We sometimes find that, even in beginner-level tango classes, there are students who have taken ballroom dancing lessons. We all know what these ballroom dancing classes are about. Different types of dancing -if not all of them- are taught through the year. And Tango has the same amount of time as the rest of the rhythms.
What happens is that, for example, if you take a rhythm as Fox-trot, or Viennese waltz, after some basic steps and one or two variations, you can dance and you do not really need so much more to dance all around the dancing floor. Or at least students feel that they are dancing and teachers do not need to give them more information urgently.
Tango will have its fifteen glorious days among the contents dealt during the three-month period. With all the difficulties about tango structure and dedication necessary for remembering the contents for a long time, ballroom dancing teachers have few hours for Tango and have to adjust to an outline without so many difficulties and quick and easy to assimilate for the students (a basic step and some patterns).
That is how a bad and incomplete contact with Tango begins.
For some dancing rhythms, little time dedicated in a ballroom dancing class is enough or more than enough. Tango is not a dancing that looks down on the others from a pedestal, however; it needs special dedication and detailed attention during a quite long period (three months minimum, one hour and a quarter every week) in order to learn its structure, basic movements and, above all, the way to move in a changing environment.
In Fox-trot, everybody moves around the dancing floor at the same time and, if you pay attention, you can see dancers just making basic steps and a few movements more. And that is so during the three or four minute song. In Tango we know that, if we constantly make the basic steps around the dancing floor, all the time, students lose motivation.
Instead other rhythms offer content with the first steps and their constant repetition. In the case of Tango, dancers want to decorate it with as many resources as possible and, at this point, imagination is essential. Students should understand not only the technique, but also improvisation in Tango, the most characteristic feature and its essence itself.
And all this cannot be acquired in a short period of time.