"SLOW DOWN" TO MOVE MORE QUICKLY

With a dance like tango, any number of figures can be initiated at a moment's notice. And so we prepare ourselves to react quickly. 

In order to react quickly, we feel we have to guess what will happen next. But viewing tango as a constant guessing game is stressful, which leads to a lot of bad things like physical tension. Physical tension makes communication with our partners more difficult, and this guarantees bad reaction time.

To be able to move and react quickly, we must focus on the moment. Instead of worrying about what will happen next, we must concentrate on what's happening right now. Oddly enough, to be able to react quickly we must learn to slow down our thinking.

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Podcast Episode 70 is now online

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Episode 70 of Joe’s Tango Podcast is now online!
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My guest today is the director of the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School. She started dancing tango in 1999, and as tango inevitably took over her life, she eventually left her job and moved to Buenos Aires where she stayed for 3 years. In 2006 she began working with Andres Amarilla, and since then she has traveled the world teaching and performing.

Today's guest is also the director of the Philly Tango Fest, and hosts the radio show Tango Stories.

Let's meet Meredith Klein...

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WHO DO WE WANT TO DANCE WITH?

We know the type of person we want to dance with. It is a leader or follower who is respectful, fun, and patient. This is the type of person who makes our night when we're feeling unsure of ourselves, and doesn’t react negatively to our mistakes. We've worked hard building up our own tango skills, and show up to milongas hoping to dance with such a person.

Stop leaving it up to chance whether or not this person will notice our skills and remember to give us a cabeceo. That’s waste of time. Instead, once we figure out the type of person we want to dance with, let's work hard to be that person. 

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Podcast Episode 69 is now online

Hello Friends!

Episode 69 of Joe’s Tango Podcast is now online!
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My guest today grew up around creative arts and performance. She frequently travels throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and Buenos Aires to teach, and she has worked incredibly hard to build up tango communities in Boston and Western Massachusetts. 

She has studied with a number of world famous tango instructors, and is also a well-known DJ. She has participated in and helped organize numerous festivals and marathons, including regular tango tours in Buenos Aires. 

Let's meet Veronika Kruta: Listen here

Podcast Episode 68 is now online

Hello friends!

Episode 68 of Joe’s Tango Podcast is now online!
Listen here

My guest today is a central figure in the Eugene, Oregon tango community. She fell in love with tango back in 1999, and in addition to organizing classes and events, hosts learning tours in Buenos Aires.

Today's guest is not only a tango instructor, but also a writer, and filmmaker.

Let's meet Marisela Rizik...

JUST START MOVING

Technique is important. We listen carefully to our instructors, and work hard to understand the concepts designed to help make us good leaders and followers. 


But we can’t get through a figure simply by thinking our way through it. If we try, we’ll lock up, get stuck, and become frustrated. 

Instead, we have to put the dance into motion...to just start! 

It might not be perfect at first, but that’s what practice is for. The more willing we are to move, the better we’ll be at trusting our bodies to execute what our brains know. By moving, we might make mistakes. At the same time, being in motion gives us the best chance of getting it right. 

But we’ll never be right if we just stand still.

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Podcast Episode 67 now online!

Episode 67 of Joe’s Tango Podcast is now online!

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My guests today are Tommy Smith and Christian Wheelihan, who are based in beautiful Boise, Idaho. 

Tommy started tango back in 2012, and soon it became an obsession. Today, he is a tango instructor, DJ, and organizer. With a background in math and engineering, Tommy is an instructor who approaches the dance with an organized, analytic method. He also teaches regular DJ workhops, and has DJ'd at Montana's Tango Uprising, the Salt Lake City Tango Festival, Tango on the Rocks, and several others. 

Christian discovered tango along with Tommy, whom she teaches with. As a professional therapist, she brings a positive, relaxed vibe. She connects easily with students, and adds an invaluable personal touch to their classes. Together, she and Tommy teach in several locations around Boise, including the student tango club at Boise State University.

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Podcast Episode 66 is now online!

Hello friends! 

Episode 66 of Joe's Tango Podcast is now online! Listen here

My guest is Simona Zaino. Although she's originally from Italy, she's based in Dublin, Ireland. In 2004 she and her dance partner, Hernan Catvin, established Compadrito Tango, where they teach multiple tango classes and host a number of events. Simona has taught and performed all over Europe, the US, and New Zealand.

She's also collaborated on a huge number of events, including acting and choreographing the opera Maria De Buenos Aires, which was staged at the Cork Opera House. In addition to appearing in television and radio programs, and having performed in a multitude of dance and music festivals, she also founded the International Tango Festival in Ireland, a yearly non-profit event that draws world-class tango pros, musicians, and tango aficionados from all over the world.

More on Simona here:

Website: https://www.tangofever.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tangofever

Don't get stuck in the past

Over time, not only will our own tango evolve, but the community around us will probably change, too. 

