Methods of Teaching Tango
Many well meaning people will argue that Argentine Tango can be taught through the written word: books, others through visual media: video. Maybe a combination is their ideal solution. I differ from these opinions.
Tango is a physical experience. The written word is insufficient to teach a physical sensation that is not based on steps. What really has to be taught is ‘how’ not what or when. The sensation is passed from one person to another physically.
The best Argentine Tango dance experience is not about the dance per se: the steps, the combinations or sequences. What may be remembered is the music that inspired the physical experience. But for many the music and dance drift into an ethereal experience of pure expression. Incredible and impossible to explain.
This does not include stage tango, show tango, tango fantasia, tango escenario, tango nuevo etc.. I am referring to the fundamental source from which all these variations evolved. The aforementioned all involve steps, patterns, sequences and learned practices that may be led and followed but are not purely improvised expression.
For the purists, tango is an art form. It therefore presents the same challenges all artists face.