Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Argentine Tango

About nine or ten years ago, I began to take lessons in ballroom dancing. Another graduate student in my lab wanted to learn and I went along for the ride. We got to the point of addiction that I actually looked forward to Tuesdays and Thursdays because those were the days of dancing. We got to the point of being so good that we actually gave a West Coast Swing exhibit during one of the balls.

When I began dating the SO, we also ended up taking lessons. We had to take the beginning lessons, but because she practices martial arts, learning the steps was very easy for her. We never did manage to give an exhibit. We only took it for about a year and a half. We got to the point that we were getting bored in class. We stopped taking lessons when we started trying to do some of the PBS style ballroom dancing. That was about five years ago.

Over the last weeks, I decided that I would like to take dance lessons again. True, the SO would not be with me, but she is not with me at every single moment of my life. I might as well learn to live with it.

Tonight was Argentine Tango night. It was my second lesson. We did the basics with the 8 count.

Count 1: Step back with the right foot.
And 2: Left leg goes back, then to the side. Left leg takes slightly wider step than the woman's frame.
3: Right foot of male goes left and then forward.
4: Left foot steps forward.
5: Right foot steps even with left.
6: Left foot steps forward.
7: Right foot goes forward and to the side.
8: Left foot goes to the side.

At Step 2, man pauses. Adjust woman.
1x: Left foot steps diagonally. Right foot steps and is even. Adjust.
2x: Right foot steps forward. Left foot is even. Adjust.
3x: Left foot steps diagonally. Right foot steps and is even. Adjust.
4x: Right foot steps forward. Left foot is even. Adjust.
Continue to Count 3.

Forward Ocho:
At Step 5, unlock the woman by turning the man's frame. Need to wait till woman is unlocked.
1: Left foot steps back diagonally. right foot follows and is even. Unlock
2: Right foot steps forward diagonally. Left foot follows and is even. Unlock. Repeat twice.
Continue to Step #6.

One of the hallmarks of ballroom dancing is that the man leads. It is essential that the man leads. Otherwise, the dance does not look correct nor does it feel right. There is a tendency for advanced female dancers to lead. This often leads to confusion on my side because I suddenly feel a lead and movement that I am not used to. Not to mention that my counting is thrown off.

No comments: