Tango Argentino > "Dear Simone"

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Dave Bailey, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Interesting article here.

    To summarize:
    1. The standard of dancing in London is rubbish
    2. Londoners fetishize BsAs, but there's no real tango in BsAs
    3. Argentine teachers are poor.

    I agree with some of the points, disagree with others.

    What do you lot think?
  2. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Dear Danny

    So... why aren't you coming to the class on Monday, again?



    [Seriously, seems like an interesting article, and I love mega-rants - especially eloquent ones - I'll read the second half in a bit, and see if I've got anything sensible to say... you never know... cheers for sharing, regardless!:)]
  3. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    once I get the sound of axe grinding out of my ears........i'll think about it.

    Personally I think qualified teachers make lousy tango teachers; as their training is focussed to impart academic knowledge; good tango teachers are closer to apprenticeships.
    "I am going to impart the skills of what I do" which is to dance tango
  4. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I think he's trying to sell his services as a teacher, along with sounding like a bit of a flake.

    From the home page on that website:
  5. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Well I'm not surprised he's selling his services - he's a teacher.

    But I think there's a certain amount of merit in his letter - it is, at least, of interest.

    And I'd love to be in the room if he and Jantango met... ;)
  6. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Yeah - (academic) teachers bigging themselves up really, really, really rubs me up the wrong way.... I shudder to think about what his 'modern method' might be... it read to have the same approach as the GCSE system (fluffy 'empowerment' rather than learning stuff)....

    So yeah, with good leaders (who there are hardly any of, apparently), his undefined system will work....

    Seems like he might have been one for teaching in the milonga too....

    He might benefit from being mindful of how actual (rather than theory-based) British people are frequently uncomfortable about the embrace....

    And though it falls short of his undefined, theoretical-ideal class, we all know that partner rotation is not 'anyone will do', but incredibly useful (in reality).

    He might also want to address the point that most folks in England (word used advisedly) lionise mediocrity, superficiality and As Seen On TV! (and boy did Nietzsche prophetically nail the Ultimate Man): anyone attempting to offer depth, substance, authenticity and excellence can find themselves really up against it! Yes, even from a teacher who's taught all levels in a big list of countries....

    Can't just blame the Argentine teachers.

    As to the first half - yep, good points, and interesting. As always, I believe little unless confirmed by other sources, so I would be interested to see another source confirming: the spectacular response to his demonstration in Buenos Aires; is there really a public-smoking ban in Buenos Aires <cry...>; and the skill of tanguero/as in other countries (though I can well believe what he said about Berlin).

    Kind of interesting that he had a good, right old slagging off of non-connected/-improvised etc Tango, but also wants British Tanguero/as to be winning the big competitions....

    [Please imagine that a big bucket of rolling-eyes smilies has been thrown at this post.]
  7. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    That would be interesting.


    I guess I found his statement about being a trained teacher, to be rather amusing. I was wondering what he had been trained to teach. Was it something related to tango, or was it something like English, or history.
  8. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    I suspect they'd agree on four out of five points - probably five out of five if he reworded one a bit: especially if his Tango-prowess is as good as he claims!:raisebro:

    EDIT: Can't get much more hardcore than respecting the cabeceo so much that he thinks it should be used as a way to select partners in a dance class!...

    EDIT2: Ummm, having just written things that could be interpreted as being critical of him, then saying that I think that the two mentioned parties would agree on most points - of course does not mean that I am also criticising her by association, because I'm absolutely not.
  9. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I didn't read the article, especially given some of the previous comments.

    I think there is a world of difference between teaching information and physical skills, especially when those skills involve members of the opposite sex. People are quite comfortable with information, and sometimes they are quite uncomfortable with their own bodies. For one thing, information (and language) exist in the left hemisphere, while improvisational dancing exists in the right hemisphere.
  10. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    I kind of liked his idea that a small amount of teacher's touch can be more effective than far more time of observing the teacher - OK, visual learners are out of luck... but they're in the minority aren't they (pesky minorities, always messing up perfect theories!)....
  11. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Dear God in Heaven! Not I!!! :shock:
  12. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    On a more pertinent note, I believe the article... letter... whatever to be extremely opinionated and biased. For this person... guy, to be the level of teacher that he claims to be, I find this a rather juvenile response. I do not disagree that the culture could be/have been better, but this is not a phenomenon owned exclusively by the Brits. Having been on the ground floor of this movement, I have seen, and noted, all of its transcensions, transgressions, and mutations... some good, others not so much. I believe the writer misses a great deal in his assesment of the dance, its teachers, and his own learning culture. Further, it appears to me that if his outlook were a bit more matured, then he would be a much better dancer/student of tango.
  13. flashdance

    flashdance Active Member

  14. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    I think he says rather more than these three points. These are
    three points which inevitably are subjective, they may or may not
    be correct but in my view they are largely irrelevant.

    His positive points are the ones worth thinking about.
    About touch, about choosing your partner even as a beginner,
    about learning the embrace, about experienced teacher/coach
    dancing with his/her pupils. Learn by doing not watching.
    By inference, be taught and learn technique.

    There are plenty of tango people, including no doubt some
    on this very forum, who will groan at hearing the "learn less
    steps" mantra but that was the milonguero way. He echoes them
    with his "making the transition to your own tango". A truism
    if ever there was one but difficult too, especially in today's
    tango environment where you feel you may be treading
    a rather lonely path.

    There's clearly an element of truth about the BsAs Tango Tourist
    scene as I've been surprised at the answers I sometimes get
    to questions asked of people who have been.

    Yes, he ruins the rant by bulling himself up, and rather relentlessly at that.
    But does his professional teaching training/experience help to teach something
    as personal as tango? He suggests a modern teaching method yet reverts
    to recommending the Argentinian attitude "If you can walk, you can Tango".
    Everyone who tangos will know the fallacy of the latter statement.
    Surely he is simply espousing good coaching in a mainly practice environment
    rather than out and out teaching?

    I've heard lots of criticisms of the Argentinian "I perform, you watch, now you copy
    the steps" approach before. Dance fitness, technique, physical training rarely
    get taught or even mentioned and he doesn't mention any of that.

    However this I can agree with:
    Shades of chrisjj, the many dotted one, here but valid nonetheless.
    And just like Chris, unfortunately he makes no suggestions how his ideas
    can be practically implemented.

    Thank you David for finding/posting this article however.
  15. Nathan

    Nathan Member

    Great point, except it's based on a fraudulent etymology.
  16. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    What is a trained teacher?
  17. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I would say that's "stating the bleedin' obvious"

    the translation of what you see into your own body can never be perfect, especially if you dont have a mirror to see yourself....
  18. little hobo

    little hobo New Member

    Knowing something of this person, I'd be amazed if there's anyone in London still talking to him, let alone dancing with him.
  19. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    I'm running an improvers workshop in October. I think I'll try that one out on them :D

    I agree that structured partner rotation is a good idea. I wouldn't go down the "rotate every minute" system practiced by Modern Jive classes, but I definitely think it should be done. Unless you're only ever going to dance with one person in your life, you need to know how to dance with different people, of different shapes, sizes and abilities.
  20. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Yes, it's unfortunate that he spends a lot of time telling us what a good method he has, but spends no time actually describing that method. Apparently, It's A Secret.

    Yes - which is why I started this thread, I thought many points were worth debating.

    And I think it's best to debate the points, not the man.

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