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

Jay Rabe jayrabe at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 13 11:01:15 EST 2008

I will concede the spirit (but certainly not the absolutism) of Keith's "no American can dance anywhere near the level of the Argentines." It's clear why this general principle would be the case, cultural immersion, years of listening to the music, easy availability of master role models, many opportunities to practice, etc. 

OTOH Argentines have no such lock on the skill of teaching. I have seen Argentines come to festivals who, while being undeniably world-class master dancers, were abysmal teachers. The two skills have no relation to each other. 

And to complicate it further, just because an Argentine has been successful teaching tango to Argentines, does not guarantee success teaching Americans or Europeans. Good teachers knows that each student learns differently, and the material must be presented to them to match their learning style. It's not unexpected that different cultures, e.g. American vs. Argentine, might require entirely different teaching styles to convey the same material to their population.


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