Hi There. Anyone have a recommendation for a top notch Tango teacher who can work with me from beginner level to intermediate? Looking for someone with reasonable rates as I have seen some pretty astronomical quotes. Thanks!
I don't mean to be bitchy, but there is a contradiction here. Do you want "Top Notch" or "Reasonable Rates"
If your Spanish is good, then the best classes you will get for your money are the group classes that are before the milongas. I am not current, but you would be best checking out one of the free tango papers like BsAs Tango or B.A. Tango Gia Trimestral. Usually available at the milongas.
If you go for private lessons then expect to pay or get rubbish, or possibly both.
I went to La Catedral about 10 days ago (a Thursday night) and for AR$15, you got a group class followed by a show. The show was about 4 guys playing instruments with one person singing. There's booze to drink and vegetarian food to eat.
The class was for total beginners and we started off just learning to walk to the music. It sounds pretty basic and I have extremely good rhythm and yet it still took a while, because Tango isn't normal music by any means.
Then we learned to lead (or follow). It seemed like it should have been very basic, but what I started realizing was that THAT is probably the biggest building block for guys. Learning to assert yourself without wrenching the girls arm, slamming your body awkwardly, bumping knees/feet... You absolutely MUST learn to lead properly if you ever want to be any good at Tango.
You can watch a girl who barely knows what she's doing just float around the floor if the guy leading her knows what he's doing. On the other hand, if a girl is good at Tango and the guy has his head up his ass, it is just plain ugly.
Good luck. It's frustrating, but I think you just have to stick with it and the coordination will come. But learn to lead properly. I haven't yet. I kind of hope that I do. Pienso que tengo ganas para tango, pero no sé seguro.
Yes I have done some group classes, but I would like to supplement it with some private classes because I don't think it is very easy to learn the important subtleties in a large group class.
Also, bob, there is no contradiction unless you believe price and quality are always in line. I am willing to pay a rate commensurate with quality of the instructor. I am looking for a good teacher more than a world class dancer. In my experience, many times the most expensive teachers just know how to market themselves well, they are not necessarily the best.
I like the sound of the class Napoleon went to in La Catedral, not been there myself, but it sounds like how tango should be taught. These days there is a big emphasis on moves, and trying to do stage tango. If you can walk well, lead with your body not your arms, and feel the music, you need little else.
I am not saying necessaraly that price and quality are in line, but there are few, if any, Argentines who do not know what the market will support, and will always make the most of the situation. If you come across anyone cheap, they are usually chancers and do not know the market or tango. Those teachers who travel to Europe or the US are not necessaraly the best, just good language skills and freinds abroad.
I would try freind Napoleons class first, my experience of private classes and workshops are that they need to prove that they have something different, and will only cause you confusion.
Expect to pay approximately $150 pesos for a private lesson. It's the best way to learn quickly - especially for a man. If you go to group lessons you may luck out and be one of few students and get more individual time with the teacher or you may be one of 2 dozen students and get no help at all. I can recommend teachers and schools to you - but it would depend on what kind of tango you want to learn. Contact me if you want to chat more about it. TangueraOnTour@gmail.com
My best advice would be to try with different teachers twice and to see what kind of "feeling" you have with each of them. You better go to classes in the afternoon if you go for group classes. At night time, it is another story....I would pay maximum 50 pesos for a good start. Go to La Confiteria Ideal to be fully immersed with the beautiful surroundings..I hope it makes sense
1.- Dont discount the group classes- they are excellent compared to group classes I have taken anywhere else. There is lots of technique focus, which is somewhat unique, and probably goes along with the "subtleties' that you were talking about.
Private classes are a good idea for any dancer, but I hate to break it to you, there is no quick and dirty way of learning tango. For a leader it takes months to get to proficiency and years to get good. This is because of what some of the other posts mentioned- it is not about steps. Tango is about the feeling in your body, the energy of your movement and your connection with your partner. That is something that, while it can be taught, simply takes time.
And yes, private lessons are very expensive. There really is no way around that. But consider that any teacher worth going to in BsAs has been dancing for a minimum of 10 years usually, and most upwards of 20. We are talking masters of an art here, and no matter where in the world you go, the time of a master is valuable.
The best way to improve your dancing is to practice. Go to milongas and watch the dancers. There are tons of practicas, the more you dance the more you will understand how to move, and that is how you are going to improve. Supplement with private classes.
If your spanish is good I know of a teacher who is just getting started and building his reputation. He does not speak very much english though (if any). I have not taken classes with him, but he is an excellent dancer. PM if you are interested in his info.