Yesterday we took our first tango classes here in BA. First we went to DNI Tango School, that is run by Dana Frigoli, and where Carina also teaches. We took a group class and did some efficient shopping in the DNI Store (pictures later!).
In the group class we did some sacadas and ganchos. The sequence itself was easy and clear, we were able to do it with our own style pretty easily, but oh boy, how to do it in the DNI technique!!! I was told to bend my knees, pull with my right hand, make my waist grow 10cm longer, separate my upper body from my lower body and move them to different directions, and wave my tailbone when I take a sidestep. Pasi had to pull with his left hand, connect his right knee and left shoulder, make a circle with his right arm and left foot, and move his foot with his pubic bone. Just do all this and it will be all right, all right? All right???!!???!? Whew. In the end of the 1,5 hour class we were able to do all this, or something like it, or something that remotely resembled it, or at least we felt different and confused. And strangely, it worked. Whew. Need to book more classes.
In the evening we went to a very different place. The practica of Carlos and Rosa Perez is famous for the Villa Urquiza style, training beautiful tango salon style dancers, and also producing winners for the World Championships of Tango Salon. Seven or eight winning couples of the last years have been training and polishing their style there! We are very interested in putting some Villa Urquiza into our tango salon, so the plan is to spend some evenings there. First we had womens' and men's technique separately, and then we just danced, and Carlos and Rosa helped the couples. They are really really nice and friendly!!!
So the new ideas from there? Carlos suggested that we change our dance hold in some little ways, or actually completely! With his right hand, the man doesn't hold around the woman's back but only until the middle or so. Then the man can lead with his right arm! Yes, he leads with his right arm on the woman's back!!! Because the lead from only the chest is not clear enough, and the woman has to feel a clear lead. Good for leading ochos, boleos... We tried this and it worked!!!
The leader's left hand is more on the woman's side than what we are used to. And we had to lift the elbows! And the woman's left arm and hand lies on the shoulder of the man. So in the end the dance hold felt strangely familiar... hmmm, wait... from Finnish tango!
Wow, so amazing to experience this diversity of styles and teaching!!! And so healthy to do things in a new and different way, and also to be told to do something in a way that we usually say NOT to do! So students, can you anymore believe anything we say? I would say it is not about believing, but trying out with an open mind what the teacher is proposing. Are you able do it in the way the teacher is showing? Can you do it in your own way? Feel how it feels, is it working, and then decide what is right for you!