The Road Ahead
8th June 2009
(Part of the Tango Fusion collection of articles.)
"Where are you going?" - Kosh
Consider the ways MJ and Tango are taught in the norm.
- You go to a class or a special workshop as a beginner and learn several "moves" be they ochos or yo-yos.
- The teacher's sneak in some conventions, possibly actually declaring them out loud, possibly not.... e.g. "don't transfer your weight unless led to", or "keep transferring your weight with the beat".
- You stay for the class and consider whether or not to stay for the dancing afterwards.
- Then you graduate to "Intermediate / Improver". Now you learn sequences usually taught as a set of sequential "moves". Most will contain a classic move like the boleo or the Wurlitzer.
- You stay for the dancing afterwards to practice your moves. You discover that half of them don't work...
- You start attending the milonga / freestyles run by your venue.
- Intermediate Workshops become available to you but are mainly based around sequences. Some will focus on musicality and styling however...
- You branch out to other venues and attend other milonga / freestyles.
- Advanced workshops and weekenders beckon; they seem to be largely focused on doing difficult moves or fusing with other dances.
- You realize that what you really want to learn was hidden in the basics all along. You go back to the beginning and focus on technique.
- You give up going to workshops, except for a few exceptions which focus on technique or musicality. You notice they're all "suitable for all levels including beginners".
- You give up classes and either turn up after them or quietly chat to your friends during them.
- Private tuitions start to seem like a good idea after all.
- Christopher O'Shea, 8th June 2009