LeRoc and Tango... a Perfect Match

12 Feb 2018 - by Graham

When we first started teaching Argentine Tango alongside LeRoc, even we had to wonder if we were doing the right thing. They are such dissimilar dances that there couldn't possibly be any crossover, and we were concerned that we were splitting the class for no reason. LeRoc is an open dance whereas tango is very close; LeRoc is all about hitting the beat, whereas Tango has much more flexibility and space in the dance; LeRoc is constructed of moves and set pieces, whereas in Tango the elements are tiny and subtle; and most importantly you can learn to dance LeRoc at a basic level in a few weeks, but Tango can take much much longer. So how could they possibly work together?

As it turns out, they really do. We had been looking at the differences, but there are at least as many similarities and points of contact between the two dances, and we soon began to see the line between them start to blur.


Both dances have a high dependence on balance, but it can be quite a difficult thing to teach in LeRoc. Finding your balance point in Tango can be done slowly as there isn't the same dependence on hitting the beat every time, and this gives you time to find out what it feels like. The same goes for keeping your weight on one foot or the other, as that's an essential technique in both dances but is easier to practise at slow speed in Tango.


Although Tango isn't an on-every-beat sort of dance, being able to dance in time with the music is still a big part of it. Learning to find the beat in tango can be a challenge as you spend most of the time concentrating on your balance and trying to remove bounce, but in LeRoc it's right there front and centre. You step on the beat, on every beat, and if there's any bounce in the dance it's in time with the music.


In LeRoc, Frame is often taught as a secondary thing, something you move onto when you've mastered the basics. But this causes problems as the whole "follow your hands" approach in LeRoc doesn't work if the frame isn't there. In Tango, however, the first thing you learn is frame as the dance doesn't work without it, and although the frame in Tango is body-to-body whilst the LeRoc version is arm-to-arm, the principle is the same.


A fundamental part of any dance is musical interpretation, but in leRoc this is often only taught in specialist workshops or advanced classes. In Tango the concept of musicality is built in from the start, and the techniques you learn there can be applied just as easily to LeRoc as they can Tango.

And these are just a few of the ways that LeRoc and Argentine Tango work together and complement each other, so despite our concerns at the start it soon became obvious that LeRoc and Argentine Tango worked together a lot better than we expected. But more than that, we've seen how you love the format of the classes, and that alone would be enough to convince us that we've got it right.

Jivebeat LeRoc and Argentine Tango... an unusual combination that's here to stay.

Posted by: Graham   Permalink: link   Keywords: LeRoc  Tango  

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