22 August 2010

Someone asked me to teach tango

A non-tango colleague of mine, quite insistently, asked me to teach her tango. Maybe even start a tango club at work. I graciously said no and gave my reasons. My colleague seemed baffled at my answer. I just ended up saying that I couldn't teach.

I guess, trying to address my true reasons were something only tango people would truly understand—I think...

Don't want to teach steps
I can (probably) teach different levels of steps, mechanical techniques, come up with patterns, and develop really deep tango concepts. However, I'm not inclined to go down this road because I have not the time nor the patience for such an endeavor. As a friend of mine once said, "As far as tango goes, I'm a consumer, not a producer."

The real reason I don't want to teach
The real reason I truly do not want to teach is this—I cannot teach anyone to express themselves with their own souls. I can teach my expression from MY soul. Having someone trying to adopt my interpretation  will end up with someone trying to emulate myself. What I would want to happen is for everyone is to create a distinctive "you." I do not know enough to inspire someone to activate and express their own brand of tango from deep within.

When the time comes when I figure out how to inspire people to develop their own tango expression, maybe I'll consider teaching tango, but, not until then.


Captain Jep said...

well my no 1 reason is that I actually dont want to *think* when I'm dancing ... and teaching seems to in contradiction to that.Oh and having a dance partner would also help ..

Elizabeth Brinton said...

You do teach by your lead. I have learned most of what I know, however little it still is, from the leaders who tell me silently how to move. It is a gift.

Anonymous said...

I was invited once, I tried my best to teach anything but steps - walking to the music, embrace, connection .. - but soon realised that like art, you can't teach it. I stopped.

Tangocommuter said...

I think in a way she's already tried to take a step towards a 'distinctive you' by asking you to help her. It might just be that she's watched 'tango' on TV, in which case you won't be much help! But you could point her towards the music, towards some videos of dance you enjoy watching, to some teachers who might help. Tango shouldn't be too complicated. Surely, as a leader who's well respected (so I'm assured!) you can help a little, without being "a teacher"!

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