Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rotating basics, Rotating Cuadrado. Tango 2 lesson 2

Dance Conmigo offers private and group classes.

Dancers: Alain Guillot and Halina Dudyk

In This video we took two steps that we learned in previous videos, "The Basic step" and "the cuadrado" and we added a rotation to both of them. This rotation add a dynamic element to our regular step but keeps the structure simple and at the same time adds a higher level of sophistication.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Changing directions with a Carrusel

Dance Conmigo offers private and group classes.

Dance Teacher: Alain Guillot and Jade Pollack

Carrusel is a wonderful way to change directions. Once you get used to it, you can change direction on a dime.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Grapevine exercise, Back Ocho, Cross System. Tango 2 lesson 1

Dance Conmigo offers private and group classes.

In This video we introduced the idea of the grapevine, by traveling in a straight line doing tango's three basic steps (front, back & side).

We incorporated the basic grapevine exercise into our basic tango structure (we started the grapevine on "3" and got out on "3".

Finally we added a "Back Ocho" and a "Cross System" to our figure.

Dance Teacher: Alain Guillot and Cheryl Williams

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Square, lesson #13

Dance Conmigo offers private and group classes

Dance Teacher: Alain Guillot and Jade Pollack

This is the simplest step that I know. It is called Square. It is a great exercise that will give us the flexibility of many more movements to come.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tango Giros. Giro for both partners, Giro for her, Giro with Sacada

Dance Conmigo offers private and group classes.

Giro is one more way of walking for the follower. She goes front, open, back, open. Like in everything in Tango, there is no set routine. She just follows the leader's shoulders and his energy.

Two important elements are the constant brushing of her feet between each step and the pivoting so that she can step with ease.

Al Compàs Del Corazòn - Carlos Di Sarli

Dance Conmigo offers private and group classes.

Dancers: Alain and Cheryl. Dance Teachers from Dance Conmigo

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Back Ocho on "8". Lesson 12

We did basic until "7"
Then the leader guided his partner to step back on a back ocho as he steps back himself. The follow does 3 or 5 back ochos and then they get out on 3-4-5.

On the second version, the leader guided just the first back ocho and then he got out with a cross system on 3-4-5....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rodríguez Peña (Carlos Di Sarli)

This is one of my favorite songs and a "Must have" for all tango lover.

The Dancers are: Alain Guillot and Jade Pollack

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cross System of Tango. Lesson 11

Dance Conmigo offers private and group classes.

Cross system occurs when the leader and follower are both stepping simultaneous with their right foot or their left foot.

In its more fundamental form, the leader does a syncopation on "2" to change his weight from one foot to the other. At a given moment, the dancers go back to their regular "Parallel System"

In this video, the leader does a syncopation on "2" , they both do 3 and 4 and then, either the leader make a pause to allow time for the follower to go back into parallel system, or the follower does a syncopation on "5" to catch up with the leader.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Changing directions. Lesson 10

Dance Conmigo offers private and group classes.

Very often a leader needs to change direction (mostly to avoid bumping into other couples)

A simple way to change direction is by doing a bounce on "5" and then doing a pivot on 2 and 3. The change of direction could be as much as 180 degrees or as little as one eight of a turn.

Also, the bounce could be initiated from the simple walk. The leader could create the bounce at any time that he is stepping forward with the left foot.

Try this exercise several time and let me know how it woks out for you.

Fumando Espero (Argentino Ledesma)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Extension on "4". Lesson 9

Dance Conmigo offers private and group classes.

This is mostly a decorative step to use when you are stuck in the line of dance and can not advance.

What we did is that on the count of three the leader started to stop his partner back momentum with his hand on her back. The momentum carried the movement until a nice extension was created on the count of "4".

After the extension, the leader stepped back, the follower forward (outside partner); the leader brings his feet together and guides his partner into a front Ocho. After she finishes her Ocho, then can exit the step with 6-7-8 or with a walk.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crossing on 5 exercise, lesson 8

Dance Conmigo offers private and group classes.

One of the first difficulties that a tango dancer encounter is the guiding of the cross on 5. Is it guided or is it convention? "It is Guided!", but to properly guide it and follow-it, it takes many hours of practice.

In this video I proposed the following exercise: For a whole song, the leader should do the basic until the crossing on "5", Walk forward 3 steps starting with the left and then step outside partner with the right.

Each time that the leader steps outside partner, he would consider that step the step "3" of his basic and guide his partner to the crossing on 5 once again, and on and on.

