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Phil Seyer is available for private dance lessons and special group dance lessons in the Sacramento/Roseville and San Francisco Bay Areas. Call Phil at 916-772-7555. Phil teaches Argentine tango as well as other partner dances.

Getting Married? Learn to Argentine tango dance (& other dances) and look great for your wedding. Click here for tips on preparing for the wedding reception.

 

Tango Vidoes are a good way to learn.Click here for a comprehensive series of beginning and advanced instructional videos by Daniel Trenner.

Be Inspired. Watch the movie...
Tango by Carlos Saura -- Flamboyant. Colorful. Sensual. This is the seductive world of the TANGO, stunningly brought to life by acclaimed director Carlos Saura ("Flamenco"), Grammy-winning composer Lalo Schifrin (TV's "Mission: Impossible") and Oscar-winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro. Set against the backdrop of a director's passionate love affair with his art and the beautiful young woman who captures his heart, Tango is "a mesmerizing experience, a smoky lush blend of muted light and color, of intoxicating dance and the richest tango music you could ever imagine." - Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

This DVD is worth buying so you can study the tango steps at lesiure. Nice closes ups of tango musicains, too.

Free dance lesson "movie" on Nightclub Two Step.

Free sample music theory lesson -- an online Flash movie.

See also
http://www.lovemusiclovedance.com

 

Introduction to Social Dancing

 

Phil also gives free music theory lessons online and is available for private instruction in piano, guitar, keyboard, recorder and...

dance, roseville, california,  sacramento, california, dance lessons, dancing, ballroom, salsa, cha-cha, hustle, nightclup two step

Indian Love Flute (shown above)

Click here or on the flute to find out more about Indian Love flutes--they are easy to play and sound great!

You will be a better danceer when you understand music. Learn music from Phil acclaimed book What Makes Music Work.

NOTE: It's funny but true that tango is often misspelled as tamgo, tanog, tagno, tnago, atngo. Argentine is often spelled as: argetine, argenine, algantein, algentein, argantein, argentne, argentein, argentie, argentin, argntine, argantin, arentine, algentin, agentine, argantine, algentine, algantine, argent1ne, argemtine, argentien, argentnie, argenitne, argetnine, argnetine, aregntine, agrentine, ragentine, rgentine

See also our links to other Argentine Tango websites.

 

 

Argentine Tango
Dance Figures and Exercises
San Francisco, Roseville, Sacramento

Here's a description of some steps and exercises that will help you improve your Argentine Tango.

You may want to print out this list of steps and exercises and check off each item, when you can perform it confidently. For best results, do these exercises under the supervision of your instructor. Phil Seyer is available for this in the Roseville - Sacramento area in California. In San Francisco, you may want to study with Ken Delmar of www.SFtango.com

1. Palms Together. In open position with your partner, touch your palms together. . The leader will walk forward slowly and follower backward. Practice exchanging the lead. Keep pressure on each others' hands as you dance. Followers: reach back from the hip -- take large steps. Don't let your elbows move backward past the center of your body -- keep pressing gently and steadily toward your partner. Followers: By the same token, when taking large steps make sure you are led to take those steps -- don't pull the leader forward! Don't anticipate by stepping back before you are led to do so.

Leader: shorten your steps slightly while walking forward. Step directly inline with your partner's feet (don't be offset as in ballroom dancing).

2. Pillow. Do the same as in #1, but this time do it with no hands--and put a pillow between your bodies. Lean forward toward your partner with your upper body. Put your hands behind your back. This exercise is designed to prepare you for the closed embrace. The pillow makes this easier for beginners who may not be ready for the intimacy of the close embrace. Tip for follower: if you prefer a more open embrace put your left hand on the leader's right art slightly below the deltoid muscle. If you want to invite a close embrace, put your left hand higher on the should or even up around the leader's kneck. NOTE: even experienced dancers sometimes prefer the open embrace when they are doing complicated steps as they need the room to maneuver.

