Tips for Learning Tango Online
Learning Argentine Tango online is an entirely different experience compared to learning it in person! Tango teachers worldwide have adapted to the pandemic and have discovered creative ways to teach students in the comfort of their own homes. Here are some tips on how to learn the ultimate partner dance in the digital age.
Clear out space in your home for lots of movement! This is also an excellent opportunity to declutter and optimally move furniture so that the room is more spacious. It is preferable to choose a room with a wooden floors because most dance studios use this surface for dancing.
If that isn't an option, tile in the kitchen has been a popular choice for solo work due to leveraging the counter. I have seen some students dance on the carpet, which can work but can be difficult for pivoting. If you choose to dance on any rug-like surface, I recommend wearing a dance tennis shoes for that. Heels on the carpet are a serious no-no for the ladies!
Having a webcam that can show your whole body is ideal if you are looking for feedback from the teacher. Webcams do come with a variety of electronic devices but may have a limited range. This is okay if you are okay with the instructor only to see the upper body or feet. Also, if you are in a room where it is long enough and can see far from the computer, this is not an issue. Webcams with a wide angle or a fish-eye function can be plugged into your computer, laptop, or tablet
You can ask to record your instructor(s) on Zoom. Additionally, the instructor can provide a video via Google drive or posting on social media to reference what you learned that day. Having a visual asset is a great way to refer to after taking an online class. Also, taking notes is a great way to remember critical elements to focus on, such as body mechanics or the order of the steps.
When learning Argentine Tango in person, it is generally easier to assess spatial awareness, see foot positioning, and ask various people in the class to show or explain something to you. If you are unsure of this or anything else, your teacher is happy to explain and show you. Other students in the class may have the same question. A benefit of learning online is that the Tango instructor can adjust the webcam to zoom in on relevant regions such as feet only or just hips and upper body to help explain movements.
Practice what you Learned
After reviewing what you learned, practice it! It's preferable to practice the day after the lesson because you can retain the information and movement more easily. Even if you can only practice for 10 minutes of your day for 7 days, you are more likely to remember the sequence compared to if you practiced for an hour 6 days later.
What are your thoughts?
2020 and 2021 have been a strange time for learning Argentine Tango due to co-vid 19. What have you found helpful learning Tango classes online during the pandemic?
Additionally, with the vaccine rolling out, Argentine Tango classes and Milongas are starting to come back. What are your thoughts on dancing in person? Are there specific factors that would make you feel more comfortable such as dancing outside, vaccination cards, or dancing with one partner the whole night? I would love to get your insight by filling out this survey.