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Vals - Part 1 - Hesitation Steps and Change of Direction

Teachers: Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks

This is part 1 of a series in vals (waltz). In this class, we look at vals with a special emphasis on finding the 1 (the strong beat) and then using either the 2 or the 3 (the weak beats). We suggested that finding the 1 is the most important thing in vals, because we almost always step on the 1. We also put forward, that in our opinion, the most used rhythm in vals is stepping on the 1 and the 2 and skipping the 3... so most of the time we are going to be dancing using the following rhythmic pattern... 1,2,-,1,2-,1,2,-... instead of trying to step on all 3 beats. After you are comfortable using the 1 and 2 while skipping the 3, we recommend then working on using the 1 and 3 while skipping the 2.

We then looked using this rhythmic structure in hesitation steps and a dynamic ocho cortado with a change of direction.

Alterations to Both Sides of the Embrace in Tango and Vals

6/10/2013 - Clint Rauscher and Shelley Brooks
In this class, we focused on Alterations (or Changes of Direction) to both sides of the embrace. The primary focus was on musicality. The first part of the step is very floaty and smooth, then the changes of direction are very rhythmic and the final part is smooth again. The changes of direction use the quick-quick-slow rhythm.

In the video, we do two short demos to both a tango and a vals.


Traditional Tanda of the Week 34 - Enrique Rodriguez Vals

This week's traditional tanda is a fun set of vals by Enrique Rodríguez and Angel Condercuri. This set is always a crowd pleaser. It is just incredibly happy and fun. I usually play 3 vals, so I play the first two and then pick between the last two depending on my mood.

Tengo Mil Novias (I Have a Thousand Girlfriends/Brides) is about a guy that can't settle down because he loves all the women, blondes, brunettes, etc. Isabelita is about a beautiful porteña. "Estas Chicas se quieren Casar" translates to "all these girls want to get married." Fru-Fru is actually a classic French Chanson titled Frou-Frou and is, if I am understanding the translation correctly, about how women in skirts are much better than women wearing pants. Frou-Frou is the sound that a woman's skirt makes when it rustles.





Tanda of the Week 20 (D'Arienzo Vals) 2012-07-23

This weeks tanda is a spirited vals (waltz) set by Juan D'Arienzo. These are great examples of vals criollo (creole waltz). Vals criollo is an evolution of the European vals as influenced by the culture of the working class Argentinean and Uruguayan citizens, primarily a mixture of Spanish and African. Later this would evolve into what we now refer to simply as Tango Vals.

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Pabellón de las Rosas (The Rose Pavilion)

The second song of this set, "Pabellón de las Rosas (The Rose Pavilion)", was composed by Joseph Felipetti. It was located at 2855 Alvear Avenue (now Del Libertador). It contained a restaurant, dance hall, and skating rink. The entrance consisted of a roundabout, surrounded by beautiful gardens. Some of the most popular orchestras played there including Canaro, Berto, Firpo, Fresedo, and Maglio. In 1919, Fresedo played there with a huge orchestra of 30 members including two pianos played by Cobian and Delfino. In the late 1920s, it was the host of a huge Tango contest. It was demolished around 1929.