So tonight it was tango. As much as I didn't want to, yes, we really need to work on it. Jeff didn't complain this time; I think he knew it was true too. Now in tango, I feel that our big downfall is our position and frame. The tango frame is different, and I don't think we've mastered how that fits together. Our standard frame for the rest of the dances tends to be passable, and it doesn't look terrible from what we can tell, but the tango just doesn't work too well. For me, my left elbow always seems too high, for Jeff, it just breaks in promenade. Also, I think he's still of the mindset that his elbows both need to be parallel, which is normally the case, but in tango, my elbow should complete the line as it wraps around his, meaning that his elbow should be slightly lower. Then there's our issue with our hips kind of getting away from us as we dance, instead of keeping them under the body and forward towards the partner. We both have a problem with this, I think.
For practice, we basically worked on our trouble spot area over and over, slowly. Those figures are awful to dance slow because so much of how they are accomplished is through momentum. At one point we ended up in fallaway and couldn't get out, we were just so locked into position and grounded that we couldn't figure out how to get into the pivot without rising or doing something illegal. But slow practice is still good; it's especially helpful for seeing where the balance is off. And for us, it's off in a number of places, a lot of them my fault. Today I was trying to get further out left in Jeff's arm because his lowering of the arm gave me more space and allowed me to kind of wrap myself around and Jeff. Normally I'm pretty upright in tango, and comparatively speaking (with the other dances), I don't think that's a huge problem, but I do think I need more stretch to the left. The trick is to do it without disturbing the hip alignment. No barnacle!
We ended with a run through of our tango routine to Jeff's "top secret" tango. It's a piece of music that you won't find anywhere else, at least anywhere dance related, and he's kept it off the party playlist as kind of a reserve weapon. Our buddy Peter (also a teacher at Aria Ballroom) was the only one left, so Jeff wanted him to hear it. That ended our practice for the night. More tomorrow!