So it was a really excellent weekend, a lot more dance than I'd get in London, and generally I think the quality was a lot higher. I'd recommend a visit to Paris to anyone who wants to spend a few days in tango. & I found the atmosphere very friendly and supportive.
When I first saw video of Tete and Silvia three-and-a-half years ago I was really impressed. I'd been going to classes with an ex-ballroom dancer who'd learned from a few Pablo Veron workshops. I was told that the music didn't matter, but from my very first beginners class it was clear to me that the music led the dance. Tete's musicality and energy were much closer to how I wanted to respond to the music. Since then I've seen dancing in the old style that I thought much finer, both on video and in the Buenos Aires milongas, and occasionally in London too. But I found them very committed teachers who work hard and give a lot: their commitment and attention is inspiring. & I've been grateful to them for watching my dancing and for comments that have led me to change how I stand and walk in general, without any attempt to get me to dance like them. This is the huge benefit of the teacher's presence: it's what you miss out on when you watch video. I've found video very useful, although it must be worst possible practice to copy a style you see in a video. It just takes time to learn how to lead and follow what you've watched and memorised from video or in a class, to make it your own. But in the end, what changes everything are the observations, whether of a partner or of an experienced dancer who is watching.
A few numbers: I'm trying to get an idea of the attendance and costs involved in bringing a couple to the UK. Tete and Silvia gave eight workshops and a practica. There were around nine couples at each of the workshops and 12 at the practica. At £13.25 a head for the workshops that's a total of £1,908. The practica was £7 per head, £168. There was also another milonga, so in all the total 'take' might have been around £2,400. Obviously there were additional expenses for travel, accomodation, space hire, possibly legal costs too.