Body parts

2009 February 22

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License by  Balakov

Privates can be tough. Very useful, but tough.

On our first trip to Buenos Aires, my wife and I took privates with Julio & Corina, and we worked on the basics. Of course. We learnt a lot, but it was so much to think about. So much we did wrong. So much to fix.

For my own sake, it felt like they deconstructed my whole body, just to leave the parts on the floor. For me to pick up and bring back for the next lesson. I felt like I could not dance at all for about a week. (Which was maybe not so far from the truth, as I had not really been dancing for that long.) Even at the prácticas, I felt out of place, unable to relax and enjoy the dance.

It took some time to reassemble, but it was definitely worth the effort. In reaching the next level, one’s awareness of the things that need to be fixed, can give some headache, but when you finally get there, it really improves your dancing. 

The general feeling has been repeated with various other teachers over the years, but with more experience it takes less effort to put myself together after groundbraking changes. Well — maybe not less effort. But it breaks me down for a shorter time. And I am better prepared in advance. Maybe the errors I have to fix are not as grave as they used to be. I like to think of it that way.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 February 24

    Yeah, I know that feeling all too well. Even after 8 years of dancing I still leave some private classes thinking “I may as well give up now”. It is also frustrating to watch as the old milonguero you are learning from who has over half a century of muscle memory lead your partner into a step, and then say “It’s easy, you try it”, and then proceeds to watch you stuff it up time after time after time. Your partner then says to you “gee that was a hard class, but really good”, and doesn’t realise that you are feeling so demoralised you never want to show your face at a milonga ever again. And women wonder why there aren’t more men in Tango….

  2. 2009 February 25

    Haha, yes I experienced that as well (with the milonguero). He had a sense of humour, though, and after he noticed I had a hard time repeating after him, he showed me again, and again, and again.. five times. Every time a different variation 🙂 It’s easy…

  3. 2009 May 1

    Hola Simba!

    I ran across a dvd I had burned of a private I took with Cecilia Gonzales when she was in Santa Fe for a workshop. I had been dancing about a year. It was extremely painful to watch almost four years later. It’s that concept of tearing things back to the foundation that actually improves a leader’s tango. Tearing it back to the foundation year after year. You only get that in privates.

    Take care,


  4. 2009 May 2

    When I think of it, I am quite happy no footage exists from that time…

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