Workshops – explained

We’ve all experienced various tango learning events – classes, workshops, prácticas, private lessons etc.
What is the essential difference of a Workshop?

Workshops – to justify the name, workshops need to be special in some way, perhaps the subject, or the learning process.  Workshops have an overall theme which will be explored in depth, using one to one coaching, and a wide range of exercises to explore the subject.

If a workshop is part of a festival or weekender run by guest teachers, it’s usually called a workshop.  However, if there are high numbers at various levels of experience attending, out of necessity these workshops often become extended classes rather than specialised workshops.  They can be quite expensive, so it makes sense to go with a partner where you can continue practicing together long after the workshop is over.

How long is a Workshop – as a guide many communities prefer around 3 hours coaching over an afternoon or evening.  At festivals they may only be for one hour.

As workshops are highly participative it’s normal to pre-book to maintain a gender balance.  Often it will be limited in numbers and of similar skill levels, hence why they are more expensive than just an ordinary lesson.

Peter Leading

All-Male Leaders’ Workshop – this workshop is suitable for men who are already familiar dancing the basic foundations of tango.  It would be a highly participative, motivating and enjoyable coaching experience to develop our skills and confidence.  More about this – here

Jennifer leading

All-Lady Leaders’ Workshop – this workshop will help you become an even better follower by understanding how to lead.  Also, as many events are top heavy with followers it allows you to continue dancing as a leader and not relying on the good-will from the often limited male leaders.  There’s more on this – here.

Individual Focus
Our physical makeup, our previous experience, and even our way of thinking (vitally important but often overlooked) all have an impact on how we learn and absorb information into our minds and into our bodies. Mindful of this, we would always take a systemic approach, looking at all the elements that influence our ability to dance and to learn.  We are all different, so clearly this has to be focused at the individual level – one size does not fit all!

As individuals’ learning processes are different, a variety of exercises and fun activities are needed to approach the subject from different angles. Some of these are not typical tango, but the relationship back to the dance should always be clear.  Tango steps or moves are used to explore the subject as well, but they are not the central subject in themselves. This works well whatever stage you’re at in tango, as every member has something to contribute.

But can I use it?
We only learn what we can remember. The ability to review, practise and self-coach to reinforce what we’ve learned is a vital part of a workshop design.

The acid test is being able to recall and use it in the moment, when we are on the dance floor with a partner.

What are the distinctions?

Classes, Milongas etc – here

© Tango Nomads, 2017