Tango Argentino > Where do you practice AT?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by DancePoet, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Where do you practice your AT?

    Unfortunately both mine and the SO's places are fully carpeted and this makes things difficult. We've tried the laundry room down stairs from her place, but this isn't always best when someone is doing their laundry. She and I have tried the kitchen floors in both our places, yet this is always so very, very small.

    Any ideas? And would enjoy learning what your experiences have been.
  2. Twirly

    Twirly New Member


    Practicas are usually cheap here and many people come to practice with their partner only. Of course unless you live in a big city there won't be many and you'll need to travel. Sometimes you'll feel "forced" to dance with other people you know and before you know it it's turned into social dancing... But you do get a good floor, a lot of space and suitable music.

    Another option is to hire studio space or some kind of community or church hall.

    Or just get a wood floor and get rid of some furniture :)
  3. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    What's that saying, size doesn't matter? ;-) One of the things I like about AT is that it can be danced in very small spaces.

    I practice little things all the time. Standing and posture, the varieties of crosses in the lobby while waiting for an elevator, or while outside smoking. Ditto with weight transfers and single steps. I'll practice in the bathroom at work, sometimes (full length mirror). In the kitchen, with the island counter for balance. I'll throw in a minor embellishment when I walk up to a door (quick cross/tap behind, then a quick cross/tap in front/quasi-sentada). I'll scoot one of the cat's food dishes into the middle of the floor in the kitchen and use it to practice giros around. I practice my walking down the hallway in the house (mostly forwards--backwards is difficult b/c the cats get curious and get in the way--I've ended up on my butt a few times after tripping over them).

    Granted, this is all solo, obviously. As for practicing actual dancing...no idea. Looks like you'll just have to put in some hardwood floors for yourselves!
  4. DancinAnne

    DancinAnne New Member

    H and I will dance AT to almost anything... so we'll dance it at our monthly USA Dance event, studio parties or anywhere we find suitable music, that isn't necessily traditional AT music. We also have a studio in the area housed in a very cool old and remodeled building that focuses on AT. We've been there just once. Oh, and we incorporated AT into our first dance at our wedding reception...

    There is not a lot of AT around here, so we have to make our own opportunities.
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Take a look at this page, and the essays by Portland AT teacher Robert Hauk. http://home.teleport.com/~robhauk/opinions.html
    Robert teaches and DJs around the country, as well as here in Portland. He's been involved in tango for quite a while, and is one of a handful of people that helped establish the Portland reputation as a "close embrace town".
    It is my experience that people who dance big all the time have a difficult time dealing with crowded conditions. (You can confirm this yourself if you come to one of Portland's two tango festivals.) If you learn to dance small, it's relatively easy to open up when there is more space.
    If you can't change the physical reality of your situation, maybe you can think about it differently.
  6. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Oooh! Practicas, good idea! Sometimes there are choices right under our noses, and we are too busy looking at the obstacle rather than finding a solution. Excellent idea, Twirly! :notworth:

    Certainly an option.

    :lol: Not sure the landlords of the world would appreciate this, but hey, wouldn't hurt to ask. Worse they could say was no.
  7. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Very creative! :cool:

    And when I get around to a place of my own some day, a hard wood floor will be a must.
  8. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    I recently saw a 2 couples dancing AT to V. Waltz music at a ballroom dance. :shock:

    Not completely surprising since there are many AT pieces of music where vals is the style used, but V. Waltz can easily danced instead. :cool:
  9. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    A tiled/vinyl bathroom floor, perhaps? Not particularly romantic, but if the flooring works...
  10. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I've vw-ed to a vals before--and then we switched to AT midway through. I've AT-ed to rumbas an chas and sambas at ballroom dances. Hey, if the leader's willing...
  11. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    The AT community where I dance uses both open and close embrace. Open embrace can be tricky in tight spots, yet possible by dancing with shorter strides. Close embrace is obviously very adaptable to areas with little space.

    And thinking differently certainly has it's advantages. :cool:
  12. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    We've tried this. It's a another one of those small spaces, and the SO's heel don't have a good footing when they hit the tiny ruts between the tiles.

    Actually, what we've done is practice in our socks on the rugs in the living room. Not perfect, but better then no practice at all. ;)
  13. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Ayuh, AT very adaptable to different styles of music. :D
  14. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Rag wool slipper socks. :cool: They're thick enough to cushion the grooves between tiles, but still slippery.

    I never practice in shoes at home, b/c DH and I maintain a very strict no-shoes-inside policy. It's got obvious drawbacks, but something's better than nothing.
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I've come to think of AT as the partner dance equivalent of freestyle dancing. As in, adaptable to just about anything, anywhere, anytime! No rules, no set tempos, just pure lead-and-follow fun!
  16. DancinAnne

    DancinAnne New Member


    And to waltzes and foxtrots.
  17. delamusica

    delamusica Active Member

    Funny, that's how I've come to think of latin and ballroom dancing. :)
  18. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    My wife and I live in a fully carpeted condo with very little dance-friendly spaces. Fortunately, you do not need a large space for Agentinean Tango, as you would for Ballroom. Our practice area constitutes about 20 sq/ft-ish.

    If we need to practice at home, we either wear lycra socks, or just go barefoot. It's not quite as good as a hardwood floor, but good enough to practice adequately. You're on the balls of the foot most of the time, so the weight is always there, and lack of heels would not be an issue either.

    We sometimes practice (using hard leather soled shoes) in our garage, or on the sidewalk (a tad shameless, but ya gotta do, what ya gotta do, no?) :rolleyes:

    Then to practice on a higher level, we go to practicas, or lightly attended milongas.
  19. Norka88

    Norka88 New Member

    We are members of a health club that has raquetball courts and Sunday mornings there are always openings for court time. The floor is hardwood and quite nice to dance on. The echo is kind of bad, but if we keep the volume down it works quite well. We've even caught a couple people peeking at us dancing.

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