Tango Al Fresco. In an Italian piazza, on the banks of the Seine, even on the beach, why not? Dancing tango outdoors is enough to get any tango dancer’s pulse racing.
And this year it feels more exciting than ever. After 16 months of effective tango drought and some residual hesitancy around dancing in the arms of a stranger, an outdoor tango event seems like a perfect plan.
But if you happen to be in the UK, outdoor events carry obvious risks. Our visit last week to the open air event run by the Argentine Embassy was a complete wash-out. We were very lucky to squeeze in a few happy hours dancing before the heavens opened.
The next day I realised that the suede soles of my favourite shoes were soaked and one of the straps hanging on a thread. Now I’m not precious about my shoes. The way I see it, If my shoes don’t get a good old bashing, then they’re not doing what they were made for! But I’m pretty sure I won’t be taking my favourite shoes to the next al fresco tango event.
Shoes I can fix, but my legs – with their complex network of joints, muscles and tendons – I need to be a bit more careful with. The dance floor at outdoors events is usually less than ideal and can take its toll on our bodies, especially if we’re planning to dance for several hours.
So what to do if you’re a little worried that one sunny day of tango bliss will impact your ability to enjoy tango for the rest of the year?
Over the years, I’ve discovered a few tricks for dancing on a slightly dodgy dance surface. They are simple ideas but importantly they won’t make you look like you’re trying to save your knees! Below is a video of some of my techniques. You’ll see that in the pivots I try to do small weight changes so that I don’t have to pivot in one movement.
Once you’ve watched you’ve practiced doing your ochos likes this, we hope you’ll be getting ready for a summer of tango al fresco. If you live in London, here are some upcoming events:
- More Tango at the Scoop (organised by the Argentine Embassy)
- Tango at Spitalfields (right round the corner from our tango home)
So put on your favourite outfit and your least favourite shoes and ENJOY!