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Dancing from the heart in the heart of the New Forest NEWSLETTER • JANUARY 2011

With our best wishes for a

Happy New Year

Photos by David Prime Masks made by Sally Ranson


Welcome to the new look Tango UK newsletter for 2011. Some of you may know that Debbie and I ran a graphic design studio before tango took over our lives, and I am going back to familiar studio processes and techniques to produce this newsletter. We hope you like it!

Workshops in 2011 It is eight months since we signed the paperwork for the dance studio. We have been trying out different formats for using the space for weeknight classes and experimenting with ways to improve the weekend workshops at Bramshaw. In 2011, we will double up two events on the same weekends. The Super Tangk Preparatory Weekends (in the main hall) will be joined by the Tangkademy (in the dance studio) and the Super Tangk Weekends (in the main hall) will be joined by Advanced Musicality Mini-Tangks (in the dance studio).

Jenny and Ricardo and Mabel Rivero. One of the delights of the dance studio is that we can take bookings at very short notice to facilitate events with visiting teachers. The main hall needs to be booked 18 months in advance, a requirement which, in the past, years has precluded last minute events. We are talking to a number of other exciting teachers as they plan their European tours and hope to tempt them to stop off for a weekend at Bramshaw. The best way to keep informed about these last minute developments is to join our facebook group and read our newsletters as soon as they arrive.

Last year, we grabbed an opportunity to have Melina and Detlef run a last minute workshop after they were cancelled by another organiser. The places for the “Dos por cuatro” event sold out in 2 hours so you need to be quick. Details of all our 2011 workshops are accessible with one click from our home page using the WORKSHOPS button underneath the logo banner or click on this link: GO Below: We danced into 2011 in style at our New Year’s Ball. We are already planning how to better it for this year’s event!

We are delighted with the way the space can be adapted into an effective teaching space for classes and workshops, and an intimate social space for milongas and annexe to the main hall. We have an exciting line-up of world class teachers coming to teach at Bramshaw in 2011 including Ines and Constantin, Melina and Detlef, Stefan and Komala, Michael and Siobhan,

The New Year’s Eve Masked Ball at Bramshaw with live music by Tango Siempre. Photo courtesy of David Prime.


Christmas Competition The first correct answer drawn out of the bag for the Christmas newsletter competition was by John Lloyd of Totnes who wins the Canaro CD. Congratulations John!

New term starts 11 January The weekly line up is shown below. All classes cost £8 - tickets on the door, no need to book. Tuesday - Beginners 8 week course 8pm - 9.30pm followed by 1 hour practice session

Community Spirit Debbie and I were touched by a gesture by one of our tangueras who asked to remain anonymous. She donated her filled Bramshaw Loyalty card and asked for it to be used to admit a dancer who was our of work. What a lovely gesture, thank you.

Wednesday - ‘Bailamos Tango’ 8pm - 9pm followed by 2 hour practice session. The course draws on the technique of using 5 fundamental movements. each week, one advanced move is taught as 50% steps and 50% technique and style, as well as guidelines of how to dance the move with the music. The course will cycle through tango, vals and milonga rhythms. Thursday - Advanced Musicality Class

Food and Tangks One of Debbie’s New Year Resolutions is to take off her apron and marigolds at Tangk weekends and put on her dance shoes. This means that for a number of weekend events this year, we will not be providing four meals. A lunch of homemade soup, cheese and bread will be available for a small fee, but no evening meal will be offered.

8pm - 10pm followed by 1 hour practice session. Each week the class featured an in depth exploration of one piece of music by one orchestra using visual aids, exercises and dance moves. The class content is aimed equally at men and women. Private Lessons with Steve Are available all day Tuesday and other days by arrangement. A one hour one to one (or small group) costs £35.

Participants will not need to contribute food to the weekend and there will be one house rule if you use cutlery or crockery at any time, you wash it up. For the evening meal, there are two pubs that serve food at Brook, plus others at Cadnam and Nomansland. We hope that the provision of a simple lunch will still create a feeling of community whilst reducing the work required by participants and organisers.

Debbie will still be producing amazing spreads, aided by “Debbie’s Angels” for the Tea Dances and special events like New Year’s Eve (pictured above).


The every-which-way of Argentine tango As tango teachers and organisers we are in a very privileged position. We share our working days (and nights) with the experiences of people as they journey towards becoming better tangueros and milongueras. We are connected to the feedback of 100s of dancers which lead to moments

of enlightenment. Anyone who has danced tango will be familiar with the ups and downs of emotions that accompany it. A simple word or gesture, a bad or indifferent dance can turn joy into immense frustration and loss of confidence.

hooked. There is almost a narcotic high after the perfect dance. And yet the next “fix� is not as simple as having another dance with the same partner to the same music as the previous high. Oh no, this is a capricious opiate that comes and goes as it pleases.

Perhaps it is the breadth of physical and emotional experience that this beautiful dance offers that keeps people

I often wonder why this should be and have come to accept that tango slowly reveals itself as ones competency matures.


I now understand that it is a dance that thrives on simplicity. To the untrained eye, we see marvels of intertwined, complex dance movement and try to recreate it by doing too much. We see movement, and ignore the pauses. We admire the deftness of the dancing leg and forget that each dancing leg needs a standing leg. We join someone in an embrace and think only of our own needs.

In the process of over-dancing, we destroy the alchemic simplicity of this beautiful dance. I don’t think you can take a short-cut in this fascinating, frustrating journey towards tango bliss.

We all have to put in the tango ‘miles’ around the milonga, taking the good experiences with the bad and the indifferent, until we have a moment of enlightenment with a like-minded and equally experienced partner.

