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

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

  1. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    You really have to work at it, you know, to make the cross-over: the welcome is usually somewhat under-whelming, and a significant proportion of the tango community are just plain weird. ;)
  2. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Ah, i think i may fall under 'weird' but my weirdness is too unique to be a sect, though if i were it would follow the lines of Dudism- expect tango in dressing gowns..*

    *Footnote: from the Dude website;
    The beauty of Dudeism is its simplicity. Once a religion gets too complex, everything can go wrong.

    That’s why the “To What/From What/By What Means” method of identifying a religion is a great way to summarize the Dudeist ethos for your un-Dude friends.

    For example, if you apply this method to Buddhism (a compeer of Dudeism), you can easily answer what the point of it is.

    From what is Buddhism trying to liberate us? Suffering
    To what state of being is Buddhism trying to bring us? Nirvana
    By what means does Buddhism attempt do this? The Noble Eightfold Path.

    Isn’t that f***ing interesting, man? Now let’s apply it to Dudeism:

    From what is Dudeism trying to liberate us? Thinking that’s too uptight.
    To what state of being is Dudeism trying to bring us: Just taking it easy, man.
    By what means does Dudeism attempt do this? Abiding.

    Now, that’s f***ing ingenious, if I understand it correctly.
  3. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Actually, what I would expect is for someone immediately to come along to tell me what sort of dressing gown I need - otherwise it's not tango...
  4. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Sure - basically these are businesses designed around creating and selling standards, examinations, and associated materials (did I mention that the DVD was £40?).

    Yep. On my side, I'm fully aware that the big missing piece from my teaching is any objective method of assessing the effectiveness of my syllabus. (Admittedly, that's also missing from the lessons from every other teacher, but I don't care about them)

    So I guess I was hoping that I could get some ideas as to how I can properly assess the progress of students, other than saying "yep, you're coming along" or similar.

    But this doesn't work for me. It's too much trying to be consistent with the BR stuff, and not enough trying to reflect the real world. I can't use it for my students for assessments. :(

    Like all these things, I think if I want it, I'll have to do it myself...

    As for the examiners not being AT specialists:
    I accept that they're undoubtedly very good at the specific methodology, and I'll even be prepared to assume that they'll be very good at identifying good teaching technique in general.

    But - and I know this may be a silly question - if they don't know how AT is danced, how can they judge the demonstration part of the examination? :confused:

    "Learn AT in a day" :doh:

    I'm completely happy with the "get them dancing quickly" approach - in fact that's what I try to do. But I'd say that a good grounding in technique will get people dancing, socially, much quicker than learning a set of figures.

    In fact, I reckon I can get a beginner to the point where they can dance socially in close embrace in an hour, just by focussing on posture, intention and connection - the steps will be only forwards / back, sidesteps, and rocksteps, but they'll be dancing.
  5. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I believe its one you can abide in....

    Attached Files:

  6. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Actually that's cheaper than most, as that price includes VAT (sales tax) & delivery. The DanceVision ones (Cote/Garcia) are $49 from US (+ import VAT & shipping), but also available from UK at £39.95 (but that price excludes VAT & delivery, so they're effectively £50 each).

    The DanceVision ones are much more useful, though, unless you want the IDTA one as a study guide for the Diploma.

    Well the whole point of having a credible body who can devise a syllabus, assessment methodology and all the rest is that we don't all have to do it individually, if it's something we would value.

    The scope of the syllabus is really quite narrow, you know. Most of us know what ochos look like, or a giro, and some simple sacadas. The standard required is suprisingly modest, too. By the nature of the beast, the candidate is going to have prepared a routine, and really only has to make it look like tango and not fall over. That section of the exam only lasts about 90 seconds, and half of that can be taken up by walking and weight changes.

    You can't have it both ways: if your own students can be dancing a simple dance in close embrace within an hour (and I've no doubt of it), then a whole day is ages ...
  7. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

  8. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    and judging from most demos you can waste a good 30-40 seconds standing on opposite sides of the floor. going through the throws doing the amateur dramatics of inviting the person to dance, she changes her mind, he drags onto the floor, spend a couple of bars getting into the embrace withas much fiddle faddle as possible then waving one leg around before taking your first step.....
  9. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    A logical explanation, but it doesn't change the fact that they are still using incorrect language as it pertains to AT. If an AT-trained dancer tried to pass the equivalent ballroom exam, but didn't use the correct terminology and tried to excuse that by saying that the language they use means something to them personally, do you think that would fly? Somehow I doubt it.

