T#6 Tango Fitness Class- Tertulia #6 (conversations with Makela and Steven)
Makela Interview- Tango Fitness - 4/4/19
S: Makela, you offer a lot of different classes and now you are adding a Tango Fitness class for both men and women, Tuesdays at 6:15pm and Sundays at 2pm. What made you start a tango fitness class?
Makela: My commitment is for people who step into the studio to be the best tango dancer they can be. Tango is asymmetrical because of the way the embrace is set up, so it is very important that we balance the alignment of the body. The body of a tango dancer has to be both strong and lengthened. The posture of the tango dancer requires for your lower body to be grounded and at the same time for your spine to be up and forward.
The structure of the tango fitness is as follows: 1) Cardio exercises 2) arm and leg strength 3) core strength, 4) cool down with meditation.
The difference between taking this fitness class in my studio rather than in a regular gym is that I include tango elements: for instance, we work on disassociation, balance and posture. We focus on the movements that are useful for the tango dance and all dancers.
S: Yes, and I know you give feedback on how best to do the exercises to help your students with their Tango dancing.
M: Yes, I give a lot of feedback on how to do the postures correctly for all ages. We try to vary the exercises a lot so the body does not get used to one type of movement. We work both on the floor and also standing up. Another important aspect of this class is to learn how to bring your ‘presence’ to the class quickly. You are coming here from a day of work, or from a long drive, or anything that gets you in your head. It is important and healthy to be able to get back to your body, empty your mind, and be present to be able to enjoy the dance fully.
S: Makes sense to me. Start with the cardio and then move on to strengthening and elongating various parts of the body, ending with stretching and meditation. Can you tell me a little more about cardio that you will be doing?
M: We do fast walks, jumping jacks, running in place, some kinds of dancing-walks, etc.
S: Great. Is there anything else you want people to know when they are thinking about coming to your tango fitness?
M: I want to stress that this is for both men and women and any gender. I believe that in order to be happy, you want to have a body that responds to you. It’s very important to take care of your body and create a routine that makes you strong and at the same time flexible. That also helps with your presence and your “tango persona” when dancing. That’s one of my commitments to everybody here.
S: You also mentioned a tango conditioning class that you will be starting soon?
M: We are in the process of creating a conditioning class that would be mainly stretching including the back of the legs, the shoulder blades, the shoulders. And also, I want to mention that if there are any other classes or class ideas that people have to please make a comment on this blog.
Note: When coming to tango fitness please bring a yoga mat and a pair of 3 pound (or a little heavier if you prefer) free weights. Wear flat shoes (dance sneakers or tennis shoes are ok as long as they are only used for the dancing floor, nor the street). Thank you!