Πέμπτη, 24 Νοεμβρίου 2016

Is your Tango School a cult?



12 Warning Signs that Your tango school is a Cult & How to Save Yourself

This article was written by Guillaume (Gile) Huni, BJJ black belt and head instructor of Kimura Academy in Belgrade, Serbia. as a helpful guide for those that may be victims of a BJJ cult like academy. You can see original text here.

I have slightly adjust the text (replacing bbj with tango ) to fit in the context of tango schools and in general dancing institution behaviors that consist a “Cult”

First of all, what is a cult?

A cult is any group which employs mind control and deceptive recruiting techniques. A group or movement may be a cult if it acts in ways that are illegal, abusive or otherwise unacceptable in a civilized society.

Cults look great on the outside but on the inside they are rotten and very manipulating.

Here are cultic warning signs

1. Opposing critical thinking

The best tango instructors are open minded. They do not see their way as the only way and accept the fact that tango is a complex dance that can be taken into hundreds of directions. In a cult -like group, your professor asks you to stick strictly to what is being teached, not allowing you to explore new techniques on your own.

A cult tango school, will not allow their ways or practices to be questioned. If you question, then automatically you will be alienated and they will assume that something is wrong with you. The members don’t know any better as this is the only teaching process that they have been exposed to. The one who ask questions will be deemed as having a “bad attitude”.

2. Single charismatic leader.

The cult teacher is very dangerous because of the influence he have on the students. They have a cult like following when they seek inappropriate loyalty from the students. The students are fed a blown up or false story about the instructors resumes and CVs

A Tango cult leader may come off at first as being very friendly but beware, they know how to take advantage of vulnerable people who are looking for answers, leadership, guidance etc.. They can get vulnerable people to believe anything or to do anything. You might think you’d never get taken in, but don’t bet on it.
Anything the group leader does or has done can be justified no matter how bad it is.

3. Brainwashing and mind control over the students
Mind Control are psychological techniques that cult leaders attempt to control their members with. They are a dishonest influence applied by the cult leader on members.
They are the only true tango academy/school/method/etc.
The only one teaching ‘pure Tango straight from the source… So why go anywhere else and learn wrong ?

4. Members seem constantly happy and enthusiastic (fake).


Very often they have been instructed to act that way in front of the potentially new recruits.

5. The teacher abuses of his influence to regularly receive free services from his students.
In an dance school you have all types of professionals: lawyers, web designers, marketing experts, doctors…An instructor should not take advantage of his situation to ask students to constantly provide him with free services. The students pay the teacher to learn.

It should be the other way around.

Your teacher has a habit of flirting with and dating students. This is a recipe for disaster. The instructor should never take advantage of his influence in order to sleep with students. Falling in love is of course normal but quick flings are not. Very often the student will leave the school after the fling is over.



6. You make instant friends.

Real friendship takes time to build, but in this academy, you will make best friends right away. This is very attractive for those who are lonely and have no friends. If you disagree with them then you will lose those friends.

7. Your teacher and close members of the group, begin to impose their will upon the rest of your life.

The teacher should lead his students on the dance floor. Outside this ,the instructor should know his place. The same goes with the class/group.

If somebody decides to take a break or quit , they shouldn’t be harassed for their decision.

8. If you are instructed who you can or cannot talk,dance to or associate with.

Tango politics is a horrible thing. Friendship is more important than politics. If you’re a paying customer/student, then why let someone tell you who you cannot talk to or not associate with. You can be loyal to your club while still visiting other clubs once in a while to see friends and dance with them.

9. You are imposed a mandatory dress code

Most dance academies allow their students to come in whatever attire they have, , pretty much anything that allows them to dance. The goal is getting the most out of a lesson, not looking fancy. There are some dance academies that specifically ask and require their members to buy the academy’s “uniform” or shoes, which usually comes at a high price.

10. Constantly asking for money for the next level.

Saying that they have to make people pay for it because otherwise they will not appreciate it. Pressure is placed on students to purchase school products and services (pay for exams, privates, seminars, DVD’s, etc). Sometimes it’s even mandatory.

11. Isolating members and penalizing them for leaving

The instructor and students act like bullies and makes fun of, put down other students. They do this by making you feel terrible about yourself. Former members are considered negative. They can not be trusted and personal contact is avoided.

12.Causing emotional violence to perceived acts of betrayal from students.

Mental punishment and insults is not uncommon in cult dance school.



How to avoid such a cult institution


You need to have a very strong BS Detector…
This means that you should do your research and examine the evidence about potentially false claims made by the instructor and members. Tango is getting more and more popular which means more schools are around. So take your time when choosing one.

They will tell you that they are not a cult.
This is a tactic used by cults to counter warnings from your family and friends. If any dance school tells you that they are not a cult when others say that they are, then you need to find out why.

If you are stuck in a cult like school then my advice is to get out ASAP and find a safer dance environment it will be better for you in the long run. You may lose some friends in the process but were they really your friends in the first place?



Transferred in the "tango" context by Dimitris Kotzampasakis
See original text here

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