|VonBraun's Rocket Science Tango Studios:|
Planning the first Volcada to put a woman on the Moon
Tango is perhaps the easiest dance on earth, but with a learning curve that seems to go wonderfully on forever. One could attempt to claim that all dances are this way, but I can only say that I have never experienced anything like it in all areas of my human experience: Tango is the easiest thing that is delightfully more and more challenging.
Rocket Scientist tango teachers focus on the "infinity and beyond" of tango rather than how easy it is to start. Oh, and who do teachers often say for whom tango is hardest? The male tango beginner! This is absolutely not the case. What a great way to maintain the high "mortality rates" of baby male tango dancers than to say how hard tango is! The woman with whom the guy came to the dance studio is probably already way ahead of him as a dancer because she took ballet or danced at parties with the other girls as the guys looked on.
The "Hard-as-Hell" School of Thought
Tango is not harder for the man. Tango is equally easy for men and woman! Stop promoting gender imbalance in tango by this stupid "hard-as-hell" misconception! The only thing that is hardest for the man is the psychological blocks that certain cultures put in his way, and Rocket Scientist Tango Teachers paradoxically belong to this anti-dance culture. If nothing else, ladies and gentleman, this is bad business.
A man has the advantage of dancing simply and musically from the start. Tango is not easier for a man because of navigation issues, but it is not harder than the woman's part. Go ahead and tell the men that it is harder than the woman's part, but remember you are talking to the guy who thought dance was effeminate, that men cannot dance as well as women, that he has two left feet, that he cannot hear the music (as he did so well as a child). If you belong to the years of tradition of the "hard as hell" school of thought, do you really think it is worth adding to the "male dancer mortality rate"? Do you want to be responsible for yet another "death statistic"--one more male tango-baby dead, killed by an overdose of stress hormones? Of course not! You love tango. Even if you think I am wrong. Lie! Let him be "deluded" by the idea that following the music, enjoying movement and embracing are natural--if this seems like a delusion to you.
Address the Child Within
Tango is child's play. Children dance perfectly well until they start learning that dance is somehow "foolish," "girlish," and worthy of unwarranted criticism. So address the child within. Children must learn to speak well or they will not succeed. Not learning to speak well is a predictor of behavior problems and serious developmental delays. In spite of the seriousness of the task at hand, we do not insist on perfection of one sentence until going to the next, as do some dance teachers. We do not tell how serious learning to speak correctly is, nor that speaking well will take a lifetime to master. Speaking well and dancing well takes a lifetime. But so what?! This is simply the wonderful truth about speaking and dancing and being a fulfilled human being.
Teachers do better with guiding children, not intimidating them with lifelong learning. Such reality lectures seem to be saying "school forever." If dancer want more and more classes, that comes out of the joy of learning rather than marketing technical aspects that will require of dance PhD. Adults are hearing "expensive tango classes forever." Maybe there is some truth to this, but it may feel like aggressive marketing. We are dancing, music-making, embracing animals. It is our nature to move to music and embrace. Maybe the three R's are the beginnings of rocket science, but not the three M's:
- Music is the leader, not a man or so-called "leader," and musicality is basic stuff not an advanced class. Male tango babies have a higher "mortality rate" (drop-out rate) when they are born in a culture, which first tells them dancing is effeminate and then, once dancing, that they are "leaders." Nonsense. This does not happen in Latin America. Men and woman follow the music and have equal responsibility for good dancing. Why do cultures who do not use the word "leader" and see dancing as normal for men have lower "rates of mortality" of male tango dancers?
- Movement starts with the real basic step (the tango walk) and ways of being able to dance in very little space. Walking near traffic and driving a car safely in traffic are often skills people have. Babies at times learn to walk in spite of their parents.
- eMbracing others is a human thing. We are good at this unless we unlearn it. Why is this started later as if it were advanced? Start with the all three M's!!! The period of gestation (the period before being "born" as a tango baby) is when the baby learns how wonderful the embrace is.
Note: The more serious discussion is on the survivability of tango if the gender imbalance is not addressed seriously. Follow this link and the further links at the bottom of the page of "Mortality Rates among Male Dancers."
Photo Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_German_rocket_scientists_in_the_United_States