After this is exercise is done non stop for a whole song (of for several songs) the body will start adopting a natural motion that would allow the leaders to communicate (and the followers to perceive) a crossing with little difficulty.

Please make a comment and let me know if this exercise worked for you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

La Cumparsita (Francisco Canaro) Tango's Most famous song

La Cumparsita (G. Rodriguez/ E.P. Maroni/ P. Contursi), 1952, Francisco Canaro Orchestra. This video contains scenes from Carlos Saura's 1998 film "Tango" and other images.

Tango's Most Famous Song The cafe 'La Giralda' in Montevideo, Uruguay, occupies a special place in Tango history. It was there in the year 1917 that a young Gerardo Matos Rodriguez gave (anonymously) the music score of a tango he had written to the orchestra of Roberto Firpo to play for the first time. Gerardo was then an adolescent (17 years old) who was barely making it as a student in the faculty of Architecture in Montevideo. Was it modesty? shyness? fear of ridicule? who knows why he wanted to remain anonymous? Firpo only knew that the name of the young composer was Gerardo. It was only later that the full identity of the author was known. He was young, educated, well mannered and sensible. He was also a bit naive. He sold for 20 pesos his rights of authorship to the Breyer publishing house. After some moderate success the composition was forgotten. Seven years later, in 1924, Gerardo was living in Paris and he met Francisco Canaro who had just arrived with his orchestra. That's when he found out that La Cumparsita was a major hit. The tango lyricists Enrique Maroni and Pascual Contursi had added words to the tango and renamed it 'Si Supieras'--If you knew. All of Buenos Aires was hearing, dancing, and demanding to buy the score for the tango that was seemingly everywhere in shows, recordings, and broadcasts. Shortly after, La Cumparsita arrived in Paris where, in the full grip of the roaring 20's, people danced charlestons, shimmys, one-steps, bostons, and when the crowd asked for a tango, they danced La Cumparsita. From Paris La Cumparsita spread to the four corners of the world and has since and forever after become synonymous with Tango.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Walking Exercises, Lesson 7

In this exercise, we would like to add variety to our walking. Usually, when we go to milongas, we have no choice but to constantly move forward. The traffic and the Tango etiquette does not allow us to stay in one place for too long.

What we did here is that we started walking right in front of our partner. Eventually, to add variety to our walking or in preparation for some upcoming pattern, the leader decided to walk on the right side of the partner. The leader walks outside partner but with his shoulder, he makes her feel as if he is in front of her all the time. She should not feel any movement in her upper body that would make change her walk.

If walking to her right goes without difficulty, the leader could try to walk on her left side. Remember no to disturb  her frame and to make her feel as if you are right in front of her all the time.

Eventually, the leader could be switching from one side to the other without any effort.

This step is the fist of many that would add diversity to the way that you advance in the dance floor.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


In this videos, we did Giros.

In this video we started the movement from our "5" of the basic, but there are a great variety of moments from which the jiros can be initiated.

The whole purpose of the jiro is for the follower to walk around the leader while following a common pattern, although there are exceptions, the most common pattern is for the follower to step forward as in a front ocho, brush her feet and open her legs (about shoulder length), brush feet and step back and repeat this pattern until she has done a complete turn around the leader . All this movements should be executed while keeping her shoulder towards the leader.


This video was recorded about 2 years ago. Volcadas is one of my favorite off-axis movements. We went through different combinations. In the near future we will doing a few themes classes with Volcadas included.

In the Volcada, the leader takes the follower off her axis, usually forward with a circular energy. This energy initiated at the shoulder level is followed by the follower from her shoulders all the way down to her leg. Usually a long and slow volcada gives a sensual and dramatic look.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Advanced Tango Combination Video #3

Dance Conmigo offers private and group classes.
All our Tango videos can be found at http://tangodanceconmigo.blogspot.com/

1. In this video we started with a regular beginning on "2"
2. We continued our basic until "5"
3. On "6" the leader started rotating his basic,
7. On "7" we continued our rotation
8. On "8" we initiated a simultaneous Back Ocho.
9. The Back Ocho was followed by a small Boleo
10. The follow steps forward while leader walks back
11. One more time.
12. Follow walks by while leader spirals
13. Leader steps in between the follower's leg,
14. One more time
15. One more walk
16. Cross system, 3-4-5-6-7-8.

