(typically of something inanimate or abstract) successful in producing a desired or intended result; effective.
I'm taking a small space workshop with Vania, here in Austin. Or small space sequences. Small space technique fundamentals. A perfect and on-purpose choice of topic leading right up to the Austin Spring Tango Festival, and on the heels of a...uh, how shall I say it?...a milonga with less-than-optimal floorcraft several weeks ago. Apparently some boleos were thrown that made contact. No bueno. Otherwise generally chaotic. However, I wasn't there - assumptions based on what I've heard.
Just to get this out of the way, I think we can all agree that "small space sequences" are key to manifesting a milonga with good floorcraft, and further, manifesting good floorcraft within a community, and finally, manifesting good floorcraft within oneself, in one's own dancing. If you ain't dancin' tango with good floorcraft, you ain't dancin' tango. Bub. Bubba. Tango Bubba. I think I've just coined some new tango terminology!
So, that said, this morning I was going to share the next event - Week 3 - in a Facebook post, and I wanted to say something about how much I like these classes, the subject matter, her teaching style and teaching knowledge. Being the man of few words that I am, what popped into the primordial soup first was "amazing". Then "stupendous". Stupid, weak words. So as I was hunting for my big, thick, dog-eared thesaurus on my bookshelves, other words like "important", "of vital importance", "fundamentals", "core" all popped into my head.
Y'all who know me know I'm not one to gush. Especially about tango teachers or tango teaching or classes and workshops. Truth be told, I haven't taken many classes for the past several years. Mostly "a la carte" stuff at the ASTF - favored topics, wanting to add a thing or two to my "tango roll-o-dex of moves". Baring my soul, I feel like my repertoire is limited. Not that there's not a lot of tango shit, "happy horseshit" as one of my oldest teachers used to say, in there, in my primordial soup, it just doesn't come out. I've forgotten the vast majority of my "learnings" from my first four or five years of pretty profoundly intensive study of tango. Lots of teachers, lots of local classes from my maestra local teacher, lots of festival classes & weekend workshops, lots of privates, and a handful of intensive intensivos, and a shitload of money and time. Almost too much information. But I figgered I would let it percolate and steep and soak into my bones. So much information that I didn't care to or dare to take a class. For a long time. Until now. Until Ms. Vania.
The more I dance, the more stuff bubbles up to the surface. The more I remember "stuff" that I forgot to remember not to forget. "Tango stuff". I'm dancing more now, and practicing at home, but for about five or six years there I was in a dry spell. A Tango Drought. When you're thirsty a little bit of tango can go a long way. I was only dancing a few times a year. For the past almost three years, Sugar G and I are dancing 3-4 times a month, if not more, now.
So I've focused on my few things. The old standbys. My embrace. My walk. My ocho cortado. Some cross-footed happy horseshit. My molinete and some fairly extensive variations. My cross footed anti-clockwise rotating rock step. An occasional 1/2 back ocho. An occasional 1/2 front ocho. My never ever sandwichito. An enganche/leg wrap thingy. Really only one of those that I can think of. No real sacadas, except for a tiny one in this milonguero double clockwise giro that I do. A standard issue volcada. Sometimes a double volcada. Obviously la cruzada, which surprisingly I tend to forget about, or not think about - I guess because it just happens "absent conscious thought". Which is a good thing I suppose. I think I'm pretty good with my musicality. I walk when the music tells me to walk, and I do stuff when the music tells me to do stuff. (I'm being humble and modest.) (In my humility after Sugar G and I finished a vals at practica yesterday I said "well I pretty much nailed the shit out of that one". She laughed. Cuz she knows me. Truly madly deeply.) And pretty good with tying it all together into a cohesive mass. One song at a time, one tanda at a time. (Sidenote: it frustrates the hell out of me that no one else (or rarely) hears it when the music says "WALK, FUCKING WALK. NOW. DUDE.")
