It may not be possible to travel freely at the moment, but online tango teaching has opened up the world to us. And it was a great pleasure to hear that my lovely online student in Taiwan has written this blog about her learning experience with me.
“When it comes to learning, everyone has their unique path. My interest in deep hugs has brought me to learning the tango connection on conceptual as well as practical, interaction levels from two male teachers (Master Ivica and Shi Wei) for three years.
In order to master social dances, Don Baarns once recommended learning from around three main teachers or coaches, and one of them has to be the other sex (given the fact of partnering dances). I have found two male teachers already, and I have to reach out for a female teacher that could work with me for some one-on-one tuition.
Taking account of my budget and time constraint, Wei. suggested that I take lessons with David and Kim remotely to fine-tune my movements. David and his big eyes – that was how I introduced him in my earlier blog post. And Kim, David’s better half, is my recommendation for you today.
Kim told me that she fell in love with tango at the unfathomably young age of 19. When she first encountered tango, she was mesmerised by the music and the dance form. She said ‘’it was like coming home.’’ She found that since then she just couldn’t drive away the silhouette of tango in her thoughts, but there wasn’t much tango tuition offered in London and the world wasn’t as digital back in those times. All she could do was carry on with her law degree studies and scour for as much information about tango as possible and absorb them all.
Finally, she couldn’t stand the fight against her passion any longer and determined to go on a pilgrimage to Buenos Aires and stay and learn. She went without fretting at all about her prospects in Argentina.
Kim ended up staying in BA for quite some years. She recalled the first time she stepped in the renowned Nino Bien milonga, where she was surrounded by regulars and felt her heart pounding. There wasn’t a seat in sight when she looked around. ‘’Oh there’s that old man who help me picked my shoes during the day… maybe I should sit with him’’, she thought.
The wife of the old man gave Kim a dirty look which scared her off. She went on and looked for another seat at some other table and introduced herself to those stranger tangueros. Only did she realised afterwards that that table was filled with top-of-the-league dancers of the times, including one megastar tanguero.
Had it not been this kind-hearted, welcoming bunch of dancers, she might have packed up and flown back to London straightaway and became a lawyer.
Life in BA wasn’t all roses. International calls were very expensive and Kim had to put up with the solitude of being far away from home as she chased her dream as a professional tanguera. Three years on, she met David via a common friend and fate finally brought them together. Another year on, David and Kim became tango partners and decided to move to London and establish the tango school there.
Perhaps it is her legal background, Kim has the ability to break down simple steps (say, ochoes) into details that leaves even the advanced dancers edified. She will ask you to wind down your basic steps. Coupled with her vivid pictorial illustrations, your weak points and misses will be revealed step by step. Finesse of the dance requires muscle strength and good balance. Advanced dancers who are willing to delve back in to the basics will be rewarded with elegance and flair on the dance floor, with extra bonus being a pair of discerning eyes when they watch out for other dancers.
This quote says it all: beginners aspire to advancing their skills but advanced learners strip right back down to the basics.
In the next blog post, I will lead your way to Kim’s detailed teaching and her approaches, taking the example of the quintessential ocho. There’s more to come about my experience from privates and group classes with Kim.”
Thank you Lutin for this lovely post. I can’t wait for our next online meeting!
Interested in online classes? Find out your option and how it works here.