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Why is it so? - Part 2

posted Apr 15, 2014, 9:32 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Apr 15, 2014, 9:35 PM ]
albert einstein tango
I fully agree with this advice from Terpsichoral Tangoaddict, (which follows on from Why is it So? - Part 1that tango teachers "should absolutely take advantage of as many classes as they can at a local festival" 

Terpsi's rationale:

"One of the things that often strikes foreign visitors to Buenos Aires is the sight of very well-known professional dancers attending each other's classes, participating attentively and taking correction, like any other student. I'm sad to say that people are surprised by this because learning from your peers is so uncommon elsewhere. The other thing that strikes many is that teachers and learners exist on a continuum. Almost every teacher is also a student and it is very common to meet your own teachers in class and to learn not only from them but also, sometimes, alongside them. FInances can be an issue -- but local teachers could surely visit each other's classes for free on a barter basis and everyone would benefit.

So my first reaction is that local teachers should absolutely take advantage of as many classes as they can at a local festival -- not for the sake of their students, but for their own sakes. As a teacher, you can always benefit from someone else's class. Even if you disagree with their approach and don't feel you can learn anything from their technique or even find their explanations muddled or unhelpful, it's extremely useful to know the range of approaches and teaching styles that are out there and to see how different things can work for different students. It's very valuable information indeed. 

And it's important to keep an open mind, try out what the teachers are suggesting and, if you disagree with something and prefer not to teach it that way yourself, to understand precisely why. When you teach yourself, it's vital to distinguish between what you think is a necessary goal for everyone and what your own specific approach is (knowing that other approaches can be equally valid) and what is simply the result of your own personal stylistic or aesthetic preferences. Only by taking class with a wide range of teachers can you begin to develop your own authentic and effective approach."

In a nutshell, attending workshops of other teachers is beneficial, even vital, to the skill development of teachers, and particularly useful for exploring different pedagogical approaches. 

If you saw your teacher in a Festival workshop would you think less of their teaching and dancing abilities?

Would you prefer to learn from a teacher who was constantly developing and reviewing their tango and teaching skills, or learn from one who believed they knew it all? 

“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.”
- Albert Einstein

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