Tango Argentino > Differences in etiquette

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by MadamSamba, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. MadamSamba

    MadamSamba Member

    I was just reading something online that got me thinking about the differences in etiquette between Argentine Tango and ballroom.

    For example, when I first started AT, it struck me as decidedly odd that two and three dances is the norm in the AT world, whereas "keeping" someone for two or three dances in the ballroom world would be considered a little rude, as though you were hogging them.

    Also, in AT, people often close their eyes and dance and that's something I wouldn't dare do in the middle of a waltz or even a rumba, no matter how good and careful the leader was.

    Are there any other differences in etiquette between AT and other dance styles in your neck of the woods?
  2. jon

    jon Member

    I understand that multiple dances with the same partner is more the norm in Europe (though I've heard this mostly in the swing dance context, less sure about ballroom).

    I've had partners who've been willing to do that in ballroom on occasion, but only ones I'd danced with for years and where there was a great deal of mutual trust and good connection. Agreed it's pretty rare.
  3. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I use a simple eyes cloesed exercise in teaching tango so followers feel what is lead rather than think about it or look. it improves the connection and is a good trust exercise.
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I wondered about the number of dances too. I start AT classes in April, and I'll ask them what the custom is here -- one dance, or multiples.
  5. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    I was told at my first milonga that it was customary to dance three songs in a row in AT, which would be regarded as bad manners in salsa. Then I realised that tango songs (ones played at this place, anyway) were a lot shorter than the average salsa song -- the amount of time I spent dancing 3 tango songs was probably not that different from dancing 1 salsa song! Some salsa songs are way too long...
  6. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    Regarded as bad manners by many of us who post here--but we wouldn't be complaining about it if it didn't happen all the time. I've seen plenty of instances where someone will keep a salsa partner for 15 minutes or more straight--and frequently guys who can't dance at all but who just want to hit on people on the floor. They gravitate toward newcomers like sharks who smell blood in the water.

    I would guess and hope that AT would attract a more dance-conscious crowd. Because there's just no way to fake your way around the floor in any kind of tango, whereas I've seen the sharks in the salsa clubs I've been to kind of doing nothing much dance-wise on the floor at all.
  7. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    not just salsa though, i've seen it happen at swing venues - but mainly at swing venues that are clubs that sell alcohol - and not just "dance hog" behavior but also a few predators who were putting their hands all over obvious newcomers. yeek.

    in AT, at least at the venues i've been to, you could get away with that only once a night - if you can't dance it's pretty obvious - and word gets around pretty fast.
  8. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    As a beginner, I hate it when I come to a milonga with a (beginner too) partner and an advanced leader invites her and keeps dancing with her, not only for one tanda, but for half an hour or more. During this time I can do nothing but sit, because my level is still so low that dancing with me is not yet a pleasant moment for the ladies. When my partner finally comes back, she has to recover for a while, and then when we move on the dance floor she notices the huge difference between me and her advanced leader. She notices she's improving real fast by dancing with him, while by dancing with me she just takes bad habits.
    The usual result is that this partner of mine soon becomes an ex-partner of mine, that advanced leaders have a new, easy-to-impress chick to dance with, and that I, lacking a partner, can't come any more to milongas for a few months, until a follower of the beginner's class asks me to take her to her first milonga. So we dance one tango, and then a shark, sorry, an advanced leader comes, and invites her, and keeps dancing with her, and so on, and so on.
  9. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    While I don't do AT I notice this same pattern in almost all partner dancing situations... as if learning to lead wasn't hard enough already. :(
  10. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Wow. I didn't realize you teach tango, bordertangoman! Cool. 8)
  11. danceguy

    danceguy New Member

    I've never done any AT either, but as SD mentioned I've seen this behavior at just about every type of dance venue I've been to. There's one ballroom venue I used to go to that is alcohol free, and if a female newcomer shows up the sharks/wolf pack will descend and be dancing with them 4-5 times in a row (or more), lead them back to their seat and basically act as slimy as they can under a guise of being a gentleman. I saw the same thing happen at a Salsa venue a while back...and the lady was just too nice to tell the guy to buzz off. He must have danced with her 15 times...kept sitting by her, used every opportunity to touch her...I had to go rescue her from him a few times and she was more than happy to get away from him. Eventually when he tried to follow her and her friend out of the club, she FINALLY told him off, and I almost got up and cheered! :shock: :? :D

    Newbie - I understand completey...we had another thread going on about this a while back...basically the same happens to me...I have a few good dances with a relatively beginner dancer...and then someone will come along and dance with her the rest of the night. I believe just about every leader has encountered this at one time or another... :?

