Argentinian tango @ barefoot practica

A philosophy not a dress code

practica in August

Due to popular demand we are running a Practica on the 12th and 26th of August 2016 from 8 to 10pm . £5 per person.

Classes and Practica will resume in September



A practica bringing back memories

At last weeks Practica in Falmouth Cornwall  some new visitors came along. A couple  I recognised but could not place.. As they danced I recognised  elegant aspects of a style of “salon tango ” and then suddenly  it came to me where I had met them. Buenos Aeries , many years ago, at a class with Jorge Dispari and Maria Del Carmen .( See video below ). So I  found it hard to contain my excitement to meet a couple, who now live  locally in Cornwall,  who have shared experiences that I have a lot of nostalgia for.

Looking forward to reminiscing further with these dancers who experienced their teaching first hand and perhaps bringing some of their knowledge to the Practica. Whilst I have moved away from Marita and Jorge strict Codes of interpretation I maintain a love for  a good walk  and understanding of the depths of the music .   So  hoping they come again and be great to revisit that together.


Practica Pause Resuming in May

Enys gardens in sprin
Enys gardens in spring

As most of you know Ruth is due to give birth to  a  spring baby in the next month and I need to now be on standby. The last Practica had such a good turn out with nice mixture of abilities that  it’s  tempting to just keep going  .  Seeing  newcomers begin to find their dance makes it especially hard to call a break. But needs must. I need to conserve my energy for the big day!

Some of you are already attending class with other groups but for those who aren’t local classes include  Biljana on Wednesdays  who attends the practica form time to time and Penryn Tango ( Jonathan and TeeJay) on Monday and Wednesdays . Biljana also gives private classes

There is also the Penzance Practica ( check Cornwall tango FB group for details) and Plymouth Practica. 

Thank you for coming, sharing the dance and walk of tango. I hope to see you back at the Practica when it starts up again. It’s been a real pleasure practising with you .  In the meantime, Happy to answer any questions, just drop me a line. Will keep you posted with news so keep checking the Facebook group and see you soon.




At the last Practica we  compared the music of Angel D’Agostino and Juan D’Arienzo.

Chosen to make an obvious illustration of how different composer work with melody and beat. What it effects in the rhythm, the walk and the dance . It was fun playing with it and for those more comfortable with melody to  challenge with walking on every beat of “Nuevo de Julio”and visa versa to feel the Cadencia in the slower  Tres Esquinas.

angelSome of you asked for a post with a link to the music so here it is

Angel  D’Agostino  Tres Esquinas

1941 sung by Angel Vargas . A  beautiful mixture of beat and melody


 Juan D’ Arienzo in Nuevo de Julio

1930 At the  apolar opposite  and his stacato style almost pure beat

I just love this clip of D’Arienzo Rocking out


There is a nice guide tango and dancing on Todo Tango

Look forward to seeing you at the next Practica this Friday 11th of March at the Zed Shed



Giro Practica 26th Feb 2016

Great to see so many  at the Improvers Workshop last Sunday and a big thank you to Amanda Lorens  for sharing the teaching   with me. For manspiralingy of you at the workshop  it was your first experience of the  Giro. During the guided Practica moments we will revisit this move  and the different interpretations

The Practica will start for all levels at the usual time of 8 and go on till 10:00

For those relatively new to the dance and feel they need a few more tips to know what to practice I will run a short 20 min class  at 8 sharp.

More advanced dancers please feel free to just do your thing alone or in partners.

Anyone who has  a song you want to explore .  if you email it to me before hand i can load it on to the ipod.  We will have some shared Practica time to break a song apart and put it back together!

The Giro is a  movement that really begins to open up the possibilities of the dance.  When I started Giros one of my  good teachers Adrian Costa used to say. Ok now your turning but don’t forget it’s still a step, an active step, just around a central point.

see you tomorrow




21st feb workshop

Looking forward to teaching with Amanda tomorrow .  It’s going to be a mixed ability class focusing omonkey dancingn core elements  of the  Caminar ( walk) and abrazo. And for those longing to learn a bit more we’ll throw in a little extra  that we can all enjoy having a monkey around with with.

Class starts at 15:00 sharp and end at 17:00

King Charles hall, New street. Falmouth.

And for those who can’t make it we look forward to seeing you at the Practica next Friday 26th Febuary at the zed Shed 8pm


links to culture of tango

A new dancer to the Barefoot Practica asked for some recommendations for books on the history & culture of tango and music. I’m always slightly nervous to recommend because like all history the story is very different depending on who you speak to and tango is no different .

Ruth and I went to Buenos Aires numerous times to research the culture of tango for our respective professions in filmmaking and dance. Both of us wanting to find a “truth” and leaving with different stories.  Ruth was more open to modern styles  and I started out under the influence of traditional styles. Most of what we learnt comes form talking with Tango dancers and musicians from very different tango traditions. What is tango culture? It’s a mix so my advice is to experience it, take it all with a pinch of salt and find your tango.


