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A spotters guide to rubbish Argentine Tango teachers

By January 6, 2016Rant

I don’t care how many shows teachers have appeared in, who they have danced with, or how long their legs are. I judge Tango teachers according to what they should be doing; teaching tango that we can use enjoyably & safely with the music at a crowded milonga.

These are my top symptoms of lazy, incompetent Tango teaching at group lessons. Next time you are in a lesson, score 1 point for each of these:

  • Teaching a sequence.
  • Teaching a sequence that starts with a back step.
  • Teaching a sequence containing 8 or more steps (triple score for teaching the entire sequence in 1 go, without any breakdown)
  • Teachers demonstrating & talking for more than 5 minutes at a time, whilst students get slowly more bored.
  • Students left to attempt it for themselves for more than 5 minutes at a time whilst the teachers ignore most of the group and focus on one struggling couple.
  • No mention of the music.
  • No mention of floorcraft.
  • Teachers wearing trainers / combat trousers / hats / t-shirts.
  • Mumbling teachers.
  • Teachers staring at the floor whilst they dance.
  • Starting & finishing the lesson at least 10 minutes late.


  • 0 – 2 Points: Formula 1. The best.
  • 3 – 6 points: Formula 3. Nearly there, could do better.
  • 7 – 15 points: Banger racers. Amateurs playing.
  • 15 – 29 points: Lawn mower racers. Amusing but irrelevant.
  • 30 points or more: Wacky racers. A joke, only I ain’t laughing.

I once observed a group lesson by visiting teachers from Argentina that featured all of these, making a 36 points maximum score. Kerrrching!

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