I teach all my group classes at the Om Studio, 14 NE 10th Ave. (between Burnside and Couch). Here's what's going on:
Body Dynamics (7 PM Mondays, mostly intermediates and advanced dancers)
Body Dynamics is a class that trains the body for Argentine Tango. We spend about twenty minutes doing tango-specific stretches for the body to warm up and gain flexibility. Then, we spend about twenty minutes on drills and exercises that strengthen the body and prepare for dancing with a partner. Usually, we work on walk, turn and pivot technique, and then move into drills for the movements I am teaching that week in my 8 PM Monday and 8 PM Thursday classes. After that, we work in pairs (sometimes leader-follower, sometimes not) to use the skills we've been learning.
Dress to stretch and lie on the floor! Please bring socks AND your dance shoes. Although most of the dancers in the class are intermediate and advanced students, there are always beginners taking the class who want to start tango with the best technique possible.
Take it to the next level (8 PM Mondays, advanced only)
My advanced class learns a challenging combination each week. We focus on connecting steps, making smooth transitions, dancing musically, and polishing each piece of the combination so that it looks better and feels better for the couple. This class encourages using the class material to improvise and find new vocabulary or combinations for social dancing. Most of the material I teach is from my teachers Oscar Mandagaran and Georgina Vargas, with my other teachers' work surfacing from time to time.
No partner necessary. I expect that participants already have a knowledge of the vocabulary of tango, in order to gain the most benefit from the class. I suggest three years of experience in general, but many of my students are ready for this class in 1.5-2 years of dancing.
Top 10 Tango Moves (7 PM Thursdays, beginners and intermediates)
Most of us have had a teacher who tells us that most dancers in Buenos Aires have only a few moves, but they do them VERY well. This class is designed to do just that: examine in deep detail ten moves that I think all tango dancers should know how to do well. Although the content shifts as I work on meeting the needs of my current group of students, this class usually covers:
- walking Buenos Aires style (caminata, circulo, etc.)
- right and left turns
- walking to the cross in parallel and crossed systems
- lateral ocho cortado
- circular ocho cortado
- traveling turns
- 180-degree turns (walking turns)
- forward ochos
- traveling back ochos
- pausas and adornos
- the embrace, energy and connection
- introduction to milonga, tango and tango vals music
- cultural information and tango vocabulary to make dancing tango easier
I teach this class as a mix of beginners and intermediates because it helps the beginners learn faster, and challenges the intermediates to REALLY get the material down in order to dance well with anyone. Most people take this at least twice before moving on to the Next 10 class.
Next 10 Tango Moves (8 PM Thursdays, intermediates and advanced intermediates)
The Next 10 Tango Moves class takes students who are moving on from the Next 10 class, and introduces them to new material each week. I cycle through the year, so that very little material is repeated more than once; many people take this class for a year or more before tackling the Monday night advanced class.
At least once a year, I offer a milonga class for one ten-week session. At least once a year, I offer a tango vals class. For the rest of the sessions, we tackle tango vocabulary:
- paradas & pasadas
- leg wraps
- turn variations
- enrosques, quebradas and other fancy leader moves
- adornos and other follower technique to make the dance look/feel good
- using crossed system
- playing with the "outside partner" moves of tango
- traspie variations
- musicality, energy and connection
There is a level for everyone at the Om! Also, I teach private lessons for those who would like to work in more detail, learn material faster(or slower!), or who would like to work intensively with one specific partner. Many of my students take both private and group lessons.
Sessions are six weeks long and cost $60 (or $90 for both classes). Drop in rates are $12/class for all classes. Come try it out!
Beginner's Mind Practica (6 PM Thursdays)
Practicing is not only for beginners: it is important to continue practicing at all levels, in order to constantly improve. The Beginner's Mind practica was started to create a friendly, helpful space for beginners to get out and dance socially, before heading out to milongas. However, many regulars are intermediate and advanced intermediate dancers. The rule is: no feedback unless the person wants it. That's the only rule. When someone new comes, I make it a point to introduce them to the regulars, who dance with the new folks. Every few songs, I steal the new person and introduce them to someone new. This is a friendly group who will dance with any level of dancer: we are community builders! We WANT you to start/keep dancing tango! After a few weeks, most dancers feel comfortable enough for me to stop helping them get partners. I am available to answer questions and help throughout the practica. Cost: by donation.