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Last Saturday, it was our Student Night Out. As always, it was wonderful to have many of our students join us for a great night at the Light Milonga in Shoreditch.

Our Nights Out are an opportunity for students of all levels to get together outside of class, mingle, dance and generally soak up the atmosphere of some of the best milongas London has to offer.

We always love spending time with our students who over the months and years become our friends. But something about last Saturday night in particular stood out for me. Something a little different from the norm.

Our Nights Out always attract a big group from our Improvers, Intermediate and Advanced classes but - although we encourage our Beginners to come - there is usually only a very small number. The majority understandably feel hesitant about coming and often choose to wait until they have a few more months of tango experience under their belt.

However, last Saturday was quite a different story. A sizeable group from our Beginners and Confident Beginners classes turned up. Watching intently from the sidelines, many of them got up and danced. There’s no need for a “tango licence” to dance in a milonga and - following our advice from class - they kept it simple, kept to the line of dance and tried to avoid collisions. We felt very proud and excited for them. Just as nice was to see them together as a group, supporting each other in their first experience at the milonga, already forming friendships.

At the end of the evening, students who had only been learning tango for a matter of weeks came up to me with bright eyes and glowing faces, saying how excited they were to have come to the milonga and to have actually danced!

One guy, who had only come because some classmates had pleaded with him to join them earlier that day, wrote me this email:

“Thanks for inviting us to the event last Saturday! It was a great tango evening! What I found amazing was that after just four classes of the crash course, I was actually able to do more than enough moves for a whole dance and have the confidence to invite ladies for a dance! Thanks for that! (It took me about a year to gain that kind of confidence for salsa and kizomba).”

2016 is definitely shaping up to be a great year for new starters. Here’s to the new generation of London tango dancers!

Blue Monday 19-01-2016

It's "Blue Monday" apparently and I don't know about you but already some of my New Year's Resolutions are slipping. So I thought a note to remind you of what you have to look forward to this week might be in order!

3 Reasons To Be Happy on Blue Monday:

1) All our regular drop-in classes are ON. With a class for every level (and 5 levels in total), we're bound to have something for you.

2) It is our final Technique Workshop this Saturday AND my favourite topic: DYNAMICS & CREATIVITY: speeding up/slowing down movements for expression.

3) It's our FIRST NIGHT OUT this Saturday. Venue: The Light Milonga in Shoreditch. We'll be teaching the Intermediate Class and then staying on for long night of music, tango and fantastic company.

Well, I don't know about you but I feel better already!

Un abrazo tanguero,

Kim

Rusty Tango 08-01-2016

It’s that time of year again. After the excesses of the festive period,there ’ll be many of you out there thinking of putting on your tango shoes again and seeing how your first few steps feel.

A little wobbly perhaps?

We have only given two classes so far this year and already two different students have come up to me and said just about the same thing: that they were nervous about coming to class that day. And that they they were sure they would have forgotten absolutely everything.

And maybe that is how they felt as they started the class. But watching them from the outside, they looked fine! Their footwork was polished as it had been before Christmas, and when I led them, their following felt light and responsive. Perhaps they felt they were out of practice, but it wasn’t something that their partners or a spectator would have necessarily picked up on.

And I’ve had students come back to class after a much longer period than just a few weeks and to their relief also find that they haven’t lost everything. Yes, they feel rusty to begin with. And perhaps a little apprehensive. But I always tell them that it is only a very thin layer of rust and that they’ll have shaken it off by the end of the class.

The body is a miraculous thing. It remembers so much more than we often give it credit for. I’ve come across students who come back after taking several years’ break and find they can still dance after a few refresher classes.

And I’ve even seen Beginners who danced another form of dance as a child (and never since), doing tango movements in a way particular to that other dance, their body somehow remembering something from the dim and distant past.

Of course, if you haven’t danced for a while, it may be that your muscle strength and suppleness have diminished. But it has a much less dramatic effect in a relatively gentle dance like salon tango than in something more physically demanding like ballet. And in my experience it is quicker to recuperate lost strength and suppleness than build it up for the first time. In other words, your past dedication was not in vain!

So don’t sit at home worrying about your bambi legs, head down to class, brush off the rust and let the dancing begin!

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