Stop bashing the London teachers

There seems to be a lot of bashing of teachers in London. If you dance in London, you can see that its not brilliant and you could direct fault at the teachers. But I don’t think people should. I go to several teachers and they are all lovely people, both on and off the floor.

They all have good posture, musicality, leading, floorcraft, knowledge of tangos and milongas and so on. Unfortunately their students may not.

But then whose fault is that?

If someone drives over the speed limit and crashes, who do we blame? Do we blame the instructor? No.

Our teachers, like driving instructors, over a period of time pass on everything they know to their students. The students, being adults take what they’ve learnt and apply what they’ve learnt in the real world without the instructor.

I’ve been asked to return to the line of dance in class when I’ve strayed a little. Whenever a sequence is taught, we’re always told to start and end with the line of dance, listen to the music and look after my woman.

When a kick/gancho is taught, we’re always taught to look out for the space around us.

We’ve all had another couple crashing into us. We’ve all been kicked. (I’ve even been kicked up the bum on a crowded floor!)

I’m sure the perpetrators know exactly that they’ve been doing.

When we drive we know what the road rules are. We may get fined when we break them. How come some don’t on the dance floor? What can we do to get people to remember what their teachers say in class and not just the sequence that was taught? If we come across a crap driving instructor, we find a new one. If you tango teacher is crap, then why are you sticking with him/her/them? There are plenty of good ones in London. The questions then might become how do we know a teacher is crap and why are you still with them?


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3 Responses to “Stop bashing the London teachers”

  1. jantango Says:

    How do you know a teacher is crap? When they begin a class demonstrating the proper way to do ganchos. Why? Because ganchos aren’t for the social floor. Most attend classes to learn social dancing.

    I wrote about the “tango codes” which are the same as all ballroom dance etiquette. I say, find a new teacher if you are being taught anything that is dangerous for a crowded social dance floor.

  2. Arlene Says:

    I recently wrote about a pair of teachers recently teaching tango ettiquette at one of the popular Friday night milongas. Very few people paid attention. Some teachers are not ideal, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to learn. The problem is, everyone wants to dance. Nobody wants to watch the dancefloor and learn and ask questions. Hey ho!

  3. David Bailey Says:

    “But then whose fault is that?”
    – Well, ours, of course. We all need to take responsibility for our own actions. That said, teachers do have a say – a very big say – in shaping the way people dance. And if they don’t instill a respect for floorcraft in their students, then yes, I think it’s reasonable to blame them.

    It’s noticeable that people who’ve learnt at some schools (Thames Valley Tango and El Once, for example) are clearly better at floorcraft, respect, and etiquette than others. So teachers can clearly have a positive influence.

    “When a kick/gancho is taught, we’re always taught to look out for the space around us.”
    – I’ve gone right off ganchos recently, I just don’t think they’re worth messing around with in milongas.

    “If you tango teacher is crap, then why are you sticking with him/her/them?”
    – Probably because we don’t know any better…

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