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We were very excited to visit the BBC on Wednesday to talk about tango!

David and I accompanied tango musician Julian Rowlands to talk about the relationship between tango and the music.

We met with Katie Derham, presenter of the BBC Proms and 2015 finalist of Strictly Come Dancing, who asked us many questions about tango, specifically focused on we interpret the music when we dance.

”Dance is music made visible” - said the great choreographer Balanchine. And tango in particular has a fascinating relationship with its music.

The programme will form part of a new series - “Sound Of Dance” - combining Katie’s love of dance and music on BBC Radio 3. Each week Katie will talk to different experts from the dance world, focusing on distinct genres such as ballet, classical Indian and of course Argentine tango!

In the first week, Katie will talk about Sir Frederick Ashton, the founder choreographer of the Royal Ballet. Argentine tango will make its appearance in Week 2 of the series.

“I am thrilled to be involved with this series which will introduce Radio 3 listeners to the wonder of dance through the magnificent music which accompanies it.” - Katie Derham

Sound Of Dance starts on BBC Radio 3 on 3rd June with episodes every Saturday from 3pm – 4pm.

We will announce on our News Page when the Tango programme that we were involved in is about to be broadcast!

I am so looking forward to my Tango Technique Workshop this Saturday … just for the ladies.

Ladies Technique is one of my all-time favourite topics. And although we often hold Technique Workshops for both men and women at Tango Movement, there is something quite special about occasionally working with just the girls.

Somehow over the years, I’ve turned into something of a tango technique geek, excited about even the smallest details in our movement and new ways to explain them in my classes.

I haven’t always been this way. In my 20’s, all I wanted to do was get on with the dance. I was prepared to work hard and practice, and I knew that technique was important, but I wasn’t always as patient as I should have been about the where and the how I should initiate the movement, the positioning of the body … and every other tiny piece of the jigsaw.

I despair of my younger self. I can now see how much more progress my students who take tango technique seriously than those who are just looking for their next dance partner and “tango fix”. Because it is the details that make up the whole.

I remember the feeling of dancing in a fog of confusion, not really sure what is happening from one moment to the next. Enjoying the feeling of things progressing, only to feel that progress slip away from me, without fully understanding why. Because, to quote the legendary Rudolf Nureyev:

"Technique is what you fall back on when you run out of inspiration."

I am a total convert to technique. Just a few minutes of technique each day can have more value than many hours of dancing in the milonga. Too many people adhere to the misguided belief that racking up their “tango miles” will improve their dance. If it does, it is over a much longer period of time. And in fact unfocused practice can serve only to reenforce bad habits.

A good technique workshop should help you to strengthen the precise muscles you use when you dance tango, acquire greater corporal awareness, increase your confidence and fuel your self-expression and creativity.

I hope this has inspired you to get started (or keep going) with your technique. And if you’re not sure exactly what you should be working on or are in need of some fresh ideas, look no further than my Ladies Technique Workshop this Saturday!

This is the second week we'll be working on Ladies Technique. My students last week requested a second workshop to reinforce the ideas from the first class. But don't worry if you weren't able to make the first one. I'll make sure everything is crystal clear.

The class will take place this Saturday 20th May at 3:30 - 5:30 pm at Marshall Street Leisure Centre, 15 Marshall Street, Soho, W1F 7EL (close to Oxford Circus). Price: £20 per person. Please contact us if you would like to book a place.

We'll start the class without our shoes (bring a pair of socks). After that we'll move to our tango heels. I'd strongly recommend that you wear the shoes you would nomally wear to dance tango in - rather than simply practice shoes.

I can’t wait to help you find your light bulb moments!

We're immensely proud of our students who performed at the UK Tango Championship last Saturday 1st April.

Six Tango Movement couples performed a choreography during the evening in the spectacular Edward Lumley Hall in Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Some of them had performed in our Student Show at the Winter Ball in January but others were completely new to performing. They managed to learn the choreography in a just under two weeks and to perform it with technique and confidence. A real achievement!

I was told I looked like a worried mother putting on a brave face as I watched them file out onto the dance floor. But my butterflies soon subsided as I watched them dance.

And then came my favourite part of the proceedings: the post-show drinks to celebrate!

Thank you to our students for their dedication, hard work, focus and passion. We're so happy to have you as part of our tango teaml!

We're still waiting for the official video, which we hope to post here shortly!

We're excited to present the video of David performing with Alejandra Mantiñan at our Winter Ball in January.

