Thursday, August 14, 2008

Scouting Tour (August 7-13)

Thursday, August 7
TangoVida Women's Technique. We began with our usual foot strengthening, articulation, and muscle memory exercises. We spent more time today on the rib cage cadencia/disassociation exercises. We did our usual walking forward and back, with the embellishment of taps and beats back. Then we worked on the molinete counterclockwise and clockwise -- first alone upright, then around the pillars. Maestra taught a more smooth, rounded, natural footwork for the molinete, rather than a more square, collect-at-every-pass-
opportunity, militaristic footwork. She also emphasized keeping the toes on the floor in the molinete to add stability. As usual, a great class.

TangoVida Milonga class. We began with a quick review of the basic box. The sequence taught was basically a back rock step of Follower's right leg (with optional beat back embellishment of left foot to right of right leg), then right step forward, side close to left, followed by a right foot traspie step. It was a good class, with many enthusiastic leaders. There were a couple of students I knew from other classes who commented how much they liked the class, and how much more they learned in the three weeks (three milonga lessons) they had attended than in the milonga classes we've taken together. And so I got to thinking that no one really teaches milonga or vals this way -- where you can learn it every day for months on end. Each class is drop in, it's not progressive, and so a fun new step/sequence is taught each week -- which can add a whole lot of new words to your milonga vocabulary (a la Gabriela Elias from Escuela Argentina de Tango in BsAs). They made it easy and fun. This class has a steady core group of enthusiastic leaders, and I was impressed by how rich and textured their milonga vocabulary was. The more I take Ney's & Jennifer's classes, the more I am impressed with them as teachers.

Saturday, August 9
Late Night Milonga with Tango Con*Fusion funraiser boutique @ Cheryl Burke. I skipped the lesson (which I hear was lightly attended), and got to the Milonga pretty much right when it started. It was empty, but quickly filled up. I had an OK time; it was fun dancing with new/different people. Lots of local maestros showed up, especially later in the evening. Food was: Ritz crackers & cheddar cubes, tortilla chips and hummus, baby carrots, pound cake, water, no wine.

Come join me!

Thursday, August 14 TangoVida's Women's Technique & Milonga classes.

Friday, August 15 Homer & Christina's advanced seminario at Allegro garaje on Ochos.

Saturday, August 16 Homer & Christina's intermediate intensivo at Allegro garaje on Ochos.

For anyone interested in joining the CCSF yahoo group (open to everyone,
not just CCSF students): CCSF TANGO Mailing List and Yahoo Group

For anyone interested in signing up for Fall semester tango classes with
maestra extraordinaire Chelsea Eng, visit to enroll and
register. Classes start next week. CCSF is just a stone's throw away from Balboa Park BART. I find her follower's technique class outstanding (and it's open to men--and let's face it, the guys can use the work on their balance, posture, footwork, etc., too.), and even though it's been 7 years or so, her beginning and intermediate classes were very good at really teaching the basics and getting the concepts in our bones and bodies.

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