Sunday, February 13, 2005

Pre-milonga Tango faire

This weekend, we had two simultaneous classes before each Milonga: An Intro to Tango, and an Intermediate class, both at 8pm. This might seem like a confusing thing to do in a single room, even a big one like ours. But Friday worked well. And Saturday worked like magic.

Ev Marcel taught the Intro, and Robert Hauk taught the Intermediates, both days, so they had an opportunity to work out the bugs. Here's the result:

1. Keep the music playing all the time. Don't pause it, even if both teachers are talking ... just turn it down.

2. If possible, have the DJ or someone who knows the system, turn the music up and down, for two sets of speakers, relative to what's going on ... so if one teacher's talking, turn their speakers down, then when they stop talking, turn them up. Only when both classes are dancing, will you go "full volume" with both sets of speakers.

3. This would be much easier if the teachers could have volume controls for speakers on their side of the hall. In the meantime, a DJ can do it. So, we could use a "fourth pair" of speakers, on the far side of the second floor, and some volume control mechanisms.

4. End the classes on the same song. Wind up the Intermediate class first. At the end of the Intermediate class, tell the dancers "we want to build the tango community, so let's go and join the beginners, ask them to dance, dance a tanda with them."

5. At the same time, prep the beginners, tell them that the intermediate class is coming over, and that they must dance the first Tanda -- a tradition at the Tango Center.

6. Bring the Intermediate group to the beginning group. Quick announcements. Introductions. Start the milonga. Gradually turn some lights down.

This was a very successful experiment. I can't tell you how magical it was. You had to be there. Or ... come next time!

One thing -- it was kind of like a Tango educational faire. I could easily imagine four floors of instruction running at the same time, a bell goes off at 9pm, and everyone comes to the main floor and we start the milonga.

Filo described "La Viruta" in Buenos Aires as a bit like this. They probably don't try to get everyone to dance with each other across classes ... but here, that's part of the reason we do this.


Blogger Roberto Iza Valdés said...

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4:39 PM  
Blogger Roberto Iza Valdés said...

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2:07 PM  

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