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Posts from the ‘Learning’ Category


Making errors

Tango, having its root as a social dance, is not a “hard” science. What I mean is that there is usually more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak. What I have come to realise is that aside from a few “highly recommended” principles that one should observe – regardless of what style you subscribe to – very few things are cast in stone. In fact, many aspects of how to dance are still subject to modifications due to one’s physique (height, width, etc.), personality and perhaps even cultural upbringing.

For the purely technical angle of looking at learning/improving, I believe it is through making errors, or even, from time to time, choosing a path that may ultimately turn out to be sub-optimal, that we really get to appreciate the benefits of the “recommended” way. Implications during practica time? Don’t be afraid to make mistakes but to stare them in the face instead, just so that you can truly appreciate benefits of correct technique, not just because a teacher has said so. In the spirit of exploration and hopefully enjoyment, I believe there will be enlightenment at the end of the road. 😉


Dance free

The lessons from the most recent classes taken can be condensed into three simple ideas:

  1. Dance with freedom and embrace in a way (coming from leader’s perspective) that allows the lady to move freely.
  2. As a leader, “accompany” the lady in every movement that you lead.
  3. Finally, when moving, always “arrive” completely!

Deja Vu

During my last week’s stay in Buenos Aires, have been concentrating on private classes and fine-tuning aspects of my dancing. However, when 3 different teachers have commented on the same thing within a 24 hour period, I suppose that means it’s something important and worth paying more attention to… 🙂

ps. I am referring to the “correct” way of doing a rebound or ribote.


“Superlative” teacher

Over at Arlene’s London Tango pages, the following question was asked: “What makes a superlative teacher”? Basically the original questioner wated to know: what makes a superlative tango teacher as opposed to just a good teacher?

My take on this is a little different from the comments that have already been posted. In fact, I was halfway writing a comment for the post when I realised that it was going to be too long, hence this post that you see.

After having learnt from a number of teachers over the years, I am now of the opinion that there are really no absolutes in how “great” a teacher is. For example, someone whom I used to rate highly may be pegged back over time, whereas someone I did not rate so highly a few years may be near the top of my list now.

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