Tango in the Heat

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So OwnerGuy had new AC installed at the studio which meant that they had to shut the system off to install the new one.  In theory, it was on and functional and set to 71 but I walked in and it was hot!  Now I know hot yoga is a thing but hot ballroom dancing hasn’t caught on yet – for good reason.

He was busy with some new students and so JoNY and I started with the Viennese Waltz since he wanted to give us some pointers on that before moving to Tango.  Well, Viennese Waltz is like running.  And the ceiling fans weren’t moving enough air.  It it one thing to sweat when I’m working out and dressed for it but I wear normal clothes for dancing and it makes me feel disgusting and self conscious.  Which probably just triggers some kind of reaction in my body where I’m not going to stop.

We did convince him to lower the temp and we heard the system crank on but it was a lost cause by then.  With the Viennese, we worked on moving the shadow parts more and we bumped feet a few times trying to do that because he wants my second step to go between her legs which is great if we are moving the same but not so good if we are still trying to find out way and moving in different strides.

We also worked on the loop which is a part I’ve struggled with because it goes from a roll out and she does a free spin and I’m supposed to pick her up and go right into an advanced left turn.  The root cause is that I just get too tentative in the pick up because I’m trying to stay out of her way and that actually makes things worse.  So OwnerGuy told me to hold my line and just move into her down the floor and that did actually work a little better.

Then it was on to Tango.  Here’s where there is a good side to dancing with JoNY.  I’m finding that I need to do a lot more with the lead because she’s not yet able to just do her part from memory.  And the good thing is that when OwnerGuy sees something break down, he’s in a better place to step in and give me some pointer on how to lead.  It is usually some variation on a theme of keeping my body towards her and/or more rotation in the upper body.  Of course, there is head weight and shaping and all the other little things that need to be mastered.

Anyway, we start with forward and back fans.  The trick is getting the alignment right on the open box that starts it and making it move on a line so I end up facing the opposite wall.  Then, we do the fans and we move to a double hand hold rather than staying in frame which gives her room but the key for me is to make sure we keep our fronts facing each other.

After that, there is a spin and I collect her back in promenade position to do another couple of fans.  On the first one, we move forward and I need to make her fan just by rotating my shoulders which kind of makes my legs bend at the knees.  Then we go back and I fan her again which is also just rotation of the upper body.  A couple of moves to collect and we do some Viennese Crosses which are like the advanced left turn in V Waltz but done in a Tango style.  Those are pretty easy to make happen.

We finish with an explosion and I was opening out too far.  He wants me to just step into her and then rock back into the explosion so we sort of face the corner rather than opening out fully and facing the wall.  I roll her in and then roll her back out and he told me I needed to start the roll out with a back step (Guess I was going forward) as that keeps the proper alignment between us.

That leads into a four step which ends in promenade and then we do quick pivots which just starts out with a step forward but then I step around her and into the pivot.  It ends with a back lock step and then a tango basic.  The pivots to the back locks are all quicks so it creates some contrast in timing.

Then we do another promenade step where we do a little swivel in the middle and end up with our feet crossed but our bodies still in frame so it creates some more twist.  Which we get out of by me just rotating around until my feet uncross while she does a spot grapevine.  It ends with me rolling her into shadow and just taking two steps backward.

The next to last move starts with two slow forward steps while I send her in front of me.  Then I take another slow step to move her even farther away from me and we go into a side step for a flare promenade which means we are facing each other with my right foot (her left) in a toe point (flare).  Then, we do a collect and and Tango basic and we are ready to loop it.

We were close to the end of the lesson and working on the footwork for the last part and got to the Flare Promenade which was the loop so I just figured I’d give it a shot and we ran through the entire thing without stopping.  We did it to a Waltz so there was no timing involved and OwnerGuy was calling out the steps so I couldn’t really stop saying I had forgotten the next step.  It was nice to finish the lesson on a positive note.

Cause I kind of have to admit I was getting a little cranky during the lesson.  I don’t like turning into a sweaty mess and it makes me uncomfortable and then I get a little cranky.  I ended up not staying for group and party.  Again, it just makes me feel self-conscious and I don’t like the thought of sweating on someone.  But both the Tango and Viennese Waltz felt pretty good.  I just hope the AC is actually functional on my next lesson.

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