Ask Arlene…Where do I go from here?

From:  Golondrina

Dear Arlene,

I have been learning tango for about 18 months (as a follower) but have recently started to feel like I am stagnating in my group classes. I have decided that I would like to start taking bi-monthly private classes but am unsure whether I should try and find a male teacher or a female teacher. I think it would be easier to dance with a male teacher but I have always found the best advice for following to come from female teachers. Have you any thoughts? Or should I try and find myself a fellow student and try and have lessons as a pair with a tango couple to benefit from both viewpoints? I’m bit reluctant to pair up as I don’t feel I know any leaders who I am comfortable with as well as being on an equal footing that would benefit us both.

Many thanks,

Dear Golondrina,

As you have been dancing for about 18 months (is that just once a week or more?), you should already know how to follow.   So, how exactly do you feel you will benefit from having private lessons?  What is it that you want to improve?

An advantage of having lessons with a male teacher is that he will show you how it feels to be led properly.  He will teach you his way of being in hold, one that is comfortable for him, and hopefully for you.  He will work on your balance, posture and figures.  That is what any good teacher should do.

An advantage of having lessons with a female teacher is that she can show you the above plus teach you a few adornos.  If that is something you want to learn, learning adornments, it might be a good idea to do a women’s technique class or two before going down the private route.  There are a few women teachers that offer this on occasion.

As you are reluctant to pair up with anyone, then we can rule out learning with a couple.

However, I happened to catch the last 15 minutes of Adrian and Amanda Costa’s class being taught at The Dome last night.  I thought their teaching was very clear and they teach specifically for dancing in the Milongas.  They also touched on giving the woman time to do adornos and how to do them on a crowed dance floor.  I recommend taking advantage of the group lessons being taught at the various Milongas while they are in London (details can be found on my post here).

Another suggestion is to forget about classes for awhile and to just try and enjoy dancing at the Milongas.

If anybody else has some good ideas, please feel free to comment.

Adrian & Amanda Costa Workshops- 1st to 19th October

Amanda and Adrian Costa will be in London soon with a comprehensive program designed to give you the opportunity to follow their teaching in a progressive manner with continuity and without repeating the same workshops. They will be teaching at several tango clubs in London and you can find the various programs on their individual website.
I am listing here below a resume of their schedule. You may book directly with the different tango clubs but if you prefer to book several workshops at different locations, it will be better to book through Brigitte to secure your places  in the continuous program.

Following your request during their last visit, Amanda & Adrian have designed a progressive Musicality program which will be taught in very small groups of 10 people. More details from Brigitte.

Musicality Workshops and Private lessons are to be booked through Brigitte: or Tel: 0207 328 0400

Scheduled diary of events:

Thursday 1st Oct: Negracha – 2 classes Intermediate level 19.00-20.00 and 20.00-21.00 followed by a practica
Friday 2nd October: Negracha – General class 19.30-21.00 and performance 23.30
Saturday 3rd October: Negracha – 2 workshops General level 15.00-16.30, 17.00-18.30
Evening: Group lesson at the Crypt 20.15-21.15 (no demo).
Sunday 4th Oct: Negracha – 2 workshops Advance level 14.00-15.30, 16.00-17.30.
Evening: lesson Intermediate level at Sway, Tangology (no demo)
Monday 5th October: Negracha -2 classes Intermediate level 19.00-20.00, Advance level 20.00-21.00 followed by a practica. details of workshops and lessons in Negracha on
Tuesday 6th October: Tangosouthlondon
Wednesday 7th October: Group lesson at the Dome. Intermediate level 19.30-21.00.
Thursday 8th October: Musicality workshops 90 minutes each at Brigitte’s in Swiss Cottage (10 people only)
Friday 9th October: Musicality workshops 90 minutes each at Brigitte’s in Swiss Cottage (10 people only)
Weekend 10th/11th October: Hampshire countryside with Tangosouthlondon. Details and bookings on
Sunday evening 11th October: 33 Portland Place – Lesson Intermediate level 18.30-20.00
Monday 12th October: Lessons at Tangology 19.00-20.00, 20.00-21.00 (to be confirmed)
Tuesday 13th October: tangosouthlondon
Wednesday 14th October: Musicality workshop 90 minutes at Brigitte’s in Swiss Cottage (10 people only)
Thursday 15th October: Musicality workshop 90 minutes at Brigitte’s in Swiss Cottage (10 people only)
Friday 16th October: Carablanca (open till 2am) – General class 19.30-20.30 and performance 23.00
Saturday 17th October: Corrientes – 1 workshop Giros and Contra Giros 19.00-20.30 and a group lesson 21.00 intermediate/advance level
Sunday 18th October: 33 Portland Place – 2 workshops Intermediate/Advance level Milonga Con Traspie and Vals 14.00-15.30, 16.00-17.30 – Group lesson Intermediate level 18.30-20.00 and their last performance in London.
Monday 19th October: Lessons at Tangology 19.00-20.00, 20.00-21.00 (to be confirmed)

1 Workshop  £22   —   2 Workshops £40
3 workshops £60   —   4 workshops £75
5 workshops £95   —   6 workshops £110
Musicality workshops: will follow a specific program. small groups of 10 people
1 workshop  £30   —    2 workshops £56
3 workshops £84  —    4 workshops £110

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