New Year Tango in Sheffield and Chesterfield

•Wednesday, 18 December 2019 • Leave a Comment

Benjamin Galian, shown dancing here with Anabel Fontela to ‘Todo’ by Carlos Di Sarli (singer Roberto Rufino) at Salón Canning, Buenos Aires.

Just a reminder that there is no Tango this Thursday 19 December at St Andrews Church in Sheffield or on Monday 23 December at the Hall on the Green, Ulverston Road, S41 8EQ, Chesterfield.

Classes resume after Christmas on Thursday 9 January in Sheffield with Benjamin Galian. Doors open for your warm-up at 7:00 followed by the starter class at 7:15 and the second class at 8:15, with dancing afterwards until 11:00.

In Chesterfield classes are from 7:00 until 9:00, and start on Monday 6 January, also with Benjamin.

Sheffield Tango Festival 2020

•Sunday, 24 November 2019 • Leave a Comment

As one of the organisers of the first Sheffield Tango Festival, held in May 2019, I was overwhelmed by the amount of positive feedback. Thank you to all the lovely dancers who came to support us. So I’m delighted to confirm that we’ll be doing it again in 2020.

Our main aim was to offer an event which was friendly and welcoming to all. I think we got pretty close to succeeding, so the dates for next year are Friday, Saturday and Sunday 1-3 May 2020.

We have listened to all your comments, and after discussion we’ve tweaked a few things, for example, the afternoon dances will be upstairs in the main ballroom.

Booking forms are now available on the Festival website here. If you’re on our mailing list you will already have received notification of this.

Last year we had to close bookings some time before the event as we had reached capacity. To avoid disappointment, therefore, please book for any workshop or milonga you wish to attend. We cannot accept admissions on the door for any part of the festival once maximum figures have been reached.

We are looking again to provide an appropriate leader/follower balance, especially for workshops. Please try to book with a partner whenever possible, although if you wish to book as a single leader or follower, please do so early. We’ll do our best to accommodate all.

Again, we’ll have great teachers and DJs from Buenos Aires, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. I’ll continue to add news and information, pictures and videos so be sure to check back here or on the Sheffield Tango Festival website from time to time!

Hope to see you in May!

Sheffield Tango Festival Flyers

•Monday, 26 November 2018 • Leave a Comment

Sheffield Tango Festival is Live!

•Friday, 26 October 2018 • Leave a Comment

A quick note (because we’re busy dealing with bookings!) to say that the Sheffield Tango Festival website is live. For more information about the delights in store, plus our easy-to-use booking form, just click the logo below.

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See you there!

Does it take two?

•Wednesday, 10 October 2018 • Leave a Comment

A major plus of teaching a little tango technique at dance weekenders is the opportunity it gives us to introduce and encourage newcomers to this beautiful dance. Thank you for working with us Derbyshire Dancer!

Derbyshire Dancer

I’m currently at another weekender and have a short break between workshops so using it to catch up a bit, don’t frettle petal I’ll be writing about this one too.

Today I want to tell you about my secret lover (not so secret after this!). My secret lover is untameable, dark and sultry. My secret lover is captivating and addictive. My secret lover will steal your heart and trample it in seconds, I promise you that you’ll never be the same again. My secret lover is Tango.

Really wish I could see the looks on a few faces as they read that; gotcha!!

Last weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to learn from Russell and Julie.

They are this quietly spoken couple, until you mention tango. Then there’s a fire that burns that is undeniable. And folks be warned it’s catching. I’ve done three lessons of tango and it’s grabbed…

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The Sheffield Tango Festival

•Wednesday, 5 September 2018 • Leave a Comment

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Exciting news! Sheffield is to host a fabulous tango festival next year — 3-5 May 2019. We’ve booked some great teachers and DJs, including Gonzalo Capitani & Carolina Gonzalez, Maria Filali & Eloy Souto, Lucas Gastiarena & Melanie Jarman, Barbel Rucker, Felipe Slimobich, Paul Strudwick and John Tan.

There’s some further information here. Booking will open later this month.

Tango Musicality: The Malady Lingers On?

•Friday, 24 August 2018 • Leave a Comment

An interesting comment on one of the tango forums recently: someone posted that their partner had complained during a milonga that they weren’t following the rhythm, to which she replied that she was dancing the melody, not the rhythm.

Ignoring the rights or wrongs of having such a discussion while dancing, I feel moved to post my own take on these statements. I’ve seen and heard similar comments before and I have to restrain myself from replying in fairly strong terms. So far I have been able to remove myself from the discussion, take myself to a quiet corner (should a darkened room be unavailable) and think beautiful thoughts, preferably while an understanding partner applies a cold flannel to my fevered brow and whispers soothing words in my ears.

I’ve said elsewhere in this blog (check out the posts tagged ‘musicality’, if you will) that when we first learn to dance we dance to the beat, then we learn to dance to the rhythm, and eventually, if we persevere, we are able to dance to the music. BUT, these aren’t three separate things! As an orchestra brings all three aspects together to make the music, so must a dancer bring them all together to make the dance.

We cannot dance to the rhythm without also recognising and dancing to the beat, and we cannot dance to the music, or the melody, without also recognising and dancing to the beat and the rhythm. The three are inextricably intertwined and interdependent.

I’ve heard people say that in a certain piece of music they are dancing to the violin, to the bandoneon, to the singer, or whatever. That’s fine. But what the violinist, the bandoneon player, the singer, or any other member of the orchestra is doing is directly related to and rooted in the beat and the rhythm. And so should our dancing be. If it’s not, we’re not truly listening to and following the music.

