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Walk and talk- women-only Tango workshops with Kristina Diaz
Kristina Diaz is a legend in Australian Tango circles. Kristina interlaces her teaching instruction with cultural insights and traditions. As well being a premier Tanguera, Kristina has a Bachelor of Education and a background in improvised theatre. She knows how to make learning Tango fun, and helps women to understand their own body-intelligence.
Tango Feet is a regular, women's only Tango technique workshop, presented by Melbourne's premier Tanguera, Kristina Diaz. Even though Argentine Tango is a partner dance, Dance with Kristina's carefully designed workshops give women the opportunity to concentrate fully on their own technique. A woman's relationship with Tango is very much about her relationship with her own body: this is why it is so important for female dancers to learn from a female maestra at some stage. As well as teaching the ever-fashionable flairs and slick-flick variations, Kristina will impart feminine wisdom, musical knowledge and cultural sensitivity in these much-needed women-only Tango afternoons scheduled for the first Saturday of every month.
To move with grace and elegance, Tangueras need great technique. As a dancer, Kristina Diaz embodies Tango's emotional-range: she expertly balances subtlety and drama with Tango detail through her sensual, explorative melodic phrasing and expressive technical virtuosity. More importantly, Kristina teaches Tango detail in layers, building the dance's technical breadth and stabilising its feminine compass. Tango Feet workshops encompass both the fundamentals and variations: Kristina's teaching style is open and adaptive.
All too many times, women who attend Tango classes or those who dance at Milongas (Tango social dances), are more-or-less reliant on what 'the lead' is 'able to lead'. Uneven male-female ratios may impede women's practice or floor-time. Kristina's women-only Tango Feet workshops makes women the focus in a non-competitive environment. You don't need to be concerned with who the lead is or what he is doing: this is 100% about you: your role, your technique and how you can improve your own dancing.
Kristina's monthly workshops focus on women's technique. To be a great Tango dancer, you need to be able to perform techniques proficiently on-your-own, and be totally responsible for your own weight transfer, posture and axis. Core strength is imperative: in a women-only workshop, the buck stops with you. Single-sex workshops expose flaws in fundamental skills and give you the focussed attention required for honest self-appraisal that drives improvement. Tango Feet will give you space to feminise self-expression without judgement or creative restriction.
Dance with Kristina has been operating in Melbourne since 2008. In her new women-only workshops, Kristina asks that participants arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled 1pm start and to wear comfortable, casual clothing. Bring flat shoes (or thick socks) as well as heels (as you like it!). With over 20 years of experience as a dancer and teacher, Kristina will help you to choose the right shoes and heel-height appropriate to your skill-level and foot anatomy.
Single-sex 'styling workshops' have long-been popular in Salsa circles because they help each partner fast-track rhythmic flair and footwork precision. Similarly, Tango Feet is designed to enhance musical interpretation, while still respecting the technical structure and uniqueness of Argentine Tango. Kristina Diaz has over 20 years of experience as a performer, choreographer and teacher to make this happen.
Specifically, Dance with Kristina's Tango Feet workshops focus on balance and posture, into which fluidity and elasticity are laced and woven. These are the dimensions that create elegant lines and define feminine presence. Expect instruction in precision-footwork and exercises for ochos, giros and boleos - technical drills to help you practice more effectively.
Women-only workshops help followers assess how variations must 'fit' so as to not impede the lead or leader's intention. Indeed, the truly disciplined Tanguera knows when to embellish. It is a balance that few learn to master and is yet another reason to consider Kristina's generous guidance: not only are her own embellishments technically flawless, but exude physical control and vibrancy that are perfectly attuned to the music. Tango music is non-strict tempo which opens up creative possibilities: to harmonise personal expression with the lead is what creates rhythmic excitement and partnership connection. The ability to add flourish and flair requires execution, musicality and the 'feminine touch'. Kristina makes variations precise and beautiful.
'It takes a woman to understand how a woman's body works. I have been through it all. It is not about how I want your body to work - I know how it does work'. Kristina Diaz
Women's styling is as complex and as infinite as Tango music itself: with great technique, women can learn the fine art of body adjustment demanded by this heart-felt dance. Women's bodies need to be totally receptive, as every man leads differently. Kristina teaches sensitive refinement with both passion and compassion, as she knows from experience not only what it takes to be a great follow technically, but how you can talk to your own body to enhance and sensualise the Tango dialogue.
Tango Feet are Women's Tango Technique (Técnica para Mujeres) workshops held at PhysiPole Studios on every first Saturday of the month, starting June 3rd. At the workshop cessation, participants are invited for 'a girly bonding session' at The Queensberry Pour House. This is a chance for Tango Women of Melbourne to share their wisdom, stories and unite their Tango journeys.
'I like to use the word 'adjust' because that is what women do all the time- it is natural to us but those core elements need to be really strong so that we can.' Kristina Diaz
The Tango Feet program has been designed to strengthen the core and to bring awareness to mind-body connection. PhysiPole Studios in Carlton has dance poles to engage and condition the core. These resources will help Tangueras to recognise when the core is not engaged. For women who are new to Tango, this is a great start. If you are at all nervous about learning Tango, women-only workshops is an unintimidating entry to partner-dancing. Connect with women first, even if it is literally, to find your feet.
Women learn by talking to each other and sharing stories (Cafecito con las Chicas)
Partner dancing, and in particular, Argentine Tango, requires a high degree of emotional attention and intelligence. Tango Feet recognises that women learn from each other naturally, through 'girly-bonding' time. After 2pm, workshop participants are invited for afternoon tea at The Queensberry Pour House. This optional post-workshop afternoon tea will merit additional costs, depending on your refreshment tastes and desires.
Kristina Diaz- a leading light of Australian Tango
Kristina Diaz is a legend in the Australian Tango Community and needs no introduction to Tango aficionados. However, for those who are inspired to learn Tango and to join these regular workshops, Kristina is a 'born-dancer' who began her Tango training over 20 years ago. She has operated Dance with Kristina since 2008 and frequently performs at Melbourne Latin and Tango events and festivals. A caring and nurturing teacher, Kristina's sense of humour is matched by her passion for Argentine Tango. Kristina's professional credits include her Argentinean heritage: her family is from Mendoza, one of Argentina's key wine-producing regions. Kristina returns to Buenos Aires regularly to continually improve her own dancing and upgrade her teaching methods. She is committed to learning from true artists of the dance because she is committed to her own Australian students.
Kristina's Tango-immersion enables her to help women negotiate the social scene in Australia and prepare for her student's inevitable pilgrimages to Buenos Aires and other global Tango cities. The most refreshing aspect to Kristina's teaching style is that she allows you to make mistakes and embrace them as part of the entire Tango-learning experience. Do you think that Tango is technically difficult, intense or serious? Forget it: Kristina Diaz puts the fun, into elegance.
Kristina Diaz has quite literally 'graced' the Melbourne Tango scene for over 20 years. Dance with Kristina's Tango Feet is the first regular 'women-only' workshop series to be staged in this city's Tango community. Places are limited, so book early.