The question on a for-tango-teachers-only Facebook page was: "How do you teach a beginner to walk? What is the first thing that you start with?" This is an advanced question. The starting off question for a teachers-only Facebook page might better be: "What makes a teacher a great teacher?" Or, "should I really even be a teacher?"
But being a good student, I will try to answer the question about walking, and how to teach it -- but I say this as only as a customer (I am not a teacher):
I practice walking still more than any other thing. So, I would recommend teaching students to walk by themselves for a long time and practice it outdoors as often as possible. We give lip service to how walking is taught for years before anything else in Buenos Aires, but then we start with a figure, calling it the "basic step." Walking is the basic step.
Secondly, I would suggest teaching them to walk in close embrace as much as possible. Always teaching in open embrace with a partner will inculcate that open is the natural embrace and easier when in fact showing intention is more difficult at the more advanced levels when there is less connection.
Tip: You can even start with a pillow between body-phobic students (Americans), but teach connectedness! If they don't want to embrace a stranger, suggest therapy before taking up this wonderful dance. In therapy they can work out their body issues and perhaps unresolved traumas. Maybe explain to your students that open embrace is for people who wish to do advanced moves and to dance for others (our best marketing for bringing people to tango). Closed embrace is to dance for one person -- your partner (a great way for people to STAY with tango).
I will address the more basic question "why I am not a teacher" (some ideas for unqualified teachers) and "what makes a teacher great" (a great business plan for good teachers) in my next posts. ¿Nos vemos? ¡Hasta entonces!