson @ La Pista (topic: Volcadas). We began with cleaning up the Follower molinete, with emphasis on technique: push off on the feet; really collect, then pivot, then turn and reach for the next step. The molinete should be done close; if Follower finds herself floating away, she can correct it on the side step, stepping in more toward Leader instead of straight to the side. Follower may be pulling herself/the leader off balance if her left arm is cemented into the same spot on the Leader's arm/shoulders/back, because she needs freedom to increase her range of motion as she torques on the back step, especially in the counterclockwise molinete, so she needs to change the location of where her left hand is on the Leader's right arm so that she remains on axis. We then did the hand-to-hand falling exercise with Leader catching Follower to get Follower used to being off axis; then we did the same exercise, only freeing her left leg as she falls forward. We did a big swooping volcada from a clockwise molinete (back-side-forward-volcada for Follower as her weight is on her right leg). Technical points: Follower's frame should be solid. There should be an up, out and expanded intention in Follower's chest; the goal is to connect as much as possible with the Leader through her sternum. The swimming pool lift sensation is a temporary point in the entire volcada movement, done only at the point of falling forward. When you're on your way back up on axis, there is no need to keep pressing down as much. Follower can shift her left arm up higher than where it normally is on the Leader to get more leverage on the closed side of the embrace. Follower's leg has to be extremely free. Stomach needs to be strong and engaged. <- This cannot be emphasized enough. It seemed like everyone in the class already knew how to do volcadas and was just there for more instruction, more drilling and fine tuning. David & Lisette are good teachers. They can see all our little technical mistakes, and tell us clearly how to correct them (and explain why make them in the first place, and how they cause our partner to mess up).

March 7 – Monte Cristo milonga. I had a great time (love the ventilation!). It wasn't overly crowded; slightly more leaders. Ruben Terbalca from BsAs demo'd a tango and a milonga (what he's famous for) to milonga candombera (with drums). I had never seen anything like his milonga; check him out on youtube.

March 8 – Sausalito Milonga & Lesson with Gustavo & Jesica Hornos (topic: paradas, barridas, enganches). Figure 1: a series of 4 paradas for Leader and pasadas for Follower. Figure 2: Barrida of Follower's forward right foot with Leader's right foot. Figure 3: An enganche, started with the Leader's left foot back catching Follower's forward left foot (dancers' embrace is perpendicular). Leader's right leg back sacadas through her two legs, then he turns his body counterclockwise to force her left leg to enganche his right leg. We connected these into a sequence in the reverse (Figure 3+2+1). There was much technical discussion on each figure, to really clean it up and get the feeling right. The milonga was OK (imbalanced by ~+10 followers; it wasn't hugely crowded).

March 9 – Studio Gracia Milonga & Lesson – Negracha & Diego taught the lesson on turns and contraturns, really cleaning up our technique/footwork. They especially emphasized the need for the follower to stay in front of the leader so that their shoulders are square with each other. It was really good (necessary!) to spend time refocusing on the basics and correct spots where I had become sloppy (or was always sloppy to begin with). The milonga was OK. Pampa Cortez showed up.

March 12 – CCSF classes. Midterm review. We reviewed all that we learned during the semester. In Followers' Technique, we reviewed the floor and barre exercises, and boleos. In Advanced, we focused on cadenas, Leader sacadas during Follower forward ochos, Follower overturned forward ochos, and linking these steps.

March 13-30. Ciao bon bons! Voy a Buenos Aires por CITA con mi clase a bailar tango y comer empanadas y carne y practicar castillano. Te extraño. Feliz bailan. You, too, can have a taste of BsAs by going to lessons with visiting maestros Negracha & Diego (Danceasy, Studio Gracia), Luis & Daniela (La Cumparsita @ Slovenian Hall, Elaine's milongas), Gato & Andrea (various locations), and Pampa Cortez or our local teachers Carolina Rozensztroch, Gustavo & Jesica and Marcelo & Romina. Check

March 30 – Studio Gracia milonga & lesson (Negracha & Diego teach). I might also try to go to Luis & Daniella's afternoon workshop if my flight gets in on time.

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