But explaining tango and dancing it are two different things. Clearly presenting the tango knowledge in our heads to a newbie requires a different kind of skill set.
We don’t necessarily have to be teaching experts, but here are 5 little things that will go a long way in encouraging a potential tango addict.
As tango can easily overwhelm even the most talented learners, it’s better to spend time covering fewer items in greater depth. There will always be opportunities to introduce more figures, and they’ll only retain so much information in single session anyway. So let’s calm down and not try volcadas on the first day.
BE FRIENDLY (OR AT LEAST TRY TO SMILE): Those motivated enough to ask for help are exactly the kinds of people that a tango community needs in order to grow. Despite all the other activities available to people these days, they chose to give tango a try.
Encouraging words and a few smiles help a lot. But being overly critical with beginners and using a sharp tone of voice whenever they make mistakes is a huge turn-off. This creates the impression that they have to somehow prove themselves in order to join some sort of exclusive club. Remember, we’re a bunch of tango dancers, not a military academy or secret society. Taking ourselves too seriously makes us look goofy, insular, and self-important…but mostly goofy.
So whenever a newbie approaches us for help, don’t look upon it primarily as a test to determine whether or not they “belong.” Instead, it’s an opportunity to prove that our tango community is worth joining in the first place.