3. Walk, Drift. Walking steps: walk in-line and then drift to an outside partner position.. Leader: start with your left foot and take two in-line steps (such that your left foot is inline with your partner's right foot and your right foot is inline with your partner's left foot.) Note: this is contrary to the ballroom style of dancing! The follower must reach back from the hip and take big steps. The leader should think of shortening his steps as he walks forward. After two steps in-line, the leader should let his left foot drift slightly to the left. The leader's 4th step should now be taken outside partner, right. (his right foot should be to the right side of his partner.) Now, in this relaxed walking style, the leader does not stop, but continues walking foward, and back in-line with his left foot, then immediately drifting to the right with his right foot and the stepping outside partner left with his left foot..The leader now continues, stepping in-line with the right foot and drifting to the left with the left foot, then again outside partner, right with his right foot. In short the pattern for the leader is:

Left in-line
Right in-line
Left drift (to left)
Right outside (partner left)
Left in-line
Right drift (to right)
Left outside (partner left)
Right in-line
Left drift (to left)
Right outside (partner right)

Notice that in the beginning, the leader takes two in-line steps, but after that only one in-line step before starting to drift to the side.

4. Walk to the Cross. In this pattern, after the leader moves to an outside partner position, the leader may optionally lead the follower to step back with her right foot and then cross her left foot over her right. He does this by rotating his right shoulder (and upper body) first slightly to the right as he steps with this left foot and then back to the left as he closes his right foot to left. The leader may also use his right hand, arm or bicep to lead his partner (whatever is touching the follower's back). It should be a sweet, gentle lead, not forceful.

5. 8CB -- Eight Count basic. (Described earlier -- see my introductory article on Argentine tango. )

6. 8CBF -- Eight-count basic, but leader starts forward with right foot.

7. Crossed basic. Leader pauses after count 2 and very subtly changes weight to right foot, while keeping follower on her left foot. Leader then steps forward on step 3 with this left foot while follower also steps back with her left foot. (Note: this is never done in ballroom and is unique to Argentine tango.) On count 4, the leader steps forward with his right foot and holds this step into count 5. On count 5, the leader leads the follower to step and change weight, crossing her left foot over her right as usual, but he does not step but just stays on his right foot. The crossed stepping is now ended and the leader can finish steps 6, 7, 8 as in the normal. eight-count basic. Tip for follower: follow the leader's lead, not his feet! Stay on the foot that leader puts you on with this lead -- do not insist on mirroring the leaders footsteps (as a ballroom dancer would do) It is normal for the leader to be sometimes stepping with his left foot when you are also stepping with your left foot. When the leader leads you into the cross don't expect his feet to always move -- he may be intentionally holding his foot position

8. CBDT. Crossed basic with double time step instead of pausing after count 2. Here, the leader takes two smooth, quick steps on count 2, which may be counted as "2 &". Tip for follower: don't follow the leader's quick steps, just step with slow steps as you would in the 8-count basic described earlier. [The leader may sometimes lead the follower to take quick steps, that's not so, here.]

9. Three-Game. Step, Step step-together. Change weight on every step) The steps may be forward, side together (FST) and then backside together (BST). This is similar to a waltz box step! Or the steps may be forward-forward-together (FFT). The "game" is that the leader mixes up the steps, sometimes doing FFT and sometimes FST/BST..

10. Rock turn to left from 5. After putting follower into the cross, the leader may step forward as if starting to do step 6, but then shift weight back to this right foot. When stepping back, he may step to a 5 O'clock position with his right foot. This facilitates a pivot and a forward step to the left. Leader may continue the rock step, by stepping back again with the right foot. When the leader has position himself appropriately to the line-of-dance, he may finish with tan-go-close of the 8CB.

11. 123678. After doing 1, 2, 3 of the 8CB, the leader goes immediately to the
tan -go-close (steps 6, 7, 8).

12. 83678 --

12. 123412345678 -- after reaching step 3 start thinking about a rock step. As you go into 4, rock back and go immediately to step 1 of the 8CB. Finish with the eight count basic.