Neither Ruth or I have read many straight history books but in relation to culture Ruth recommends these books

Tango and the political economy of passion by Marta E Saviglianothe pol

It’s a very academic book which I usually find hard to read but I found this book fascinating and it resonated

Another is Paper Tangos by Julie taylor. A mixture of anthropology and autbiography


I’m quite conservative preferring “golden age” 1940 to 1950 but then again I love appropriating elements of tango to dance to other music.

Some usefull links are Michael Lavocah hosts a good site for music

And is a good resource.


There are loads of documentaries each with their own bias or claiming to be talking to the “master” so I would be reluctant to recommend but Tango, baile nuestro (Jorge Zanada, 1988) is interesting

A fiction mixed with autobiography film which I find interesting if a bit cliched is ‘The Tango Lesson’ by Sally potter

And now for some total bias!

One day …fingers crossed I will maybe…finally finish my tango epic “Something about the Embrace” Here is a link to an old trailer . This really gets under the skin of the tango I’m interested in!

And In the mean time here is Ruth really nice short she made on her 2nd visit to Buenos Aires Into your arms. Which I think gives an opening into why she has such a beautiful connection.

Of course there is much more and I look forward to recieiving recommendations from anyone who comes to the practica and beyond


So many new dancers

Great to see so many dancers new to tango coming to the Practica last night as well as a  more experienced dancers  from Newquay. Including a couple  who have just moved to Cornwall to surf and tango! Welcome all .   caminito

Due to the amount of beginners requesting guidance we  did hold a beginners session.  For some it was enough but I realise others would like more of a structured approach.

Improvers workshop on the 21st Feb

In view of the amount of eager beginners coming to the practica  I am wondering about  what level the  Improvers workshop should be pitched at . After all, improvers could mean anything since we are all  improving.   So beginners … improvers…tango dancers…. let  me know if you would like the workshop to be right for your level of experience  and according to interest expressed  we’ll confirm  what the level will be on Tuesday.

Other Opportunities to learn to dance Tango in  Penryn

For those beginners eager to take regular classes the  Penryn tango group runs classes at St Gluvias Hall on Monday as well as Biljana’s  who also runs workshops in the area.


The next practica is on the 26th Feb start time 8pm.

With Ruth now on Maternity leave we were planning on  pausing the Practica . However with so many newcomers I am reluctant to stop. On the other hand there has been a  recent drop off of intermediate dancers so there is a question? Will see how it goes without her presence. Let me know your thoughts and  I will keep you posted re pause or not.


Practica Outline and Guidance for new comers

I had a few requests for guidelines or explanation  for the practica. So here it is:

Our aim is to create a Practica similar to ones we experienced in Buenos Aires, where dancers from different schools practiced alone or with partners. Guidance in the form of sharing was available but actual teaching was minimal. The Barefoot Practica guide:

  • From 8pm to 10pm experienced tango dancers and beginners are invited to  use the space to practice their technique  (can be extended on request)
  •  If beginners turn up at 8pm we will run a 30 min  beginners basics session with tips and techniques to practice.
  • Around 9:00 pm we invite all dancers for a 15 minute sharing  of ideas and approaches in response to what people would like to learn.
  •  Apart from the intro session the practica is not a lesson. If you are asked for advice we welcome dancers being generous in sharing their techniques but please refrain from circulating as a teacher.
  • Do bring ideas of things you might like to practice or explore for the shared guided moments.
  • Our aim is to explore interpretations of musicality as much as the walk and embrace.
  • Cost is £5 per session. The Zed Shed is a beautiful space but costly. We host the practica for the love of it  and on balance break even.

Whatever your level join us in the caminito and abrazo.




Gloria @ Barefoot Practica

Barefoot Practica Friday 12th February  8pm to 10pm

An Especailly warm welcome to those who are just beggining to walk this  dance

Doing some research came across this  song  Gloria sung by Nina Miranda . Newnina to my ears and loving it. For those who know me unless the music really grips me I don’t/ can’t dance. This song lifts me off my seat and so nice to hear a female tango voice that is good for dancing  and I look forward to sharing its exploration with other dancers  tomorrow.

The practica is, as always, open to all levels from 8pm.

Due  to popular demand for the first 30 mins I will run an intro session for beginners. More advanced dancers please still come at 8 and do your own thing .  I will just focus on helping those who are just starting .

More experienced dancers do please bring some ideas for the shared guided practica element. I’m not the teacher just the “co-ordinator!”

See you tomorrow

For those wanting a transalation of what Nina is singing this link will take  you to  a page of .  The lyrics at the bottom of the page. ( note the version on this page is sung  by Carlos Dante.  I prefer Nina’s . How about you? We can try dancing to both and see what it brings out?!?

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