Friends will come and go, as may teachers. New venues may appear, and old ones may close. Despite all this, it’s best to find ways to keep moving our tango forward. Yes, we’ll be nostalgic for times when certain dancers were still in town, or when classes and/or events were done a different way. 

But let's not get stuck in the past, or be too romantic about it. Constantly talking about how better things used to be is not a strategy for a better future.

The world of tango is aways in flux, regardless of how big or small our communities are. Sometimes the changes will be welcome, sometimes not. But regardless, there will always be opportunities for tango to enrich our lives. Ultimately, we are responsible for the amount of enjoyment we get from dancing. As times change, either we’ll have to look for it elsewhere, or we may have to create it ourselves.

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Podcast Episode 65 is now online!

Hello Friends! Joe's Tango Podcast Episode 64 is now online!
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My guest today is based in the Netherlands. He is the founder of El Corte, a world-renown tango center located in the city of Nijmegen. With a background in dance education, he studied at the Rotterdam Conservatory and started teaching tango in 1987.

El corte has grown tremendously, and sees roughly 25,000 tango students a year. 

Today’s guest is also an internationally famous tango instructor and teacher, and as you can imagine, he has a packed travel schedule. He spends several weekends every month - nearly half the year - flying around the globe teaching tango.

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Podcast Episode 64 is now online!

Hello Friends! Joe's Tango Podcast Episode 64 is now online!
Listen here

My guest today is Robert McKenney. He's the general manager of Convergence Dance and Body Center in St. Louis, MO, and also an instructor there. And if the name of that studio sounds familiar, it's because several months ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Robert's mom, Roxanne Maier. 

Robert grew up around dancing, and started studying it at age 16. He has also studied with a number of tango masters, including Gustavo Naveira, Pablo Inza, Mariana Montes, Daniel Trenner, and many others. He has taught and performed all over the US and Argentina, and is also a very popular Tango DJ.

Podcast Episode 63 is now online!

Joe's Tango Podcast, EPISODE 63 is now online!

My guests today are Nico Tapia and Stephie Berg, based in Phoenix, AZ. They met in 2013, and have been working together ever since. Well versed in a variety of tango dance styles, they have taught and performed all over the world. In 2014, they won the US Tango Championship. They are still active in competition, and have also gone on to train other US Tango Championship finalists.

Listen here

 

Joe’s Tango Podcast: 1 year anniversary

Exactly 1 year ago, I launched Joe’s Tango Podcast.

Since September 1, 2017, at least one new interview aired every week. It’s been a great learning opportunity, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have spoken with so many amazing tango instructors and organizers.

Even though a year has gone by, I still feel as though I’m just getting started. 

More interviews are on the way!

LEVERAGE YOUR LIMITATIONS

With tango, the shape of our bodies - regardless of size - presents a number of limitations. In addition to that, the amount of space we have to dance in, physical obstacles on the dance floor, and the length of each song create yet more limitations. And we're also limited by the extent of our dance knowledge.

We should be aware of boundaries in our tango, whether they be physical or mental. We should test them, stretch them, and on other occasions, work within them. 

But it’s counterproductive to think of limitations only as hindrances to our dancing growth. Paradoxically, the creative nature of tango can’t come to light without them.

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Podcast Episode 62 is now online!

Hello Friends! 

Podcast Episode 62 is now online!

My guest today began her tango career in Portland, Oregon. She has danced and taught all over the world, and spent a total of two years living and breathing tango in Buenos Aires. 

Now based in San Francisco, she continues to teach and organize events. A highly versatile follower and leader, today's guest is known for instructing her students how to connect with the music and adapt to a variety of social tango styles. 

Let's meet Jennifer Olson...

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TANGO IS MESSY

For many of us, tango dancing is not a strict discipline. For instance, multiple teachers will introduce multiple ways to execute the same step. Two teachers may contradict each other, yet still both be correct. There is no universally agreed-upon method of instruction, and what works for one group of dancers won't necessarily work for us. 

Learning tango, and developing our own style can be like wandering through the woods without a map; we'll have to find our own way instead of following a trail. Becoming a good dancer in an environment such as this requires a willingness to experiment, and to discover a bunch of ideas that won't end up working. 

But even without a "map," we can successfully navigate the tango "wilderness" by indulging our curiosity. Add a strong dose of pure determination, and we'll be on our way. Don't panic if the journey gets messy. That's just the way tango is sometimes.

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Podcast Episode 61 is now online!

Hello Friends! 

Episode 61 of Joe's Tango Podcast is now online!

Listen here

My guest today has been dancing tango for well over two decades and he's taught and performed all over the world. Having studied with a variety of different maestros and being familiar with many different styles of tango, today's guest is known for focusing much of his teaching around perfecting one's axis. He's originally from Australia, but is currently based in Poland. 

Let's meet Damian Thompson...

More on Damian here:
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