PracticeJun 15, 2022
© by Mariano Diaz Campos
Making Miles! We hear that a lot, especially when we just start dancing. Yes, learning a new skill takes many hours of practice. Making millimeters is just as important in tango as making miles. Finetuning each movement in your own body, and in relation to your partners body and to the music. We need both: the miles (or kilometers) and the millimeters.
Men used to practice with men. In the old days of tango men did not practice with women. They practiced with their male friends. So they learned both roles from the start! They practiced with their friends, and danced with the girls and women from their neighbourhood. It was very important for a tanguero to dance well, because if he did not dance well, the lady would not dance with him again. You had one chance, and that was it.
Pepito says in an interview "if you can lead a man, you can really lead. Leading a woman is much easier."
A big advantage of practicing with other men is that you learn to dance the female steps from the start, not theoretically, but in practice. When you know what it feels like to make a movement, you can lead it much better. You will know the timing, you will know the development of the movement in the whole body, from the frame to the feet.
We always teach the new combination separately: the leaders part and the followers part. In our online classes we invite all the students to practice both roles. We can have the benefits of our emancipated times, and discover so much more about this amazing dance. We have all the options. We can learn choreographies, we can improvise, we can choose different styles, different music.
In a way it is a new golden era, but it is not as concentrated locally as it was in the 40s and 50s. It is now spread around the world, and the past two years have proven us stronger than ever, that tango is here to stay.
Practice, learn, discover, make miles, play, feel, dance!
Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost.
- Pina Bausch -