Argentine Tango Role Reversal Workshop

10th Dec 2016, with Joe Hudson & Tracie Gooch    
argentine tango

Once you've been dancing tango for any time you realise the real joy of it is in that sense of togetherness with your partner, throughout any movement or step you might be making. 

It's that feeling, or the pursuit of it that keeps us coming back to classes and milongas. How then can we get that feeling of togetherness with our partner more often?

This beauty of tango connection is created from two roles, the follower and the leader, working in harmony. At the heart of that harmony is a mutual understanding.

The more you advance in your tango the deeper that mutual understanding grows. It becomes an empathy with your partner. You understand how what you're doing is affecting how they are feeling and what they are doing. You are essentially developing your awareness of the other role.

Of course, one of the best ways of understanding someone or their role, is to put yourself in their shoes. And that, figuratively speaking, is what this workshop is about.

By getting some first hand experience in the fundamentals of the other role you will not only start to open up a whole different way of enjoying your tango, but you will be able to communicate with more understanding and subtlety in your primary dancing role - having experienced directly a little what the other role involves.

How 'trying on the shoes' of the other role will make you a better dancer:

For followers: Let's say, for example, you're a follower who is unsure of the right amount of presence or resistance to give a leader when walking, and perhaps struggle to keep a smooth, clear connection. By leading some walking yourself you will directly experience how different levels of presence from a follower feel from a leaders perspective, and what makes the connection clearer or less clear. Then when you go back to following you'll have a better idea of what will feel good for the leader and you and generally work well.

For Leaders: Let's say you're a leader who finds their followers often lose balance or seem uncomfortable during ochos. By directly experiencing being led in different ways you will feel yourself how a follower wants to be led an ocho and so be able to rapidly improve your own leading of them (while also improving your own balance).

For Leader or follower: Or perhaps you worry about only being able to dance relatively few steps and that your partner will get bored. By directly experiencing the other role you'll feel how wonderful 'just walking' or doing very simple steps can feel for your partner too.

For milongas and classes: In many milongas or classes leader/follower numbers are not balanced. Wouldn't it be great if in those cases you could enjoy dancing or practising a little in the other role and avoid sitting out? You might even discover you love the other role too, while getting more dance and practice time in.

For practice partners: If when you try to practice you find it hard to give each other informed, constructive and encouraging feedback, it may be due to a lack of understanding and empathy with what is involved in the other role and how each role fits together in a certain movement. By having a little experience in the other role yourself you'll be better able to work constructively and supportively together on your tango.

Contents: During the workshop while reversing your normal role we'll be covering fundamental technique, how to keep a comfortable and clear connection and some ways that connection can break down in the dance so you can better avoid that happening.

All Levels: This workshop is suitable for all tango dancers, from those who've just finished an introductory course and wish to dive deeper into the dance, to those who've been tangoing for many years and wish to refine their basics and maybe enjoy tango in a new way.

Benefits you can expect from this workshop:
    • Better understanding of how to give your partner the connection they're looking for, while dancing your primary role as leader or follower.
    • Simple ideas for how to avoid losing connection and how to get it back if it happens.
    • A whole new way to enjoy your tango!
    • Ability to start dancing more often in milongas and practising in classes.

Maybe you're thinking "But I barely know how to dance in my usual role, wont learning the other role just confuse me?" With the approach we'll take in this workshop we expect it to have exactly the opposite effect. The primary aim is to help you better connect with your partner, develop your sensitivity while efficiently improving your fundamental techniques of walking, good posture and basic pivoting. By taking part in this workshop, don't be surprised if you experience a tango epiphany or two.

Date: Sat 10th Dec 2016

1.45pm Registration
2-4pm Role Reversal workshop for all levels.
4-5pm Assisted practica

Venue: TLC, St Barnabas Hall, Lodge Road SO14 6QS

Booking: Must be booked in advance.
Please pay through TLC either at the desk before classes or online below. No partner required.

Price: £16 / £12 NUS / £14 IOW

What to wear:
Followers please bring a pair of flats. Leaders if you have heals go for it, otherwise make sure your shoes don't stick when turning.