13. 8678 After reaching step 8, the leader may pause and shift his weight on his right foot (making sure that the follower's weight is on her left foot). He may them repeat the tan-go-close (6, 7, 8).

14. Ochos -- from 5, from 2

15. Ochos exiting to 3 4 5.

16. Meditate briefly before beginning a tango dance. This idea comes from Rose and Christian of Tango-L.

In a Tango-L posting, Rose (from Portland Oregon) quoted from a book she is reading called Peace is Every Step.

From the book: "When you hold a child in your arms, or hug your mother, or your husband or your friend, if you breathe in and out three times your happiness will be multiplied at least tenfold."

Rose goes on to write: "If you are distracted, thinking about other things, your hug will be distracted also, not very deep, and
you may not enjoy hugging very much. So when you hug
your child, your friend, your spouse, I recommend that
you first breathe in and out consciously and return to
the present moment. Then while you hold him or her in
your arms, breathe three times consciously and you
will enjoy your hugging more than ever before.

"It takes time to become comfortable hugging this way.
But to really be there, you only need to breathe, and
suddenly the both of you become completely real. The
two of you really exist in that moment. It may be one
of the best moments in your life.

"Lovely tangos to all,
Rose
Portland, OR"

Christian Luthen (who has an Argentine tango website at http://www.eTanguero.net/ ) adds:

"I recommend that you first breathe in and out consciously and return to the present moment. Then while you hold him or her in your arms, breathe three times consciously and you will enjoy your hugging more than ever before. Think about this while starting to dance: embrace ... and rest a second and another ... to feel the presence of the partner (before doing the first step) ...

... and hug/dance away!"

17. Focus on dancing with Quick, Quick Slow rhythm. Repeat the pattern like this:

Q-Q-S, Q-Q-S

(Q=Quick and S=Slow)

That's 6 steps, but altogether 8 beats of music. That makes 2 measures of music when there are 4 beats per measure. Often music is made up of a series of two measure phrases.

Practice using the QQS QQS rhythm in getting out of ochos or with rock steps. Also, try dancing a box step (as in Foxtrot, or rumba), but remember to keep the hips quiet and use Argentine tango posture. Leader: in the box step, take two quick steps to the side (left). Bring your feet together on the second quick. Then take one slow step forward. That's the first half of the box. Now complete the box by taking two quick steps to the side (to the right) , and one slow back. Use this stationary box only if there is plenty of room on the dance floor. Otherwise, you can turn the box and progress down the line of dance as in Foxtrot. (This will take more practice.)

18. Four consecutive slows. S-S-S-S

This may be done in dfference ways:

 

Forward, Forward, Forward, Together

Forward, Forward, Forward, Cross. The cross is similar to a "together step", except that the follower crosses her left over right, being sure to put weight on the left foot. The leader may cross right foot behind..

Forward, Together, Forward, Together

Take your pick. Improvise. When the follower crosses, she does so because of a lead to cross from the leader.He leads the cross with sweet, gentle pressure on the follower's back and by rotating his upper torso slightly (details to come).

Each SSSS pattern takes up 8 beats of music or what might be a two measure musical phrase. It feels good if the cross or the Together step at the end of the dance phrase, matches the "period" or "comma" of the musical phrase. The Forward step will then match the musical energy of the music as the next musical phrase begins

NOTE: Items 17 and 18 were inspired by Tom Stermitz, who teaches Argentine tango in Denver Colorado. Tom is a specialist in the rhythmic, close-embrace social style of tango typical of many clubs in Buenos Aires. He is increasingly in demand for workshops and Tango Festivals around the US and abroad, including Berlin, Moscow, Ann Arbor, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Portland, Hawaii.


19. Do the breathing exercises in item 16. Then try meditating while dancing tango. This sometimes called Tango Zen. Both tango and non-tango dancers can experience the benefits of Tango Zen according to the creator, Chan K Park who gives Tango Zen workshops. For more information, visit Chan K Park's Tango website.