Teaching the Teachers – Winds of Change

It’s relatively easy to call yourself an Argentine Tango
teacher in the UK

Being a good one requires a wide range of skills and knowledge, but there is little or no professional training and development available

Winds of Change

We have been sensing a shift of consciousness in the Tango world in recent times, and it’s a very welcome shift as far as we are concerned. In our travels, visiting many tango communities and talking to dancers, time and again we are hearing the same clamour for change.  People are becoming increasingly frustrated with what we’ll call  “old style” teaching, which consists of demonstrating sequences of steps which the student is then expected to copy and learn as best they can.

Ironically, we hear little about this from teachers – the ground swell is coming from the dancers themselves.  We believe there is a desperate need to improve on this state of affairs.

Who Teaches the Teachers?

Historic “Show & Tell” teaching methods, or choreography based routines result in students, especially Leaders, being completely overloaded with information, enslaved by the same old patterns, and with several “bad habits” which will seriously impact on their ability to improve.

People tell us they can’t remember even last week’s class, let alone how to put the content into their dance at a Milonga.  Leaders don’t know how to lead the steps, so they can only do them with partners who were at the same class.  Followers have given up trying to follow a non-existent lead, so they do what they think is wanted and hope for the best, or doing something more creative themselves.  This “painting by numbers” approach may work for other dance forms, but it is disastrous for an improvised dance like Argentine Tango.

Some teachers, keenly aware of the problems,  are responding as best they can, and class descriptions are increasingly including words like “embrace”, “connection”, “technique” and “musicality.”  But it’s hard for anyone to develop a radically new and more professional approach to teaching Tango when there has been so little attention given to the training and development of tango teachers.

With a professional lifetime of training, coaching and teaching, we already have a mountain of material from our own experience and training, including several elements which are vital for anyone intending to teach, but which are apparently lacking in many of the classes and workshops currently on offer.  These elements include the human factors of learning and skill development, client centred coaching skills, the bio-mechanics of movement in the dance, and of course the specific tango related areas.

More about our approach – here

Next Steps

If you feel that you are a ‘teacher in training’ and could benefit from such insight and our experience, contact us –  here

©  Tango Nomads, 2017