Tango Argentino > Workshop Warriors

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Heather2007, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    I have just received an email from a friend who wants to attend a workshop by the TiA peeps. "Don't you ever get to a point in your tango life when you think, why waste yet more money on a workshop..along with the 2-3 classes/2-3 milongas a week...never mnd the change of outfits/shoes etc," came my response.

    I have never attended a workshop. Why? A complete waste of money to my mind. Especially if one attends classes with (very good) travelling teachers each week (most of whom are from Argentina). Saturday she will miss having a p*ss up in a pub watching the Rugby World Cup with friends to spend twenty quid learning how to swing her leg in a circular movement behind. For two hours!!! The sceptic says spend the twenty quid on beers rather than puff out the pockets/pay the mortgage/bills etc. of those whose day jobs are as precarious as the British Summer. Am I alone here?

    Beginners be warned !!
  2. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Yes you are alone::wink: but no I am very selective about who I do workshops with, though just cause someone is Argentine is not a guaranteee of their skills as a tango teacher.

    I think it depends on one's skill level as to whether workshops are good value; but like a fellow teacher it is as much about social interraction as learning; so while you are disppearing into an alcohilic haze your friend might be having an equally good time.

    I think that puts me solidly sitting on the fence.
  3. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    You're actually right in that the word "Argentine" does not always suggest "excellence". To date, my favourite teacher and the best that I have ever encountered/trained with happens to be Scottish.

    As an ex-choregrapher/teacher in contemporary jazz ballet and more recentyl AT teacher - the word "social" stays out of the studio. "Social" you get in the milonga. Basta.
  4. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Who are the TiA peeps?
  5. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Tango Intelligence Agency?
  6. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Tango in Action, I assume:

    They teach in Central London - I dunno what their classes are like though.
  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Sounds to me like you have reached the point I reached after taking lessons constantly, both from local, Portland, OR teachers, some of whom are quite well known in the US and overseas, and from just about every traveling tango expert that came to Portland, for two and a half years.
    I did recently consider taking a lesson for something very specific that I wanted to work on, but, in general I am satisfied with my tango. I have no delusions that "all" the women will one day swoon to dance with me, or that I will be the new Pablo Veron, etc.
    And, although I appreciate the the argument that you get to meet new people when you take lessons, it seems a bit pricey when you consider that I can just strike up a conversation with someone you don't know at a milonga or practica. After all, you have tango in common. And hopefully you aren't the only one who is satisfied with your dancing.
    Now, with one of my other dances, West Coast Swing, I am seriously considering spending a fair amount of dollars to take a few lessons from a woman who has been involved with the dance since before it even had its current name. Sort of one of the reasons I took a class from Cacho Dante.
    So, no, you aren't alone.

    P.S. Tonight is cuervo and beer country western night
  8. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Their classes are very good (have only attended a handful in the past). Especially the female. Very precise and strict about technique. They often act as guest teachers at other places. Like I said, you train well with the good teachers on a 2-3 weekly basis, why then is it essential that we add workshops to what we are already doing.

    A couple I know have been dancing for 4 years. They attend classes 4-5 times a week, milongas 4-5 times a week. And travel abroad 2-3 times either on a weekend workshop at home or a week-2 weeks abroad (whereupon I assume they will be classing/dancing every day). Three weeks ago it was Sweden, last week it was Avignon (France). Apart from (especially her) looking absolutely exhausted most of the time, my (critical) eye cannot see any stark improvement in the way in which they dance compared to when I first knew them three years ago. So my question would be....

    Or am I still alone here?
  9. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    What's wrong with it if they have the money and they enjoy it?

