Skip to content

January 23, 2005

Workshop learning

Someone recently commented in passing that it is extremely difficult to learn and progress in Tango by attending special one-off workshops. By the way, he is quite a good dancer, and he is certainly not disputing the value in workshops. It’s just the instructional benefits which he has serious doubts about. For example, there is a lot to be said of the awe-inspiring nature of workshops, which gives all of us the extra impetus to carry on.

At the time, I tacitly agreed.

However, upon reflection, it seems that, on a conservative estimate, about 80-85% of what I have learnt and what I am doing now, has been gleaned from workshops I have attended. The remainder comes from copying on dance floor at milongas, or ‘inspired by the music’ as they say… Perhaps here in Singapore we are in a slightly ‘precarious’ situation in that we don’t have resident advanced teachers and since I from one of the earlier batches, ended up having struggle along together with my ‘seniors’.

There was a lack of regular classes – suitable for my level – from the early stage. The main consequence was, after suffering from the obligatory post-workshop downturns, invariably and despite the lack of conscious practice, I noticed changes to my dance style. New steps, new sequences, new understanding of movements.

How did it happen?

I think, in the end, it boils down to how each person can successfully and efficiently dissect and assimilate the materials learnt. Constant corrections and coaching are of course necessary to promote regular and consistent improvement – which is why I go through periods of frustrations from time to time. Barring such ‘luxuries’, just need to diligently attend practicas and listen to Tango music, lots and lots of it! When you can feel the music flowing through you, the steps will come.

A word of caution, good techniques still require practice! While the mind can dream, the body has to face the realities… 🙂

Read more from Learning, Musings

Comments are closed.