Spring Breezes Milonga at the Elegant Claremont

Tango instructor Stella Ling’s milonga is at one of the most elegant venues since Camelot. Details: Spring Breezes  Argentine Tango Milonga at the Historic Claremont Hotel on Sunday, June 24th Enjoy a special milonga at the historic Claremont Hotel in the hills of Berkeley with panoramic view of the city. 31 Tunnel Rd., Berkeley 7-8 […]

Tango Maestros & Their Nicknames

Nicknames for the argentine tango maestros – composers & singers

Scenes from Christy Cote’s Tango Boot Camp for beginners, May 5-6, 2012

Christy Cote’s Argentine Tango Boot Camp in San Francisco at the Metronome Dance Collective, May 5-6, 2012

Tango’s Kama Sutra Positions

Why Tango is Like the Kama Sutra People (who don’t tango) constantly ask me why I believe tango is like no other dance. Here I simply offer one more piece of evidence to support my case: The eight-count basic can be viewed as the Kama Sutra of Argentine tango. I have called this eight-step pattern the Mother of all tango steps, moves, or patterns because it is the matrix from which all tango is born. From its maternal, or Great Mother, instincts emanate all the offspring positions between two partners in tango.
I am referring to dance positions. The Kama Sutra, an ancient Hindu manual written in Sanskrit, refers in part to human sex position

Janet Lott’s Red & White Muscle distinction

Think of a chicken—dark and white meat. Dark is the legs and thighs –
chickens can walk around all day. Those are the deep muscles that support our bones. The “white” is the wings and breast. Chickens can fly in spurts
but not very far or for very long. Those are our larger muscles on the outside (generally) of our bodies that we use for larger movements.
These muscle groups can be trained to take over the work of the other, but, generally we desire to enhance the strength of the red muscles because
they have greater strength in the long run.

Tango & Gravity, Alexander Technique

To help us understand tensegrity and the body we inhabit (one hopes), Janet held up a small model that resembled Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome. It was a simple, symbolic model of the body’s muscle anatomy. The bones (pencil-sized wooden sticks) and muscles (elastic bands), surrounded by air, touched only where they inserted, at joints, but never lay on top of each other. They rested, suspended on their own ability or tensegrity.

Tango Steps & Techniques for Beginners

Now we get into technique, which emanates not only from the way we individually move and share space, but from the way we move and share space and energy together as partners and as couples moving in sync on the dance floor. For this reason in the beginning classes, we like to do exercises that emphasize:
• How you transfer your weight – presenting or placing the foot moving first, then using the floor and gravity to push off from the trailing foot. No bouncing, little hip movement. The motion is forward and clearly carried out.

Tango as play in the . . .

Field of the Fertile Void I must acknowledge my friend, Howard Teich, a tango dancer and a therapist, for bringing that lovely mouth-filling phrase, fertile void, to my attention. [Watch for his upcoming book, Solar Light, Lunar Light]. In quantum physics, the fertile void, as I understand it, is the the tendency of all matter […]

Tango is Never Having to Say Sorry

In the beginning, we all think of tango as a set of steps that must be done a certain way with our partner. We think there is a right and a wrong way. We think in terms of success and failure as we dance. We cannot help thinking in black and white terms. It is the conditioned duality of our species. However, in tango, when we get out of our conditioned mind and fully into our bodies, weget to a place where we understand the natural laws, or what we call “technique,” of tango. We stop thinking and feeling in yes/no, right/wrong, good/bad. We stop blurting out “Sorry, sorry!” when we imagine we didn’t follow or lead a step as it is supposed to be. We understand the power we have to create the dance moment by moment. Yes, teachers pass on the steps, the footwork, the rhythm, and all the component parts. But when you understand this creative power you have within, you channel it through and from your partner. You stop seeing mistakes and start seeing surprises and aha and little epiphanies. In this sense, tango is no different from life or love. All of them mean never having to say Sorry!

