I find myself questioning some of the conventions. If the Mark is free to change feet and step with any foot he wants, prioritizing comfort and stability, does he need to learn molinete lineal? (Maybe later, in order to make artistic decisions in the context of tango’s conventions, but certainly not to dance in 30 days.)
Likewise, if he likes to change feet between every step, this is not common but it’s also not wrong. Indeed it’s his right as a Mark. So I shut up on this point, also realizing that as he becomes more confident in the whole operation, he won’t need that gesture of resetting between each step.
In 15 minutes there isn’t time to make every correction, so I really have to prioritize. In Lesson 10, his back steps for back sacadas were far too short, so he didn’t cross the line between my feet, but I decided not to correct it. It’s close enough. I realized that this refinement is something that he may realize on his own as he becomes more familiar and confident. If he doesn’t, I can correct it later. The important thing about this session is to introduce the concept and sensation of back sacada from the very beginning.
And does he need to mark crosses? (He does sometimes, without intending it, which doesn’t seem to be a problem.) So long as he pays attention to real-time changes between pace and trot system and adjusts walking steps between 2 and 3 tracks to manage the space, he doesn’t really need to know about crosses and fake crosses that he might be marking.
I find it incredibly useful to have taught him how to stabilize and destabilize his shoulder joints to control whether we move together and or alone and exactly which muscles to contract to create intention/projection toward (psoas), away (gluts), and lateral (obliques) to him. His prompt mastery of these principles enables him to self-correct almost every miscommunication. My confidence is strengthened that these physical skills are a far better beginning point than walking.
In fact the very first lesson was disbalance (volcada/colgada). I always start beginners here because it gives them the most delicious sensations of connection (that advanced dancers know how to find in tango’s beautiful walk) and a bit of drama and excitement. And, small static volcadas and colgadas are easy and safe.