Some of you know that I am a part of the Tango Learning team, tango teacher, Tomas Howlin’s creation of the Tango Learning program. It is a progressive program designed to help students learn and also to help those who are teaching to better instruct. Each level is a 3 day intensive that begins each day with a body knowledge session that I have guided during the Tango Learning in Portland and will be doing again in Albuquerque at the end of the month.
Recently Tomas posted on Facebook a link to an article entitled: 4 Key Characteristics to Effective Learners. And of course I see the tie in with Tango and Tomas’ course. Here are the 4 key characteristics to being an Effective Learner: 1) they are curious 2) they are process-oriented 3) they apply what they have learned 4) and they retain.
Are you a good learner??? (is that proper English?)
I know from watching my students over the years that applying what they have learned has certainly helped them in understanding and retaining the subtleties of Argentine Tango. Practicing helps and even spending a little time each day walking or thinking about a new concept of a just learned concept will help it to translate into your body. Although the 4 Characteristics doesn’t translate directly to Learning Styles but we will address that in another blog!
I found early on in my modern dance days I would spend time after rehearsals writing down the sequence of movements in order to better remember them. I was never good a drawing but I had stick figures and practically my own language and abbreviations for directions and body movements. I carried this practice into my early tango days when I was taking classes with as many teachers as possible and learning to lead. I would look at those notes before going to dance and would pick something to practice from the notes. I found this practice most helpful in retaining the information in my mind and in my body.
When studying extensively with Graciela I took mountains of notes. I then retyped them onto my computer which added another dimension of retention. I don’t feel obligated to do this, I like it and it helps me revisit the material.
I look forward to your successful learning and remember that practicas are designed for that: for learning.
AND HEY – It’s Tuesday! Practica @ SNAP at 8:30pm.