Tango Lesson, October 11, 2013, La Pista

Two big challenges in dancing tango: balance and full-body awareness Balance comes easy when you realize that all movement comes from the core. If you practice yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, or any martial art, you already know how to move and execute from the core. Jazz dancers, ballet dancers also know. By full-body awareness we […]

Back to Basics, Writing Workshop

This is a writing workshop for writers who need help jump starting their writing, big or small projects. This workshop is perfect for the novice writer who needs advice, inspiration, direction getting started, and keeping on track,too big. We’ll cover the basic elements of good writing and what I call the “Magnificent Seven Entry Points” to creative non-fiction. Come prepared to write. Bring laptaps or paper, whatever you prefer.

Two in-the-body experiences

Lengthen your spine, says the man facing about 100 of us in the lecture hall. Now open the front of your body around the sternum. Don’t strain, feel relaxed. This is the same instruction I give to tango dancers preparing to embrace, connect, and move to the music together. The man giving these instructions is […]

TEDx Tango Talk, NY, 10/25/13

I’ll be presenting a talk on Tango as part of the Hero’s Journey, a la Joseph Campbell at this landmark event. I’ll be presenting at TEDxLowerEastSide with speakers from a variety of backgrounds including scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, yogis, monks, educators and activists.

San Francisco Writers Conference 2014

Hey! I’m on a panel of memoir writers at the
2014 San Francisco Writers Conference, February 13–16.

Tango Lesson, Friday, 9/20

Walking, or caminando, is the most basic unit of tango, the most elegant when done well with a partner, and the most under-estimated for its beauty. In this class we’ll work on different “flavors” of walking to the music, including the understated weight changing in place, the playful rock step (or cadencia), and rock steps with 1/4 & 1/2 turns or pivots. We’ll start with the music of Señor Romantico, Carlos DiSarli, and move into practica with El Res del Compas, the King of Rhythm, Rodolfo Biaggio. See you Friday!

Tango Beginners Class, Friday, Sept. 13

Tango for Beginners & Beginners’ Minds Friday, September 13 (lucky day in tango) This week: easy, breezy sacadas 7:30–8:30pm – Camille & partner show you steps & technique 8:30–10:30pm – Practica, with guidance $10 – package deal From the verb sacar, to remove or displace, sacadas play into the game-like aspect of tango where the […]

Workshop: Memoir & Creative Non-Fiction, Inventing the Truth

“Tell the truth even if you have to make it up.” —Bazooka Joe Workshop: Memoir & Creative Non-Fiction Inventing the Truth HOW TO CRAFT GOOD STORY “I am led to the proposition that there is no fiction or nonfiction as we commonly understand the distinction; there is only narrative.”  —E. L. Doctorow Tuesday, January 14, […]

Beginners’ Mind Tango class, 9/6/13

Media Luna & La Cunita This is a beginner’s level tango class with mixed levels of beginners. Some of you have been dancing for a while, others are taking their very first tango class. All of which works just fine. Tango is a dance that you can enter into from various points. So even those […]

Writers Journey via Ox-herding drawings

1. Searching for the Ox – Sitting down on a Chair/Ox to find the Story. You & Story are separate. “Everything is shifting and unsteady.”Frisson of excitement and/or agitation.

2. Seeing the Traces – Aha! Moments. You spill some ink, symbols on a blank page. Flashes of insight. Startling! Scent of your own genius arises. Wow! It’s been there all along right under your nose.

Magnificent Seven Entry Points

1. The Story – which encompasses the “plot” – theme – thread, the focus, the well-honed narrative once you separate out the chaff or extraneous of the situations. The conflict or source of tension.
2. The Situation (precedes Story) – the background material supporting plot –from which you will choose what to put in, what to leave out on the cutting floor. The really raw material – most of the situation, but not all, gets digested, compacted, condensed, left aside. The situation holds the conflict, the adverse circumstances and events – but is not the story.

Skin, muscle, bone, how deep is your writing?

Skin—You have the story locked inside of you, like Michelangelo’s David was once locked in a block of Carrara marble. You envision it. You have not started to sculpt and whittle away. How many of us never venture beyond scratching the surface?
Muscle—You know the story. You have started to carve it out, to whittle, shape, and remove the obstacles of doubt and uncertainty. But doubt and uncertainty still block you. Your writing muscle tires. You walk away and think of starting over. How many come back and muscle through?
Bone—You have gone the distance, done the ant work, the trench work, pulled forth what you know is there, your magnificent work. Maybe you have entered the piece from various of the Seven Entry Points. It’s a work in progress, but it’s there, bared to the naked eye. You love it. Still, some doubt and uncertainty.
Marrow—You’ve cut through skin, muscle, and bone, through cartilage and ligament. You’ve bled interminably. You’ve gone beyond doubt and uncertainty. You’re drained, flushed of all—blood, sweat, tears, emotions.

Secret Power of Transitions, writing workshop

Writers, if the indispensable narrative arc eludes you, consider the seemingly insignificant structures that support the arc. The narrative arc is like a bridge span that cannot stand or hold its weight without strong “transitions.” You will focus on these and write many of them before the day is over. Transitions are not just those sentences/phrases that are connected by conjunctions or other punctuation signposts. Transitions are also those numinous highly energetic points in a piece that pack a punch and can make a reader blink or lose her breath. We’ll talk about them, study them, write them. Don’t be dismayed if at first you don’t see them. They are often subtle or invisible, keeping out of sight, like pilings for a pier. Then again, they may be as magnificent as towers that support a bridge. Without strong transitions there can be no tension or drive in a story or essay.

Balance, the Business-Life Connection

As the number one son in a very traditional Sicilian American family, Jim experienced some of the best and some of the worst of my father’s quirky personality (to put it affectionately). Since Jim is 9 years my senior I actually learned some things about him and my family life before I was on the seen. My earliest memories of Jim begin when he was a Rock and Roll Star. He went on to become a Scientist in Corporate America, Silicon Valley Entrepreneur, Indie Film Producer, Holistic Hotelier in Prague—and now an author

Letters From TANGO Readers

Hi Camille, What you are giving me is courage to attend milongas because you say that you get so much from the milonga dancing. I’m milonga phobic, but I’m going to try one tonight. Your story touched my heart. Thanks for sharing. I hope you are currently experiencing much beautiful Tango, joy, pleasure,and love. Your […]

Cannoli recipe

The Cannoli Kids asked that I tell you that the cannoli you buy in bakeries are made from a cornstarch-pudding base. They like those a lot. However, their Nonna Carmela (author of La Cucina di Carmela), considers this filling more sumptuous.

3-D Creative Writing Intensive

3-D Creative Writing Intensive 1. Guided Instruction on Story Entry Points 2. Apply instruction • Write • Breakthrough Barriers 3. Private one-on-one consultation with instructor

At Home in the World, Joyce Maynard

Joyce Maynard’s AT HOME IN THE WORLD, came out in 1998 and what I recall from the press that passed by my eyes back then was a “tell-all” by one of J.D. Salinger’s mistresses. Stop right here. Nothing could be more misleading.

Next Milonguita, beginner’s tango party

beginners milonga san francisco, la pista

The Cannoli Kids

the Last cannoli, a novel, a mouthwatering tale, now an e-book.