Monday, 1 August 2011


I don't usually post anything about forthcoming events, because where would it stop, but I really like Andreas's class descriptions, and this is the sort of workshop that people swear never exists, and tediously moan about the non-existence of. So it just seems worthwhile to post this and point out that it does exist, and you can get it if you really want it.

DISCLOSURE: Andreas is a friend of mine. I usually take his small-group workshops, and I like them, but I'm not taking this one 'cause I'm going to be in Folkestone.

Intensive Small Group Workshop
in London Saturday 6th August 2011:
A 3+ hour small group workshop (a maximum of 5 couples!) with Andreas Wichter.

Floorcraft should not put limits on your dance. It should enhance, inform and shape your dance. The underlying skill - what I call "dancecraft" - is what allows you to bring your steps to life, change them at will and to improvise freely so you can interpret the music, while being connected to everyone in the ronda.

The "Dancecraft" workshop contains numerous exercises to help free you from the shackles of memorized or ingrained sequences, improve improvisational ability, and incorporate other couples' movements on the floor into your dance in a positive manner.

In this 3+ hour class we will look at integrating floorcraft skills with the demands of expression and musicality. There will be numerous exercises for precise leading and following and variation of turns and other elements to meet the demands of fluctuating space on the floor as well as that of the music.

With the aim of letting the flow of the ronda shape our dance, we will work on flexible turning skills to make and change turns and direction changes on the fly. For shaking off the shackles of routine, we will have some improvisation exercises to enable us to change any step at any time to fit the situation.

Please book with a partner.

Solid basic skills (posture, embrace, walking, parallel & crossed system transitions, turns) are required.
Saturday 6th August
The Room
33 Holcombe Road N17 9AS Tottenham Hale
13:00 - 17:00 (includes short breaks)
max 5 couples, £45 per person
Location Info:
If you want to take it though, you need to get in touch with Andreas (andreas AT tangokombinat DOT de) immediately. Get on his mailing list or ask to join the facebook group if you want future dates. As I say, this is an exception, I'm not going to announce them here.

I can't decide quite what it is I like about the class descriptions - they're so careful. And in real life he's so funny.

[Edit in response to a comment: in terms of level, my rule of thumb on what the above means would be that if you (as your half of the couple) can't already do a complete turn without needing to open the embrace at all, you're going to be struggling in most of Andreas's small-group workshops. He does always briefly cover posture and embrace at the start, but dancing comfortably in an uninterrupted close embrace is a basic necessary skill in his world, not an advanced skill. If the class is specifically about that, of course that's different.]


ghost said...

"Solid basic skills (posture, embrace, walking, parallel & crossed system transitions, turns) are required."

I like this bit, rather than the more vague "Must have been dancing for x years" you tend to see.

I remember Amir came up with this both to show what the fundamentals of what he was teaching were, but also to double as a way of saying you should be able to do this before considering going on to workshops.

Can't think of a tango equivalent that matches Andreas' criteria, though ent tango is a start.

ghost said...

Re: needing to be able to be able to do complete turn without needing to open the embrace at all

I'd also add being able to do a close embrace ocho cortado properly. Like ganchos, it's one of those moves that tends to get butchered.

Melina Sedo said...

Yup. "Ent Tango" is a start, cause we've developped some of our basic principles in co-operation with Andreas. So, if you work with our concepts, you'll be fine in Andreas' classes.
And funnily: Next month we'll be teaching in Eton - at an intensive workshop with people who've already taken classes with us. We made ONE exception and admitted a couple, who have taken classes with Andreas.
Good day to everyone,

msHedgehog said...

@Ghost - fair enough, but I think it's too hard for the reader to know whether they can do that 'properly' or not.

ghost said...

@Melina :o)

@MsH on cortados

Having done some research on this a while back, for leaders at least, surprisingly it tends to be pretty black and white. A simple test is "What is the timing for a standard cortado?". People either had no idea or they knew the answer(s).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this recommendation. I love the idea of a workshop just on floorcraft. I'm planning to go.

msHedgehog said...

@Ghost - what I mean is, it's hard for them to assess, themselves. It might be easy for anyone else to assess, but if somebody could tell what feels right from what feels bad, they wouldn't be doing the bad one. Whereas 'can I/we turn all the way round without (either of us) needing to open' is fairly easy to answer.

ghost said...

@MsH Pretty much leaders fall into one of three groups where cortados are concerned, at least in London.

a) Don't lead them ever
b) Lead a half-assed version
c) Had a lightbulb moment (or pestered enough people to explain it!) and lead them fine.

Like ganchos, most people in group b actually know that they're doing a half-assed version.

So in this specific case, knowing that you can do it properly is probably enough.

There's an A4 rant / explanation as to why, but I'll spare you ;o)

Ghost said...

It's like buses, you wait for ages then three come along at once.

There's an int/adv floorcraft workshop at the River Tango on Sunday

Times are changing?