Milonga Class with Alberto Catala

Congreso Internacional de Tango Terapia, 2009

Tango Therapy Following are notes from: Second International Congreso de Tangoterapia, Mendoza, Argentina, Oct 28 thru November 1, 2009 • Tango is unique in its use of silence and pauses. – vrcomasco@ciudad.com.ar Dr. Comasco is a cardiologist who heads the research for the use of tango dancing in the prevention and rehabilitation of heart disease […]

Quantum Tango = D.A.N.C.E.

If tango is a compound composed of two molecules, say male and female, of equal and opposite attraction, its atomic particles might be these body mechanics: Spirals, Weight changes, Pivots. Combined in numerous, perhaps infinite configurations. When energy in the form of motion and (body) heat is applied to the the “compound” the result is a state called D.A.N.C.E. — Dynamic Association with New Consciousness Elevated.

Argentine Tango at La Pista

Since October, 2011, I’ve been teaching tango at La Pista dance studio in San Francisco. I teach on Wednesdays with Tom Lewis, the owner and architect of this amazing salon. Mila Salazar, the beautiful dancer seen en apilado with Jesse, below, had been teaching with Tom but she is now gearing up to start a […]

Beginner’s Mind Tango

We focus on beginners to tango and to aspiring tangueros who have never danced. All our classes start with exercises to help you keep all-important technique in mind as you execute steps. Tango technique can be summed up in three important body mechanics: spirals, weight change (or transference of weight around your axis), and pivots

Tango is like a pulsar, like Venus, like Earth . . .

pulsars are stars that are wearing down, falling apart like worn out humans. Pulsars are “the remnants of once-mighty stars that emit beams of energy like cosmic lighthouses” and they are born when the core of a massive star stops producing energy. However, says StarDate, f they partner up with another pulsar they regain energy and get strong again. Just like in tango: “. . . if they have a companion star, they can spin up again by stealing some of its gas — a process that can make the pulsar spin hundreds of times a second.”

Tango in Nairobi, Africa

Oh, how many people told me “You won’t find tango in Nairobi?” They didn’t know Mario Ruggier, a native of Malta and naturalized Canadian who came by way of Geneva two years ago to work in Nairobi in an engineering capacity for the U.N. also. (There are some 25,000 expats in Kenya.) Mario found that only ersatz tango—the ballroom stuff of stiff frame, bodies held apart, making like a tulip. So he began to teach the real thing, Argentine tango and now he has a good following. I was received with open arms and close embrace.

When is tango like a horse?

My favorite radio show, WAIT, WAIT DON’T TELL ME had a guest on who said, “You have to have strong legs, a good back, and stamina, but it’s all in the technique.” He could have been talking about tango. But he was a famous horse jockey.

Tango on Virgin Redwood

In the eight years of my tango addiction, I have tangoed on many types of floors and surfaces, indoors and outdoors, from Paris to Prague, New York to San Francisco, Buenos Aires to Montevideo. But I have never danced on virgin redwood. Such was the case this past weekend at the lovely 186-year-old Weller House Inn in Fort Bragg (Mendocino), California.

Trick & Treat

You never know who you will run into in New Jersey. That’s Dancin’ Will with me. When we met on a transatlantic cruise from New York to Lisbon in 1998 I had no idea we both had Jersey Shore connections. You’ll get my drift. Aka Bill Rodgers, Will was a social host on that cruise and I was on a assignment for VIA Magazine. So I stepped all over his toes. He still remembers it. Buddy Morrow (then 80 years old then) and the Tommy Dorsey Big Band played on the high seas for us.

Tango Brujo

A spell comes over me as soon as I step into the warm envelope of tango’s embrace. No matter who my partner, no matter how skillful he is. I learned early on that tango is a language that defies our limited speech. Everyone who attempts tango eventually wanders through this portal into Big Space of Limitless Expression. Therein, each dancer finds her/his secret. This is what I mean by tango brujo.