Shuhari is a Japanese martial arts concept, and describes the stages of learning to mastery. It is sometimes applied to other disciplines, such as Go.
A rough translation of the three stages:
- Shu ("protect", "obey") — traditional wisdom — learning fundamentals, techniques, heuristics, proverbs
- Ha ("detach", "digress") — breaking with tradition — finding exceptions to traditional wisdom, reflecting on their truth, finding new ways, techniques, and proverbs
- Ri ("leave", "separate") — transcendence — there are no techniques or proverbs, all moves are natural
The concept of Shu-Ha-Ri can be applied to the mastery of any discipline - even Tango.
In the "Shu" stage, one starts off in Tango learning the basics, adhering to fundamentals. In the "Ha" stage, one takes what is learned in the "Shu" stage but starts to find new applications, new directions. In the "Ri" stage, one transcends - and "forgets" about conscious adherence to the techniques one has learned for perfect free expression of one's dance.
But since we are all apparently Tango geniuses in Toronto (can you say "tango teacher to student parity"? Every second person you talk to is giving private classes. Bet you can't get that just anywhere), Toronto has it's own very special take on Shu-Ha-Ri:
1. Toronto "SHU" - See ad for latest workshop. Pay for and take the said workshop.
2. Toronto "HA" - Adamantly do your own thing at the workshop irregardless of what is being taught. Maybe even teach a "better version" of the workshop material to your hapless workshop partner.
3. Toronto "RI" - Promptly forget about everything you learned at the workshop. You weren't paying attention anyway.
This way, Toronto tangueros/tangueras can constantly maintain a state of blissful uninterrupted transcendence, and yet have something nice to add on to their resumes! A win-win situation all around.