When do you stop being a beginner?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by MadamSamba, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    a lady was saying something had changed about my dance last night after we had a very nice dance, she said it was chest posture. I think her anaylsis was just way off the mark. She felt "connection" because for once, she was listening to me and the music. I wasnt doing anything different. It was just another nice dance for me.

    Connection, sschmection..:rolleyes:
  2. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure I'd go quite that far. :) Let's go for actively evolving dancer...I still make a lot of flubs and there are too many holes in my fundamentals for my taste. I do like to think I'm on the right track, though.
  3. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    To be honest, I've never really worried about it, (other than maybe when some class says you need to be a some level, to sign up for it). I find the categories somewhat arbitrary. Around these parts, there might be up to 5 categories for classes: Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Teacher Level. I think it would be more practical for classes to list what the prerequisite skills you need to have, rather than just some nebulous category.

    There have been "beginners" who I've enjoyed dancing with, and others I did not enjoy too much. The same is true for "advanced" dancers, and even teachers. I suppose the same goes for me with others, as some people seem to like dancing with me, and some don't.

    I will say that if I dance with a teacher and don't enjoy the dance, I won't take classes from her (as I assume our styles are incompatible). People who I enjoy dancing with, are who I occasionally will solicit feedback from, as those are the ones who I'd like to get better for (and in the way they deem important).
  4. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    One of my most influential teachers never cared for the way I dance. I took from her what seemed beneficial for me and ignored many of her other ideas. Eventually I did quit taking lessons from her, but that's true for any teacher.
  5. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Did you like dancing with her? If so, then it makes perfect sense to learn what to change so she would like dancing with you better.
  6. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    We only danced rarely and she was often critical, always "the teacher". She wanted me to be a different dancer, rather than the one I am. I don't think she was ever going to approve of my dancing. I couldn't dance with her, but I could learn from her.
  7. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I'm going to try that next time out!
  8. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

  9. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    The paradox:

    You stop being a beginner when you realize that you are still just a beginner.
  10. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    That's an interesting way of putting it... For you, do you have the sense that the difference comes from knowing what is, truly, your mistake versus a partner's?

    The reason I ask is because I'm thinking of a question posed in some thread here on D-F long, long ago which was, essentially: if you were somewhere (say, a festival or something) and the "headlining star" teacher were to come up and ask you to dance...would you accept, or not? I remember when the question was asked I would have politely declined, because the person would have been so much better than me, and I'd be embarrassed if I messed up. Since then my opinion has changed. Yes, they'd still be so much better than me...but I'm more confident of my own abilities, and mindful of deficiencies. Now, I'm confident enough to realize that if someone more advanced asks me to dance, and can't adjust his dancing down to my level, and ends up making me/us look or feel bad because of it...the fault lies with him. Someone who can't dance down to the level of their partner either isn't that good of a dancer, or is just a schmuck...and either way it's not something I need to feel bad about.

    That was a very profound shift in my way of thinking. In my mind, it went hand-in-hand with owning my dancing. I know what I can do, and what I can't...and I don't make excuses for skills I haven't developed yet. I'm trying, it's a journey, and everyone went through those stages. No shame.
  11. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    @zoopsia - Long time, no see (read). I've been wonder where you were.
  12. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I have a tendon/ligament/joint problem that prevents me from dancing at all these days. (and often prevents me from walking except with a crutch or cane)

    The doctor wasn't very encouraging - told me that he'd advise me to give up dancing for good, except that he knew I wouldn't. (except that pain has prevented me anyway) He felt it wasn't going to improve much and would probably get worse because it was a "degenerative" problem, not an injury. Even just reading about tango was too depressing when I felt I might never dance again. :(

    However, I am now hoping that I will be able to dance again soon (at least slow gentle stuff) because I am getting some better, more optimistic, help from another (different type) of doctor. He cautions me that it may never be what it was, but that there is some hope of near normal function.

    It's been a hard time for the last 4 months trying to deal with this and figure out how to recover.
  13. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Hoping for the best for you. .
  14. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Oh, man. I'm going to try this. I have suspected men of doing something similar to me, actually.
  15. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Yes! This! I made that realization, too, and it was very liberating. I no longer allow myself to feel humiliated if a leader dances over my head, because I now know that if he does, he's an knat and not worthy of another thought...or dance.
  16. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry. Sending you lots of positive thoughts, and if I may, prayers, for a full recovery.
  17. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    There are other possibilities. He may just not be that good himself (i.e. not able to accurately determine your capabilities, not able to adjust his lead to different followers, something about your dance leads him to think you are more experienced than you actually are, etc).
  18. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Active Member

    Actually, dancing with an inexperienced partner requires more skills, not less. So the partner who makes you feel and look bad is not "too advanced for you". He/she is not "advanced" enough.
    Ricardo Bellozo, a tango instructor and a milonguero, advices in his " Milonga etiquette" article:
    "First observe the quality of dancing of potential partners, to avoid bad experience or inconveniencing a beginner who is doing his or her first steps, and needs a partner of a higher level than yours."
  19. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    When I cause a problem, and I do, I tell my partner it was on me. I don't let my partner think things gone wrong are her fault. It they are her fault, I try to improve my lead, or just keep my month shut.

    Actually, I think if our dance hasn't gone right up to the edge of lost control, then it hasn't been free enough - it's been too restrained, too careful. I like going over the edge, where unforeseen things happen.
  20. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Perhaps, but if it goes on for 10 minutes and he never "gets it", he's either pretty dumb or completely self absorbed. With the particular incident I have in mind, the bad is on me for not ending it sooner.

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