Technique

Eugenia’s Crystal

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I have always admired Eugenia Parrilla for the freedom, self-expression, and delight in her dance. She is revered as a revel, but she doesn’t have this passive/obedient demeanor. It was a great honor to learn from her in October, 2016. I realized that she was doing something with her head, which is different than other dancers, and I worked to understand and ask questions about this point. The two things I learned were shatteringly powerful.

  1. When you are facing the “open side” of the embrace, looking toward your own right hand, you are opening your body in that direction, and moving your head in that direction. (We all naturally do this.) But when we are facing the closed side of the embrace, we keep our head facing the Mark’s head, and this constrains our whole body. Whenever you are facing the closed side of the embrace, allow your eyes/head/chest to move a little more to your left. Obviously you will do be able to move MORE in open embrace, but it makes a huge difference in close embrace too. Notice how it affects the comfort of your hips when you step back onto your left leg.
  2. Eugenia says to “take the space” with your gaze. She says she always finds something to look at. This is why her head moves so naturally instead of dancing like a robot-doll in trance to the hair on the man’s chest, as the rest of the tango dancers do. She says when she pivots she “takes the whole room” with her gaze. This is super-un-passive and really fun. (Detail: She doesn’t always look away from her man. When she is looking toward him she changes what she is looking at as she moves. His hand, his elbow, his shirt collar, his neck, his belt…)

Feel how these very small changes affect your whole body, and notice how they inspire your marker to be more free, because you are more independent (emotionally and physically).

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