Friday, April 26, 2019

The Steps are Just the Beginning...

I had a curious conversation with someone who has been dancing many years in our Pacific Northwest tango community about my upcoming Intermediate-Level Close-Embrace Tango Bootcamp May 4, 2019. The question they posed to me was, What will you cover? 

Fair question. 

I explained that the point of these bootcamps is to improve posture and close-embrace technique -- the quality of the dance, and that we will also focus specifically on the cross (different qualities of movement, variations, shapes, etc.) of this so very "tango" movement. 

This person immediately went to: "Oh, I already know how to do the cross."

Yes, this is an Intermediate-Level workshop. Participants should "know" the cross. The point isn't to learn how to do the cross from scratch; the point is to amplify the nuance and possibilities within a movement that one already knows -- for both leads and follows. Tango isn't about "learning" the steps. That is just the beginning. 

I was grateful for the question and happy to expand on this for this person and others.

Saturday, January 12, 2019


There are times
when you just need to be sad,
even if you know better,
even if it’s not worth it
even if it makes you feel vulnerable
even if it makes you question your worth
even if it makes you sad to feel sad.

There are times when you can’t get around the sadness,

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Do you believe in Synergy?

In November of 2015, I left Seattle for Buenos Aires and was concerned about leaving my students, especially Tho Nguyen (who I had been working with for 1.5 years at that point) hanging without being able to practice his walking for 6 weeks. I suggested that he get back with a PT to keep working on his walking while I was away, but it took until January to set up. Since I was already back, he asked me to come to Valley Medical Center in Renton to show his new PT how we walked. The PT & OT linked me up with Stroke Nurse Sarah Devine to see about setting up our first group class at the hospital.

In the meantime, also in January 2016, I met Jon Rowley at one of Traca Savadogo's Cook the Book gatherings at Archis Gore's place. That meeting was a catalyst.

Seattle Spoke

This Jewish girl watched the Neo-Nazi rally in Seattle get supplanted by counter-protestors. Freedom of Speech means you can say what you want, and so can everyone else. Seattle spoke. (2017)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Close Embrace

Photo by Adrienne Yvr, Seattle Tango Marathon 2017.
The sweetness
of holding someone
and being held,
knowing that,
no matter what happens 
during the journey of the dance,
that journey
you will walk together.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Let the song carry you

I had always loved to play the piano, Keith told me, but then life's circumstances split us apart. I longed to play again, so someone suggested I go to the open mic event -- they have a piano. Now, I hadn't played for people before and it had been so long since I had played at all, when I got up there -- I had given myself permission to decide not to, even at the last minute -- but when I made my way up to that piano bench, I sat down and faced the smooth ivory keys. My fingers pressed one note after another and soon the music was in motion. But I noticed my hand trembling. An internal dialogue ensured: I could focus on containing the nerves manifesting themselves through my fingers, but I knew I would lose the song. Or, I could let the song carry me.

I chose the latter. And I share this story, he told me, because I think it can help you, too: When you find yourself in a place of uncertainty, anxiety and stress taking over, let your mission carry you.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Unless of course, you want to learn.

Thirst for #Learning

"The teacher didn't even show up," he said.
The barista: "That's always nice."
That's always nice...
unless, of course,
you want to #learn.

Why is it "cool" to say, Yay! No teacher! No work! No homework! ? Do we value our learning opportunities? And if we do not, should we not change something about what and how we are studying and teaching? Then again, it takes two. I am a firm believer that if you want to learn something, you will -- it might or might not be what you thought you would be "taught", but if I as the agent of my own learning, want to gain something from an experience, I will.

Culture & attitudes about learning. What teachers are up against. What students want. What students value. #Knowledge is #power.