BUILDING SKILL vs CONFIDENCE

When it comes to gaining confidence in tango, it makes sense to want to improve our dancing skills first.

But tango, regardless of how much or little we know of it, is meant to be danced socially at a milonga. The pursuit of skill-building will increase our potential as dancers, and helps us develop control. But increasing skill has its limits; it won’t do much to build actual confidence.

When we step out onto the dance floor, we will never feel as though we know enough. But pressuring ourselves to be perfect will only make things worse. Instead, let’s try letting go and have fun utilizing the skills we presently have. Things will have a much better chance of falling into place.

Confidence manifests itself while seeking enjoyment, not control.

penguin-jump

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SOME ANNOYING TEACHER BEHAVIORS (with pictures) :P

In the past, I’ve pointed out some annoying habits of tango dancers. Now it’s time for me to pick on teachers a little. And as a teacher myself, I assure you that they make mistakes, too.

I really liked the vast majority of my tango instructors and am grateful for all the knowledge they’ve shared. But even the most dedicated teachers sometimes do stuff that’s unintentionally counterproductive to learning. Here are a few annoying behaviors that should be adjusted, or perhaps dropped altogether:

STARTING THE WORKSHOP WITH A LECTURE
A short introduction is fine, but anything more than that will make us impatient. We’re sure that hearing about all your insights would be interesting (at a bar). But in the context of a workshop, the sooner we start moving around, the better.

01 too much talking

 

 

TRYING TOO HARD TO BE FUNNY OR ENTERTAINING
Making us laugh and joking around a little is fine. But that should take a back seat to the substance of the lesson.

02 trying to be funny.jpg

 

NOT STARTING/ENDING THE WORKSHOP ON TIME
Running a few minutes late is fine, and one’s sense of punctuality can differ depending on culture and upbringing. I appreciate passionate teachers and understand why they can get carried away with a lesson, but starting/ending workshops on time isn’t just about being organized…it’s about respecting the student’s schedule as well.

03 not starting or ending on time.jpg

 

COMING UP WITH ACTIVITIES THAT APPEAL ONLY TO OUTGOING PEOPLE
A large number of tango students are shy and introverted. Just because they’re not outwardly jumping with joy doesn’t mean they’re not excited or need extra motivation.

04 outgoing people

 

INTRODUCING TOO MUCH MATERIAL
Teachers have all kinds of great ideas, and that’s generally a good thing. But our brains (and bodies) can only handle so much. It’s better to focus in-depth on a few topics, than to cram every minute of the workshop with new stuff.

05 Too much material.jpg

If you’re thinking of becoming a tango teacher, or just want to be better at aiding fellow beginners during a prรกctica, hopefully this article was helpful.

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TRUST YOURSELF FIRST

We know by now that neither the leader nor follower should be trying to take total control of the dance.

It’s important to trust that our partners know what they’re doing, and this requires a significant amount of “letting go.”

But why is it so hard sometimes?

Is it because a good tango partner is really that hard to find? Or do we feel dissatisfied with the ability of dancers in our community? Or, deep down, do we doubt our own abilities?

Before we can dance well with others, we need to trust ourselves first.

duck learning to fly.jpg

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