Feeling Ignored in Class

Dear Tango Tia: I’ve taken lessons for about a year and in almost every class the teacher spends most of the time talking to the men. Very few teachers explain in any detail about the woman’s part. How are we supposed to know if we are doing our part right if they don’t tell us what “right” is?  And, more importantly, why should I keep spending money on lessons that don’t help me?–Feeling Ignored in Class

Dear Feeling Ignored: There are no standards for teaching tango so any yayhoo can hang out a shingle calling themselves professional/teacher/authentic/certified/etc.,  and if it is a man, he may not know enough about the woman’s part to teach it. So he focuses on the part he does know and hopes the women will figure it out.  (Most women do figure things out, especially when dancing with men who have understood the directions.) If you plan to stay in tango, I recommend investing in private lessons from a woman whose teaching and dancing you respect. Also, before enrolling in your next class, ask former students whether he/she teaches to both sides of the embrace. (Women can be just as guilty of the same thing.)


  1. Md says

    Dear;tango tia in classes i feel ignored and excluded at times i get depressed when no one wants to practice with me. I stay for practice and never can practice dancing cause woman always want to dance with the same person and men don’t give other guys a chance to practice. Remember this is class and the only people should be at the practice is the students because when non students come they throw off the whole learning process. I think schools should have other times for public practice. Thanks u have advice

  2. Jantango says

    Men have a more difficult role and need more time to learn how to move and lead the dance. They’re learning too many things at once — movement, the music, how to embrace, etc. They need time alone before taking a woman in their arms, especially if she isn’t patient. Men need to learn from a man, without the distraction of women around, like in the practicas where men learned by practicing with men.

    It’s better if women don’t learn the steps because then they anticipate the lead. We learn to follow a man once he knows what he’s doing in the dance.

    I’m all for men’s beginner classes without women. Women have to adjust to every man, so there is no right or wrong step, only what he leads that results in two moving together.

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