Tango Argentino > Adventures with an IDTA syllabus... :)

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Dave Bailey, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    I understood the difference like this: quietly place your foot beside her foot but do NEVER hit her foot away!
  2. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    To be fair, it doesn't say "don't make contact", it says "don't hit".

    You can make gentle contact, of course.
  3. salthepal

    salthepal New Member

    I believe it is "It is very important not to hit the partner's leg or foot unless you're doing it on purpose" :)
  4. ant

    ant Member

    It does make you wonder though who the syllabus is directed at, (teacher or student?) if they feel a need to include this warning.

    They do seem to have the above instruction around the wrong way though. To me it implies that the placing of the leaders foot and his weight displacement occurs before the follower tranfers any weight. Which to me seems to be a recipe for hitting her leg.
  5. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    The text quoted comes from the accompanying Technique, rather than from the Diploma Syllabus. It is aimed, mainly at student teachers, studying the technique in order to take the Diploma. The Technique also suggests groupings of figures into three levels, suitable for testing amateur dancers (Medal Tests) - not something that is likely to appeal to many tango dancers, I suspect.

    I don't read it in the form of a warning, but just as an definition/explanation of the action.

    The words just won't bear that interpretation:

    can't mean before the weight is transferred.
  6. ant

    ant Member

    Thanks for the explanation.

    As it directed at student teachers what level of competance are they expected to have at this stage?

    That depends upon the answer to the above. If the level of competance is low then I agree with you if it is at a higher level then I believe my comment still applies.

    I think we disagree then.

    The statement certainly implies and I would go as far as effectively stating the leader is placing his foot and displacing his weight prior to any weight transfer of the follower. I would suggest this is a recipe for hitting the followers leg.
  7. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    I am thinking here that a follower is doing a forward ocho from my left to my right and my scada is going to be placed before her left/the foot behind her.

    When follower's right foot hits the ground her hip should be in the middle of the step. In sacadas leader step is delayed and comes after her landing.

    So I think that sacada is completed when her hip is moving from midle of the step to the turning axis and it is during this second half of the step she is doing the weight transfer.
    Leader is doing also a turn which will sweep away follower's leg before the hit.

    .... but I must say that it IS fun sometimes to do the rough ones when you have a wild follower and the music is driving you to that direction!
  8. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    It will vary, of course, but quite possibly none at all. Certainly the syllabus requires no prior knowledge, and its requirements go little beyond rudiments. However, it is the nature of such texts to set out such things even where the candidate might be expected to have substantial prior knowledge: the purpose of a formal technique is to document, as well as to instruct.

    As for the quoted explanation, I would have said the action is explicity set out - there's no need to infer anything. If you put the key phrases describing the action together you get:
    That seems very clear: the leader steps at the same time as the follower, and he moves into the space she vacates.
  9. ant

    ant Member

    This sums up why it is not right for this organisation to provide an AT diploma.

    You are incorrectly paraphrasing. This is the full passage

    You have paraphrased the part above that I have put in italics, which refers only to the leader. There is no mention of other person.

    The other person is referred in in the part that I have shown in bold and that other person is the follower.

    I disagree for the reasons above that it is clear and I would would suggest that the leader does not move at the same time as the follower.
  10. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Why: because a study text assumes no prior knowledge? I don't follow your logic, I'm afraid. The real issue is whether the candidate can demonstrate the necessary dance and teaching skills and mastery of the syllabus material when they present themselves for examination. It is a fundamental principle of the Association's Code of Professional Conduct that a teacher should
    Let's just agree to disagree about the interpretation of the text. But please note that I haven't paraphrased the language, or assumed its meaning - but quoted it, verbatim. There is a difference.
  11. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    this is starting to read like Groucho Marx; "the partner of the first part shall be called the partner of the first part......"

    which contrevenes the EEC Ruling #5764 1984.. a person shall not be discriminated against by an employer or potential employer by their ability to competently carry out the tasks involved in a position of employment
  12. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I wonder if the people testing for some diploma or whatever would actually be able to recognize good AT dancing if they saw it. I mean, if some accomplished and respected (within AT circles) dancer and teacher went in and tested...would they even be able to see that he or she is competent and qualified. I could just be extremely cynical, but somehow I doubt it.
  13. ant

    ant Member

    The answer to the above in part is bound in with the passage being discussed. As I understand it, candidates are examined based upon the syllabus and accompanying instruction manual. Where the instruction manual is wrong, inaccurate or incomplete, which is what I am suggesting here, I would suggest that the method of study and examination will not produce a competant teacher and if these teachers in addition have no prior knowledge they will not be able use this prior knowledge to correct the situation.
    I cannot see how limiting the debate furthers the understanding but I will confine my replies to the areas that you have carried on debating.
    You originally quoted this, your post #196:

    But you are now saying this is the verbatim quote per your post #208
    I would suggest that this is not verbatim because it is not compatible with the original post#196 as well being incomplete and inaccurate.
  14. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Well, the key phrase was 'competent or qualified'. I'm confident, from what I know of the process, that a candidate of accomplishment and respect within AT circles would have no difficulty in gaining high marks in the Diploma examination, as long as they were familiar with the requirements of the syllabus. The examiners may not be tango specialists, but they're not daft and they're very experienced in what they do.

