In her Fundamental Technique Tango class, Johana Copes teaches the fundamentals of Argentine Tango. Johana spends the technique portion of the lesson covering proper posture, weight distribution, line of legs, and directions of dance. After thoroughly reviewing how to apply these techniques to your upper body, base, feet, knees, and legs, Johana introduces weight shifting at a standstill.
In the steps portion of this lesson, Johana teaches you how to apply the weight shifting techniques to your steps. She begins walking by moving along the three directions of Tango (front, back, and side) from a center point. After reviewing this, Johana shows you how to walk along one line of dance front and back by leading with the upper body.
Whether you want to learn the basics of Argentine Tango or wish to review the essentials, this beginner level class is beneficial for Tango dancers of all levels.
In the technique segment of the fundamental technique class, Johana concentrates on the fundamentals of body positioning and weight distribution. Johana begins the lesson by synchronizing her breath with her upper body positioning. She explains that as she breathes, she focuses on moving her energy in her upper body upwards through her chest while keeping her torso straight. After covering the upper body, Johana briefly talks about the natural and proper ways to hold your arms while dancing with a partner.
Once you have a strong upper body, Johana focuses on keeping a secure base. Johana explains that to maintain a stable base, your weight must be balanced, and the energy below your hips must be pushing downwards. This technique will also help with balancing.
The rest of the class focuses on the lower body. Johana begins by focusing on the feet and explains that in Tango, your body weight should be distributed 20% in your toes, 70% in the balls of your feet, and 10% in your heels. Your toes should be free and relaxed in Tango, allowing you to caress the floor with your heels without pushing unnecessary weight into the floor. After, Johana moves her focus to the knees, where she explains the importance of keeping a natural flexion on your knees and maintaining suspension while stepping.
Once you are comfortable with the conflicting movement of energies between the upper and lower body, Johana talks about the two lines of legs and the three directions of dance: Forward, sideways, and backward. While covering the lines of legs, it is important to keep your heels closed, and toes opened because it forms a natural outward rotation in your hips. For an extra challenge, Johana shows you how to move one line of leg in the three directions while the other leg is static.
Johana starts the steps segment of the fundamental technique class by reviewing the breathing and posture techniques before passing the weight between the two lines of legs. Johana continues to shift her weight while walking in the three lines of tango and connecting her feet to the center with each step. As you practice walking, remember to keep the height level of your head consistent. To practice, slowly walk forward, back, and sideways from a center point. After this, Johana shows you how to walk forward while leading with either your toes or your heels. Johana emphasizes the importance of keeping your hips facing front and your weight appropriately distributed in both legs.
Johana adds a level of difficulty to this exercise by challenging you to isolate your upper body and maintain this disassociation while walking forward, backward, and sideways. Remember to keep the two lines in the leg straight, the hips forward, and upper body disassociation.