Tango Diary

Board Meeting Tango

Lockdown has taken on so many differnt forms.

For some people, it has meant endless hours to fill and the opportunity to pursue interests they've never before had time for.

For others, it has meant busier days than ever, dealing with one work crisis after another and a whole new world of Zoom conference calls.

Whatever the reality is for you, if you're a dedicated tango dancer, there is one certainty: you'll be looking for opportunities to practice!

A lot of my non-tango friends report wearing their comfy slippers on serious business calls. And why not?

But if you're a tango dancer?

One of our tango students has told us he wears his tango shoes during board meetings. This means that when he has a spare few seconds in his day, he can practice his pivots, lapices and enrosques between calls. Yes, there are some clear benefits of working from home.

This story put a huge smile on my face. So here's to all the tango dancers of this world who will not be defeated by quarantine!

Dress-Up In Lock-Down?

One of the most widely used words these days: unprecedented.

We live in unprecedented times. And surely dancing tango in our living room is no exception.

Four weeks ago when lockdown in the UK began, most people had never even heard of Zoom.

Now taking a Zoom class is the new normal. Last week our daughters tried a drama class by Zoom. And our nieces in a northern city of Argentina are taking Zoom ballet classes.

Staying in really has become the new going out. But do we dance tango in our pyjamas or do we get a little dressed up for the occasion?

Preparations for Tango Show

Tango Without Touching

I remember the moment Covid-19 turned from being a distant news story to step into our life.

It started with a baby step. In late January - when our tango classes were still packed with dancers intermingling and sharing embraces - a student nervously asked if she could do exercises on her own in a corner.

She was worried, she said, about the new virus in China.

“That’s miles away and China is an enormous country!” I confidently reassured her.

“But don’t you think it’s strange that they have shut down an entire city?”

Olga's Story

On Saturday 29th February we held our annual event, the Tango Movement Winter Ball, at the Finsbury Town Hall, Islington.

One of our favourite moments of the night is when a group of advanced students take to the dancefloor to give a choregraphed tango show.

The show is the culmination of 4 months of rehearsals and imnense effort. It's a nerve-wracking but incredibly rewarding experience.

We asked one of the dancers in our Student Show, Olga to talk about her experience from rehearsals through to the night itself:

"I’ve been dancing for as long as I can remember myself: ballet, Russian folk dance, ballroom - my school years were spent either by the barre (sometimes in tears over my lack of flexibility) or in preparation for concerts and competitions.

Having moved to London, I started taking Latina classes again, but in time I felt I’d rather prefer something else...completely different to be honest: my dancing needed to be social, creative, elegant, improvised, lacking an overt drama, but full of emotions at the same time and also quite challenging. Tango ticked all the boxes.

Tango Ladies in Student Show

WINTER BALL MEMORIES

We were so thrilled to welcome you all to our annual Winter Ball last Saturday.

As in previous years, our Ball was a complete sell out, with 300 students and friends filling the opulent ballroom of the Old Finsbury Town Hall.

Dreamlike Dancefloor Tango Ball 2020

David & Kim Benitez Bowing After Their Performance

Performing at Our Daughter's School

We have had some tough audiences in our tango careers, but this was definitely a first!

Around 300 schoolchildren between the ages of 4 and 7 ... and our course our own 6 year old daughter!

The moment had extra poignance for me as I was standing in the very same assembly hall that I had sat as a little girl ... too many years ago to mention!

THE LIVE MUSIC EVENT OF 2019

We can’t get enough of them at the moment. We have their music on a loop in our classes and we can’t stop watching their videos.

But nothing is like dancing to them live. We stumbled across them playing at a milonga in Buenos Aires last summer … and it was electric.

So when the opportunity arose to bring La Orquesta Romantica Milonguera over to London, we leapt at the chance.

Buenos Aires Tango Diary - Part I

August may be winter in Buenos Aires but it was the month that David and I chose to visit our friends and family in Argentina, hoping of course to fit in a little bit of tango. Who needs the sun to dance tango right?

We left London in 30 degrees heat, sandals and summer clothes and arrived on a dismal Buenos Aires day with lashing rain and wind. We had been prepared for a contrast but this welcome came as something of a shock!

Despite the gloomy start, the month ahead was to give us plenty of beautiful winter's days, with blindingly bright sun and clear blue skies.

Not so on the day we scheduled for our photo shoot with tango photographer Marcelo Di Rienzo though. As if to challenge our determination, it was an uncharacteristically cold day.

We had chosen a dilapidated building in the Villa Crespo neighbourhood for our location. In the UK, there would be all kinds of health and safety regulations preventing the use of a place like this - stairways with sheer drops, floors that seem to sink as you step on them ... but not so in Buenos Aires.

love + tango

love-1

kim

Dedicated to tango for 20 years and counting ...I'm delighted to share my tango thoughts, tips and passion with you!

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