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Who are the best leaders on the dance floor and what is it that sets them apart from the rest?

You could argue that this is a subjective thing, but there is some consensus in the tango world on overall qualities to be aspired to.

If you are new to the tango scene, you might be forgiven for thinking that the best leaders are those with the widest repertoire of steps. Or perhaps those who can do the most complex moves.

You may even have watched them from the sidelines and resolved that you would learn to dance tango just like them.

And you may indeed have been watching fabulous tango dancers, but what they are doing - what is visible from the outside - is only part of the picture.

The question to ask is what does it actually *feel* like to dance with them?

Because this is what makes a good tango dancer.

Your dance partner cannot see the way you look from the sidelines. All she knows is how you feel to dance with. And in tango, your partner is always much more important than anyone watching.

So what use are flashy moves if they make your partner feel uncomfortable or take her off her balance?

And more to the point, what use are they if she cannot even understand them?

It is a fundamental philosophy of tango that the leader should be able to read the experience level of every follower he dances with and dance to that level. Even if his own level is significantly higher.

A leader who leads movements that his partner is not equipped to deal with, will not give his partner an enjoyable dance experience. In fact, one could argue that he cares more about what those on the sidelines are thinking or about his own self-development, than his partner’s needs.

I like to think that a good leader creates a tango tailor-made to every follower he dances with.

And that in tango, beauty is not necessarily in the eye of the beholder .... but in the arms of the follower!

So next time you are at the milonga, why not try switching your gaze from him to … her. And if you happen to see a little smile playing on her lips, well you’ll know she is in good hands!

A mini-clip of our improvised tango at the end of our Intermediate Drop-in Class last Tuesday, illustrating our step of the week.

It always feels amazing when David leads this step so I was excited to share it with you.

When you watch this video you’ll see the series of steps taught, but what you won’t necessarily see are the tiny details that go into making this step look - and just as importantly feel - a million dollars! Those are secrets for those who come to our lessons!

No step looks or feels good without a solid bedrock of technique. And so the first part of the class was spent working with our students to understand how to initiate and execute the movements.

We hope you enjoy this clip. Any questions, just let us know in class!

Newcomers are always more than welcome. Check out our Weekly Class Schedule for the right level for you.

A video of our improvised demonstration at the end of our Intermediate Tango Class on Tuesday 5 September.

As always, the focus of the class was not to memorise the sequence but to understand how to lead each element of the sequence and play around with them creatively.

Tuesday’s class involved leading the follower lovely series of movements down the leader’s right hand side finishing with the lead of the front boleo. A step that feels as beautiful as it looks!

We worked with the followers to help them release their free leg to create more dynamic boleos and gave them a few ideas for decorations. Creativity in tango is not solely the territory of the leader!

This video clip features the step sequence several times (can you spot it?) but shows how it can be slotted into other tango movements too. As always the music is a top priority!

Any questions about this step or any other tango matter, just let us know in class!

We hope this video is a helpful reminder of your lesson and serves as some inspiration for your dance!

Giro Technique 11-09-2017

Another workshop series has come and gone.

For the last two Saturdays, Tango Movement students have been working on their giros (tango turns). Exploring the technique, working on their fluidity and getting that bit closer to precision!

When you watch a video of a performance filmed in a milonga in Buenos Aires, it is most often the moment in which a giro is executed that the audience erupts into applause.

Something that may surprise a British audience. In Strictly Come Dancing, the audience seems to clap for every single lift, spin and flick. You can almost visualise the man behind the camera holding up an autocue card for them: “APPLAUD”.

This is something of a role-reversal considering Argentine audiences are generally considered to be more expressive than British audiences, never shy to call out “Bravisimo!” or to jump to their feet in a standing ovation.

So why so much enthusiasm for giros? The giro typically is where the leader’s technique can shine. Often said to be the frame to the beautiful painting that is the follower in tango, this is the gentleman’s moment to step out into the spotlight, where he can really show what he is made of.

Enrosques, planeos, lápices, entradas, even ganchos - the variations for tango turns are endless. Whereas the follower usually maintains the same series of steps around the leader: forward, side, back, side …

But as I always tell my students, around every leader, walks a strong follower! The leader’s success is wholly dependant on the solid technique of the follower. Something that as our ladies discovered in class on Saturday is no mean feat!

This coming Saturday and next, we won’t be drifting too far away from the principles we learnt on Saturday. We will be running a two-week Pure Tango Technique Course, in which we will continue to explore - amongst other things - some of the foundation principles of giros.

For full info: click here.

See you there!

We were happy to welcome a new intake of Beginners on the first week of our Tango Crash Course last Saturday.

As always, it was a complete pleasure to unlock some of the secrets of Argentine tango to people who for the most part had never experienced the dance before.

We never get tired of seeing eyes light up with surprise when they discover that tango is not all that it seems and that there is much more to it than meets the eye.

And, as is often the case, it is not only the teachers who inspire the students, but the students who can inspire the teachers!

It always amazes me how a lot of the most interesting questions and the most astute observations arise in our Beginners classes. Perhaps it is because Beginners are fresh to tango, seeing it for the very first time.

Last Saturday, one of our brand new students made a brilliant comparison of tango to a game of tennis.