Alain Guillot & Jade Pollack

Friday, October 14, 2011

Energy and Direction, Lesson 6

Dance Conmigo offers private and group classes.
All our Tango videos can be found at http://tangodanceconmigo.blogspot.com/

Tango is different from many other dance in a way that it give us a lot of freedom in regards to patterns, direction, energy and musicality.

In this video, we talk about the ability to start the dance in which ever direction and energy as the leader desires. In a crowded space he will probably start forward or to the side with small movements. In a place with lots of space, there is to restrictions, the leader could decide to start in any direction and with any amount of energy to get the desired effect.

This is an exercise that merits lots of experimentation. Play with it... Do small steps, big steps, test all the different directions in which you could start the dance an make some comments. I like to know how you did.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Variation of back ochos, Lesson #5

Dance Conmigo offers private and group classes.
All our Tango videos can be found at http://tangodanceconmigo.blogspot.com/

In this video we worked on Back Ochos and their variations. On Back Ochos, we are not obliged to stay in one place. We can make a gradual progression or we can progress in a manner that allow us to advance even more.

In Tango, we are supposed to advance in the dance floor. This Back Ochos variation allow us to do just that... Advance while you are doing an interesting movement.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Beginner Tango Lesson #4, Back Ochos

Dance Conmigo offers Private and group Tango Classes in the Montreal Area.

In this video we worked on "Back Ochos"

1. We generally start to the side on "2"
2. As the leader closes on 2, he pivots his partner
3. Ladies, after you are pivoted, you are ready to start your Back Ocho
4. Leader change weight and with his left, steps to the left.
5. He pivots his partner and steps to the right
6. He can repeat steps 4 & 5 as many times as he likes,
7, Finally, he switches weight when he is on the right side,
8 and finish his basic, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Beginner Tango Lesson #3, Front Ochos

Dance Conmigo offers Private and group Tango Classes in the Montreal Area.

In this video we worked on "Front Ochos"

1. We generally start to the side on "2"
3. Step outside partner on "3"
4. Step in front of partner on "4"
5. Cross on "5"
6. At this point the leader pivot the follower shoulders
7. The follower liberates her feet
8. Leader steps diagonal back and forth
9. Follower steps forward, pivot and steps forward several times.
10. Finally the follower closes on "5"
11. Dancers finishes on "6-7-8"

Friday, September 30, 2011

Advanced Tango Combination Video 2

Dance Conmigo offers private and group classes in the area of Montreal

In this video we used a combination of sacadas that add diversity to your dance.
1. The lady does a front Ocho and steps forward towards the leader as he steps away.
2. The leader takes advantage of the lady's circular momentum to get in between her legs with his left leg
3. as both dancer switch weight one more leg to another, the leader creates another sacada

Friday, September 23, 2011

Advanced Tango combination Video 1

Dance Conmigo offers private and group classes in Montreal
In this video, Alain and his student Halina, do a combination of Sacadas, jiros, ganchos, barridas y colgadas.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Beginner Tango Lesson #2; Walking exercises plus basic steps

Dance Conmigo offers Group and private Group classes

In this video we did some walking exercises and the basic steps.

Walking exercice.

The purpose of this exercise is continue to build the communication between the two partners.

1. The leader will initiate the side step either to one side or to the other
2. The follower will do the mirror image of the movement,
3. The follower will try to feel the size of the step and the energy
4. after any of the side steps, both dancer will bring their ankles together and will start a walk

The basic step

The basic step works as a structure of all the tango steps to come, but it should not be a step to dance all night long. Watch video for a description of the step. As we start dancing socially, we will eliminate the step #1 and start directly from #2.

The basic plus a walk

Here, after the dancers arrive to position #5, the leader is allowed to continue dancing around the dance floor. On of the purpose is move constantly across the dance floor.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Beginner Tango Lesson #1; Tango Posture, abrazo and walking

Lesson 1:

The essence of Tango is the communication between the two partners. Optimum communication is obtained when the two partner have good posture and body connection.

To have good posture both dancers would have to stand upright, with the head, shoulders, hips and feet perfectly aligned.

The connecting hands would be at about the average of the shoulder height  while the leader right hand could be anywhere from one shoulder blade to the other (depending on the closeness of their bodies).

  1. Pendulum. Even before the dance starts, we have to try to communicate, we do this by keeping our feet together and slowly switching our weight from one foot to the other. While holding our partner, she should feel this weight shifting and follow accordingly.
  2. After the partners feel the motion of the pendulum, the leader will step forward engaging his whole body and stepping with the heel first. The follower will respond by stretching her leg back and transferring her weight as the leader transfer his.
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