This is in my humble opinion what is wrong with tango outside of BA today. Tango has become a private club that you can only join if you already possess the correct skills.
There are a couple of problems with statements like these, namely me. Not to mention how many Argentines didn’t come from this background as well.
All too often I hear teachers in this country say if you want to help out with teaching people to dance, you have to learn about many other dances as well, mostly ballet. I can’t help but wonder how many of these women that love to dance with Tete so much think about the fact that he was one of the first ever to teach tango? I can’t be sure until the next time I see Tete, but I doubt he ever donned a tutu and learned to dance on point.
Personally, I am guy that is over 40 and has only been dancing about 19 months, and is in fact a very nice dancer. Many people all over the world put my skill level at the almost 10 year level, and no, I have not been dancing 10 hours a day 7 days a week to get there. I focused on my chest, and walking all of the time, never on the steps. I went out and found my tango, it is not like anyone else’s dance. I am going to say this once as well, I feel that I am still very much a beginner.
Listen to this statement I am going to make now, all of you that think you can never learn to dance. ANYONE can learn to tango, and ANYONE can do it very well. There are no big secrets to be had to learn this dance, it is only time, and good teachers.
What a day it will be when the tango teachers in this country are judged on the quality of dancers they put out instead of the size of their ass!
I am going to fill in some blanks here that are going to make me really unpopular. When you are a new dancer and you keep getting turned down by those really awesome teachers, guess what: most of them can’t dance. How do you know they can’t really dance? Because they only dance with the same people all night long. By same people, it is usually the same three people. It is a dead set giveaway.
Think about it for one minute, if you are a really great dancer, you can dance with anyone. If you are not, you risk everyone seeing you at your worst. For a teacher, that can be certain death.
Stick with the tried and true teachers, the ones that have been around a long time. Stay away from anyone that steers you with their arms. Even in open embrace, steering is wrong. Find teacher that explains what it really means to walk to the music, not just says to do it.
I have personally seen to many people of every age walk away from tango frustrated after years of trying to learn to dance. This isn’t right. We have to do better as a community of dancers.
On a last note, don’t go to BA just to dance, go there to learn. Find a way to go for a full three weeks, take lessons everyday if you can, group and private. This is the one place you will learn to dance tango, and in my opinion the only place you will learn.