Last night in class we went over many exercises to improve awareness of the contrabody movement in tango. Some good tips were:
- standing with feet shoulder width apart, rotate torso around spine, keeping the torso in one complete block (ie. not pushing shoulders, keeping shoulders same distance from each other, not bending at the waist). Repeat with feet and lower body by sliding one foot past the other one like a scissor.
- take one half step back and look at the back foot over the opposite shoulder. Repeat without looking but with the same contrabody feel. Repeat with both forward and backward steps.
- feel contrabody while walking backwards, remembering to keep the side of the hip that is connected to the foot going backwards level with the direction you are facing. In other words, don't let your hips swivel when reaching back with your leg. Also, imagine that the ball of the foot is always in contact with the floor when you are reaching backwards. To do this, you need to not bend from the waist but rather swoop down with your whole body (bending your knee and reaching with the leg).
- with a partner, not in any particular embrace, take slow steps back and forth while being aware of the contrabodiness.
- step, collect, step, collect, repeat ad infinitum.
- to make a good connection, expand chest and then keep chest expanded by breathing with the diaphram and belly rather than your upper lungs.