Tango Impossible – Rojo y Negro Club. Technique.

Tango in London

Technique is in your fingers, there’s magic in your touch..

(Rainey “Technique“)

Apart from being unordinary, I also happen to be quite stubborn. After trying a few beginners’ classes and not getting further than simple walking-talking, I undertook another attempt to learn tango. I decided that it’s better to pay double and stay for a technique lesson (that was very actively advertised during the breaks) than bury myself in endless discussions (see Tango Impossible – Rojo y Negro Club. The Beginners).

It is still difficult for me to judge whether the lessons are worth the money paid, since I had only several technique classes, but the impressions are so rich that I don’t know where to start. During the first technique lesson that I had, we finally moved from point zero and started learning some interesting stuff.

The moves looked really great. However, Bianca didn’t bother to explain it to us in details. She demonstrated it a couple of times, and left us alone to practice, while she was chatting with her boyfriend partner. For the rest of the class puzzled couples were struggling with the steps in a desperate attempt to repeat what was just shown.

When the teacher finally decided to take a look at what we were doing, she was very dissatisfied with the result. Observing one couple, she noted in the harshest manner possible.

– I don’t know what you are doing, but that’s not tango!” and she turned away, as if unable to torture herself by watching this incredible disgrace.

I still don’t know if I was doing it correct or not, and how it was supposed to be done. However, this was the general atmosphere of the technique class..

There are still more things to add, but I rather withhold it to myself not to appear a complete asshole, destroying somebody’s perfect business with my obnoxious remarks.

It is important to mention that I needed to fly away from London for a couple of weeks. Taking in account their very conservative system that foresees consecutive attendance, I thought that in the best case I would have to wait another four months before proceeding with the lessons.

However, very surprisingly, it appeared that nobody gave a damn if I was going to be present consecutively or not. They simply changed the dates of my attendance in the system, and left me live in peace. I still don’t know whether to be happy about it or not. On the one hand, I got away with this break quite easily. On the other hand, I was fooled like a child, waiting for four months to begin the classes.. (see Tango Impossible – Rojo y Negro Club. Introduction.)

Hope not to be continued.. (Three posts are more than enough already).

UC

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Comments
14 Responses to “Tango Impossible – Rojo y Negro Club. Technique.”
  1. vilks12 says:

    Hi, my dear 🙂
    I think if I would take lessons from such kind of teacher, then I’ll not be continue with her after such of behaviour and such kind of remarks. I suppose there are enough places
    to pay your money and learn tango without those problems and with more worm attitude.
    And I don’t think, that you have to avoid you from any kind of critique and especially in this case.
    P.S. Isn’t the word “asshole” a little bit rude for you ? 🙂 In russian translation it’s very….
    Sorry for my english…. 🙂

    • I agree, but I still have not used my 10 classes deal, and I don’t want to leave it as a present to them. So, they will need to tolerate my attendance a little more.
      As concerns the choice of words, “asshole” is “засранец” in Russian, and is considered a mild form of abuse.

  2. There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well

  3. Cat says:

    I had a very similar experience. The teacher did not seem to have the art of criticising gently, in a way that encouraged improvement. I was furious and disgusted with the way she treated some of the first time dancers. Wont be going back.

  4. dinobaggio says:

    We have been to a few tango lessons, and it is a bit of a shock when we started Rojo y negro with the groupon voucher, firstly the tutor had a bit of an axe to grind against other tutors- where they teach ‘sequences’ and she gets people come to her who have been to these classes and even at intermediate level they can’t even walk properly! Which I thought was a tad unprofessional, as everyone teaches and learns differently, but thought hey ho, lets see how the lesson goes.
    The pros- she teaches technique and body position as a central part of the course, and walking technique- good.
    The cons-
    The snide remarks about peoples dancing-we are beginners!!
    The lack of direction given to us- we would be shown the technique then told to dance 2 tangos, while she went off to talk with her partner- we pay £10 each for this!!!
    The poor quality floor.
    The lack of men, and poor control over numbers it can range from 20 to 6-7!!

