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

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

  1. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    In my 1st year Spanish classes we leaned standard sentences, repeated verbatim, and what I learned was very little. I didn't really know what the words meant. We do have to learn the vocabulary of dance, but we don't have to learn standard sequences.

    Also, your analogy is slightly off. With languages we have to translate meaning into symbolic references, then the listener has to translate the references back into some meaning. Translating requires an understood structure. We like to think that AT doesn't have symbolic references.
  2. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

  3. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    you miss the point...this is based on research about how people learn
  4. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    Babies learn to speak by listening, and imitation, not by learning to read or follow grammatical rules. Those things are acquired over time, and are of course important, but they are not the basis for initial learning.

    The Suzuki teaching method for beginning music students approaches playing an instrument the same way we acquire language. By listening, observing, doing. Learning to read music comes later. Of course the method has its detractors too.

    This discussion pops up every few week. There has never been consensus as far as I recall. There won't be any now either... :)
  5. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    ??? What are the names of the figures then?
  6. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Names of figures are for teaching. When I dance, I don't name figures to be done. I just direct movements. There is no translation involved.
  7. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Well, I'm not so much complaining about the "hold" vs. "embrace", more that "Close" = "Very Close" and especially that "Open" = "Close". (You can imagine a teacher saying "right, now get into close hold", then watching in bemusement as the students all adopt an open embrace.)

    Although I do think that "embrace" is more useful than "hold". It is, after all, fundamentally a dance based around a hug.
  8. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    And the examination tests (and attributes 1/3 of the available marks) to teaching ability. You can't pass the Diploma without passing the Teaching Ability section, and the published syllabus says absolutely nothing about the topic. As TT said earlier, the published technique for any dance style produced by any of the reputable teaching societies is a guide and a basis for study. The preparation for a qualification is a much wider issue, though, and most of the necessary knowledge and the process of developing the understanding that underpins the knowledge is a matter of a candidate working, usually with an experienced senior member of the society, to acquire the necessary knowledge and the ability to present it in the format required in the examination. Most of what you need to know and understand is not written down anywhere.
  9. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I thinks thats limited as an analogy. I did an IQ test which tested my ability to find grammatical sense in a made up language; so our mind can rearrange to make sense if grammatical order shifts like the way Yoda speaks;

    to the shops; I am going..

    going I am to the shops

    the shops to I am going...

    tango doesnt have a grammar it only has syllabubbles.
  10. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    AHA! a masonic institution with Kafakesque overtones....
  11. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    i take issue with your last statement; do you hug people with one arm? I dont ( well perhaps if I had a beer in one hand I might)

    and the evolution of the embrace is lost in the mists of history but was around long before tango.....
  12. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Yes, that's about right. ;)
  13. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I don't think it matters at all, but I do agree that it is nonsense to say "Close Hold" when you mean Open, and "Very Close Hold" when you mean Close.

    But look at the description of the Walk. It is defined as being interchangeably the SAME whether walking forwards or backwards, and makes no distinction AT ALL between the separate roles of leader & follower....
  14. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Apparently the syllabus was written by Stefanos and Valentina, who are in, errr, Greece?

    Here's a Youtube clip of them dancing.

    I'm not actually sure who they are (but that could be my ignorance). Neither am I sure why a couple in Greece were chosen to define a syllabus in English for an organisation based in the UK... :confused:

    But I do know that their DVD is... £40 :eek:

    I believe in syllabi. Well, sort of. I certainly don't think the concept is bad.

    I just think this particular syllabus is bad.
  15. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Or if you had one girl in each arm.

  16. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I see another drawback to learning sequences, namely that followers also learn them. IMO, that can only be bad for their following skills.
  17. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    jees, the girls would have to hold my beer then....
  18. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    I throw this out there: a common syllabus allows every teacher to have the same basis for teaching beginners. It also allows (IMHO) people to learn quicker since folks will have the same idea of the movement. Finally, a syllabus allows people from all over the world to speak that common language.

  19. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Everyone having the same idea of a movement, and everyone speaking the same language is exactly what AT dancers are opposed to. It's like saying everyone should have the same personality. In AT we believe that everyones' dance should be uniquely personal.
  20. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I think the thing that surprises me the most about some of these syllabi is the failure to recognize the giro as the fundamental pattern of AT. If you're going to teach patterns, you should at least focus on the single most important one. And how could a fellow dancer, even one from a different background, not recognize that 90% of "advanced" figures are just giros with embellishments?

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