How Good Are You?

30th June 2009

(More Next Steps articles.)

"Education is a lifelong experience. Experience is a lifelong education. Education plus experience equals expertise." ~ Michael Bugeja

"How long?"

So how good are you? It's something people wonder about, partly because so much in our society is clearly defined in terms of grades / levels / medals etc., and yet tango is rather more nebulous.

"How long have you been dancing?" - the most popular question amongst dancers. Fairly pointless, but useful because at least everyone can agree on what a "year" is.

How you spent that year is another matter entirely, not to mention whatever skillsets you already had in place.

Some popular answers

"I was taught by...." - the most popular teacher's answer. Again in real terms it can be a bit vague. The specifics of the teaching are rarely mentioned. It does tell you whom the teacher feels was important in influencing the way they dance though.

"Better than chocolate!" - alternatively you can go by the compliments you've received.

"I had one lovely dance and then went home" - or the amount of *happy sigh* dances you have

"Another?" - or the number of consecutive dances you have

"Wanna dance?" - or the number of people who want to dance with you; which then becomes

"You want to dance with me?" the number of people you want to dance with who want to dance with you

"I can do a flying triple backwards colgada into the splits."

"Yeah, well I can walk!" - or the most difficult move / technical aspect you can do.

"I danced with xxx" - you got a dance with the elusive xxx. Then a tanda. Then...

"xxx asked me to dance!"

"About a year"

Ultimately I think it comes down to three things.

  • Giving the other person an idea of where you're coming from.
  • How often you're doing what makes you happy.
  • How far you are from doing what makes you happy more often.

But often trying to explain your definition of "happy" takes too long and it's much easier to say "Oh about a year".

 - Christopher O'Shea, 30th June 2009

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