    All in all I can only compare it to tangomovement- who regularly get 30+ people to their classes, they are ambitious with their pupils and are very encouraging so you feel you have learnt a lot after a class- yes they teach sequences- but I’m an adult and I don’t want to be learning to walk for a whole year before I get to even think about an ocho!!
    Rojo Y Negro is good for that one lesson every three months where you might want to think about something different in tango but it isn’t very enjoyable- and surely thats the whole purpose we are trying to learn tango- to enjoy!!

    • dinobaggio,

      Thanks a lot for this useful post. I can put my name under every single word here.
      I’ve heard of tangoinmovement, but never had the chance to go there because the days are inconvenient. Perhaps, you could recommend some other classes?

      UC

  5. HenryWilliams says:

    The great thing about Rojo y Negro is that as a result of Bianca’s harsh(ish) style and poor(ish) reviews (like this one) the thin skinned stay away and so the classes are very small – four to ten rather than a few dozen. There is a lot of feedback. There is also great hearty banter in the class about her style amongst those who have got to appreciate it.

    But yes Bianca is inclined to make a move two or three times and say do it. Just smile ask her (or Sacha) to do it in slow motion. She won’t bite – I don’t think.

    If you don’t want any meaningful feedback go to a handful of other classes where the teachers are kind and smile and say “so much better” all the time. Cheaper watching youtube for that sort of thing.

    • Hi Henry,

      Apologies for not approving your comment earlier. I’ve just recently saw it in the spam folder.

      Obviously, there is a student for every teacher. But, most of us don’t enjoy paying roughly £10 per hour, and being treated like shit just because we cannot maintain a perfect posture. After writing my review I went to the dance Forums, and found many other similar opinions left by people who happened to be put off by the same unprofessional behaviour. If you consider them to be thin skinned, fair enough. But, this is why Rojo y Negro never has a sufficient amount of students, and the deals for their classes are popping up on Groupon almost every month. Maybe, if they want their business to run better, they have to take this kind of reviews into account. It will be cheaper and bring better results than working with Groupon.

      I’ve been dancing all my life, trying all kinds of styles from contemporary ballet to hip-hop. I’ve spent the last 3 years doing salsa, bachata and tango, seeing lots of strict but professional teachers, and I think I have enough credibility to tell a bad feedback from a good feedback.

      As an example, I’ve just recently started the classes with Tango Federico, and it is absolutely beyond comparison with what had happened to me at Rojo y Negro. I had ten lessons with Bianca and all I learned was how to walk in circles. In contrast, it took me just two classes to learn how to do various crosses, ganchos, pivots and sentadas with Federico.

      Where you go – it is totally up to you. 😉

      UC

      • Henry Williams says:

        Yes she is very thorough / pedantic on posture and walking style. She feels that focusing on basics is more important than learning sequences in the beginner level without doing the “basics” well.

        The improver level classes are a lot better for learning technique and I did both together with one of the intermediate level classes as well.

        I get on with her and Sacha and appreciate their feedback. Though she could improve her method of demonstrating – i.e. showing in slow motion.

        I’m inclined to carry on with her now that my Groupon vouchers have expired but also go to tango Movement to learn lots of sequences.

  6. Henry Williams says:

    Yes they are on Groupon again right now 😉

  7. Good review. Bianca has an appalling manner. She will often just yell in frustration “No. No. No. Not like that. |That’s not it” rather than explain what was wrong. Sacha, her partner, though is a much better teacher.

    And there is no format to the classes. She will ask “What shall we do today?”. And newbies drop in at any time so there is little progression and a lot of repetition.

    She may be better for more naturally gifted dancers and publicly praises her favourites who are getting it quickly. “S/he has only been dancing for *** weeks. Amazing.” without caring about how this sounds to those slower on the take-up.

  8. Natalia says:

    I had a dreadful experience, very similar to the above one.

    Probably this unfriendly woman can dance, but certainly she hasn’t got enough patience/ skill to teach, at least not ar the beginners/ intermediates level.

    I started learning tango in argentina (where it originates from) and had a wonderful experience, but according to that teacher their approach to teaching is wrong.

    Thank God she was not my school
    Teacher I would have had to see for an entire semester (or year….God forbid:)

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