I attended a really excellent group lesson on Sunday, taught by Fernando Lorez and his partner Geri.  This was completely different than the type of group lessons I’m used to, we learned no patterns at all.

The class started out by walking in a big circle on the beat.  After we got used to starting and stopping on command, he added a double-time step.  So now, we walk in a circle using single-time steps, double-time steps, and step in place.  The next task was to do the same thing, but with our own interpretation of the music.  The same song was played over and over.

We are now ready to partner up.  In practice hold, the leads now have to lead the follows around the room using the steps mentioned above, but with their own interpretation of the music.  This is why he had played the same song over and over, so that we would get to know it.  We changed partners a few times, and the couples each got their own critique.

Now for the part that’s really different.  We did the same thing as before, but the follow sets the pace and steps.  The lead is still responsible for steering, since only he can see where he is going.  This really brought communication to light, the control was passed back and forth between the lead and follow depending on if any steering or adjustment was needed.  I was surprised at how different this felt, like real communication instead of just listening.  We traded partners each time the song played, and again, each couple got their own critique.  I wasn’t stepping back with enough energy to lead the steps, then too much, then I had to try to find the balance.

I must say that I was really impressed with this class.  It taught communication without just telling everyone to concentrate on that, it made you really do it.  If you weren’t communicating, you were likely to crash.

After the class, we stopped for coffee across the street.  This was another new experience for me in a tango class, and I think it’s a really good idea.  It’s a great chance to get to know the teachers and other students in the class.  Some of the other students were from Buenos Aires, but most were foreign.  Fernando asked what I did, and said that he had played with Plone before, and liked it.

After coffee, some of the class went for gelato, but we were off to La Glorietta for the open air milonga.

The class was a pre-milonga class at Maipu, you get a discount for the milonga if you attend the class.  It is held on Sundays at 4:30 at Maipu 444.  (The milonga starts at 6.)


~ by Liz on December 30, 2008.

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