    My advice to you would be to take a different perspective on your experiences. If a lady who is your partner does this to you - honestly she is not worth your time! Any person who is truly your friend will respect your feelings and not allow someone else to monopolize them like this. Advanced leaders love to do this...and IMHO, if a guy is acting so cavemanish like this, then he's not all that advanced either.

    I feel someone who is truly "advanced" not only dances well, but is there to help spread the love of dance and a sense of community. I meet people like this now and then, and I admire them so much because its a goal I've set for myself - to not just be a good dancer, but a good person who dances. ;)

    Keep on dancing!


  12. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Perhaps preempting a "shark attack" could be a solution to the issue described. If you share with the woman what she can expect when attending the social dance, perhaps she will take different action.

    Interestingly, I was aware of the 3 dance view regarding Argentine Tango, but didn't realize 2 or 3 dances with the same partner was a no-no in ballroom. I have never had the same partner for 3 dances in a row because to me this seemed like too much. And although rarely, I have had the same partner for 2. However, if my significant other was a dancer and we went to a ballroom social dance, is it really not ok for us to dance multiple dances in a row?
  13. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    In our country, if a guy doens't dance with you at least 4-5 songs in a row, you are a bad dancer... :)... I get offended... if the guy bothers me, I just tell him to leave me alone, that I'm not dancing with him anymore... or if he's a beginner, and he wants to dance way too much, I usually stop after the 3rd dance and thank him...
  14. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Four or five in a row? :shock: Really? Here, that would be considered hogging a dance partner. Just goes to show that things really are different everywhere, I guess. 8)
  15. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    I only know the salsa scene in my area, but I think it's perfectly acceptable to dance multiple dances in a row with your SO (although I know many salsa couples who don't seem to do that -- mainly because, it seems, they both enjoy dancing with different people). On the other hand, if you dance 3 dances or more back to back with the same partner, or are seen to be dancing with each other a lot more than with other people, then people will probably assume that you two are a couple and may even avoid asking you/your partner to dance for fear of offending you. This is the reason why I usually turn down a third dance (I've always thought two dances in a row is okay -- not quite sure why myself).
  16. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    This is about salsa...? So if you are a good dancer you must dance at least 4-5 dancers, and if you are just a beginner 3 is the limit? :? I see why side your bread is butter on. Indeed. I try as much as possible to be equitable, unless the person is atrocious, in terms of connection. The skill level is irrelevant. For instance, an advanced dancer who insists on doing her styling with no attempt to synch. with me, but she will follow any moves I throw at her, even really complicated ones, without a problem. A beginner who just is jerking me around so badly that any moment now a miserable expression is going to show on my face.
  17. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    Same here, really... but the inexperienced dancers I was referring to mean the 'push and pull' type... :) hate those!
  18. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I'm lovin' you again! :wink: :D
  19. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    :) Thanks Sagitta... :oops: :oops: :roll:
  20. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Okay here is one...

    1. Ladies don't ask men to dance. Period. Here the songs one dances to are important. The guys will only ask ladies to dance to songs that they are into. This was repeated to me tonight 3/4 times by those whom I know from dancing salsa. Of, course, what do I tell them...ask me any time and I'll dance with you. But they won't. Actually one person, who didn't tell me this actually asked me. And I did see a lady, the instructor from whom I'm starting to take salsa privates from this coming Tuesday, the one I help out in her classes etc get rebuffed for breaking etiquette. So my advice to those beginner AT dancers ask as you will never be asked.

    As for the beginner follower and leader dichotomy, in terms of progressing...very true. :( And I take back what is said about guys dancing as followers. For practice, yes...but socially...NO!! Even more strait-laced then salsa. Suprising what you learn once you are in the thick of things. :oops:

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