    However, within the narrow meaning of the word 'qualified' (in this context), next to no one in AT circles IS 'qualified'. This will only change, over time, if the organisations that provide syllabii and suitable qualifications get the process more-or-less right. It is very easy to criticise bodies like the IDTA (and they are not the only organisation in the frame - DVIDA and UKA both have well-established certifications, and the ISTD's is in development), but the syllabus and technique are quite likely to be revised in the light of experience and feedback.

    I don't think that there is any intention, on the part of such organisations, to 'take over' tango, or alter it in any way. No one thinks it odd that you need qualifications to teach in schools, or to practise medicine or drive a bus. Tango isn't so completely removed from other activities that it inhabits a different world from everything and everyone else, even if many of its followers behave as though that were so.

    Tango is a dance and we can't really be surprised if the large dance organisations have a passing interest in it. It would be rather odd if they didn't.
  15. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Are you not familiar with the usage of ellipsis? I'll leave you to cut and paste the 'missing words' back into the gaps that are clearly indicated. They don't alter the meaning, which is plain enough.

    This is just silly, and I'm done with the issue.
  16. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I understand your points, I'm just not convinced that the examiners would have enough of an understanding of AT themselves to recognize a well-danced AT if it were to bite them in the butt.
  17. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Fair enough, but in the marking scheme, there are very few marks for a well-danced tango. It will be no more than 90 seconds at the start of a 45 minute exam, and it is a syllabus requirement that
    which means that a choreographed routine is almost inevitable, which is, perhaps, not what we would choose to dance in the first place.

    The subject of the examination is overwhelmingly knowledge of theory and teaching ability. It is rather taken for granted, if you are presenting yourself as a candidate for a qualification that confers membership rights in a dance teaching society, that you can dance quite well. The practical demonstration just serves to confirm that presumption (but it would, of course, be possible to fail). As I said, the examiners aren't daft!
  18. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    See, and that just says to me they don't really "get" AT at all. Judge based on a routine? Psh. If they're interested in seeing if someone can actually dance AT competently, ask them to improvise. Knowledge of theory? Which one? There are multiple, equally valid theories for lots of aspects of AT.

    I understand that if you're applying for certification from a teaching society that you can dance quite well. What I question is if the teaching society would know if AT was danced "quite well" or not. I don't think they would...because I don't get the impression they have the faintest clue or understanding of AT themselves. Period.
  19. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I think you would expect me to agree that they have a way to go before they 'get it', but that's no reason not to try. Medal tests (open to anyone) are meant to test whether the candidate can dance competently, whereas the Teaching Diploma has, really, a different function.

    It is very difficult to say just how competence should be tested. It's all very well saying 'just improvise' for a song, but one candidate may choose to walk for three minutes to D'Arienzo, while the next one 'performs' a carefully choreographed dance in the fantasia style to some contemporary or alternative music. Both are validly tango, but how can they be fairly compared? Would either candidate be competent to teach a beginner's class (or an advanced one)? How would you know?

    A quick glance through the syllabus figures, and I see these actions: the cross; front & back eights; parallel & cross system walks; rock turns; block, sandwich and passover; displacements; sacadas; giros; sweeps. It seems reasonable that a tango teacher should be familiar with all of these (and more, probably). They should be able to dance them decently, be able to deconstruct and demonstrate each action from the leader and follower's perspective, and show that they can teach those actions.

    Surely it is inevitable that in a style as varied as tango, an examination syllabus will have to try and distill some fundamentals of common application, and test knowledge about them in a non-partisan way. Inevitably, the result will be a little insipid and colourless - you can't equally please the traditionalist zealot and the anything-is-possible dancer, but there is some common ground between them, even if they couldn't actually bear to be in the same room as each other.

    Its a tough challenge. Just what should you test, and how will you test it?
  20. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    More importantly, I think, is asking if they can recognise good AT teaching if they see it. It's a teaching diploma, after all.

    Well... to be Devil's Advocate here, the point of the assessment is to test against the defined standard. It's not to test against whether someone is "good at the job".

    If the examiners are qualified to assess whether the student meets the criteria defined in the standard, then that's all they need to do. In fact, that's all they should do.

    In fact, I assume that one reason the standard is designed to be compatible with BR assessment is simply to ensure the assessors can correctly assess to the standard.

    That said, the inherent problem here, as with many similar things, is that the standard is itself, well, not particularly good.

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