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Why is it so? - Part 1

posted Apr 14, 2014, 6:13 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Apr 15, 2014, 9:34 PM ]
Julius sumner miller tango
"If you're just a social dancer, it's OK to not take lessons, as long as 
there are people who genuinely enjoy your dancing as it is. 
But if you're a teacher, I frankly think it's a duty to take lessons 
whenever and however you can."
- Terpsichoral Tangoaddict

One local teacher was strongly advised by his teacher to attend as many workshops and classes until he started teaching professionally, because after that he should never, ever attend a workshop (as a student), as this would diminish his status in the local community. 

In Sydney it is rare to see a teacher attend a workshop of a visiting teacher. They do attend as assistants but rarely as 'students'.

To quote Julius Sumner Miller - Why is it so? 

Perhaps teachers...
  1. fear that they will be judged as a 'lesser' teacher when seen as a 'student' in a workshop.
  2. are insecure about their own abilities and fear that their technical weaknesses may be seen, even videoed, by fellow students in the class.  
  3. fear to break the status quo, of being seen as different to other teachers who don't attend workshops. 
  4. want to save their money for much cheaper tuition in Buenos Aires.
  5. prefer to assist for reasons of economy (it's free when assisting)
  6. don't think they need any more training, or can learn anything from other teachers.
  7. a combination of several of the above.
Of all the above possible reasons I take particular issue with point 6. I strongly believe that tango is a life long journey, and there is always something new to learn, discover and master. As a teacher this is even more vital, as not only do teachers  need to keep improving their tango skills, they also need to continually improve their understanding and communication of tango theory and concepts. 

It is an absurd notion that we at some point in time arrive at a perfect point of development in our tango skills, where no extra improvement is needed! The fear raised in point 1. may be an unfortunate reality based on this faulty viewpoint.