Saturday, May 16, 2015

On the subject of partner rotation in classes...

On the subject of PARTNER ROTATION IN CLASSES...a woman recently invited me to take a class with her for an upcoming workshop, because she said, the last workshop she took there was a reluctance (refusal?) amongst attendees to rotate, and the teacher didn't impress upon them the benefits nor actually insist on rotation.

It's really a disservice to both leader and follower not to insist on partner rotation (in a fun, non-off-putting way). In my experience, there are nuances in both roles that manifest with different partners that are critical to learning proper vocabulary and "grammar".

Not to mention the psychological and social aspects - ice breaking, meeting new people, community building, getting people out of their comfort zone, and last but not least, letting those new to tango know that tango is a social dance, to be danced with multiple partners, not just their spouse or significant other or practice partner or preferred partner.

If leaders can't effectively lead whatever is being taught with every follower in the room, then they aren't really leading it, and worse, they haven't learned the lead as truly/madly/deeply as they could have.

Lastly, kind and compassionate mutual feedback/constructive criticism - in the spirit of giving/helping/learning - between lead and follow is hugely critical. I want followers to tell me what they are getting/feeling from/with my lead, obviously only in a class/practica setting, as well as give me feedback if my left arm is too far forward/back/too high, if my right arm is too tight, if I'm not opening up and giving room in the molinete, etc and all of the multitudinous nuances of the embrace, etc. I do my best to adjust to each follower - I call it equilibration - but you never really know without feedback. The key being kind/compassionate/constructive.

And obviously this goes both ways - leader feedback to the follower(s) - I've written this from a leader's perspective.

And also, this comes from a former non-rotation/rotator who learned the error of his ways very early on.

Anyway, just thought I would put this out there...

Anyone have any examples of wording/approach/games, etc to facilitate rotation...?

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Thursday, May 14, 2015


?? Stapleton...
Country Blues Fusion

More Of You/Song
Whiskey And You/Song

Note to self

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Richard Rothstein Research Associate

UC Berkley NPR Fresh Air Racist Housing Policy

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Naked Tango :: Feature Length Film (1990) :: Starring Vincent D'Onofrio

Naked Tango Movie Poster

Hmm. I never knew about this one. From 1990, the really very early days of the spread of Argentine Tango in the U.S.

And the Wiki page on the Zwi Migdal, another bit of history I didn't know about:

IMDB for the film:

Plot summary: Returning by ship to South America, a young girl escapes her elderly husband by swapping places with a girl committing suicide. She believes her new life will be that of an arranged marriage but finds it is in fact a trick to get her working in a brothel...

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Fermín, glorias del tango | A new film | DVD & Rental Available

A new film from Hernan Findling and Oliver Kolker...

DVD now available:!shop/c10m8

Link to Vimeo for 24 hour rental:


Interview with Oliver re: Kickstarter campaign:

Interview with Oliver, en Espanol:

Fermin is set primarily in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Fermin Tundera (Hector Alterio) is an 85 year-old patient at a typical "third-world" public hospital being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. It has been decades since Fermin was committed to the institution yet his condition has not improved. Ezequiel Kaufman (Gaston Pauls) is a 33 year-old psychiatrist who comes on the scene to treat the difficult patient and discovers that he is only able to communicate by using the cryptic lyrics of Tango, a peculiar characteristic indeed.

We witness a wonderful doctor / patient relationship develop as we are periodically taken back in time to Fermin's younger years as one of the most popular tango dancers in 1940s Buenos Aires. In an effort to better understand his patient, the young ambitious doctor finds himself immersed in the tango world. Not only does Ezequiel find passion in this beautiful dance but also finds love when he meets Fermin's beautiful grandaughter, Eva (Antonella Costa), herself a popular tango dancer.

Fermin's condition steadily improves as we ultimately learn the reason for his peculiar illness.

Click to enlarge photo:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

We just have to put our souls to it(edit)

As Irina says, "Very motivational." I'm struck with the realization that I never knew what my dad's true dreams and motivations and ambitions were in life. He died at 54, from lung cancer, when I was 22. I never thought to ask him, sadly, not even on his death-bed.
That generation, the children of The Depression, the children of the mindset of the life-long job and stability and the white picket fence and doing what society expected of them and retirement and The Gold Watch, surely must have sacrificed many personal soul/heart dreams, but at the same time, accomplished so much. 
They raised us, and were instrumental in who we are today. And who we are today are the ones charged with the course correction, the new dreamers dreaming a new, sustainable dream for humanity, of making the world a better and more moral and just place, and returning the planet to the  healthy vital verdant gorgeous organism of interdependent finely tuned life giving life affirming systems that she once was. We can do it. We just have to put our souls to it.

Friday, February 13, 2015

VD is here...

Valentine's Day

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Life #2

You would never know it, but this spot is right in downtown Austin, maybe 50 paces from my office...




Saturday, November 22, 2014

Politics, Morality & Civility :: Summer Meditations :: By Vaclav Havel

There are some sharp parallels between what Vaclav Havel is writing about in the first chapter of his book "Summer Meditations" - what was happening during the Velvet Revolution in the new Czech Republic - and the current state of "things", politics, life, capitalism in the United States. Oh, and don't forget civility. I suppose we can throw in morality in a fundamentaltruthoftheUniverse sorta way, as in right vs. wrong do the right thing and do the thing right.

It's the first time I'm reading it, and thought I would share.

Summer Meditations :: Chapter 1 :: Politics, Morality and Civility :: by Vaclav Havel

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Note to self


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