Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Struggle to Teach

I teach an occasional tango class.

This has been true for a couple of years, as friends have needed someone to fill in, or wanted help with a particular topic. However, I recently started hosting my own monthly milonga in Bellingham (with a lovely partner!), including a pre-dance lesson.

It turns out (this is not actually a surprise, I have experience teaching other things as well) that teaching i hard to get just right. Aside from all the difficulties of communicating ideas clearly, evaluating student needs and progress, and planning appropriate or helpful lessons, I find myself with an additional, specific problem:

How does one deal with a drop-in, one-off class?

The drop-in nature is tricky, because the people who show up have a wide variety of experience and skill; the one-off nature is difficult because I can't really 'build' on what has happened previously; one hour, and that's all!

I think for myself, I have answered this question by focusing on basic technique, embrace, and listening to the music.

How does anyone else manage that sort of circumstance?