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Argentine Tango exercises

We begin each class with a sequence of exercises designed to improve balance, condition the spine, and prepare the joints for the twisting movements involved in dance. The following is a brief list of those exercises. We strongly recommend practicing this exercise routine daily. Performing each exercise once is sufficient. Consistent daily practice is more crucial than the time spent on each exercise. If you go through this list once every day it will tremendously aid in preparing your body for all fun steps of Argentine Tango.

NOTE: For all exercises with inhaling and exhaling, breathe at a natural, comfortable pace. There is no need to hold your breath during these exercises.

Stretch your spine

  1. Feet - to V-shape.
    With inhale, raise your hands and stretch up as tall as possible.
    With exhale, lower your hands, relax.
  2. Same as previous but with a turn to the right.
    Repeat with a turn to the left

Connect to the floor

NOTE: Keep your body straight up in this exercise!

  1. Feet - to V-shape.
    Grab the floor* with both feet, move your weight forward, bend knees slightly.
    Roll weight back to the heels
    Repeat grabbing the floor with both feet and rolling back
  2. Grab the floor with your left. Relax your right leg
    Repeat with your right...
  3. Grab the floor with your left, "park" your free foot next the the left heel,
    Relax your right leg and bring your knees and thighs close.
    Repeat with your right...

Balance challenge

NOTE: Make turns at a natural pace of slow breathing!

  1. Take a stick to assume embrace position of hands.
    Grab the floor with your LEFT, park your free right foot.
    With inhale: turn to the LEFT while holding your weight on the left ball of the foot.
    Return with exhale.
    Next, inhale-turn to the RIGHT. Exhale-return.
  2. Grab the floor with your RIGHT, park your free left foot.
    With inhale turn LEFT; exhale-return.
    Next, inhale-and-turn RIGHT.

    WATCH for staying balanced on one foot!
    KEEP your spine straight and up!
    Make sure your shoulders remain HORIZONTAL!   Watch level of your stick for that (or a mirror)

Grand balance challenge 

  1. Hold a stick, grab the floor with your LEFT as previously but drop your free foot OVER the standing foot. Keep it relaxed
    Inhale-turn-left, exhale-return.
    Inhale-turn-right, exhale-return.
  2. Grab the floor with your RIGHT
    Inhale-turn-left, exhale-return.
    Inhale-turn-right, exhale-return.

NOTE: In balance challenges: try to relax your NECK and SHOULDERS. Only turn in the waist!


Twist in place

Picture your partner IN FRONT of you. Hold a stick to mimick the embrace.

  1. Grab the floor with your left;
    place the toe of the right foot on the floor a little behind
    With INHALE: twist the left  foot to the 90-degree position  WHILE  keeping your shoulders  FACING  your partner in front
    With exhale, return the left foot to forward orientation; park the free right foot at the heel
    Keep your free leg relaxed and knees and thighs close.
    Repeat one more time.
  2. Do the same on the right foot

Back cross at the wall

Come to a sturdy wall and where the floor is smooth and allows easy pivoting. A big fridge in a kitchen will do! :)
Picture your partner IN FRONT of you. Place your palms in front of you on the vertical surface but do NOT LEAN.

  1. Grab the floor with your left; park your right at the left heel.
    Hold your balance completely on your standing leg, do NOT LEAN on the wall.
    Push with your right hand and pivot your feet CLOCK-WISE - to the back-left
    NOTE: Keep your right hand AT the wall but do NOT allow yourself to LEAN on the wall!
    Push with your left hand and return your feet back
    Repeat once
  2. Do the same with the other foot/direction

Front cross at the wall

Same place, everything the same except that the feet will be turning to the FRONT cross

  1. Grab the floor with your left;
    With INHALE: push with  your LEFT and pivot your feet COUNTER-clockwise;
    move your free foot to the front position
    Exhale-return: Push with your right to return to the beginning position
  2. Repeat with the other foot

NOTE for both exercises: keep BOTH your palms AT the wall but do NOT LEAN on the wall! Only push away with one hand to produce a pivot!


Good enough for today! 
See you in the class!  :)





*) "Grabbing the floor": spreading your toes inside a shoe and then trying to "grab" the floor while moving weight onto the ball of this foot. Think of a big cat placing a paw on a soft ground...


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