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The Organic Tango School
The Organic Tango Schoolwith Homer & Cristina

Our Visit Planning Page

Would you like Homer & Cristina to visit your Tango Community?
As far as planning a tango visit with us is concerned, here is a laundry list of things to consider...

Getting Started and Quick Links:
1.  Communications:  Email is the best way to communicate with us.
2.   Class Ideas:  Check out our free stuff and didactic videos.  See also some of our current favorite titles/ideas below...

3.  Bio: If you need Bio material it’s here.
4.  We also have several promo photos (some in hi-resolution available upon request) & favorite demo vids (check out our bio for one example).

More Details:

1. Travel:  In most cases, we prefer to book our own airfare and ask our host/organizer for a reimbursement check mailed to our home address after we purchase. Additional travel expenses may also include to/from airport transportation, parking, extra luggage, and bus, train, or rental car fees.  We prefer to fly out of SFO or OAK airports.  Departing late morning/early afternoon always works best for us! Where possible, we prefer non-stop direct flights.  We love to fly Southwest by the way (with the Early Boarding option).  Thanks! 

Passenger Info:

Homer Gerasimos Ladas - April 4th, 1969 (optional versions:  Homer Ladas or HomerGerasimos Ladas)

Maria Cristina Ladas - January 4th, 1973 (optional versions:  Cristina Ladas or MariaCristina Ladas)

2. Housing - Cristina is very allergic to cats (so we need a cat free home to stay in - dogs are great).  Also, we prefer to have our own room with a private bath (or one that is nominally shared with our housing hosts/guests), etc.  Queen size or larger firm mattresses & two pillows each work the best for our bodies (air mattresses don't work so well for us).

3. Food - Cristina and I are enjoying  a mostly whole foods plant based diet (vegan).  Upon arrival we like to go grocery shopping so we can stock up on a few food/dietary supplies to help our weekend move more smoothly.  We cover our own food expenses but ask that our hosts either allow some time for us to go out and get food (during workshop breaks) or provide a delivery service.

3.5 Food List - In some cases our hosts like to get food in advance for us. Here's a special list for those of you who are interested and willing to do so.  This is not a mandatory request.  It is only an option, if you so desire, or if time is really limited for eating out. 
Again, we don't mind purchasing these things ourselves if you can bring us to the market (we like to shop at Whole Foods or a similar organic store).

1. Oatmeal, Multigrain Breads
2. Apples, Pears, Peaches, and other fruits

3. Bottled water (Cristina loves Figi water or Smart Water)
4. Salad Material (mixed greens, tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic, etc)
6.  Beans and other vegan products...

4. Sleep & Transition Time - We require 8 hours of sleep each night + 1 hour on either end for transition time. So factor in a 10 hour break (at a minimum) between drop-off and pick-up each workshop day for planning purposes.

5. Workshop Income - Our nominal hourly rate is $250/hr (i.e. for a 1.5 hour class this equals $375).  However, the exact method of income will be determined based on the event (we are sometimes willing to negotiate with organizers based on their requirements and limitations as well as ours).

6. Privates - As a result of extended travels we have reduced our private lesson work to conserve energy. To this end we usually set-up a waiting list and decide later if we can entertain any private students. In which case, our fee is $110/hr for either Cristina or me to work with one student or a couple.

7. Logistics - For weekend workshops, we prefer to arrive on Thursday and depart on the following Monday. A typical weekend workshop will consist of 1 class on Friday, 3 on Saturday, and 2 on Sunday.  However, from time to time we try to stay an additional day or two on either end to do some site-seeing, relax, etc.

8. DJ'ing - Homer enjoys DJ'ing, as long as the work load is not too intense, and always adds at least 20% alternative to the mix. The DJ rate is negotiable (but usually around $50/hr).

9. Performances - Cristina and I prefer to not perform during milongas (instead we like to reserve our energy for social dancing).  If we do perform during a main event, then the base compensation is $200 (for 1 to 3 songs).  Note, we usually perform didactic demonstrations at the end of each class which students are encouraged to video (and allowed to freely post on Youtube, share with their practice partners/groups, etc, as long as it's not-for-profit).

10.  Example Class Titles/Ideas

as of August 2015:

1.  Int - The Bible of Pitter-Patter:  Quite possibly the most effective way to increase your tango phrasing and overall musicality.  We will cover the basics and explore more advanced forms of pitter-patter, including independent follower syncopations.

2.  Int - Kiss Me, Good Night:  Join Cristina and Homer as they introduce these life changing tango syncopations.  It will change the way you listen and social dance to tango music forever.

3.  Int - A Social Volcada Primer:  Here-in we will cover the lead/follow fundamentals of these beautiful and sustained movements for the social dance floor.  Emphasis will be on communication, safety, and rhythmic vs melodic applications.

4.  Int and/or Adv - Homer's Bag of 'Not Tango' Tricks:  This is the black sheep of tango material; stuff others said where 'not tango', including the Thigh Grab, Hurricane Spin, 2-Foot Swivel, and elusive Body Slam.  Ironically, Homer incorporates these with almost every partner he dances with.  

