Learning the Tango dynamics and its possibilities related to each situation would result in a more practical, more authentic and more realistic long-term approach for students.
In this way, by being aware of and perceiving support points (the dancer's own ones and that of the partner's), the leader dancer could invite the follower dancer with his embrace to make definite movements, to generate a series to create a figure or a displacement.
When Tango is considered from the dynamics based on support points from the first time, students start to be fully aware of left and right sides of both dancers on the floor.
From a static position, the leader dancer can leave the follower dancer resting on the left o right side. From this point, the leader decides to pull out the leg it wants to start dancing and to take the follower to different directions embracing it, somewhere they can move.
Looking the front of the couple and taking into account that Tango is a matter of hemispheres (left and right), when the follower rests on the right foot, for instance, this becomes a support point for the knee, the right hip, even up to the right shoulder. In this way, the leader knows perfectly well where the follower is resting and he can perceive how the shoulder line and teh follower's chest compensate to that side.
In other dance types like merengue, the information is completely the opposite, because the hip deviation is compensated by a movement opposite the shoulder line. So, when the left foot is resting, the right shoulder gains prominence.
In Tango, the follower shoulder information is to be trusted to start dancing. And when moving, every follower's step can become the axis so that she can be turned.
If there is the advantage of being resting in two points, she can be invited to make double pivot, maintaining her two feet support point, and then they can walk to the desired direction.
Everything is very beautiful and this may be the best way to learn: through body sensibility when stepping and movement generation according to the situation of the supporting points. Improvisation can be preserved this way from the beginning making this dance absolutely attractive and manifesting directly the male creative ability.
If this is the best way to teach an improvising dance type, why do we teachers dedicate ourselves to look for basic outlines into patterns?
1- Improvisation requires the leader dancer’s creative ability. In every movement the male dancer makes and in every step he invites the follower dancer, he has to be thinking in the next action. At an initial stage, if it is difficult for leaders to lead the follower at an exact point of a movement or a figure, imagine how difficult will be to lead the follower dancer in every step. Tango is enjoyed when we can coordinate with the partner, in complicity, without leading being excessively hard for the leader dancer.
If we had not had a fixed outline in Tango which allowed preview, we would have to mark each follower step leading it to aperturas (openings) and cruces (crossings) frontwards and backwards.
The leader dancer will not stop leading in Tango no matter how much it knows the partner. But at the beginning, these key points where the leader has to lead the next follower position through an embrace or from the body position should be a few since they involve his awareness. An awareness that takes joy away from dancing.
Until reaching improvisation, the leader dancer will rely on foresight, content outlines, basic patterns and rules which tell him that, at a certain moment, the follower is going to make one movement and not another.
2- Teaching by dynamics can be right but in this manner tango dancers would be reduced to the minimum.
A particular aspect of this teaching method -by support points and their possibilities- is that it takes a lot of patience from the students’ part, because support sensibility and right body compensation, self-confidence achieved by axis control and assurance of not falling down, are achieved through time, and they are contents that are preferably dealt as attractive movements are learnt.
Keeping students on perceiving support points during a long time in class can be risky because they would tire very early. When the class is over, students have to feel that they have actually learnt something and can apply what they have learnt at a milonga.
In a very fast age, if people had a remote control, they would fast-forward us or change our channel if they were bored.
Teachers are expected to entertain as television does. Students want fun and light content, which makes them feel that they are doing "something" and not wasting time.
Technique, support points and giros (turns) are important, yet the best way to see content as something concrete is through displacements and figures.
In spite of all that can be said by early figures teaching opponents, the best way to maintain students’ attention is through habitual movements and simple structure figures, which allow students to create the dance using the tools we are providing them with.
In this early stage, the secret lies in the choice of figures that include the most important concepts and movements to develop and which prove the foundation for future content.
The teaching method is based on efficiency within fieldwork. The idea is not only using this teaching style or that one, this methodological strategy or another one, some or other content, but also resorting to them at the right moment.