[Tango-L] Beginners and milongas

Chris, UK tl2 at chrisjj.com
Sun Feb 17 19:44:00 EST 2008

> These two statements reference quite different things, no? Counting 
> steps is merely putting them in order.

No, counting steps does not put the steps in order. What puts the steps in 
order is the teachers assignment of the steps to positions in a sequence. 
In all such DIC classes I've seen, the teacher's calling of the count (to 
the class copying the sequence) communicates two things:

 1 What moment in time to take each step. For this, the call might just as
   well be 'step, step, step...' rather than "one, two, three..." and
   indeed some teachers do that instead (or clap), e.g. when calling a walk.

 2 What type of step to make e.g. "5" = cross, "8" = close, rather
   than using unwieldy step names/descriptions that don't suit 1 above.
   Hence you hear "6,1,6,1" for a rock step, though sometimes "6,7,8,9"

I don't suggest these are all or any of what class teachers /think/ the 
count does. I've asked quite a few about the reasons they do it, and the 
most frequent answer is 'that's the way my teacher taught me' and/or 
'that's what other teachers around here do'. If any DIC teacher here 
wouold like to explain their own reason for step-counting, I'd be 
interested to hear it.

> The "count" of the music is another thing entirely,

Yup, which is why made no mention of it! ;)

> certain performers with stage-training... if they open a routine with
> the 8CB (and many of them do), it's invariably off the music.

If they learnt that sequence to a teacher count, think how hard it 
must be to then do it when teacher is replaced by music.


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