"Dear Simone"

#1
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
Dear Danny

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

Simone.

:p

[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!:)]
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
#3
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?
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
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#4
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:
Danny said:
http://www.dannyisrael.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/dance/Dance_With_Danny/Welcome.html

To the best of my knowledge I am the only teacher of tango in London who is a trained teacher, and who, as a former college lecturer, used to teach teachers to teach, at all levels, from primary to post graduate. Actually I am the only trained teacher I have ever come across in the teaching of tango. If you would like to learn tango from a teacher who understands both how you learn and how to preserve your own voice, as a dancer, please get in touch. My methods are driven by a professional understanding of learning, and are extremely effective. Come to me first, or indeed, last, and expect to be very surprised at the rapid progress which you make.
 
#5
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
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.]
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#7
And I'd love to be in the room if he and Jantango met... ;)
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
And I'd love to be in the room if he and Jantango met... ;)
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.
 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
#9
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
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!)....
 

Angel HI

Well-Known Member
#12
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.
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#14
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.
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.

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
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:
http://www.dannyisrael.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/dance/Dance_With_Danny/Dear_Simone.html said:
The kitsch, synchronised, automated version of tango that we otherwise have
may resemble tango, to a newcomer, but it's one which lacks tango's distinctive feature,
the personal connection, between the man and the woman, in the embrace.
This is what we need to work on. Its entirely teachable, but usually avoided,
albeit regrettable that it should need to be taught in the first place, but that seems
to be the case. Once that's resolved, most of the content of most of the classes
won't be necessary, and we can get on and dance tango.
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
The name 'tango' should tell us what we need to know. It's Latin, for 'I touch'. Tango needs to be transmitted from teacher to student by touch, through the embrace. It's touch that connects the student to tango, and the history and culture of tango, presuming the teacher is connected, and it's a tango which is rationed by those teachers who rarely touch their students.
Great point, except it's based on a fraudulent etymology.
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
#17
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!)....
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....
 
#19
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!...
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
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?
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.

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.
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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