So. I have my YouTube playlist "Tango Stuff to Work On" that I've been tucking videos into cubby holes for future reference. Future study/practice/work. I have my G&G videos from their four day intensivo in Atlanta way back when. I'm delving into all that (and more) a little more. A lot more I suppose. I'm missing a milonguero dip. Haven't been able to learn that one, although I haven't really tried. I feel myself wanting to add a thing or two or three. My happy horseshit type stuff. More "fun" stuff? I can't believe I'm even saying that. Sometimes, I get bored with my own lead. I beat myself up that I'm being repetitive, and that surely the followers much feel it, and that they too must be bored. I know I'm wrong about this, at least that's what I tell myself. I can't shake the self-downing stuff though. Maybe it's normal nature of the beast type shit. Or maybe it's just me. Who knows.
So. Festival coming up. Gotta work on smaller more interesting stuff, more variety in small sequences. Maybe I won't get so pissed about all the bad floorcraft if I have more to focus on in my own little space. Bad floorcraft pisses me off. Probably too much. I need to be more tolerant and compassionate. Sometimes to the point that I just leave. The milonga. I suppose I'm known for my disappearing act. Less now with Sugar G. Less disappearing. (Stay tuned for another post on floorcraft, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The elephant in the room no one wants to talk about.)
Not just for the festival, but for everywhere all the time. Small Is Beautiful. I have the book on my bookshelves. Not about tango, but you get my drift. Smaller more interesting stuff and a few happy horseshit items.
That would make me a happy dancer. Not that I'm an unhappy dancer. I don't think.
So. Lo and behold, Vania decides to make this the topic of her current four week workshop. Sweet. The tango stars align.
Back to the gushing part. And the Thesaurus part. Searching for words to adequately describe what I'm thinking and feeling after two of Ms. Vania's most excellent classes. So amazing and stupendous are out. 4th grade words. I look up "fundamental". Noun. essence 5.2 foundation 216.6 important point 676.6
essence 5.2: intrinsically quintessence elixir core heart soul spirit - those all pretty much nail it.
foundation 216.6: base basis groundwork fundamental principle rudiment terra firma - yes to all those, too. Grounded. Grounding. Ground. Earth.
important point (importance) 672.6: essential, fundamental, gist, heart, meat, core, crux
And then this one popped out somewhere - I saw it, but then I couldn't find it again...efficacious. A word I know but rarely/never use.
efficacious (adj): capable of having the desired result or effect; effective as a means, measure, remedy, etc.:
intrinsic stands out: 1480-90; < Medieval Latin intrinsecus inward (adj.), Latin (adv.), equivalent to intrin- (int(e)r-, as in interior + -im adv. suffix) + secus beside, derivative of sequī to follow
synonyms: 1. native, innate, natural, true, real. See essential.
Vania's most excellent efficacious quintessential foundational core small space tango rudiments for tango ruminants
Vania's Tango Elixir
Vania's Quintessential Tango Elixir
Okay, now I fear I'm sound like some obsessive compulsive sick fuck type stalker.
Let's just say her classes are "really good", and she's a "really good" tango teacher.
I always love it when my posts ramble around over hill and dale and always come back to the core. The crux.
It's hard to describe how and why her classes are "really good".
Good foundational core crux posture suspension type stuff. I'm falling short here.
Nuances of stuff related to where your thoracic vertebrae stop and where your lumbar vertebrae start and the kinesthesiology of how to properly engage that in the dynamic embrace. Subtleties of where/how/why the leader needs to have his (or her) weight on his forefoot and stand on his leg and originate the pivot in the torso/frame and not with the trailing leg.
Without being all scientific or medical or didactic, but all flowy and natural-like.
Concise and clear.
She's a really good teacher.
Right here in Austin.
And at the upcoming Tucson Tango Festival.
If you get a chance to study with her, do.
Your tango will be the better for it.
And your tango will thank you.
Your tango partners will thank you.
And she also covered nuances and subtleties of cabeceo - as a side-topic.
And she spent a good amount of the class on #goodfloorcraft.
"She's a really good teacher."
File under #floorcraft #deeptangothought #deeptangotechnique #deeptangoteaching
(Stay tuned for another post on floorcraft, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The elephant in the room no one wants to talk about.)