Yes, a good singer, or ‘lead’ instrumentalist, will play with the beat and the rhythm: pushing or dragging it slightly, playing with pauses, off-beats, half-beats and quarter-beats, etc. All these things help to give music its dynamic and emotional range. And we can, and should, use them in our dancing too.

In the distant and somewhat dim past I played jazz — clarinet first and later alto and tenor sax. I still enjoy and listen to jazz and blues, and to me the musical improvisation of a good dancer is like the improvisation of a jazz soloist: creative while always rooted in the beat, the rhythm and the melody.

I should state before closing that this level of real musicality is something I aspire to in my dancing. I don’t always get it right! It’s something I also always aspired to as a musician. I didn’t always get it right then either. But oh the feeling when you do!

Thank you for reading. Sorry if it comes across as a bit of a rant, but it’s something I feel strongly about. Do feel free to comment and express your own feelings on the subject.

Incidentally, I think that what I’ve said here should apply to all dancing, not tango alone.

Hideaway Blues… and Tango!

•Friday, 16 March 2018 • Leave a Comment

This weekend sees the second Hideaway Blues and Smooth Weekender in Doncaster. The venue is The Earl of Doncaster, which is a stunning four-star hotel with an impressive and unique Art Deco style. It’s worth a visit just to see and dance in the spectacular ballroom!

And the good news for tango people is that our own Lucas and Melanie will be presenting a very special 90-minute workshop on Saturday 17 March from 2:00 to 3:30. You can buy a day ticket if you want to do the Blues and WCS workshops too (£30) or you can just do the tango workshop for £10. Come and support Argentine Tango in South Yorkshire!

There are two rooms for dancing. Julie and I are DJ-ing in Room Two: On Friday there’s Traditional Tango from 11:00 to 12:30 followed by Neo and Alt Tango from 12:30 until 2:00 am. On Saturday it’s Traditional Tango again from 11:00 to 12:30 followed by a Neo and Alt Tango set from Dave Sibbitt. Then on Sunday it’s your last chance for an eclectic tango mix from 9:30 until 11:00. And don’t forget there’s Blues until 2:00 am every night from the legendary CurlyWurly Dave.

If you just wish to attend the evening sessions (dancing from 8:00 until 2:00) that’ll cost you £10. Best frocks recommended! More details at https://www.facebook.com/events/168118830412325/

Happy New Year!

•Sunday, 31 December 2017 • 1 Comment

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Helen La Vikinga in Sheffield

•Wednesday, 8 November 2017 • Leave a Comment

UPDATED 13 NOVEMBER see below…

We’re pleased to announce that Helen “La Vikinga” Halldórsdóttir will be teaching in Sheffield for Tango in the Peaks on Thursdays 16 and 23 November. The venue is as usual: St Andrews Hall, Upper Hanover St, Sheffield, S3 7RQ. Basics class is at 7:00, Improvers/Intermediate at 8:00.

Helen will be holding a Women’s Technique Workshop on Saturday 18 November at St Andrews Hall from 2:00-3:30pm Cost £15. She is also available that day for Private Lessons for anyone who is interested. Please contact Angie Lawrence on Facebook, or angie.lawrence@icloud.com.

Helen was born in Iceland, but has been living abroad for more than 26 years, the last 11 in Argentina.

She has been teaching and taking part in tango shows with Martin Maldonado, Maurizio Ghella, Javier Guiraldi, Jorge Pahl, Walter Perez, Leonardo Sardella, Gunner Svendsen, Adrián Coria and Fernando Corrado at Tango Festivals and events in Europe, USA, Mexico and Argentina.

Helen works with Argentinean tango as a dance, as an expression, but most of all as a communication and a connection with the other, taking both the leader’s and the follower’s roles.

She teaches traditional tango to “queer” tango and everything in between. The most important is to be able to communicate with your partner and to enjoy the TANGO!

From early  on in her tango life Helen danced both lead and follow and became well known at the traditional milongas in Buenos Aires for dancing the “mens” role ☺.

Helen organised well-known milongas in Buenos Aires: La Vikinga (one of the first alternative milongas in Baires), Bien Pulenta (the first gay-friendly and smoke-free milonga in Baires) and Mano a Mano (open-minded traditional milonga).

Helen also participated in the short film: Tango que me hiciste mal, y sin embargo…

In 2014 Helen, together with Tango Adventure, organised the first TANGO Solstice Retreat in Iceland.

Beside dancing, teaching and organizing tango, Helen designs and fabricates the shoe brand La Vikinga, including both traditional shoes and sneakers.

We’re looking forward to meeting her on 16 and 23 November!

UPDATE: This is what our special guest teacher, Helen La Vikinga, is going to be teaching this week on Thursday 16 November:

7:00 to 8:00 pm – Workshop 1 Following for Leaders and Leading for Followers. This class, suitable for all levels, will teach us how to lead and how to follow, focusing on the tools and attitude required in changing roles.

8:00 to 9:00 pm – Workshop 2 Adornments and Decorations. This class, again suitable for all levels, will focus on simple additions to your dance to make your tango more fun and elegant at the same time.

SPECIAL OFFER! Anyone attending this Thursday’s classes can get a special discounted price on Helen’s Women’s Technique Workshop on Saturday. If you book your place on Thursday you can attend the Saturday workshop for only £10. (The discounted price will apply to those who have already booked, provided they attend the Thursday classes.)

Just to remind you, the Women’s Technique Workshop is on 18 November at St Andrew’s URC Hall, Upper Hanover St, Sheffield, S3 7RQ, from 2:00 to 3:30 pm.

 

 
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