Tango Argentino > When you should start taking private lessons

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by black_cat, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. black_cat

    black_cat New Member

    I've been taking Argentine tango group classes for around six months, together with practicas and ocasional milongas. A famous teacher is going to visit my city soon and I was thinking of taking a private class with him. Is six months to soon to start taking private lessons? What I was searching for was to refine the basics, no fancy moves.

    What are your opinions? When did you start taking private lessons?
  2. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi cat, welcome to DF

    As soon as possible (if you can afford).

    Sorry, not with him, yet. You have to find someone around who can accompany and guide your learning for about one year. In the first year your goal is body work, body awareness, and technique. So your private tango teacher also should be experienced in a body system as for instance Alexander Technique, Pilates, or Ballet. Alternating a male and female teacher would be best.
    NZ_Guy likes this.
  3. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    I agree with the "as soon as possible" answer for private lessons, taking into consideration your finances. I don't necessarily agree with the "not the famous guy yet" answer. I would follow the advice of the person you take classes with. SOME famous teachers are superb at giving dancers with your amount of experience an excellent boost. Some would be a waste of time and money at this point. I was in a comparable situation with another dance and took occasional privates with the teacher who gave the classes and followed his advice about the "famous" instructors who were sometimes available. The occasional privates with the class teacher made a big difference, by the way, and I guess I would do that before using the visiting teacher.
    chipi3 and Lilly_of_the_valley like this.
  4. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Agree on both accounts: take private lessons as soon as possible, and start with your regular instructor.
    As for the visiting star, ask advice of your regular teacher, whether he/she recommends it or not.
    chipi3, Loki and NZ_Guy like this.
  5. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    At this point, you will probably get as much from your regular instructor at half the price of the visiting maestro. Certainly ask someone who knows you, your dancing, and the visitor, but that's my guess based on the length of time you've been dancing. Definitely take some with your regular instructor, though. If it's anything like my town, there will be more opportunities to work with famous dancers.
    Loki likes this.
  6. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    No need in restating great advice, but welcome to the DF.
    NZ_Guy likes this.
  7. A.Victor

    A.Victor Member

    I've been reading your answers and, what is the purpose of a private lesson?
    Body awareness is learned at the technique classes. And during a group class both trainers go to everyone to dance with them that speciffical structure or technique which is being taught during the class.
  8. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    How lucky you are, to have group classes that teach technique and have two trainers who practice with all the students. Don't assume that everyone else has that available.
  9. A.Victor

    A.Victor Member

    Sorry for assuming that everyone does. Though, if there's enough interest, I suppose anything can be done. A group of determined people can do anything.
  10. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    I also wish to add, along with the time restraint, not everyone in the group class actually wants personal feedback, so the instructor may not give it as freely and abundantly to a random person. However, when a student takes a private lesson, he/she explicitly is looking for personal advice/feedback in some shape or form.
  11. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    A. Victor, how long is your class, and how many students are in attendance?
    Let's say the instructors give everyone 5 min of their attention. That's 50 minutes each. The class also ought to include explanations, demonstrations, letting the students dance on their own and watching, answering questions for the whole group etc. At this rate, I calculate the class has to be about 1.5 hour long and include no more than 10 couples. Does it sound right?
  12. TomTango

    TomTango Active Member

    My regular improvement schedule goes like:
    1. Attend a group class
    2. Practice group class material with partner (I'm lucky enough to have a regular practice partner)
    3. Attend a practica and focus on things I learned in the group class
    4. Attend milonga and integrate those concepts into my dance
    This might take a week, or several months. There will be bumps, but as long as I don't really struggle for more than a few days, it's fine. However, whenever there's something I just can't get, I save it for a private lesson. I take a few every couple of months when an instructor visits.

    I would think there would be two reasons to take privates:
    1. There is something you're struggling with and not getting
    2. You've learned conflicting information about something and want someone to explain both sides so you can choose a way of doing it
    If you're experiencing smooth steady improvement with a good group instructor, you may not need them.

    Personally, I've had the best luck with instructors who have had 5-10 more years dance experience than me (I've had 2). They have a lot to teach me, but still remember what it's like to be in my shoes. They're also cheaper ($50-$75 an hour). I've had a couple experiences with the upper echelon level ($140 an hour) and they weren't very good. They were focusing on micro-level tuning, like individual muscle engagement, which I'm sure would be a great benefit if I were more advanced, but didn't help me much at the time.
  13. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I take privates in Tango to improve my connection and leading or following at a level you can't get from any group class. And, yes, micro-level tuning.
  14. A.Victor

    A.Victor Member

    The class is one hour and a half and there are between 10 to 20 people, usually more females, I've had 4 men and 10 women today, as an example.
  15. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Here you go, yet another reason for taking a private lesson for any of those women: to get more floor time dancing and practicing with a partner.
  16. A.Victor

    A.Victor Member

    They get equal time on the floor because we switch from one female to another. All of them have the opportunity to dance and the ones that aren't dancing at the moment train technique with the female instructor.
  17. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    In the private lesson they will get more. Of course, it's up to them to decide whether they need/want it or not. I know I would.
  18. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    They might get equal time as the other women in class, but it is not the same as a private lesson.
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.
  19. demoiselle

    demoiselle Active Member

    They may get equal time to each other, but not to the leaders who are dancing the whole time.
  20. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Except defy the laws of physics. Unless... Is that damned cat alive or dead now?
    twnkltoz likes this.

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