    Besides, we're talking about people who are presumably testing to achieve some sort of certification in an entirely different (not going to debate that here) dance. After learning the different hold, technique, leading, following, how to teach it all, not to mention the minor detail of the footwork...after all that, it's supposed to be believable that it's just too much to ask to learn some new terms? C'mon.
  10. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Well, to play devil's advocate, it was the teaching societies who codified and named the ballroom figures in the first place - they were called whatever they chose to call them. Their attempt to do the same thing with AT might be met with resistance, but there is no uniformily agreed set of definitions available to use instead, and who knows, in 50 years, their chosen names may have stuck.

    They're still daft names.
  11. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    No one walks off the street and attempts to take an exam.
  12. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    The ballroom teaching societies can codify and name ballroom figures however they please. I don't care about that. That's their deal.

    When it comes to codifying and naming AT figures...um, it's already been done. Long time ago. Yes, there is plenty of disagreement amongst ourselves as to various issues in AT, but we pretty much agree that the "hold" is always referred to as the "embrace" or "abrazo". We've pretty much agreed on what the 8CB is, and what a cross or cruzada is, and a whole host of other things. How we describe them may be different, but if we're only going to talk figures here, then there is substantial agreement. The hubris could be dropped and they could, I dunno, actually use the names that the actual knowledgeable practicioners of the dance use, and have been using, for ages.
  13. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Yeah. You study. Including the correct language.
  14. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    They could. I agree that they usefully might - but don't get hung up about the teaching societies being 'ballroom' ones. Not so. And it hasn't been so for decades. That is where they started, but these days, other styles completely dominate the teaching society's membership and commercial interests.

    In the most recently published analysis of my Society's income derived from examinations, Ballroom & Latin accounted for just less than 5% of the whole. So for every BR dancer, there were 19 others, doing something else. They may be the AT bogey man, but not with a BR label that could stick. We (BR teachers) are becoming a rare breed!
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Um...I was quoting you wrt the ballroom socieities.
  16. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Don't think so - but I'm irrationally touchy about the implied perjorative tone with which BR is usually mentioned here by all and sundry - so never mind.
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    You are correct. My mistake. I was conflating your comments wrt teaching societies codifying ballroom with Joe's comments about things originating from a ballroom society for use by people trained in ballroom.

    I know you're touchy about the perception of BR. i don't blame you, a lot of the time. But you're not the only one who's got touchy bits. (Er...wow...that comes across wrong. LOL.) There are slights and insults (both real and perceived) and condescention (I know that's not spelled correctly.) on both sides of the aisle. Some richly deserved, some not.
  18. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Absolutely. I fully support that principle. And I really would like someone to do that job.

    But the IDTA is not, at current, a credible body in the AT world - and frankly I doubt will ever be such, if they try to pretend AT is "like another BR dance" and try to squash the dance into their predefined mould.

    That's not really the point - the point is, you can't judge dancing unless you can actually dance that dance, at least to a minimum level. Still, on the plus side, that's good news for my demonstrator :)

    :D As I'm sure you know, there's a world of difference between getting someone up on the dance floor as quick as possible, and knowing enough about the topic to credibly assess whether someone can teach and dance the correct way.

    My point is, figures don't help you dance - in any dance discipline, but especially Tango.
  19. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    I'm looking forward to the video of your performance on the 26th ;)
  20. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm a member, but accept (with regret) that what you say is right, and I doubt that things are going to change enough to make the difference any time soon. There's the UK Annual Congress in Southport in July: a four-day IDTA-fest, but nothing in the programme relating to AT - nothing!

    But all such organisations started out small, and with a handful of members who had a belief that there was a worthwhile job to be done. I don't see any reason, in principle, why the founding members of the Tango Dance Teachers Society (or whatever) couldn't get together and knock up some broad definitions, an outline syllabus and start to compile a technique manual - and not necessarily on paper. It could be the first virtual society of its type - with everything online and shareable. The first Annual Congress could have a Saturday Night Milonga, and everything (really losing it, now ...)

    First point: agreed, but what is the correct way, and who says so, you?

    Second point: Not really. In some dance styles the figures are the guts of the dance - take them away and there's nothing left - and even with tango, they can be a useful way to illustrate an action or introduce a concept - and with that approach, presentation is everything, but they should only be a stepping-stone (but a useful one) to dancing without them. A good teacher recognises that there is a wide variety of learning styles in the student population, and figures/patterns help lots of people, and do not help others, but the students needs should come before the preferences of the teacher, or his/her own learning style.

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