Getting criticised on my tango walk by a newbie!


Well-Known Member
her dance instructor's hyoe to dance in a showing off salon way. the kind of tsngo you could never do in small spaces. both are russians. otherwise she is very nice and I hzve
How about you put your Czech keyboard into the garbage bin and come back to your azerty/qwerty one?

When someone who I think is less knowledgeable than me criticizes my tango then I will reply on the lines of "this is a point where different people may have different opinions", if she insists then I tell her openly that I will ignore whatever she says.


Active Member
"You should dance more with passion"
The only answer is 'you should be more wary of clichés'.
The 'passion' is something that a beginner doesn't know. If that's what you're looking for, you'll never find 'it', even though I don't think 'passion' is a good word for it. It'll hit you when you least expect it, but you'll shake your head at the ugly word 'passion' is for what just crossed your path and how different it is from 'the passion' you thought you'd come across when you naively started to learn this dance.
I might add that 'tango, the passion' is an idiom that sends shivers through my spine despite the fact I met my wife at tango more than 20 years ago.
Someone from the USA told me last week that he had a private lesson with Rodolfo Dinzel. He was a newbie then and paid $200 for the lesson. Dinzel told him to dance tango with passion. He said the lesson was worth it for that alone.

I think "basic AT" is a good subject for another argument. I'm sure in BsAs milongas they don't want basic AT dancers on the floor.
Have you viewed any videos of the milongas on YouTube? Instead of suggesting you visit in person, you can get a some idea of how basic social dancing really is in BsAs. Many imagine that the milongas are full of dancers doing exhibition choreography if they watch the tango champions who never go to the milongas. Tango is basic and improvised. As simple as the basic steps of Foxtrot.

You and the other teachers on this forum would serve your students better after spending time where tango was born. Until you do, you don't know the tango of BsAs.


Active Member
Someone from the USA told me last week that he had a private lesson with Rodolfo Dinzel. He was a newbie then and paid $200 for the lesson. Dinzel told him to dance tango with passion. He said the lesson was worth it for that alone.
I'm teaching a class. It's only $100 per lesson, $100 cheaper than Dinzel. I'll tell you to dance "with passion." I take cash, check, or credit.


Well-Known Member
The $200 is only for newbies lol. Advanced dancers pay more but they get another slogan....

I think that selling the fantasy is often what newbies are looking for in dance. Whether it is a teacher who tells them what they want to hear (there are no steps, just go with your passion) or a follow who tells them the exact opposite (I do not recognize what you are doing as it is not 'authentic tango') the beginner is enamored with the idea that they ar e entering a secret society with specific passwords and handshakes, with rules that mirror a mans fantasy world from 1950 (the man is in complete control, the man asks, the woman does not). It is an attractive fantasy for sure, but has little do do with dance. Unfortunately for the poor newbie who got a yoda-like proclamation for his 'lesson', he is no closer to understanding balance, movement, shaping, or timing.
Well, I have seen that happened, not from Dinzel, and for less than $200 though.
On the other hand I have seen many people spend much more over years on lessons from someone who has got neither basics nor passion. They still do not dance, and, probably, never will.

Steve Pastor

Staff member
I'm always amazed to hear repeated over and over again, "Take a private."

I agree with Jantango about the basic thing, and I at least thought about writing that here (not worth the time to see if I actually did).
One skill you need, also, is to know how to respect other dancers and not be like an out of control bumper car. (Well, you have to be much better that that, but you get my point I hope.) I would think that that is a basic skill, but you wouldn't know it from a lot of places I've experienced (nearly all of which are Portland, I'll admit).


Well-Known Member
Period? Is that so? Do you want to explain why that is a true and universal statement?

Do you think there are any fine dancers in BA, or anywhere, who have never taken a one-on-one private lesson?

Doesn't necessarily have to do with the quality of learning, though it helps.

There are certainly folks in BsAs who never had private lessons for pay... but they were taught by a friend, by a mentor at the practica, or by a family member.

And no, I don't think it's in dispute. With group lessons, you don't get the personal feedback. With self practice, you don't know if you're doing it right. And learning by dancing may be possible (easier for a follower than a leader) but it still takes more time than if you have someone helping you directly.
I agree that private lessons can be useful and expedient, provided that they are given by a good teacher, and to the right student. Period.
As a child, when I first started taking lessons in guitar, I had some group lessons. They were cheap - and my parents got what they paid for. I loved music and the instrument, but I made little progress until I took private lessons from a teacher who knew how to teach. Learning AT has been pretty much the same for me. Classes are OK; they expose students to different followers/leaders. But the best way to progress, for me, was to take many privates from several teachers who could identify my weaknesses (and there are still many) and suggest ways to fix them. Or at least offer suggestions for improvement. And there's a benefit beyond correcting bad technique; talking about the music and what we hear and how to interpret it in the dance - these things are worth every penny. All this assumes the teacher is VERY good, of course.

I am indebted, in my guitar playing and AT dancing, to those teachers whom I studied with in one-on-one lessons.


Well-Known Member
Methinks that those for whom basic tango means beginners/immature dancing, and passion is a cliche do not really speak the same language as Jantango...
Does anyone?

Joke aside, I do understand what a porteño means with 'passion'.

But that is a very different thing to what a newbie understands by it, unfortunately, especially a newbie 'attracted to the dance by the passion' and who professes to know what it is after three weeks. The most promising newbies that I know seem to approach it as an interesting improvised social dance that allows you to express yourself and comes with intriguing and complex sad-but-beautiful music, not a 'passion' that happens to be danced.

I've had my epiphanies, thank you, but they didn't come after three weeks. And they were _very_ different from what I would have imagined them to be.

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