Following on from discussions on what makes a good tango teacher, I came across this. It’s taken from an interview with Pedro ‘Tete’ Rusconi and Sylvia Ceriani which appeared in Tango Noticias, the newsletter of the Chicago tango community:
Tete: …There are only between 5-10 tango teachers that can really teach you how to dance tango. They know how to dance but they also know how to teach. If they know how to dance but they don’t know how to teach that doesn’t work and if they don’t know how to dance and they don’t know how to teach its even worse. And if you really think about it, the music is tango; it’s not the steps. Whatever style of dance you dance the music always comes first. So what happens, if a teacher comes here and they sell you steps instead of teaching how to dance, what happens? You don’t dance. You learn steps because that is what you think you need to learn.
Silvia: Teachers have to practice themselves and learn how to teach before they teach. Its not like all of the good instructors are in Buenos Aires, there are some bad ones too. There are probably more professors there than there are students. I am also a painter and I worked with great masters to learn. I listened a lot and then I started drawing. Matisse said, “If you start from where I finished then you are lost.” Everyone wants everything fast from fast food to a fast step.
‘Tete’ Rusconi is one of the best-known milongueros. Here he and Silvia improvise to Orgullo Criollo by Laurenz at Porteno y Bailarin in Buenos Aires. Find out more about Tete here.