“How do you learn a dance that is more like a language?” From Why your tango teacher desperately wants you to dance but keeps teaching you steps
I started teaching in 2007. At first, I had no idea whether I was going to like teaching as much as I liked performing. It turns out, I absolutely love it. There is something about watching a person try out something new and eventuallly start to move in an easier way right if front of your own eyes that never ceases to amaze me. I am fascinated by the learning process, the human body, the way our nervous system develops motoric habits and by dance as a whole.
Since 2007 I have worked with different partners and alone, teaching in France, Sweden, Norway, UK, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Cyprus, Greece, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, USA and Canada. Being fluent in seven languages (EN, FR, RU, DE, NL, ES, IT) allows me to teach with a very high level of precision in students’ original language, where possible.
“How come that are you able to improve with some teachers and not with others, who seem just as competent? Which part of the learning process depends on you as a student and which on your teacher? And how can you recognise that your teacher-student relationship is going nowhere?” From Why sometimes you learn nothing from the best teachers
I teach both with partners and alone. A lot of my workshops are on in-depth learning of technique. In Paris I am one of the teachers and co-founder of Tango Mon Amour and also offer private classes. During my travels I come in contact with many different cultures and very different tango communities, big and small. Yet, when it comes to learning tango, I find that people run into remarquably similar kinds of problems.
“To a dancer going back to basics is what constitutes the most rigorous, most efficient learning. Dancers know that quality lies in the details and the details are always in the basics.” From Why we always go back to basics
I teach both roles, followers and leaders technique, mixed technique and classes for couples on vocabulary, embrace, connection and musicality.
Throughout my years of being a professional dancer I have nourished and enriched my teaching methods through my own experience with Argentine tango but also through my experience practicing yoga, taking ballet classes, contemporary and modern dance, as well as bodywork techniques such as Pilates and Gyrotonics. I like to check my teaching methods against data from various research on how human brain learns movement and neuroscience in general. In my essays I try to analyse and transmit this knowledge.
Lectures & Conferences
I give lectures about the topics addressed in my essays and other subjects for which no platforms exist so far but that people feel the need to discuss, such as social dynamics.
So far I have lectured about:
- How our body learns movement and how to make this process more effective;
- How practicing is different from learning and theory, and how you can combine the three parts to have a wholesome working model for your skill development;
- How the social dynamics in tango have developed throughout history, what are the main social challenges for tango dancers and how to deal with them;
- How genders and roles are represented in tango, from history to the current day;
- What it means to be a woman in tango, past and present, challenges and best practices.
Ilyas L., France:“After our class on posture, that same week I went to dance. The first day was so-so. The day after it got worse, seriously worse… I just couldn’t feel my back. In the dance, I mean. Nothing was working. Nothing. I couldn’t make a turn, couldn’t walk, couldn’t even disscociate a bit. My partner also was telling me: “I don’t feel you. I don’t get your lead”. It felt horrible and frustrating. I thought: first thing in the morning I call this Toumanova person and tell her: I don’t know what the hell you have done to me, but I want my money back, I want my dance back, I want my posture back, probably erroneous but at least before I was able to have fun and enjoy it! Then I decided to give it a try the next day. I don’t know what happened. Something clicked. Planets aligned. It was there. That next night we went dancing and… IT WAS WORKING BETTER THAN EVER!!!!”
Marina P., Russia:I met Veronica in 2014 when she came to teach workshops in my city of Tomsk (Russia). And I believe those were the most useful workshops I have ever attended. Her workshops gave a structure to my knowledge of tango and, most importantly, her pedagogical approach turned out to suit me perfectly and confirmed once again that I was moving in the right direction. Right now I am using my knowledge in my own teaching and hope to meet Veronica again soon.”
Sergei V., Russia:“Veronica is very sensitive to each student’s specific needs. In a class she is able to really become that student and therefore offer solutions and improvements that hit precisely the right points. Her classes are not about just tango or just people: it is about a specific tango specifically in you. She is also capable of explaining and demonstrating things with very good imagery, so that you immediately can incorporate the images she gives you into your dance. Besides, she is a great source of all kinds of tango tips and tricks: how many followers was I able to enchant just by slightly changing the position of my right hand!”
Aleksey V., USA:“Veronica’s pedagogical skills are outstanding! She has a way of explaining things and providing useful tools, regardless of what type of learner you are.”
Mélanie T., France:“Veronica is not only an accomplished dancer, she is a beautiful human being able to transmit the knowledge of intelligent movement. Dance is about understanding your body and your energy. Passionately, generously, she invites each one of us to create our own tango, one that matches our inner self.”
Galina Z., Belarus:“A solid, well-founded pedagogical approach, well-structured information, beautiful language and a gentle attitude towards the students create this very special atmosphere that is the mark of Veronica’s classes.”
Gerlinde M., Austria:“Veronica was suggested to me by my German tango teacher when I went to Paris for a longer period – deservedly so. In her courses she starts with simple exercises and before you know it you are learning rather complex movements (and they still feel easy). Thanks to her cheerful personality she makes sure that even the teaching of subtleties or dry body physics still seem light and entertaining. Highly recommended!”