Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tango :: Creativity and Improvisation in Ochos partner and I were "substitute" teachers for a regularly running (for the past 13 months, in a brand new community) class. The eight students were a bit tentative about our teaching experience and material at first. I gave a little talk about how we all know that tango is all about improvisation (no choreography) - improvisation which in theory springs forth from our inner "creativity".

When we don't exercise the creative muscles in our brain, there is an innate tendency to deepen that groove of our tango - to get stuck in the rut of doing the same "stuff" over and over during a song. At least that's what happened to me at about the 1 year milestone. Going against the saying "being in the groove" - to me, we don't want there to be a groove in tango - because there are (fairly) limitless possibilities in our dance, in our lead (and follow). To be in the groove, yet not be in the groove. n'est ce pas? (is this proper french? - some thing like that from my memory of Mrs. Taylor's h.s. french class)

Anyway, after reviewing the prior week's material of doble arrepentidas (con cruzada al lado)...and what I call an out and about doble pivoteando thingy con enrosque (a "mickey"?)...we worked on several possible variations for entering ochos. Just your basic ocho, but taking the basic entry (side-together-side) out of the equation, and figuring out all the other ways to start a follower into ochos. We also got into some necessary fundamentals of crossed system stuff.

We never did get to the second part - variations on exiting ochos - because everyone was having so much fun with the entry variations.

It was fun to teach, and fun to see everyone's eyes light up and actually "get" something brand new - and see them having fun with it. Fun, fun, fun...that's what tango is all about right?

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