Technique

How to raise the level of dancing in a community

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This is the question that faces me every morning as I hit the prime button on my espresso machine. I stare at my notebook until the first cappuccino is gone. I’m not allowed to open the computer, read, or deal with logistics. It’s creative time, problem solving time. And this is one of the problems I’ve been considering nearly every day for the last couple of years. It’s a problem that results in constant refinements of my pedagogy, experiments and projects, the follower’s back sacada competition I’m plotting, and quite a few free technique posts.

It’s a very selfish project. I live here, and I want to enjoy dancing with lots of people.

I know that it takes more than good pedagogy and technique, it takes more than visiting maestros. It takes what Armin calls “wildness”. I call it “risk”. If leaders are going to grow, we need to not worry about looking perfect and staying in control. We need to try things and see what happens, we need to dance moves we haven’t mastered yet.

Practicas tend to provide a forgiving atmosphere and space to growing dancers, but unfortunately we have very few here in Sydney. So that means that growing leaders (and that should be all of us), will need to use the milongas as a space to take risks and dance imperfectly if we are to improve.

We all need encouragement to grow, and the most experienced among us can set an example for one another and for less experienced dancers by showing our willingness to try unfamiliar things, take risks, and make mistakes, to expand our dance.

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Do you want to be a better dancer

but don’t feel you are getting what you need from your teachers?

Or do you get contradictory advice from different partners?

I got tired of hearing men tell me to be “natural”, “don’t do anything”, and “you’re floppy”, followed by “you’re stiff” …  So I studied biomechanics until I could teach perfect connection quickly.

We now have video solo practice courses that you can do at home to improve your knowledge, confidence, balance, and grace.

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Power is the courage, confidence, and competence to make things happen. I want to create in a way that’s incomparable and define my own compensation package. You too?

Syntax of Power is a raw, potent, and spare revelation of how I got to where I am and how I take on the struggle every day.

This book is not about tango, it’s about everything else.

It’s about stepping into the darkness of change, learning how to take care of yourself, and making things happen.

Dyv stands for Duro y Vio. We were inspired by a 2007 conference at Harvard University about tango as a transnational culture. Also we wanted to create something that would help people to imagine a queerer tango. We forbid ourselves to use the word ‘passion’ and instead tried to articulate the experience more precisely.

Argentine Tango is more than an elaborate and difficult dance, it is an international culture of intimacy, desire, and dignity. No mere romance or memoir, the intricately woven stories evoke tango’s true mysteries … the elation, the frustration, the compulsion…

We published the book in 2009. Dancers asked “how did you know what I was feeling?”

Silences in history. Silences by code. Silences of fear. You already know that Tango’s silences can be sublime and they can be devastating.

What I do in my blog is use myself as a lens – sometimes a microscope, sometimes a telescope. I try to be as honest with myself and you as words concede. Then I try to find a deeper meaning and imagine a pathway for us.

A blog post can be a fragment, a wisp of inspiration, an outline for thinking. A book must complete and reconcile it all. Now I drag the social scientist to the scene to enumerate the facts of the case, the mystery which brought both stardom and tragedy to my life.

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