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

Victor Bennetts Victor_Bennetts at infosys.com
Fri Feb 15 00:31:15 EST 2008

I can't talk for Americans, but I can say that the probable reason most Argentinians are not so screwed up by the 8 step is that they already know what good tango looks like and have been immersed in dancing (if not tango) and tango music since birth. Most anglo-Australians (and I presume anglo-Americans) don't have a culture of dancing, particularly not masculine dancing, so everything has to be learnt from scratch and the teacher has to impart a lot more than just the steps and general approach. In fact they have to impart the whole concept of what dancing is which can be assumed in other contexts and cultures. There is a big difference between someone walking through steps per the basic and someone dancing. Is what people do in a gym aerobics class dancing? No, because it does not have the artistic and expressive dimension. It may be on an equal athletic par to ballet, for instance, but it will never be ballet because at the end of the day ballet is about beauty and elegance and aerobics is about exercise.

Also, I think the shallow stereotyping of people and particularly the comments about 'asians' in this list are pretty silly. I am no expert on south east asia (despite in theory living in the region), but regarding all 'asians' (and more specifically asian tango dancers) as generally exhibiting some kind of common character is like someone suggesting to an Englishman that he should be lumped in a common bucket with the Irish Scotch and Welsh, at best an alarming proposition I am sure.

Victor Bennetts

> I want to know why American teachers advocate
>teaching Tango differently than Argentine teachers. And, right now,
>I'm using the 8CB as an example. Argentines teach it and nobody has
>a problem. Americans teach it and, it seems, everybody has a problem.

>Keith, HK

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