Today’s #Tango Thought 083: Magical Improvement.
“While dancing or practicing with someone, they're not magically going to improve just because you ‘show’ them what they're supposed to do at that moment.”
To make this non gender specific, because this axiom applies to both genders, and both roles. As well as teachers and students. Some teachers know this truth, some teachers learn it the hard way.
Clarity - The “supposed to do” part: This idea frequently occurs where you have a male Lead that has an expectation of X being followed properly, where X is Traveling Ochos, Volcada, Milonguero Turn, etc. And when it doesn’t, they stop their dancing and then show the Follower what was intended. And here’s the magical part, they keep showing them, hoping that it will change the Follower’s behavior and frequently it doesn’t.
The Truth: Just because you show or ‘teach’ someone X, does not mean that they’re going to improve. Their ability to replicate what’s been shown to them takes, at first, practice to imitate, and then to understand it, and then to finally kinesthetically replicate it. The fact is that they'll constantly go back to what’s comfortable for them, consciously or unconsciously. More unconsciously than not. Sometimes the recipient's response comes out as garbled – think: trying to speak a phrase in another language and garbling it. Sometimes their response comes out as timid and wholly uncertain. Sometimes, very rarely, the response is not that bad for a first try. But the latter happens so infrequently because it's not in our nature. We learn best by screwing up ... over and over again. Or as John Dewey (Famous English Educator) once said,“We learn best by doing”.
Further Truth: ‘Teaching’ someone anything takes time, patience, and practice. The act of teaching is a skill unto itself. This is not something that you learn over night. However this doesn’t stop certain male Leads from continuing to do it, on a social dance floor, while simultaneously blaming their Followers for not understanding their garbled or half-clear attempt at a specific lead. To the point where the Follower has to read the Lead’s mind in order to understand what’s intended.
It does however give the power to certain Female Followers to say “No” to these .... “Leads”.
So where does this leave us ? Probably the best thing that you can do when something doesn't go as intended, is to keep going, not to stop and teach someone X, Y, and Z. But rather, smile, and move on. #SocialDance #ArgentineTango #TangoDancing
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