2010 Reflection (David)

15h December 2010

So, it's that time of year again, a time to indulge. Unlike the standard Chocolate OD-ing, however, this is the time which We Three normally take to indulge ourselves in reviewing What's Happened In The Last Year, from our own personal perspectives. Hey, it's a tradition.

(If you're interested, the equivalent 2009 and 2008 entries for us can be found in the December 2008 and December 2009 pages.)

So, for me, it's been another year of progression - incrementally in Tango, in fits-and-starts in other ways - building on 2008 and 2009.


Lots of stuff happened in 2010, class-wise...

Regular classes

This year, after "dipping my toe in" in 2009, I took the plunge and started with regular weekly classes.

Over the course of a few months, I gradually progressed the level of class upwards - the benefit of having a small-but-loyal class is that it allowed me to do this (the Collated class notes demonstrate the change in complexity of lesson over time, I think).

As previously, I've learnt a lot from teaching. To properly teach something, it's not enough to be able to dance it as demonstration, or even to lead it on a student. You have to understand what's happening at each point in each step, for both leader and follower, and you have to be able to explain this to the students, clearly. So that forces you to analyse these things in detail.

For example, I've managed to progress my knowledge of Milonga, Vals, musicality, posture and groundedness, simply by doing the research and learning required to teach these concepts clearly.


Also, I've started running the occasional workshop.

These have, I think, been quite successful - at least, a lot of the people are returning to them, so presumably they're working.

In 2011, I plan to incorporate workshops as a regular feature, and I expect to run a workshop every month, each with specific themes - for example, I'll do a "Nuevo Tango" workshop in January 2011.

Did I mention the notes?

I've also built-up a very useful set of class notes over this time. These have two main benefits:

  • Hopefully, students will find them useful as aides-memoire. I know that I personally tend to forget 80% of a class - if these notes help my students "only" forget 60%, they make the classes twice as effective.
  • For me, these notes help me remember the topics, and most importantly how I teach the topics, so that I can provide consistency and (where required) revisions to the topics.

It's a shame other teachers don't do this - I think people would learn a lot faster if more teachers provided these type of notes.


For both sites, we'll be doing a bit of a revamp over the New Year; hopefully to make both sites more user-friendly and easy to find stuff in.


This year, I launched LearningTango.com. It'll be one year old in January - seems like a lot longer :)

I created LearningTango.com as a result of "outgrowing" JiveTango.co.uk in some ways. A lot of the stuff I and others wanted to say - most of it, really - was 100% tango; there was little "Jive" content in Jivetango any more. So I thought that, by providing two sites, it would help people find what they're looking for.

LearningTango.com has also been useful to provide information about lessons - upcoming lessons, class notes, and so on.


I've continued managing this site. albeit at a slower pace than before. As always, I'd like to thank the contributors, who make this site far more than just a set of subjective comments from one person.

We'll be going through a "rewrite" process in 2011, to review a lot of the things we said a year or two ago, and revise them based on what we now know. Look for a third Edition of the Ghost Guide to Tango, for example...

Let's Go Tango

The Let's Go To Negracha's group - now renamed Let's Go Tango - has achieved another milestone, with 200 members.

The First Friday Negracha's gatherings are now firmly established on the scene, and pretty much take care of themselves; there's always a good number of us turning up to dance.

We've also made our first tentative steps to other venues in London area, including the Carablanca and Crypt venues, and hopefully that will continue and expand in 2011.

- David Bailey, 15th December 2010

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