A Drill for a better Ocho!–You need Better NOT More..!
Argentine Tango Technique--Ochos

When I started dancing Tango–I am referring to the very first milonga I danced in–I had only taken 4 classes, so I knew–or thought that I knew–how to walk, how to do an ocho and possibly some basic sequence combining the two…That’s it!

Thinking…WHAT? HOW?

The “how” is now obvious to me, though it wasn’t back then…
My teacher cared and taught me to care as well!
I care for Tango. I cared from the very first class. Therefore I wanted to go out, see Tango, hear Tango, dance Tango. I wanted to be part of that community, to be part of Tango.

In my first milonga, of course, I was terrified!
I still remember it…
I went with a friend, we walked up the stairs and backed up a couple of times. Then when we finally made it, we sat at the table at the very end of the room, with our backs pressed against the wall and hoping that no one will notice us..!
Needless to say that didn’t work…haha
Very soon, we were asked to danced…
And guess what?
We had a blast! It was a night full of music, dancing, chatting and meeting new people. Amazing!

We very soon realized that it wasn’t as scary as we thought. We didn’t need to know every possible step leaders can lead nor have a great technique BUT we did need to care.

Care to become members of this community, to become better in our dancing and most importantly, care to find ONE basic thing that we can enjoyably do while on the dancefloor.
If, for example, we could do an ocho, feeling like we are dancing from head to toe, without struggling, and feeling that our partner can relax into our embrace while leading us…Then THAT was IT for us. We needed nothing more.

If you have spent years, asking and/or getting simply more…More sequences. More steps. More technique. More milongas. More guest instructors. More years. More dances. More experience. More confidence…More, more, more…



Think of all these mediocre restaurants out there, where they have a 5 page menu but NOT ONE dish on that menu is worth traveling across town for.
Don’t confuse variety, range, knowledge with quality.
You don’t need MORE, you need BETTER!

As Seth Godin says: “Better is better than more!”
So here is my suggestion for today: PRECISION
ONE basic drill, on a basic Tango element, in this case the ocho, focusing on ONE important characteristic of it, precision.
Argentine Tango technique on ochos

As you see in the video, I am starting with a small traveling forward ocho–very basic, for leaders and followers.
I am NOT doing any big challenging pivots or embellishments. I haven’t placed the obstacles too far/ too close together or tried power my way through…
I am taking my time, focused and with the intention of making the pivot precise enough to pass in between the obstacles. When I can’t make my way through the little balls of paper, I stop and repeat.

Try it out!

Focus on getting better on the ordinary.
Actually…focus on getting EXTRA- ordinary on the ordinary!
You need BETTER not MORE.


posted by: Chrisa Assis

About the author: Dance Teacher, Professional Dancer, Writer from Toronto

Published: 9 Dec 2016 @ 13:07

Last modified: 25 Mar 2019 @ 10:37

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A Drill for a better Ocho!–You need Better NOT More..!
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