I must confess…
1. Watching people at the very end of a tango makes me happy. These moments hold the most beautiful smiles.
2. I am truly in admiration of how women dress and take care of their appearance. Every friday night, I find myself saying several times “You look beautiful” at the women who have obviously taken pleasure in picking their shoes and their dress for the evening.
3. Every friday night I felt butterflies when I start preparing the space for the milonga, lining the tables, inspecting the floor, prepping emergency kits in the bathrooms.
4. What I love most about my work is choreography, without a doubt. It is like sculpting, trying to create something meaningful out of a shapeless mass. Funningly enough, working on choreography is important for improvisation skills. It prepares you to improvise.
5. Pet peeve 1 : Dancers who do. not. point. their. feet.:)
6. Pet peeve 2 is dancers looking at themselves in the mirror. I cannot say how irksome this is for me. It is bad during the milongas but even worse during a performance. We use mirrors in practice, only. Dancing is an act of generosity so STOP LOOKING AT YOURSELF.
7. I know we have long resisted ballroom for several reasons, but I admit having a fascination for these great athletes. I love to watch it!
8. Even though I have been performing in public since I was a teenager, I am actually shy and I dont’ like talking in public. This is one more reason why I love tango: no talking!
9. We often hear that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. So if you take lessons with someone who discovered tango two years ago, well you’re missing on thousands of hours of training. I am always saddened to see amateurs trying to make themselves pass as professionals. They short-change the students who trust them. No matter how gifted and hard-working you are, those 10,000 hours are not an option.
10. My dream for the Tango community is that it will grow much more. Newcomers are responsible for the growth of the community. Their enthusiasm and energy is important but they need to do more than just profit from what has been established over 25 years. Share your passion, but contribute.
And you, do you have any confessions to make?
In Quebec we have a high record of adults going back to school. In Tango, the tendency seems to be reversed. Many dancers stop taking classes, often after 3 or 4 sessions. It is so important to continue to take classes, ll pros continue. In all walks of life be it painting, theatre, business, people take classes. Look at ballet dancers, they continue all throughout their career.
A century of Tango in 6 months?
Do you think that you can learn everything from a dance that has been brought into our cultural heritage by UNICEF? Do you think that a short trip to Buenos Aires will give you all you need to teach?
Malcolm Gladwell put up a hypothesis that said : to learn a new skill one needs 10,000 hours to master it. If you dance an average of 5 hours per week for the last 5 years, that makes 1300 hours. We are a nit far off the 10 000 mark no?
Homer Ladas of San Francisco had an interesting viewpoint. He envisioned a cycle of tango in 3 successive steps: : Student – Ego – Apathy. We go through these cycles several times, it is just a question of knowing where you are stuck.
« No thanks, I don’t want to dance… »
Keep in mind that if you are stuck at one level, other dancers continue to take classes and evolve, taking advantage of the richness of Tango in Montreal.
You think that some are snobbing you by not dancing? Could it be because they see no change in your dance? Perhaps they are pushing their limits, are you?