This is a wonderful example of what tango is all about: Alejandra arrived in London and the next day performed this tango, without any rehearsal or warm-up at all. Just two bodies reading each other and the music ... oh, and in front of 300 people!. The atmosphere was electric.

For me it was an enormous pleasure to watch David perform with this wonderfully creative dancer.

It was a pleasure to WATCH him perform full stop! I've always loved watching him dance but I don't get this luxury when I'm in his arms. Ironically, the name of the tango they danced that night was "En Tus Brazos" (In Your Arms).

Enjoy!

When students talk about what they most like about our school, our demonstrations at the end of our classes almost always get a mention.

Guiding every student to dance creatively and with their own personality is an integral part of our teaching and we believe these improvised demonstrations help to inspire this.

In these demos, not only do we show the steps that we have been working on in the class but we also show how they can be developed, combined and varied. Tango is not about choreography. Even when we teach a sequence of steps we always show ways this can be dismantled and put together differently, and how it can be played with to express the music.

I never know what tango David will play at the end of the class. But I was really happy when last Wednesday he put on one of my favourites: Marion by Miguel Calo. (See my earlier blog entry on the beautiful lyrics of Marion!)

We always use a lot of decorations into our demos. Partly (and a very big part) because we love decorations and we find it almost impossible to dance without them! But also again to give ideas and inspiration to our students.

Next Saturday 1st and 8th April we will have two workshops entirely dedicated to the wonderful world of decorations!

Now that is something to look forward to!

We're very excited to be exploring Tango Vals for the first time in 2017 this Saturday.

So here is a little piece of tango history - and inspiration - for you: the legendary Osvaldo Pugliese at the age of 80 playing one of the most beautiful tango vales of all time: Desde El Alma in none other than the Theatre Colon, Buenos Aires.

We promise that Desde El Alma will be one of the many gorgeous valses we play this Saturday and next!

Sit back and enjoy!

When you dance Vals you feel like you leave your life at the door and step into a world of old school charm and romance. Our Workshop aims to breathe new inspiration into your Vals so your feet and movements can bring the music to life!

And here is some of David's improvised Vals with the legendary Alejandra Mantinñan in January:

You could hear a pin drop.

The moment world-famous dancer, Royal Ballet Superstar, Marianela Nuñez walked into our tango ball, her iconic white tutu brushing the legs of the waiting tangueros.

Her achingly beautiful Pas de Deux with partner Alejandra Parente to haunting music from Swan Lake was something that will remain imprinted in the minds of everyone present. When dance and music combine on that level you can almost feel your heart leaving your body.

David and Marianela met in Argentina when they were both training to be ballet dancers. They both attended the same ballet school in Buenos Aires. Marianela was shortly after accepted into the Royal Ballet. David continued his ballet career in Buenos Aires before fully dedicating himself to tango. Fate has brought both of them to live in London.

Because of David and Marianela's friendship, Marianela has now on two occasions performed at the Tango Movement Winter Ball, in order to help us raise as much funds possible to the Argentine charities the Ball supports.

At our last Ball, Marianela and Alejandro gave a surprise performance dancing a modern ballet piece to nuevo tango music by Astor Piazzolla, "A Buenos Aires". This year, it was all about the classic, with a rendition of the Act II Pas De Deux from Swan Lake.

We are extremely grateful tor Marianela and Alejandro for their enormous generosity in performing for us, taking time out from their extremely demanding dance schedules. And we are immensely proud of to have had such prestigious performers at our Tango Movement Winter Ball, making sure that it was certainly a 10th Anniversary Ball to remember!

We hope you enjoy the show!

Sadly, we hear it all the time:

”I’ve wanted to dance tango all my life but I never had a partner.”

It’s hard to imagine how many people have secretly dreamed of taking up tango only to fall at the first hurdle: a partner.

And had we told them: “Actually you don’t need a partner!”, would they have believed us?

We put the words “No Partner Needed” all over our website, and in every publicity we post, but somehow we still get asked the same question. So entrenched it is as an idea that for some people it is difficult to take in … even if it is there in black and white.

And if that idea is hard to take on board, how about this one:

It might be better NOT to have a partner at all.

How many people just fell off their chair?

”Hang on a second!” I can almost hear you shouting at the screen. “It’s even a cliche that it takes two to tango!”

Well, let me tell you how tango works.

Tango is a dance of improvisation. Tango - at it’s very best - is when two complete strangers step out onto the dance floor and are able to communicate through the medium of dance without any pre-planned steps at all.

