About a year after beginning tango, I am embarking on a new phase of my journey: I will be taking a private class. The teacher has been one of mine since I started learning tango, and I respect his technique, his style, and his teaching ability. I will also work with his partner some of the time to get the kind of advice and teaching that comes best from another follower (although my teacher also follows). This is incredibly exciting for me!
As a matter of pride (and my pocketbook), I am a bit resistant to the idea of privates. In my whole dance career I haven’t ever taken one, and I like the idea of reaching my goals through group classes and lots of practice. But last week I had a realization: I am not satisfied with where I am. I know that I am doing well for only having danced tango for a year, but I want to be even better. (Need I mention that I am very competitive? I want to be a sought-after follower. And I want this to be the case because I am so enjoyable to dance with.)
So I decided to go for a private. I had a long discussion with my teacher about my goals: How I want to improve my fundamental technique (something that can often be glossed over or rushed through or completely ignored in group classes), my social dance-ability, a flexibility in style (oh, how I have let my salon technique suffer in the discovery of close embrace!) … These are all things that I know he will help me improve. And the close attention of a private class is what I feel I need to address very me-specific issues.
I can’t wait to see how this class (and any subsequent ones) change my dancing, and my attitude about my dancing. I could see myself starting into a mental slump, and I hope that this will counteract it. I also hope that this will open up fun new places for my dancing to go. I decided that I don’t mind forgoing a new pair of shoes if the investment in a few private classes will make me a better dancer – perhaps once my checkbook recovers I will reward myself for all of my hard work with new decorations for my feet. 😉