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August 17, 2007

Teaching Guidelines

guidelines for teachers at tango colorado classes

It is interesting to speculate on the motivations and rationale behind these guidelines. I infer that these classes are aimed at newcomers to tango, and it seems that they want to get people off to a good start in dancing, and to set the tone for a positive relationship with the Tango Colorado organization.

Some rules must be a reaction to the bad results of specific teaching methods and behavior.


  • Start and end on time.
  • Stick to good, standard tango music
  • Announce your other classes at the end.
  • Have students fill out an evaluation form
  • End class with a dance demonstration of material presented
  • Teach line of dance
  • Do NOT teach a pattern that begins with a backstep against the line of dance
  • Do not teach sacadas, boleos, gaunchos (sic) or leg wraps
  • Teach balance and staying on axis
  • Explain "the different forms of embrace".
  • Teach leaders to be gentle
  • Never criticize or embarrass a student
  • "Do not criticize other teachers. Do NOT say your way is the only way."
  • Do not force people into close embrace. "We have lost many new people over this one issue."

The ethics section ends with some pretty specific rules about sexual propriety. I guess they have had some problems with this before.

  • This is a sensuous and passionate dance. It is NOT a sexual ritual. Be very, very careful in your use of language and sexual innuendos. As an example, use the word, "chest,” not “breast.” Avoid overtly sexual moves. As a TC teacher, you represent us more than any other influence on students. Please respect the trust students give you.

  • Avoid dating your students or “coming on” to them. Sure, you might be attracted but wait for a few months until you know that an attraction is mutual and that the person is single if you date.

  • Students will also “come on” to teachers. This becomes a moral as well as an ethical issue. Do not respond, even if they flash you in the parking lot. As a person of authority, it is inappropriate, regardless of how strongly they insist.

Posted by joegrohens at August 17, 2007 02:28 PM


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