There are many styles of tango, and there are many styles of learning and teaching. At the foundation, all of it is the same.
I have not found a better description of the role of a dance teacher than this quote by Irene Dowd.
“The work of a teacher is to give students the tools of knowledge and skills to help themselves change their own patterns of movement. The good teacher gives the student the ability to be self-responsible. Effective teachers make themselves obsolete in the end.”
We believe that to dance Argentine tango well, a dancer must have an open mind, and an open heart. Until they have both, a dancer will always be limiting themselves in some way.
Tango is a simple dance. Mastering a few things in a person’s posture and movement gives a tango dancer access to all that tango is. While providing a lifetime of challenges and growth.
The path to the fundamentals of tango movement and dance is the same regardless of a persons role in the dance. The roles of leader and follower carry too much weight, there should instead only be tango dancer, embodying both initiator and responder.
Learning the fundamental movements of tango are akin to learning the fundamental sounds of a spoken language, Once the sounds are learned, it becomes possible to create syllables, which then create phrases. The complexity of tango comes from the combinations of these fundamental sounds and syllables which can create very complex movements. All of which are in actuality very simple.
The musculoskeletal system, posture and movement are completely intertwined to create a system which interacts with it’s self. Movement should not be isolated to a single part of the body, each part should be considered a part of the whole.
On learning Argentine tango
I believe that everything begins with good posture, subtle core movement, subtle communication within the embrace and proper technique. I also believe that the best way to learn is through exploration, discovery, and understanding.
Argentine tango movement and concepts, not steps
Learning the concepts behind Argentine tango movement allows for complete freedom and growth as an Argentine tango dancer. Understanding natural and healthy tango movement from the inside out gives everyone a solid foundation from which to work as we explore the dance within the embrace. To facilitate natural and healthy tango movement I have developed the “TangoBreath vinyasa” The TangoBreath vinyasa is a guided sequence of postures and movement connected with breath. Practicing a vinyasa flow of tango movement has proven to improve body awareness, posture and movement both within the dance and in our day to day lives.
Accessible but challenging for all levels of dancers
In my classes, I start with posture and sensitivity exercises, focusing on subtle core movement, communication and presence within the embrace. I then continue with exercises that slowly reveal more complex movements and concepts by adding to the subtle movements of the exercise. Beginners can continue working with what they understand, and more advanced dancers can explore the more difficult movements and concepts. All dancers lead and follow, and beginners and advanced dancers intermingle, providing an effective learning experience for everyone.