    Maybe said friend is not particularly interested in going to a pub and drinking and watching sports. Why do you care how she spends her money?
  10. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Maybe you are a teensy bit jealous? I socialise far more at workshops or residential events. At Milongas I dance, but chatting- Nah!

    and twenty quid in London that would just about cover a round of drinks; the workshop is better value for money but whatever tickles your trout I say.
  11. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Because my dear, when she, the front passenger is already asleep and he the driver is falling asleep and me, the back passenger is wide awake at the back and waiting for an accident to happen, I am concerned about their wellbeing and how little time they are spending just chilling at home or doing something (outside) yet more relaxing. End of.
  12. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Jealous that I don't tango everyday? Jealous that I'm stuffing money into another's pocket everyday in order to do much of the same every single day? I think not. I danced every day when I was in rehearsals for shows many years back as a jazz dancer then choreographer but socially (erm..let me think....no, not even as a disco-going teenager did I do that). Besides, I'm in the middle of writing a screenplay, my agent is jumping around, yet another pigging draft. And so given the choice between dancing just twice a week and creating characters that will one day (hopefully) be transferred to the big screen and tangoing everyday and workshopping every week? Um...I'll let you decide.

    And Saturday is going to be full of the good stuff :cheers:
  13. kieronneedscake

    kieronneedscake New Member

    I wouldn't question the value of the workshops, but I have more problems with the weekly lesson thing. They have their place but the value decreases with exposure.

    I have long since grown tired of lessons that do not tend to my needs as a student, and have no real progressive structure to them. If I could guarantee that the full tango range would be covered systematically, then fine, but the steady flow of beginners->improvers->quitters sort of prevents that. Similarly there is only so much one teacher can show you.

    Workshops and multi-day events on the other hand can offer a certain degree of saturation that allows me more time to explore and reinforce the things I learn. It also tends to involve different teachers from whom to pluck precious viewpoints and metaphors.

    My present habit is social dancing/practica once or twice a week, and intermittent binges of all-weekend or multi-lesson events. I love all-weekend workshops, I can come out high as a kite and grinning ear to ear from them because of the social factor and the truly excellent dancing.

    I think your friends are perhaps not spending their money in the most economical way in order to master tango, and their teachers are failing them if they are not noticeably improving with that intensity. It is quite likely they are having a good time though, and I am sure boredom will moderate their activity eventually. Perhaps you should offer to coach them privately and tap this vast resource ;)
  14. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    so why are you so concerned? the stuff you're doing sounds very excitying
  15. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Ouch they charge ten pounds for one hour.
  16. Me

    Me New Member


    Maybe your friend's attitude, and not the workshop, irritates you? I know it can become very old when people seem to brag about when they plan to take their next wonderful vacation (to Argentina, of course) how they plan to spend their next paycheck (tango shoes, of course) and what their plans are this week (involving slavish attendance to all tango events, with no regard to quality.) At times this sort of showy obsession smacks of an indirect brag about how much more dedicated to tango they are than you. "Tango is my life!" just gets old sometimes.
  17. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    Do you think the teachers are not worth that much. For visiting teachers we've had to pay £8-10 to make it worth their while and I'm sure venue overheads are going to be a lot dearer in London.

    Anyway why are you going to watch Rugby when you've a screenplay to write?
  18. Heather2007

    Heather2007 New Member

    Didn't we do well in both games? There were two screens. One with the rugga and one with the footie. Sean Wright-Phillips was amazing as was Richardson and Owen's goal was superb and while I'm rambling about the footie are you shaking your head to say, why is she telling me this? Anyway - back to tango. And here I have a grin on my face the size of Blackwall Tunnel. Pals reported that they'd wished they did the pub trip instead of tango'ing on Saturday. Apparently the class "descended into total chaos" and the teacher lost all control. Dancers started to either sit out or carried on talking throughout the instruction (eek). You know, same-ole/same-ole.

    Screenplay - that takes place around 1/2am - after everything else has been exhausted and much material has been gathered. But this weekend was a no-no. Of course.

    Tango price - I personally don't think it is worth what some charge for a 2-hour spot (especially if they teach a regular class in the week anyway). But that's me. Most, I suspect, would disagree.
  19. Cortado

    Cortado New Member


    You seem too happy! Maybe you were jealous as discussed before.

    Have you considered that they may not be telling you the truth about their tango trip because they felt bad about you not going. Or maybe they really did have a rubbish workshop. I can see you laughing again!
  20. Cortado

    Cortado New Member

    The best answer to that is to pretend to them that Tango does not interest you that much, but be as good or better than them on the dance floor.

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