Tango is education
Perhaps you were asking yourself: Why a Tango School?
When I receive a new student in my class I know that he or she wants to learn to dance. But teaching involves not only showing the moves, but also giving the student a sense of placement, making him or her aware that you cannot just do any move at any time.
So, I must give the new students a sense of Tango as a whole, make them understand that they are learning a culture.
I heard someone calling Tango a “sub-culture”. I do not agree. All the elements I have learned while studying Tango are substantial in the general society, and the broader world culture. I learned the importance of my body as the root of my existence. I learned a lot about my interaction with others, how my happiness or unhappiness affects everybody around me. In sum, I learned that everything I do affects everybody in this world.
I have realized the importance of teaching the beauty of Tango.
In my classes I teach all the elements you may have in your checklist, that every Tango instructor claims to teach. Name your favorite element, I do teach it.
However, more important than the element itself is the meaning that the move carries within.
A week ago, I attended an event related to Tango. I was chatting with a couple. They told me they took some tango classes. They asked me if in my classes I made my student change partners. I replied that, yes, but that it was not obligatory, as I knew many couples liked to remain together during the class.
Then they said they were learning “ganchos” in one class, and that they found uncomfortable doing “ganchos” with other people.
Well, I told them that, anyway, learning “ganchos” did not make much sense because if they went to Buenos Aires’ milongas, they would find out that you were not supposed to perform “ganchos” there.
They were surprised, and, I think, a little incredulous of my assertion. Since they never went to Buenos Aires, they could not tell for sure. But I do.
In my 15 years of teaching Tango in the Bay Area (and 19 years teaching Tango in Argentina and worldwide), I have discovered that the main obstacles in teaching a new student is to overcome all the previous ideas about Tango he or she brings to the class, and change them into what Tango really is.
Now, you are probably asking: What Tango is in reality?
My answer is: Tango is what happens in the milonga. And when I say milonga, my image is that of the very best of the most authentic milongas in Buenos Aires.
This is what guides my instruction, and that is why, along with others who are after the same goal, I created the Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires.