Why I offer monthly Argentine Tango Foundation Bootcamps: Immersion learning: After teaching 4-6 week beginner series, I found the level of retention from week to week was very low, and most of the class was just reviewing what was forgotten or vague from the week before. Then as a teacher there is pressure to add more even if the students aren’t ready so that they think “they got their money’s worth” Fluency and perspective in the “language” of tango: In a one hour class, a teacher only has enough time to show the student one example of a principal, element, or rule of tango. If the student doesn’t get exposure to multiple variations or time to understand the underlying rule, their idea or concept of tango can get blocked or stuck on one sequence in the dance, paving the way for a long journey down a dead end road. Differential (a variety of differing)material is needed to understand how the rules in the dance are applied. Exposure to all of the Core Movements of Argentine Tango: Tango is made up of some very fundamental elementsWalk3 tracks3 directionsChanges of weightTwist or pivotCircular movementCrosswalks and parallel walks That’s all! Seriously. If you don’t get exposure and mastery of these basics, youcan wander around in the world of tango for years without finding the freedom of improvisation and the attention to the communication of elements. Culture:After over 23 years in tango and over 27 years in pretty much every style of dance, it is my firm belief that in order to understand Argentine tango you have to embrace the culture that created it. Language, social expression, and day to day habits and needs are very different in Buenos Aires than in Seattle (for instance). Without a willingness to start investigating the cultural context of tango it’s just cultural appropriation. Work of the man, work of the woman:Regardless of which role you want to learn, we all practice elements of both roles in my school, understanding the energetic and functional differences in Argentine Tango is the only way to cut the confusion of the dance. Spanish is a language where EVERY word has a gender association. We cannot approach the role of the man and the woman with the same attitude. Many things about the roles are the same, but understanding the difference in the responsibilities of the roles will facilitate the dynamic in tango. Musical expression and ambidexterity: From the very first moment we work on listening skills and freedom of movement. Tango is not rote memorization and regurgitation. Tango is play and exploration. Learning how to listen to the music and build the confidence for expression is the simple joy that will keep one learning, discovering, and enjoying the dance for a lifetime. Having a community with a common language: Once you understand the basic elements and responsibilities of each role it’s much less confusing to practice and learn in Tango. With monthly bootcamps we offer substantial discounts each time you take it and after 4 bootcamps its FREE! Why? Because mastery of the fundamentals is essential in Tango, so we are always looking for sustainable (affordable) ways for you to become the owner of your dance. Plus, with about half of the class repeating the bootcamp each month, beginners can understand and get a feel for the material much quicker. The concept of Buena Onda: This is a big deal in Buenos Aires. Buena Onda means “the good wave” or “good energy”. In my dance career I have seen thousands of times the insecurity that working with your body with “strangers” creates. Many people fall into the anxiety and stress of perfecting technique or “being a desirable partner” often making themselves miserable, both in their own bodies and mentally, for years hoping one day they will get to enjoy their dancing. With a lifetime of spiritual and artistic experience, I am totally dedicated to helping our community stay in the joy of learning. My background in yoga, martial arts, and Gyrotonic have helped me to teach people how to manage their state from sympathetic (fight or flight) to parasympathetic (relaxed open focus). Being aware and choosing the state you want to inhabit is the key to learning more easily, giving presence to your partner, and having lots of enjoyment in your dancing from the very beginning.
I hope you can join us in this wave of “Buena Onda”... please share if you like and we hope you stay in the love of dance all your life!