Wanna milonga? Join us on Mondays from 8 to 10pm in Hamilton

Call it a milonga or call it a practica …….

Calling all tango dancers to come out on Monday nights from 8 to 10pm at the Nuvitzo Dance Studio, 4 Newton Ave. in Westdale (Hamilton).  Cost: $5.

Want to learn something new?  There is an Intermediate tango class with Miguel and Michelle at 7pm on Mondays before the milonga (cost: $15 per person drop-in or $80 p.p. for 6 week session).

See you there!

No class or Palermo Tango Club milonga this Saturday, April 14

There will be no tango class this Saturday, April 14, 2012. Our regular pre-Palermo Tango Club milonga drop-in class resumes April 21, 2012.

Why not join us this Thursday instead?  Get your tango lesson fix this (and every) Thursday from 8:15 to 9:45pm with Miguel and Michelle at the Swansea Town Hall (95 Lavinia Ave, near Bloor and Runnymede in the Bloor West Village).  We look forward to seeing you then!

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Tango Structure: A Solid Foundation for Improvisation

Please note:  This was one of our first and most popular posts here at miguelymichelletango.com.  In celebration of the completion of our first year of blogging we share it with you again.

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El Molinete, el Sandwichito and Ochos:  these are some common tango figures, learned and passed down from milonguero to milonguero.  The names are descriptive and metaphorically represent the movement of the couple, the positions of the feet or an outline drawn on a soft floor.

Do you think of them as complete figures?  Or can you decifer them into their components?  Do you have a figure-based or structural perspective of tango?

Did you know that Back Ochos are simply combinations of two back crosses, the first in one direction and the second in the opposite direction?

Tango can be considered a figure-based system, composed of a myriad of specific combinations.  These figures can be performed flawlessly through memorization and repetition, particularly if both members of the couple know the figure.

However, tango can be so much more!!!  One of the delights and defining characteristics of Argentine tango is that it is an evolving, improvised dance.  It is possible to create a truly personal, creative and even original experience with every song.  The path towards tango improvisation involves learning and understanding the underlying structure of tango.

Studying tango from a  structural perspective means focusing on effective leading and following in each step, recognizing the three steps of tango in all of their forms, mastering the turn (el giro) and changes of direction.  It includes the integration of elements such as sacadas, ganchos, colgadas and volcadas.   It is applicable to all styles of tango and respects the differences in each.  Both beginners and advanced dancers alike can benefit from a structural understanding of tango.  Each can grow and improve in her way, embarking on a path towards  improvisation.

Interested in learning more?  Check out our class schedule.  Come join us — you will have a great time!!

Free tango class and demonstration at the Sport and Recreation Show in London, ON

Come out to the Sport and Recreation Show this Sunday for a free tango demonstration and class.

Miguel and Michelle will be there from 2:45 – 3:30pm on Sunday, February 26, 2012.   There is free parking at the Western Fairgrounds.  Check out the schedule here.  Plan to join us and discover what all the buzz is about.

No partner or experience is required.  Tango is social and a lot of fun!  It is for everyone; if you can walk, you can tango!

Spend time with your tango family

Want to spend time with your tango family this weekend?

Join us on Saturday, Feb. 18 in Toronto for an Argentine Tango class, from 8 to 9:15pm, before the Palermo Tango Club milonga.  The cost of the class includes entrance to the milonga so that you can practice what you have learned.  This milonga has friendly people, classic tango music, a great dance floor, plus free snacks and beverages.  (Location: 95 Danforth Ave, 3rd floor, Toronto (at Broadview Ave.)

On Monday night, Feb. 20, get your tango fix in Hamilton with an intermediate level class from 7 to 8pm.  (Location: Nuvitzo Dance Academy, 4 Newton Ave and King St. W.  in Westdale (Hamilton)).

We are shaped by what we love

I was driving home from our class in London on Sunday night and the sign in front of a local church caught my eye.  It said:  “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love”.

