[Tango-L] Breaking the "paso basico."

Tom Stermitz stermitz at tango.org
Tue Feb 12 10:20:55 EST 2008

Mash says nobody he knows was NOT taught the 8CB w/DBS?

How strange!

I thought teachers in most places had moved to more modern methods.  
Are these Argentines or non-Argentines? Stage dancers or social  
dancers? Nuevo, Salon or Milonguero?

That sequence is useful for creating choreographies on stage, but gets  
in the way for social dancing. At the upper level it isn't so harmful;  
teachers can use it or any number of other sequences for presenting an  
idea, although then it is a teaching framework, not a "basic".

Mash has noticed that his 8-count pattern is awkward, partly because  
it is rote because more importantly, because the movements aren't  
connected to the music. That is a huge insight.

The basic musical phrasing of tango is 4+4=8. At the beginner level,  
working with 4-count pieces gives the leader smaller, simpler  
sequences that allows him to "just walk", but walk on the phrase of  
the music. This teaches musicality at the same time as basic steps.

Also, I've found that beginners confidence improves tremendously when  
they "feel" that the movements make sense. This increases retention.

Longer sequences force the dancers into more intellectual or merely  
rote relationship with dance. When the leader doesn't feel like he is  
DANCING, he is more likely to quit.

On Feb 12, 2008, at 6:35 AM, 'Mash wrote:

> On Tue, Feb 12, 2008 at 12:44:00PM +0000, Chris, UK wrote:
>> 'Mash London,UK wrote:
>>> "paso basico." ... I really wish I never learnt the damn pattern
>> Wow. I didn't know there was still anyone in London teaching that  
>> kind of
>> thing.
>> --
>> Chris
> This is not a reflection on my current teachers but on my first 2  
> months experiance of Tango a year ago.
> To be honest I know noone who when starting Tango is not taught the  
> "paso basico" in some form or another.
> You fall back onto what you know the best and this basic step  
> sequence must have been etched into my head when I first started  
> learning. I am just wondering if anyone else has ever experianced  
> this and how they broke out of the sequence.
> 'Mash
> London,UK

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