Arlene's London Tango Pages

Tango y Salsa

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With all the hoo-ha about ‘forced crosses’ recently, I decided to find out all about it.  So I took myself off to Cesar and Carolina’s classes on Saturday at Wild Court.  Now I know what a forced cross is.  It was a little strange at first, but nothing sinister.  I enjoyed the class and learned something new.  If anyone else wants to know what a forced cross is, I suggest that you do the next course on offer as I don’t really feel qualified to explain it.  Whether anyone will remember to ever use it will be another story altogether.

While the Tango lessons were taking place downstairs, some young people were practicing some moves with a dance group upstairs.  After the Tango lesson, I was able to watch them in action for a few minutes and was very impressed by how the young men picked up the girls and flipped them around like baton twirlers.  I am constantly amazed by the fearlessness of young people.

It had been awhile since I had taken some classes and found that I was on a roll, so I decided to stick around and try the Salsa classes too.  Cesar and Carolina were teaching Salsa – Cali Style.  I had never done this before and was really looking forward to learning something different.  I was lucky enough to partner with one of the young men I had seen dancing earlier and knew I was in good hands.  It took me a little while to get the hang of it as the footwork is pretty fancy and it can get quite fast, but I really enjoyed it.  Compared with the Tango classes taken earlier, my body was getting a real workout, and this was only the beginner’s class!  I really loved this style of Salsa and made a mental note to come back and try it again, and to bring my dance trainers with me.

The next class on offer was L.A. Style or cross body Salsa and was being taught by Larisa Balogh.  Even though I had tried a couple of Salsa classes many years ago, Larisa really was my very first Salsa teacher.  I was pleased to note that her teaching style was still friendly, professional and consistent after all these years and I was happy to see her again.

While the Salsa classes were taking place upstairs, there was also a Lambada class being taught downstairs.  Imagine that!  From 6 – 10pm there is a profusion of Latin dance experiences to choose from.  It sort of reminded me of The Loughborough Hotel all those many years ago where I first discovered Tango.  It got me reminiscing and feeling nostalgic.  We need another venue like that in London, a place where one can dance to any style of Latin music as the mood takes you.  When Corrientes had their Christmas party, there was a double booking for Salsa on the same night.  I almost couldn’t decide where I wanted to go.  I decided on Tango, of course, but I did pop into the Salsa room a few times for a Salsa fix.  The people looked so happy there.  Did I say that?!!

I met some really nice people and stayed for a few more dances before heading off to The Crypt for the last hour and a half.  I hadn’t been dancing all week and I really needed a Tango fix.  I had always wanted to try Cesar and Carolina’s Salsa club La Rumba, but Tango was always holding me back – until last Saturday when I took the plunge.  I’m glad I did.

Now, what am I going to do next Saturday?

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