Tango Argentino > Enough Classes

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by AndaBien, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Just for the sake of discussion, does a time ever come when tango dancers should quit taking classes? What do you think?
  2. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    One thing is the tango, another thing are the tango teachers. While I'd never say that I have nothing left to learn about tango, there may come a time when I'll feel that no teacher in my town can teach me anything that I don't already know. Or that I already know that I am unable to do.
  3. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Going to dance classes is a hobby in its own right, and often a complete substitute for actually dancing.

    In my area there are far, far more classes than there are dances. If you didn't go to the classes, you wouldn't dance at all.
  4. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    yes; I'm very fussy about the very few classes i take...most of what is taught will be contradicted by another teacher somewhere else so I have decided to become a 90% autodi-diddley-dact. I used to be only 75%
  5. JohnEm

    JohnEm Well-Known Member

    When you think to ask this question, you already know the answer.
  6. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    From an accounting viewpoint, what's your ROI (Return on Investment)? Skills? Social interaction? Floor time? Are you spending your time and money wisely in your opinion?

    If you think your ROI on lessons is unacceptable, you should consider taking a different course.
  7. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    There will come a point where you know this is the case. It will be different from each individual, and for different reasons.

    IMHE... It was about at the three year mark. It happened when I found out that I could lead, and that the lessons I've learned over the years just happened without even thinking about them. I could just do them, and integrate them seamlessly with very little effort.

    The only classes I take now are privates with very, very, good tango professionals and it normally hovers around polishing technique and body mechanics.
  8. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    I go to a local class regularly, to practice, to help the teacher, to be a leader or follower they are short of in the rotation, to work on my lead ( I am a follower). I believe one has to practice, to pay "the dues" on the floor, and that is a convenient format for me. I feel that I still get a lot out of the time, and learn a lot.
    I do not take regular private lessons anymore, but still take one occasionally, very sparingly, from visiting teachers.
    I believe the important thing is that tango dancers never stop making some effort in order to progress, to change their dance. It can take different forms. If a class helps, go to class, if not, there are many other ways.
  9. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I think of learning tango as going on a journey, and the journey is towards ones personal expression. At first the dancer needs to learn the methods and techniques, same as all dancers. After gaining skills with those, the path becomes more toward personal expression, and no teacher can reveal that for another person. So, the dancer still continues on the path, forever, one would hope, but must do so on their own initiative, and by their own direction
  10. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    This is a pretty good answer, IMO. ^

    FWIW, I think there will always be more to learn/discover. It will just come down to what's the most effective way to progress/learn/discover more.
  11. tangomonkey

    tangomonkey Active Member

    Very nicely said! Couldn't agree more. As long as classes promote personal growth, take them. When they don't, stop.
  12. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Yup - good words!:)

    I'm at such a lower skill level than you, AndaBien, that my answer wouldn't have too much relevance to you.

    However, I rarely find that the best solution is one at an either/or pole, so how about taking time off from your classes to see if there's anything you feel that you are then lacking/missing; or to see if your path is (in)compatible with what you're taught there... can a mental compromise/accomodation be reached that won't damage Your Tango?

    I think time away from classes is useful to have the space (away from the constant reinforcement) to think about what you'd like to keep, amend, and ditch; then get it hardwired before you go back and get told that 'it's not the right way'....
  13. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    I think that there's definitely a point of diminishing returns, where group classes (of more than, say, 10 people) become less and less useful.

    And I think almost all beginners start with large group classes.

    So I think to continue with the learning process, people need to move away from that model exclusively, and re-focus on a mixture of:
    - Practicing solo
    - Practicing with a partner
    - Group practicas
    - Private classes
    - Specialist workshops
    - Group classes

    But that's all quite hard work - it requires you to do a lot of it yourself. Which is why many (most?) people don't seem to progress much beyond the "early intermediate move-monster" stage.
  14. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Cor, that's dead Zen that is :D

    To clarify on my previous post - I also think that people don't do enough beginner classes.

    Most of the classes I do are now either beginner classes or privates. Beginner classes allow me to focus on my own technique, and privates help show me what I'm doing wrong with my technique.

    I also occasionally do a move-based class if I'm in need of some inspiration for a figure.
  15. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Could you define that?
  16. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    "early intermediate move-monster"

    they typically want to a parada - double hooked gancho followed by some swizzly things that they think are ochos that they saw on Strychnine Come Dancing and know absolutely b*****-all about leading or following or doing anything that is remotely connected to the music.
  17. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Oh yes, I know some of those....
  18. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Beginners often become seduced by fanciness. It may take them years before they figure out that there might be greater pleasure in doing simple movements, if they ever figure it out.
  19. ant

    ant Member

    One thing I have noticed a number of teachers I still take classes with do is to learn to play an instrument associated with AT music, usually violin or bandoneon.
  20. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Or worse yet - my initial AT instructor is really a ballroom and Latin person. Nothing wrong with that in theory, but he insists on trying to teach complex AT "patterns" in group classes and very few people can remember the patterns from one class to the next.

    My eyes were opened when I attended a group class in Tampa, of all places, and we spent an hour walking. I never went back to an AT class at my (now) social studio again.

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