In her Embellishments class, Johana Copes teaches followers how to incorporate clean embellishments throughout a Tango dance. She begins the lesson by leading footwork exercises, with lots of repetition, that help improve balance and footwork precision. Next, she teaches you how to brush the balls of your feet in circular motions, as if your toes are a paintbrush, drawing half circles on the floor. After practicing this circular pattern, Johana shows you the combination of ways to incorporate this pattern into your Tango dance.
You can paint the circle at different height levels. Incorporate the circle into your walk and into your ochos. Use the motion while pivoting. And, even use the brushing motion to lead your body into directional spins.
After covering the technique portion of the class, Johana shows you how to play with sizes and directions of circular embellishments. After that, she introduces toe-tap embellishments.
Johana covers many methods to keep these fun additions to your tango dance clean and precise while having fun.
In the technique segment, Johana focuses on foot movements and balancing exercises that are essential for the smooth embellishments she teaches later in this lesson.
Johana begins by teaching you how to brush the balls of your feet in circular motions, as if your toes are a paintbrush, drawing half circles on the floor. After practicing this motion, Johana shows you how to walk forward and backward while adding these circular movements into each step. To increase the difficulty, she shows you how to add a knee cross into the circular movement and then incorporate the embellishments into a traditional ochos step.
Once you are comfortable with this motion, Johana will show you the combination of ways this circular movement can be incorporated into the tango. Throughout these combinations, it is important to remember to avoid isolating your feet. Lead every movement with your knees and your legs. She covers balancing techniques you can use to paint the circles at varying height levels and tips on how to add these same small motions into pivots. Finally, Johana shows you how to use these brushing patterns to lead your body into directional spins.
Johana starts the steps segment of the class by playing with the sizes and directions of the circles the foot draws on the floor. Throughout this segment, Johana reminds you to keep your arms in the position they would be in if you are dancing with a partner, to focus on clearly defining the pattern that the foot is drawing and leading the motions from the knees. It is important not to isolate the feet while drawing these circular patterns. Johana encourages you to practice circle rotations at a standstill while rotating feet and changing directions. Keeping your hips straight and facing forward helps while balancing on one foot while drawing vertical spirals with the balls of your other foot, slowly lifting in off the ground. Once you practice balancing, you can increase the difficulty by playing with tempo and direction depending on the beat of the song.
In the second portion of this segment, Johana grabs a chair to help with the next exercises. She uses the chair to add three-beat toe-tap embellishments. In this exercise, it is essential to keep the accent in the heels and isolate the upper body by continue facing your partner. As Johana shows you how to expand on these embellishments with hip-switches, weight-shifts, and pivots, remember to have fun with the embellishments, clearly draw your intentions, play with the movements, and listen to the music.