Part 3: Making the Honeymoon Last, for other dancers . . .
The Care and Feeding of New Tangueros/as
NOTE: I am not a teacher and these are only my thoughts on what appears to work in my own community. I hear a lot of the same advice in other communities, so I'm pretty sure this is pretty applicable stuff. Please feel free to shoot down, comment, argue, debate, add, etc.)
1. From the very beginning, let them know the expectations of the community - the etiquette, floor craft, the ways of doing things, resources they can seek out for info on music, on history, on community affairs. Emphasize the community before the steps. The steps aren't going to keep them in tango - the community experience probably will.
2. Dance with them.
3. Spread the word. Talk them up. Introduce them around. For leaders, if appropriate, let them know who might be most likely to accept their cabeceo. (It's really best to check with potential tangueras beforehand.) And make sure they now how to use the cabeceo.
4. Dance with them.
5. Limit criticism to classes and practicas - and try to keep it encouraging. And of course, encourage them to go to practicas as much as possible.
6. Dance with them.
7. Get them involved in events.
8. Dance with them.
9. Share your experiences - good and bad, enlightening and embarrassing. Empathize.
10. Dance with them.
This is a great advice. However I am still at loss about what to do with beginners who refuse to listen. They come with preconceived notions, and insist on doing things their way, and when they fail, they blame the community or the imperfection of the world... or you. :)
Frances - Thank you for your comments! you're right, that is so frustrating. I had a beginner (dancing 2 months) lecture me during the milonga because I didn't follow his (non) gancho lead. ::rolls eyes:: You just have to choose your battles. lol
One relative beginner announced, at a table where two teachers were sitting, that he had had enough classes (3 months worth) and he felt he'd learned all he needed. um. ok. Good luck with that.
It's also hard at times to stay in beginning classes, and/or dance with beginning leaders, when I'm already in pain. I've noticed that my back can really take a beating at times. I do my best, but in the end I have to take care of my own well-being first (emotionally and physically).
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