The phrase was thought-provoking and led me to considered how loving tango has changed my life.  I was first captivated by the music of tango after seeing a famous tango show in the 1990’s.  It took me many more years to fall in love with dancing tango.  I flirted with it, eager to discover its highs.  Soon I found myself hopelessly infatuated and suffered emotional ups and downs during classes and milongas; I was in ecstasy when a certain milonguero invited me to dance one week and crushed when he became unavailable the next.

My crush grew into a deeper love when I discovered that tango was not a game.  I no longer pursued my favourite milongueros and stopped evaluating my night in terms of how many great dances I had.  I began to enjoy the process, the social connection and the shared community.  My aha moment came when I was ready to forsake tango forever because I had no time for it (my job was too stressful) and it seemed to have no time for me (we had had a mute falling out).  I went dancing anyway and discovered that I had become someone with the patience and perspective to see that I could love tango unconditionally, even if it felt like it did not love me back.  I could accept its warts (and my own) and continue the relationship.

Over the last 10 years, tango has shaped me professionally and personally.  I married into the tango profession and began teaching tango full-time.  Miguel and I bought a house in Buenos Aires and converted our duo into a tango trio with the birth of our daughter, Livia.   Tango has taught me to listen with all my senses and to lead (and follow!) with all of my heart.  I have learned what it means to be “piola” and “picara”.  I am a patient teacher, partner and mother.  I laugh a lot more now and take myself much less seriously than I did in my pre-tango life.  Tango encouraged me to take risks and face uncertain outcomes, to persevere in spite of difficulties and do it with a smile and in high heels!  I have become a true adventurer in my own life, living in the moment and keen to experience what tomorrow might bring.

A New Year’s Crop of Tango Classes

The holidays are over and the kids are back to school.  What about you?  What are you up to in 2012?

Check out the freshest crop of tango classes in Southwestern Ontario and get on the dance floor!

New 6 week sessions of tango classes at the Beginner and Intermediate level start this week.  The session price offers great value and creates a very positive group dynamic.   Not sure if the session is right for you?  Try out the first class and if you decide to take the session, the drop-in fee will be applied to the session fee.  Details about the class location and costs for all sessions can be found on the Classes pages for each city.  No partner is necessary and beginners’ classes require no previous experience.

  • Sunday nights in London:  Beginners from 6 to 8pm and Intermediates from 7:30 to 10pm.
  • Monday nights in Hamilton:  Intermediate I from 7 to 8pm.  Plan to stay for the milonga afterwards!
  • Wednesday nights in Hamilton:  Beginners from 7:15 to 8:45pm and Intermediate II from 8:15 to 10pm.  Both classes include guided practicas.
  • Thursdays in Toronto (Swansea Town Hall):  Beginner/Intermediate from 8:15 to 9:45pm.

If you cannot attend all classes in the session, feel free to come to those that you can and pay the drop-in fee.  We also have a regular drop-in class in Toronto every Saturday night at 8pm.

Join us on the dance floor!  We look forward to making 2012 your best tango year ever!

 

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To resolve or not to resolve? What does 2012 have in store for you?

After a wonderful night dancing tango and celebrating New Year’s Eve at Palermo Tango Club (special thanks to Linda and Jade), our thoughts turn to 2012 and what it will bring for each one of us.

A good friend told me about her astrologer and the useful guidance he provides.  We talked about how life offers us many possibilities and difficult choices.  With insight, no matter its source (from within or from others), we can make the most of the opportunities we have and widen our perspective about what is possible.

Listen to your intuition, your guru, your best friend, a stranger and even your mother!  Consider your options, consult your head and heart and take the steps toward whatever you desire.   Be constant on your path and see where it takes you.  Chances are you will find great treasures, both large and small.

Where are you headed in 2012?

For us, providing inspiring, useful and engaging tango instruction, meeting amazing people, having a good laugh every day and being grateful for all of our many blessings are our top four resolutions for 2012.

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