Yes, in tennis you have an opponent and in tango you have a partner. But despite this completely different dynamic, the connections between the two are strong.

Tango, like tennis, is a game of action and a response. In both disciplines, you don’t know what the other will do in any given moment. And indeed before that moment in time, your partner doesn’t know himself. Your decision as to how to respond to your partner’s action must therefore be made immediately and once the decision is made, it must be adhered to. In this way, fluidity between the two partners is maintained.

And in tango, add to the mix the ingredients of music, creativity and beauty, and you can imagine you have a pretty addictive combination!

Thank you to all our wonderful new students for your energy, enthusiasm and sense of fun. We can’t wait to reveal more about Argentine tango to you over the next month and beyond!

The gods were smiling down on us on Sunday for our Tango Movement Garden Party last Sunday.

For the second year running, we were blessed with glorious sunshine and blue skies for a long, lazy afternoon with our tango students.

They say that tango is so much more than a dance, and Sunday was the perfect example of that!

The party continued into the night and as the sun went down, some of you started dancing some tangos in our living room and the fairy lights started to twinkle in the trees.

Thank you to everyone who came and helped make it such an idyllic afternoon!

We're back from our Summer Break and very excited to get back to tango and our Autumn programme.

DROP-IN CLASSES

All our drop-in tango classes are back on.  For our Weekly Schedule: Click Here.

SPECIAL WORKSHOPS

This weekend, we're kicking off our Saturday Workshop Programme with a 2-week series on GIROS (turns in tango).

We'll look at different variations of giros, working towards greater precision, elegance and fluidity.

And we'll see some gorgeous decorative footwork for followers too!

For more details: Click Here.

NIGHTS OUT

As the nights draw in, it is good to have something to look forward to. We'll be announcing our next Tango Movement Night Out very soon.

We look forward to seeing you on the dance floor soon!

Our Summer School is now coming to an end and we would like to give a huge thank you to our guest teachers Junior Cervila and Guadalupe Garcia for taking superb care of our students!

We really couldn't have asked for a better tango couple to take care of our classes. Thank you for sharing your wealth of experience and tango wisdom with Tango Movement!

Emails, texts and messages from our students flowed in unsolicited, telling us how much they were enjoying the classes. Here is just one message that really seems to sum up the feeling:

"So the first thing is that these two are really, really nice people - despite the celebrity status the lesson was not about them, they were humble and 100 percent there for the students not themselves. I would say you and Kim could leave your students with them at anytime secure in the knowledge they will be very well taken care of.

Next thing is that they are excellent English speakers and very adept at handling a large number of students and keeping a nice momentum of lesson content among different level students. It is a skill to make sure every student gets some degree of individual attention during the class and they excelled at this.

Lastly, they strike a really good balance in the flow of partner rotations, introducing new steps and sequences, and detailed explanations - not too overwhelming but something new for everyone to work on. They really are consummate professionals as teachers and it would be great if you can arrange something like this again next year with them."

Wishing Junior and Guadalupe a fantastic trip back and looking forward to them returning with us as guest teachers again! Thank you again from Tango Movement!

David and I will be back from this Thursday teaching all our drop-in classes. Our Saturday courses will start from 2nd September.

Dreamy Tango 22-08-2017

Passionate, fiery, sexy? What words would you use to describe tango?

How about soft, dreamy, romantic?

Well, if you've never danced tango before, you might be forgiven if these words don't immediately spring to mind when you hear the word tango. Because they go against the stereotype of tango that is portrayed by the mainstream media.

But, from the very first time you take a tango class, you'll realise that there is a lot more to tango than first meets the eye.

Our students, Oleg and Oksana, started learning tango with us around two years ago. And when they told us that they wanted to prepare a tango for their wedding dance, we knew that we could help them something really special ...

We're always really excited when we have a new wedding dance couple. Not many people can say that in their line of work they help dreams come true. But this is just how we feel when we create a tango wedding dance for someone's big day.

Oleg and Oksana chose a beautiful classical piece for their dance - "Gabriel's Oboe" from the film The Mission - rather than a traditional tango.

The music was soft and romantic and set a perfect dreamy tone for their smooth, elegant movements. We're sure that there wasn't a dry eye in the house!

Oleg and Oksana we'd like to thank you for choosing us as your tango teachers and for being such rewarding students to teach. It's been a true pleasure.

Congratulations to the beautiful couple!

Tango Love 11-08-2017

It’s not every day that you have the privilege of attending the wedding of a couple who met through your classes.

And I can tell you, it is quite a unique feeling.

I always remember Irina saying that Tango Movement should change its name to “tangomatch.com.". Because so many students in our classes who were falling for each other that year.

And she should know. She was one of them!

Hendrik joined our classes back in 2009 and has been one of our regulars for years. Irina started coming quite a bit later - in 2012. For a while their paths didn’t cross since she was only attending our Beginners classes.

But tango eventually brought them together. Now they are both beautiful tango dancers and a beautiful couple. A tango match made in heaven!

People meet in many different ways of course, but a shared passion like tango can connect people beyond the three minutes that a tango lasts.

Yesterday was an amazing afternoon spent celebrating Hendrik and Irina’s marriage, surrounded by a huge group of Tango Movement students.

We wish this lovely couple many years of love, health, happiness …. and tango together.

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