It is impossible to dance good tango alone in an embrace. Tango dancers need to be like conjoined twins. Every thought, every movement, every action has an effect on the other.

The moment a tango dancer understands this and connects with a partner who has reached a similar level is the moment you really begin to dance...


Advanced Musicality Classes on Thursday

“ADVANCED” in the title. The movement and dance content of the classes is simple. You don’t Tango music is such a unique need to be an advanced dancer to and outstanding genre. I still find appreciate this class. In fact it is more and more detail and probably easier to start relating surprises hidden in pieces I to the music as a novice dancer. thought I knew intimately. One It is the process of listening to of the real joys of having our and understanding the music so own studio at Bramshaw has been the opportunity to plan and that it can inform your dancing teach a series of classes on music that is the advanced part. and musicality. It has given me great joy to see the dancing and musicality of In these classes I share my understanding of tango music in class participants changing over the last three months and to hear clear, everyday language. Don’t from them how it has changed be put off by the word

their dancing. Several have said how much they are encouraged by the positive feedback they get from their various partners at other milongas. If there is one class you should not miss - this is it. The chart below shows the tango orchestras that the course is working with. Each class works with one piece of music from one of these orchestras and unravels its mysteries. Every Thursday, 8-10pm, followed by 1 hour practica £8


Photo Gallery at Bramshaw

Mabel will be teaching another Ladies’ Technique Weekend at Bramshaw on March 19/20. We only have a few places left for this special event with the talented dancer and gifted teacher. Please call if you want to join us. Tel: 023 8073 8061. The weekend costs £90 GO

Mens Technique On the same weekend, we are also offering a one day Men’s Technique Workshop, led by Steve Morrall. It will be taught in the way the old milongueros shared their skills with men working with men, in close embrace.

We have just replaced our printer in the office and a new ‘print from anywhere’ feature got us thinking.... Have you ever been stuck for a name of a dancer at a milonga? It is so frustrating not to know the name of someone you are dancing in close embrace with. We would like to offer dancers the opportunity to add their face and name to a Rogues’ (and Roses’) gallery. We also thought it would be useful to say which (a) which orchestra and (b) which genre of tango music you like to dance to. For example:

The content will include musicality, communication and response in rotary moves. Saturday 19 March 11am-4pm £30 (followed by milonga £7) BOOK

You can give us a 6x4 inch photo to pin up with your name (first name only) with the optional details. We must be able to recognise who you are for this display to work!

Mabel returns to Bramshaw in March

Dancing in the Umbrian Sun in May 2011

Alternatively, you can take a photo and email it direct to our printer. How cool is that! The best picture each month wins a free pass to a milonga.

Steve and Debbie are teaching a one week musicality course at La Rogaia in Italy in May 7-14. Two dancers travelling from Edinburgh To help us cover costs, we would to Pisa en route to La Rogaia are offering a car share from Pisa. If like a 50p donation for each you are interested, please contact Steve on 023 8073 8061. picture posted on the board. Email us for more details. GO For more details about the holiday, please visit www.rogaia.de GO


Wednesday night is ¡Bailamos Tango! night Starting on January 12, we have a new weekly class and practica called ‘Bailamos Tango’ (lets dance tango). There is a one hour class which focuses on one complex move, with half the time spent showing the move as steps, and the other half refining the technique, style and musicality of the move.

Super Tangk Preparatory Weekend with Michael Lavocah and Siobhan Richards

Saturday January 22 • Sunday January 23

4 workshops, open dance floor, private lessons Milongas from 8pm on Friday 21, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 No need to book with a partner. Weekend (incl milongas) £90. Places can be booked online now. GO Milongas £7 on the door, no need to book.

The route to beautiful, connected confident dancing:

We have been teaching tango for ten years and and running weekend events at Bramshaw since 2004. Like any organic, evolving business, we have had to adapt the way we work and the workshops we offer to suit the changing needs of our dancers. Using this experience, we have developed a curriculum with five progressive and clearly defined stages: Beginners (Tango Toolkit and weekly classes) The move is taught in close First steps, basics of close connection, introducing the 5 moves. embrace. Participants are encouraged to dance the move to Tangkademy Weekends the music and are given examples Content based teaching proficiency in dancing 5 moves and the individual responsibilities of each dancers invitation and response. of how and when to fit the Super Tangk Preparatory Weekends movement to musical moments. Visiting teachers challenge dancers who are proficient with the 5 Following the class, there is a 2 hour practica where dancers are fundamental moves with classes that specifically lead towards the encouraged to explore the move dance skills necessary to join the Super Tangk. Super Tangk Weekends and ask questions. Our highest level workshop is taught by world class visiting teachers, Each week, Steve will feature and require an appraisal of your technique by Tango UK to ensure one of the three genres of tango you dance has reached the minimum standard required to get the most music: tango, milonga and vals and link the moves to each style. out of this advanced and intensive weekend. Mini-Tangk Workshops The content of each class will be These one day events focus on specific aspects of this dance, like prepared to challenge each musicality, floorcraft, cognitive feedback using video images, dance as dancers’ technique in the five theatre, and other supportive issues like posture and body alignment. fundamental moves on which The 2011 workshops are online and available for booking. GO tango is built. The class has an equal emphasis on the man and the woman’s responsibilities in the move. Steve’s style of teaching clearly challenges the woman to become a 50% partner in the dance.

Every Wednesday, class 8pm 9pm; Practica 9pm - 11pm. £8.

Tango Mango Steve will be teaching at the Mango in February (19-26). There are a few private lesson slots remaining. GO

Tangkademy Weekend with Steve Morrall

Saturday January 22 • Sunday January 23

4 workshops, open dance floor, private lessons Milongas from 8pm on Friday 21, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 No need to book with a partner. £70. Book online now. GO


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