Chicho and Juana

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I've been meaning to write about my experiences with workshops by Chicho Frumboli and Juana Sepulveda since LAST January- the first time we went to their workshops!! Sadly, it's taken a year and a second trip back to Atlanta, but here it goes!! Chicho and Juana- Photo (WOW) by Melody Yazdani Chicho and Juana- Photo (WOW) by Melody Yazdani

This is what my major takeaway from these two has been: ***

1. You cannot break the rules of tango with your personal creativity or desire to do the "fancy" moves until you have learned the classic, fundamental rules of tango.

2. There are a lot of names for "moves" in tango, but all of them are created by a shared energy between two people and are not really "moves" at all.

3. From every classic step, by simply utilizing all sides of your feet and both legs, you can flex your creative dance muscles and make something totally new  (See rule 1)  by expounding on the cross, the entrance, the saccada, the boleos... every little bit of it can become exciting and "new". One example of this is by taking the basic 8 count box to the cross, and then do it to the opposite side. And then backwards. Whatever you are doing on the one side, you can do on the other side. And backwards.

4. Practice is practice and dancing is dancing. Sometimes they are the same, but sometimes you have to stop dancing and work out the simple geometry and body placement and feeling of the moves before putting them to the music. Over and over. Keep practicing.

**** Side note: this is all my own personal takeaway from these workshops- no direct quotes here!

Chicho and Juana- Photo (WOW) by Melody Yazdani Chicho and Juana- Photo (WOW) by Melody Yazdani

Tango is fraught with many opinions, many teachers, many styles, and when you are on this long journey to learn this beautiful dance you take away a bit from everyone to develop your own style... what I like so much about Chicho and Juana is that they encourage you to know TANGO, the roots, to live it and breathe it, before you build on it. Their workshops demonstrate that their style is rooted in the same concepts that make more traditional tango patterns work. Same thing, different angle or foot or direction and BAM! Whole new look. They never choreograph. Their beautiful performances are a complete visualization of a perfect connection.... personal styles show within the lead/follow roles... balance and precision and grace and playfulness. Creativity!!! I love a tango performance as much as the next tanguera, but since the entire concept of this dance is based on the connection between two people, the lead/follow and the improvisation, it's nice to have such prominent leaders in the worldwide tango community adhering to that. It's beautiful.

Below are some photos of the milongas that weekend. They were so full of energy and amazing dancers putting all that newfound inspiration into every tanda!

And with that, I leave you with one of my personal favorites of their 2015 performance in Atlanta.... Enjoy!