Teaching On The Dance Floor

Teaching at the Milonga

Please don’t. Worldwide, tango etiquette forbids teaching during a milonga, and at Providence Tango, we strongly discourage it. If your partner is hurting you or making you uncomfortable, it’s OK to ask them to adjust their dance. But in other situations, please refrain from offering unsolicited suggestions. Even if your partner asks for help and you would be happy to help them, please remind them that the milonga is not the place for teaching. You can plan to practice together at a practica! But the milonga is for social dancing.

Absolute beginners may be unaware of this aspect of tango etiquette and will likely be in need of lessons. If you’re dancing with an absolute beginner, kudos to you! Please encourage them to take classes and to go to practica to further their learning, and to put the tango that they already know (even if it’s very minimal) to use at the milonga.

Teaching at a practica

Even when at a practica, it’s best only to offer advice and negative feedback when it’s specifically requested by your partner. Sometimes people treat the practica like a milonga, and even though we encourage deliberate practice when at practica, it’s best to be considerate of the possibility that your partner might not be open to your criticism. If you think you have something to offer them, you can of course say “I have a suggestion with your dance if you are interested.”

Teaching during a class

You can get extremely valuable feedback from your partners during classes. But when providing this feedback, please stick to the class material and be gentle with your suggestions. It’s great when students can help each other learn, but remember that teaching is the teachers’ job. If you have doubts about what you or your partner is doing, feel free to ask the teacher for help, suggestions, or just to make sure you’re on the right track.

OK, so where can I teach?

If you want to teach, that’s great! The more people teach, the more our community will grow, and the more fun we’ll be able to have together. If you want to get involved in teaching, set up a class! Or if you’re interested in joining the Providence Tango team, feel free to get in touch with us about teaching and other staffing opportunities.