Ah yes thanks, it makes sense now. Sorry to hear about the arthritis. I imagine that to be very difficult for a dancer. Learning the bando is certainly another way to experience the music and it has entirely different sound and feeling in your lap as opposed to just listening to one.
Do you really mean for beginning dancers to dance to the notes of the melody of a song, before dancing to a basic tango rhythm? Even a basic melody is going to have a variety of rhythmic phrasings that are going to make this a much more complicated task.
Of course, it has. But think of all those "find the beat" problems the prevailling methods provide (adjusting a more or less complex sequence to a defined segment of music.) That´s even more complicated because it implies the student got a notion of the musical structures (bars, phrase). The alternative is, simply to let a student float with the music. Let them pick out what they actually hear and dance their tiny vocabulary to it. There is no need to map that variety of rhythmic phrasings in a predefined manner.
By the way, why do you find rhythm and beat important for dancers? In my perception too many beginning dancers keep to strictly to the beat. A pause, a ritardando, a rhythm change, and they are lost instantly. My advice would be to dance the melody or first voice, instead of creating an own internal metronome in the head that alway will conflict with the heard one.
IMO, some beginning dancers can't even find the beat, much less anything else. I think it's important for the beginners to be able to hear/feel the beat early on, to help synchronize the couple.
Also, for leaders in the beginning, there are so many things for them to be concerned with, that mental overload can be a problem. I try to teach elements in layers, and then add on additional concepts as they progress. To me, dancing to the melody, comes later on, after they understand some of the rhythmic possibilities within the beat.
The alternative is, simply to let a student float with the music. Let them pick out what they actually hear and dance their tiny vocabulary to it. There is no need to map that variety of rhythmic phrasings in a predefined manner.