In these difficult times we have totally changed the way that we practise. Four sessions a week – and 100% using video.
On day 1 we pick a theme – like colgadas – study our Trello Cards – focussed, labelled and categorised records of our professional teachers teaching us each sequence – and start to practise them.
We video a dance where we feature the sequences we are studying, and later on we select at least 6 things that need improvement. We also are careful to praise each other where things look good – this needs to be sustainable and focussing only on weaker areas can itself cause issues.
On day 2 we work on these identified areas – comparing our efforts to our teachers – all again using video.
We then re-record a dance and compare the first versions with the second.
This is an incredibly focussed practise routine. Here is an annotated example from last weekend.
Before the pandemic we used video only occasionally, and in a very general way. This is a new level completely.
We miss the professional input of our teachers hugely – but we have enough material and have been taught enough times that when we see errors we are confident in our ability to work through them, applying the solid foundation principles that we have been taught by them for so long.
We also practise to the more open modern music so associated with Nuevo – this may seem unusual but I find as the leader that it frees up one side of my brain, that would normally be so in tune with the complex demands of the music.
Four sessions a week is actually more work than when we were attending classes and social practise sessions, as we only practised by ourselves once a week.
The difference is the focus – and the completely different relationship we have now with the camera.
As Tango dancers we always want to be moving forwards – and this certainly is producing great results even after just the first weeks – since the lockdown started.
One either benefit is that the attention to detail and the planned nature of each session makes everything stress free, and hugely rewarding and enjoyable. We often limit each session to just 45 minutes – which flies by as we work rapidly through each area.
We so look forward to being able to dance with our friends in our small practica and to being back under the watchful eye of our experienced professionals – but this has indeed proved an outstanding way to change our learning regime to take advantage of these unexpected and unfortunate times.
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