Dancing with a stranger or with someone you don’t know very well is one of the best things about tango. It is an indescribably exhilarating feeling that cannot be compared to anything else in life.

In our classes, we teach our students the art of improvisation - of leading and of following - so if they want to, they can take their skills to a “milonga” (tango club) on the other side of the world and dance with someone they have never met before.

Students who only dance with one partner quickly grow accustomed to their partner’s way of doing things: their signals, their favourite steps and their idiosyncrasies. Even their height and build. When suddenly the opportunity arises to dance with somebody new, they feel completely at sea.

Although at our Beginners level, couples can and often do stay together during the lesson, this rarely happens in our other classes. By the time our students have been dancing for a while, they understand the importance of regular partner changes to becoming more rounded and versatile dancers. Plus, they are keen to experience the feeling of other partners. It is one of the delights of tango that every dancer feels unique to dance with.

When we go to the milonga, we dance with total strangers. We dance with fellow tango dancers who we’ve met and danced with before. We dance with friends. And some of us also dance with a special someone who we love dancing with most of all. But most people will have several dance partners in any one evening. And this is precisely what we came to the milonga to do!

Often students are keen to find a practice partner so that they can work on the detail of their dance outside the structure of the class and the milonga. There is no doubt that this is useful but we always advise them to ensure that they keep dancing with other people too. Especially in the early years, students can grow very used to that partner within just a few weeks. And when they come to dance with another partner, it can feel strange and alien.

So there you have it! No partner needed! Yes, really!

I may not be able to change the world but I will be happy if one person out there reads this article and realises that there is absolutely no obstacle to them dancing tango.

So now there is nothing stopping you, what are you waiting for?!

Inside every student who comes to our classes, there is a tango dancer waiting to come out! And our job to make sure this happens.

To bring out the best in people, we need to guide, challenge and support them and find new ways harness their creativity. As teachers we need to keep evolving so our lessons remains fresh, dynamic and stimulating.

This year, we have prepared an exciting and varied programme of classes for you!

Next Saturday 4th & 11th March, we’ll be privileged to have LIVE MUSIC in our classes again.

This is pretty unusual in a tango class! So why live music?

As you may have experienced already, there’s nothing quite like dancing to live music. It transforms the mood and feel of the dance. It brings you into the moment and stirs up powerful emotions.

Why limit this feeling to the milonga when we can bring it to our classes too?

Live music somehow brings the music closer and makes it more present. It therefore presents a unique, innovative and fascinating opportunity to study musicality.

Our musicians not only play beautiful, spine-tingling music, but they also work regularly in the training of professional dancers at Rambert and Pineapple Dance Studios. As the class progresses, you’ll begin to notice that they are interacting with the class. The music will change as David or I work on different tools for interpretation, becoming in turn mellow, upbeat, lyrical, playful ... It is a very exciting way to work.

Don’t miss this innovative opportunity to train your musical ear, sharpen your footwork and enjoy gorgeous music!

When: Saturday 4th & 11th March 2017

Time: 1 - 3 pm + FREE Mini-Practica

Where: Marshall Street Leisure Centre, 15 Marshall Street, London W1F 7EL (5 minutes from Oxford Circus)

Price: £30 - 1 week; £58 - 2 weeks

Level: Improvers upwards

No partner needed! Please contact us to book your place.

It’s been a funny old week in London town.

Tuesday and Wednesday brought a tube strike, bringing swathes of London to a halt. And Thursday brought Storm Doris, bringing down trees and causing yet more travel disruption.

But rain, shine, storm or strike, tangueros need their weekly class! A student last year walked from the City to the West End during a tube strike to make one of our classes!

We knew a mere tube strike and storm would not keep you away! We were there ready to receive you and it was great to have a crowd of you in class with us this week.

It reminded me of a conversation we had with our longest standing students just the other week. He was one of our very first students when we started Tango Movement back in 2007.

We get a lot of amazing feedback about our classes but when we asked him what made him come back year after year, his feedback was to the point:

”You’re always there. I know if I turn up at 8 pm on a Tuesday, Wednesday or whenever, you’ll be there, starting on time as usual.”

It sounds like a small thing, but we appreciate that Londoners lives are highly pressured. And if you make the effort to turn up to a class, we will make an equal effort to be there, with the same energy, the same professionalism and the same care that you’ve grown to expect for us.

Bring on the storms and strikes, we’ll tango on!