Shortly after a tango class or workshop begins, there will be occasions when we realize we’re more experienced than most of our fellow students. On the one hand, there’s a sense of relief because it means we’ll spend less time worrying about being overwhelmed. But we also can’t help but feel a little disappointed. Going over something we already know isn’t as fun as learning something new, right?
That depends on how proactive we are about our learning.
If we’ve never worked with the instructors before, pay close attention to how they teach. Are they approaching familiar material from a different perspective? How does it compare to the way we were originally taught? Are these teachers great at explaining things, or are they completely nuts? Because learning tango also involves increasing our sense of self-awareness, gaining insight into our own teaching preferences is valuable.
A class or workshop that feels like a lengthy review is also an effective test to determine if we’re really applying the basics correctly. An astute instructor will see that we’re experienced, and push us to refine our technique even more. They might give us something new to think about, or catch a bad habit or two that slipped our notice. Who knows? At the end of the class, an old step might feel new all over again. And that can’t be a bad thing.
If it turns out we’ve indeed mastered the step, confirmation from the instructors is a huge confidence booster that will have a noticeable impact on our dancing.
Until it’s over, we won’t know for sure how a class or workshop is going to turn out. But with the right mindset, even reviewing familiar material will never be a waste of time.