Tango Argentino > The Basic Eight Debate (cont..)

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Heather2007, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I hypothesise that if you have a professional dancer who has learned to count whilst dancing then everything is done in eights " Pieces of Eight! Pieces of Eight!" " I hear the parrot on my shoulder cry. So its origins may have a musical root but it doesn't make it the best way to teach tango.
  2. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

  3. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

  4. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Stepping off the floor dancing two tandas without pause as a follower I was now in the mood to do a bit of leading. To my favourite. A fast milonga. Went up to a woman who spent most of the evening seated beside another and offered her my hand. She shook her head and remained seated. My hand was still extended. She protested that she was just a beginner, blah, blah, blah. My hand didn't move. Eventually the woman (her mother) helped her out of her coat and pushed her towards me. "So, what have you learned", I asked. "Only the Basic 8, "she replied sheepishly. "Okay," I said, "let's see what a beautiful creation we make out of that?" I led her through three milongas making little creations out of each step of the Basic 8. When I returned her to seat hand-in-hand, her mother had the smile the size of the London Eye. As my then agent once barked at me: "it's not about the dress, its the woman's who's modelling in it. Creation! Creation! Creation!" ;)
  5. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    I'd actually suggest that beginners be taught to listen to the music. I've seen many leaders learn the basic 8, but they still don't get how it is supPose to be danced to the music.

    I think it would be neat to create a lesson where by the basic 8 is danced to different pieces of music, and thus varying the way it is danced. :idea:
  6. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I did a workshop on the cross at the weekend and received a comment from a lady who had learned the 8CB in her early tango days. She said that now she understood why she couldn't dance it and leaders couldn't lead it because its not a beginners move. At the end of the workshop everyone understood how to lead it/follow it even if they needed a bit of practice and the miscues reduced to virtually nil.

    But I was endeavouring to give people the option of being able to dance with those who are taught it (by the morons) at other milongas.
  7. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Morons? Tut-tut-tut
  8. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    tut-tut-tut yourself;

    some teachers I know have actually said they teach this method because it makes their students think they can dance tango.

    How low can you stoop?

    And I've had nice dances with ladies with no tango training at all because they have relaxed and followed me around the floor.
  9. Me

    Me New Member

    I don't think it is necessarily stooping. I believe you have to challenge people at some point, and part of the learning process is encouragement and mind over matter. The students won't master the element at first, but they leave feeling they have learned something new and have more material to work with, and have a goal to work toward. I know people worry about being called pattern monkeys but I think it is equally bad to err to the other extreme.

    If the instructor's highest crime is teaching beginners the basic 8, I think it is time we all stop and take a deep breath and relax. I mean, honestly. It could be much, much worse.
  10. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Good point, Me.

    Besides, everyone has different goals. Those of us who are addicts can bemoan the steps w/o technique kind of teachers (and dancers), but not everyone is into it all the way. Some people out there are looking to try it and see, or looking for something to do on a particular night of the week, or who knows what. And those people are probably just looking for a bit of fun, and a bit of movement, and something different. If you bombard them with technique from the outset, you could end up turning off a lot of people.

    Eh, who knows. You're never going to make everybody happy.
  11. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    There is an element of truth in that but if my goal as a teacher is to impart the skills necessary to dance tango well based on my experience on what works best, then people who are just there for a social evening or a bit of fun are not going to get their needs met.

    Tango Boot Camp is what they need!!! ;)
  12. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    What is this "........back to yourself", ".....to yourself". Reminds me of sulking toddlers. You say you're a teacher but you refer to others as morons. I have never done that. And you get offended when I tut. Jesus. H. Christ.
  13. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Well the "Morons" in question filled their classes with hopeful tangueros then would change their minds and cancel the class; I once had to fill in for them at the drop of a hat and it was someone else not them who asked me. they would argue between themselves in the class (teachers who are couples should leave their "stuff" outside the door and were never particularly co-ordinated and they were very liberal in their descriptions of their abilities but never lived up to them. I haven't met anyone who can actually dance tango with what they learned from these people.

    So blaspheme away, I care not.
  14. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Okay this couple were blindly unreliable and not so well versed in their craft as was initially projected. But actual "morons" BTM? Makes me think of the Victorian definition of depressed individua. Probably better that teachers like these are brought to book face-to-face rather than bad mouthed behind their backs. Much in the same way as I screamed "dumb see you next Tuesday" at one individual yesterday. That way, they're left knowing exactly how I feel rather than trying to guess. Good luck amigo!!
  15. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Fortunatley they left and took their problems with them, and I heard worse things about them afterwards.
  16. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    While I agree with you about imparting the skills necessary to dance tango well, I would caution that what works best for one person, may not be what works best for another.
  17. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    well if people want to use chalk and slate that's fine by me, but understanding how people learn to move is another kettle of fish, he says mixing his metaphors quite impetuously.
  18. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Absolutely! And the only thing that is written in stone and should be heeded are the Ten Commandments. Everything else: be free in your interpretation providing it feels comfortable to you and your partner.

    Interestingly, (and this ought maybe to be a Thread of its own). I went to a milonga last night and was staring intently upon a man most of the night. His dancing was quite spectacular (although he nuevo'ed to a milonga, vals and salon). It was only when I pointed him out to somebody and enquired as to his name that I finally knew why it was he seemed to familiar to me, yet he was unknown to me. He was a pupil of a teacher I once trained with. He danced like this teacher, walked like this teacher, hunched over like same teacher and with the big baggy t-shirt and s*xy hip slung khaki pants, dressed like him.

    My question then is is: We should heed the "technical" advice of our teachers, yes, but should we not be developing our own style, maintaining our own personality, stamp, signature etc. in our dance, rather than ape'ing them?
  19. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Right you are...this could be a thread of its own. Yet, it is interesting, this phenomenon. Even with the Argentines, one can look at many dancers and know exactly who their teachers were/are. Two things come to mind; 1- perhaps they should/will develop a style of their own, 2- yet, it is an incredibly honoring statement to desire to look/dance like one's teacher.
  20. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Oscar Wilde once noted,"Immitation being the most sincerest forms of flattery". Very true. And of course, yes, it is immensely flattering when I see one of my own often described "ugly" moves now being used by others BUT...The spirit of the individual should always stand apart from the community, non?

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