Saturday, May 29, 2021

Why would an advanced leader train with me?

This question a follower was wondering about!

I don't think that the advanced social dancers have all techniques at top level and if the leader wants to lift up something the problems can be similar to those at my level. When I want to add a variation of a known figure to my milonga vocabulary there are just a short rough period and then we can catch up the normal flow. If I instead want to introduce, develop a for me totally new technique the situation is quite different.

The day I want to expand to a new skill I start to work on it at home up to a level I remember the steps for me and the follower on the chosen figures. After that I can have a private lesson with a teacher but later on I need to train them with a partner and Yes! At this point the problems start!

In my world most of the followers start at beginner courses but as soon as they can atract sufficient number of tandas most of them stop regular courses and trust on that the leaders will teach the rest of the needed skills. There are not many at a practica who wants to sparring dance with me not even if I promise to dance the same number of songs so they can train the steps of their choice!

When it is time to introduce the new elements to an informal milonga there is a clear drop of skill on several areas. Even if I can move ok on pista the flow is not so smooth, not so effortless. When I am tweeking in the new steps the variation of other content gets lower as well as my focusing, selfconfidence and musicality.

There are followers who do not accept this drop in the tanda quality, but want a full dance experience always! This forces the leader to seach new partners and here is an opportunity for the followers willing to cooperate in learning and learn themselves. Maybe you are interested to get new friends also! Here the changes are quite obvious!

Are you training with me now?
 A follower asks irritated at a milonga

Nooo, I just dance badly today!  
A suggestion to the leader

I have been asked and others have confirmed the same phrase at milongas


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Feeling for cultivating or for composting learning?

It is crucial for your development to know what type of learner you are, before choosing your long-term learning process. I am a visual learner, who has an enormous appetite for training and tango is my main hobby. Are you also towards those patterns then you may have use of these my experiences!

Do you too recognize this?

I participated in a lot of workshops. Afterward, I talked sometimes about the content with my partner and we tried to run it occasionally. Time passed by and little by little other things occupied my time and mind. However, some figures and techniques survived and became part of my pista vocabulary but the extensive majority of them have withered at some remote corners of my mind.

It looks like this! All my forgotten figures . . .

What about frequently reactivate the knowledge history?

I was not happy about my routines and started to cultivate the workshop content instead! I use my camera to film the class summary and I try to memorize the verbal instructions and teachers' feedback on my issues. At home I watch the video material/run through the memories and decide what to keep and update into the training log**.  That log is maintaining and organizing all the material for my coming reviews at practicas and solo training sessions! Those two are my knowledge cultivation events!

To develop a decent physical fluency on sequences requires repetitions but not so much time. The bottleneck slowing down and lengthening the repetition sessions is the memory* - or anyhow my memory for me! Use any tricks you know to memorize the steps and the groups of sequences - pictures, stories, whatever you have learned during a lifetime, to support your memory!

How much time is needed?

To get an idea about the time needed for repetition we assume that you want to keep 60 of your favorite workshop figures for social dancing. If you still remember the steps from the workshops your solo training will take about 15 minutes and some longer with a partner. This is realistic when you can the steps by heart but if you need to check the video often then two hours will not be enough!

In a 5 mins micro training session you are able to run through a lot of details you want to improve and maintain. I watch also the videos regularly and the time varies. It can be 10 mins but it can be longer if not properly prepared. I run all these activities several times per week and after a rest period of 4/5 weeks, they are activated again! The key is to pick them up before you start to forget them!

When you prepare your review material do it carefully and edit your videos so only the important pieces are on the final compilation. In this way your review time will become shorter and your learning becomes focused. You get faster to your goal!

 If you choose to work with the figures, micro train your technique consistently and review the material regularly you will develop a stable technical base. When you cultivate systematically the chosen part of tango, you will feel the difference in your body and I am pretty sure it will become visible too!  

What do you think, are you interested?           

This routine will have an impact on certain parts of tango, I mentioned the technical development, but there are more to tango and you will always be surprised and challenged by new learning possibilities!  :)

*The memory is highly needed at practica but it should be shut down in a milonga!

** Via the link below you can read about a Training log I use