5.  Int and/or Adv - Tango Body Secrets:  This challenging technique class explores everything from the 4 corners of the feet to the elastic embrace.  We will also cover our way of non-verbal communication and conclude with the blind tango challenge.

6.  Adv - The Overturned Forward Ocho Experience:  Enhance your forward ocho experience by refining and empowering your lead and follow abilities.  We will work on both leader's and follower's overturned forward ochos.

7.  Adv - Funky Rock-Steps:  From fundamental to more experimental, come have fun as we breath new life into these interesting, rhythmic, and dynamic movements!

8.  Adv - Volcada Wraps:  Must have some social volcada experience!  We will combine two of our favorite tango movements in musical and connected ways.

9. An Active Follower's Guide & the Leaders Who Enable Them:  From the ocho-parada to the ocho-cortado we will explore effective communication to enable independent follower embellishments.

10. A Milonga Rhythm Primer:  We will start with a few basic concepts and explore the difference between rhythmic vs melodic trapsie.

11. Cross Footed Traspie's:  Using the milonga rhythm we will try to spice up our connection and musicality with linear and circular cross footed syncopations.

as of June 2014:

1. "The Organic Tango Way" (Advanced)
A rigorous investigation of our dance methodology that yields itself to beautiful micro-sequences such as forward boleos to follower's overturned back sacadas.

2. "Flavors of Ochos" (Beg-Int)
From the most basic “no-pivot” ocho to “with and around pivot ochos” we introduce the full range of possibilities in tango.

3. "Homer & Cristina's Pet Peeves in Tango" (Intermediate)
Work thru a few intermediate concepts (special focus points for Homer & Cristina) that will help clarify and solidify your connection and communication in tango. This will include the ocho vs side-step paradox.

4. "Changing Roles: A Beginner's Guide" (Beg-Int)
Why do most advanced dancers experience dancing the opposite role? In this class we will gently guide you to exchange lead/follow and lay down a foundation for life-long tango learning, enjoyment, and improvement.

5. "The Abridged Guide to Leader's Crosses" (All-Level)
This all-level technique class will focus on the development of forward and backward crosses for leaders which can be applied in a variety of ways, including walking, turns, and enrosques. Must be willing to share basic lead/follow movements.

6. "Our Volcada Fundamentals" (Intermediate)
This intermediate-level class is intended as a stand-alone primer for basic volcada concepts as well as a refresher for more advanced work (i.e. A Volcada Odyssey).

7. "A Volcada Odyssey" (Advanced)
Take this class only if you like to explore extreme off-axis movements in your social-tango vocabulary. An exploration of possible social dance variations will be presented with emphasis on musicality, follower's expression, and enhanced communication. If you're feeling a bit rusty, please take "Our Volcada Fundamentals" class first.

as of October 2012:

1. The Felipe Reverse Ocho Cortado
2. Follower's Defaults and Leaders who Enable Them
3. The Ocho Rock-Step Parada Transition
4. The Use of Height Change (and two kinds of touch steps)
5. Follower's Over-Turned Sacadas
6. One Social Over-Turned Gancho
7. Colgada Basics and Colgada Odyssey (two classes)

8. Compact Social Colgadas (single-axis turns, El Huracan, etc)

9. Functional Use of Colgadas (for wraps, etc)

10. Wraps (from intro to advanced)

11.  Alterations (for tango, vals, theory of, advanced material, etc)

12. Volcada Basics and Volcada Odyssey (two classes)

13. Baby Back Hook Behinds & Volcadas
14. The Body Spiral (multiple classes)
15. Dynamic Turns in any embrace (multiple classes)

16.  Close Embrace Turns (Chapter 1)

17.  Open Embrace Turns (Chapter 7)

18.  Beginner Boot-Camps (usually 2 or 3 days long)

19.  Teacher Training and The Tango Brain Active Learning Workshops

20.  Structure vs Style (via The Telescoping Embrace, etc)

21.  Master Workshops on any Tango Topic

22.  DJ 101 Workshops (with traditional and mixed music focus)

23.  Any Fundamentals of Connection, Musicality (tango, vals, milonga), or Floorcraft & Navigation subject...

24.  Close Embrace Surprises

25.  Tango Tricks (thigh grab, hip-check, body-slam, etc)

26.  Enrosques for Leaders & Follower's

27.  Rhythmic Ochos

28.  Rebotes (switch steps) for Tango, Vals, and Milonga

29.  In-between the step (finding the caramel) and Two-Foot Shimmies

30.  Pitter-Patter

31.  She Goes, He Goes (a fun analysis of the telescoping embrace)

32.  Musical Phrasing through Tension & Release (also includes the theory of 4's)

Please also reference our Video Lessons page (follow links to the free stuff and didactic videos) for further class ideas.  Note that these are just ideas to get you started.  We like to tailor make the workshop syllabus and often times create specific class ideas/titles to fit the needs of each organizer/community.

Hugs, Homer & Cristina ;)
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