Saturday, 12 April 2008

Catch-up

I've just re-appeared two posts further down that I de-published because I was very disappointed and couldn't look at them calmly. Now that I read them again I realise they don't make me look as foolish as I felt, and I'd really still value your input on this one especially, even though I'm not going to use it any time soon.

And this blog sort of ceases to make sense in a way that's very confusing and troublesome for me if I ignore events that are important to me.

It's about teaching and learning in a beginners' class. Please have a look and respond if you've got anything to say. It would really cheer me up. :)

xHedgehog

9 comments:

La Tanguerita said...

I used to start fidgeting, when nervous and it threw me off balance. So for me „Keep calm and collect your feet when your body moves” would have been most essential. Unfortunately no one cared to tell me that at the beginning and I had to learn it the hard way. “Keep calm” is still an issue.
I liked you practical tips very much.
I didn’t quite understand what happened, because Blogger just wouldn’t let me read the post in question (“I’m no longer required”), but I’m pretty sure it had nothing to do with your ability to explain and to dance. So cheer up!!

Anonymous said...

I have a similar lis of common advice for beginner followers:

* don't panic, don't feel you have to do something if you're unsure or nothing is being led. just stay calm, look elegant and collect if i feels right. better to do less than too much.

* aim to always be on one foot.

* don't chhange weight unless its led - applies espcially if you think the leader is walking "out of sync" to you - he's not, don't correct, he's relying on you not to.

* stay with the leader, think of the usual analogies (elastic spring, string, radius of circle, etc).

This one is for the more experienced beginners:

* don't be light, quick or helpful. Its better to "be there", provide some substance, make the leader work. He doesn't want to dance with a hyperactive jumping-bean, nor a woman made of air or cotton-wool.

I find some excercises really highlight how much attention the leaders and followers have to give each other in tango - something that total beginner's don't think is normal.

Quite often the early days of tango are learning a new "normality" - doing things and feeling things in tango which are not normal in everyday life.

Anonymous said...

i must say though - it is scarey being a demo person - everyone is watching yo to be the exemplary leader/follower. good thing is you'll learn a lot and the it'll give you the impetus to improve vastly and think about dimensions you hadn't done before.

msHedgehog said...

The first one went really well and I enjoyed it a lot (yes it was scary, I just had to breathe and concentrate) - but I'm not needed now. Maybe another time, maybe not.

msHedgehog said...

@tanguerita - thanks for mentioning that, I've fixed the broken link. And thanks for the cheerup! :)

Alex said...

hola ms hedge...in addition to or along with "calm"...perhaps the same exact meaning..."relax"..."stay calm" and "don't panic", to me go to the emotional side of things...as if a person might be about to freak out..."relax" seems to me to be more intellectual/physical...

also, when they feel their feet out of synch...it's important that they not try to correct...if both leader and follower are trying to synch, it will never happen...I always tell beginners that it's the leaders job to re-synch...they should just walk...or just wait...

Claudita said...

Hi MsH

I have always told myself that I would never get involved in any Tango discussions on the web, but somehow I'm not very good at sticking with my intentions...I really like your blog and this post in particular. Not sure I have a lot to add, but for me it's definitely 'slow down and wait', which is similar to all the other things people have said. Not sure about 'look elegant' (anonymous)- I don't think it helps (particularly at the beginning) to think too much about what we look like.....

msHedgehog said...

Hi Claudita,

I agree that "look elegant" by itself is not useful advice when you're starting. Yes it is an aim, but the information we need is "what should I do with my body?" And anyway we have no way of knowing how we look. It's not as though I have any idea what I look like dancing. Presumably I must look OK, and a couple of people have said I look "natural", but it's not for me to say whether I look elegant or not.

What Anon may be saying is that it's important to concentrate on things like keeping your feet close together. But I do think it works better to spell out those specifics, although it can be encouraging to hear "and if you do it this way you will also look good".

msHedgehog said...

And Claudita, thank you :)