4 practices to make the most out of your tango course
1) Good personal hygiene
Consider your personal hygiene and its effect on your partners. For fresh breath mints are good but avoid chewing gum in class because this wrecks your rhythm when dancing!
If you perspire easily you may like to bring a change of top and a towel. Read more here on personal hygiene for class.
2) Give and receive feedback effectively
Getting feedback from fellow dancers can be an important step in recognising your own mistakes and improving your dancing. However, it is vital that the act of giving and receiving feedback be done in a way that is comfortable, polite, and desired on both sides.
a) Giving feedback
Ask your partner for permission to give feedback.
If they do not want feedback – do not give it unless what they are doing makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
If they do want feedback - tell them something specific and constructive.
Bad examples: “I can't follow you” or "No that’s not right" or "Not like that"
Good example: “I feel that your right arm is getting tight when you lead me to your left"
The tone of feedback is just as important as content. An impatient, irritated or disapproving tone will be very counter productive! Be kind, gentle and positive with your feedback.
b) Receiving feedback
When asking for feedback yourself, first ask your partner if they are comfortable giving you feedback. If so, ask them about something specific and easy to watch out for in your dancing (e.g. “Can you give me some feedback on my posture in that dance?” or “Can you tell me if my arm gets tight when I lead this move?”)
3) Regular attendance
Attend every week if possible, as each lesson builds on the previous. If you can’t make your class, take a replacement class at one of our other venues, or take a catch-up private lesson.
4) Practice between classes
Look at lesson reviews before your next class. You don’t need a partner to practice. A lot of the best practice is solo - The Lapiz walk and Pivoting Walk exercise shown in Week 5 (Forward - Side - Back - Side) are very good exercises for improving your tango technique.
Leaders should memorise the geometry of moves taught in class, (both their steps and the follower’s) including when a step requires torsion (dissociation) or not, whether you are stepping inside or outside of your partner’s lines.