Tango Argentino > Having fun at milongas

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Gssh, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. Tango Distance

    Tango Distance Active Member

    Please give the name of the e-book, thanks.

    FWIW, this happens with regularity in my area. Stranger lady comes to a Milonga. She is a nice looking, nicely dressed, and nicely made-up lady, but 40+ years old. She sits alone, at the edge of the dance floor in plain view of the dancers, and Miradas/Cabeceos steadily the whole time. She does not get asked for half the night, although sometimes some of the other ladies will talk with her. Finally someone breaks the ice and asks her, everyone sees she is actually good (as someone serious enough to do Tango out-of-town tends to be) and then she'll dance steadily the rest of the night. It seems this falls into the "not knowing you" category.

    On the other hand, a 20-something lady gets ask right away! She also steadily gets dances even if it is her first night of dancing ever.

    Maybe you should add 3rd and 4th categories: Age and beauty.
  2. TomTango

    TomTango Active Member

    "Enjoy Getting the Dances You Want: Filling in the Blanks of Argentine Tango - Book One" by Oliver Kent

    Apparently it's the first in a planned trilogy, where the next two are on how to get better at dancing.
  3. Vincenze

    Vincenze Member

    Doesn't she know that she has to come to a pre-milonga class even if it's very basic? Partners rotate there and they get acquainted to each other. A man can easily find out that she is good and invite her later skipping less interesting women.

    But it's better not to go to a regular milonga if you travel to a new location and have a flexible schedule. It's better to travel to a tango festival. There will be more strangers who will be more eager to dance with other strangers.
  4. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Yes, and she can easily find out that she does not want to dance with any of her fellow class goers, because they are by far not ready to dance in a milonga yet. :)

    It depends. Where I live festivals are mostly for people who like to dance with each other but live in different cities. They gather in one place and dance 10+ consecutive tandas with each other. So chances for an older unfamiliar woman to get dances are close to nil.
    sixela likes this.
  5. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Some milongas don't have pre-milonga classes, or pre-milonga classes where it's not easy to register without a partner. Even when there are and there is partner rotation (and there is not partner rotation everywhere) if you're a foreigner and there's gender imbalance you might also end up being the odd man/woman out a lot of the time -- people often prefer rotating to partners they're familiar with.

    So your inference that her problem is simply due to ignorance of something that you know is perhaps a bit presumptuous.

    Not my experience, but then I'm old enough and have been dancing for long enough to stop talking in absolutes ;-).

    Let me just say that I find it again a little presumptuous of you to decide for me what's "better" for me (especially since dancing at festivals and dancing at local milongas are very different things).

    Sure, you might end up not dancing for the first hour or so if you go to a foreign milonga (although you can usually cut it somewhat short for a leader: observe who are the slightly older good dancers and invite them, since it will signal what your criteria are, and it'll be a lot easier to dance with the Hot Young Stars who are usually coveted by the locals later).

    Once they see you dance the "shiny new thing" effect will usually make it easier for you to get dances than at your local milongas if you're a somewhat competent dancer.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
    itwillhappen likes this.
  6. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    I'd say it is kind of normal not to get dances at the beginning of the milonga if you are new to the place for whatever reason, because a lot of people tend to start the night with familiar partners. Unless themselves are new to the place as well. :)
    sixela likes this.
  7. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Yes. So it's a bit dangerous to try to fix things that may simply not be broken -- I usually go with the flow and enjoy the dances of the locals at the start anyway (as much as possible). You need some time to discover who you'd be compatible with anyway (and some more time to see who's the local-star-with-an-endless-list-of-partners-to-dance-with or the local-star-who-dances-only-with-X-Y-Z, who are never going to let you invite them without having seen you dance or let you invite them early in the evening).
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.
  8. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    A year ago I sometimes started milongas tactically with one of my class mates in beautiful age of 70+(!), just to hide my criteria. :D
    But now I have much more fun starting with my SO in my beautiful age of ~50 and give her a big kiss after our first tanda. If I step aside a bit afterwards, we both usually have a lot of opportunites to dance... :cool:
    sixela likes this.
  9. Vincenze

    Vincenze Member

    I use pre-milonga classes as an introduction to new ladies. If I find a really good lady, I certainly remember her even if she is older. Then I can be her first man of the milonga while others ignore her. Yes, even good ones come to pre-milonga classes. If a stranger arrives later, he/she misses such a great opportunity.

    A 40+ lady should learn how to ask men verbally. Her subtle signs won't work.

    I talked about a general stranger in a distant city, whether it's he or she. If you go to a festival with hundreds of dancers from other cities, 12-hour milongas, multiple workshops, your chances of dancing are much higher than if you travel to a city and visit a couple of once-a-week 3-hour milongas with 30 locals.

    You should certainly check photos from the previous festival. I prefer festivals where there are 2-3 women to 1 man. Your 40+ lady shouldn't go there.
  10. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    "A 40+ lady should learn how to ask men verbally. Her subtle signs won't work."

    If someone does not want to dance with me, my asking won't make him want it more. Probably on the contrary. He may oblige out of politeness, but the experience would probably be worse for him because it was forced on him. I don't want to put anyone on the spot, as I don't like to be put on the spot myself. If I (or whoever) ignore(s) someone's subtle signs, it does not mean I (them) need to be pressured harder with obvious ones. It means the matter is better left alone for the time being.
  11. c955

    c955 New Member

    Interesting how different the world is - I daren't imagine any tango event where there are double or triple the number of followers to leaders. I'd find the atmosphere unbearable...and I'm a leader. The followers would get bored senseless since it'd be physically impossible for them all to dance as much as they'd like. I know sometimes you get events where followers outnumber leaders, that's kind of just the way things are, but not by that margin. I much prefer events where the numbers are balanced, perhaps even with 5-10% more leaders; this is how organisers can help to keep all the followers dancing, all the time ;-)
    TomTango likes this.
  12. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    So, this is how i go to a milonga in a foreign city:
    1) I don't go to the pre-milonga class. In too many cases i have strong opinions about stuff, and that makes practicing what is being taught in the way it is being taught somewhat unappealing.
    2) i try to arrive before the actual milonga starts during the last bit of the class. Then i have some time to chat with the organizer, as they don't have anything better to do as nobody else arrives during that time. Topics for small talk are easy - how nice the setup is, how did i find that milonga, what other milongas are there in town, is it my first time in town, and so on. Usually being a visitor gets some people pointed in your direction during the evening. If i don't speak the language i have to skip the smalltalk, but thats not too much of a problem.
    3) I am usually prepared to stay late- most milongas are almost like two or three different milongas differentiated by when people arrive and leave.
    4) Cabaeceo everybody - somebody sooner or later will dance with you, even if it is not a cabeceoing milonga, and once people have seen you dance once everything gets much easier.

    Re: asking people verbally: i agree with lilly - why dance with people who are avoiding me? to prove something?
    Re: age and beauty: i think this is a bit more complex. the question is really not if you get first dances, but if you get second dances, and who you get dances with. People go to milongas for different reasons - to dance socially, to perform, to socialize, to cosplay tango, as a date, as something that might turn into a data, and so on, and so on.
    itwillhappen and sixela like this.
  13. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Pardon me, but it's my impression you aren't a 40+ lady, so you should probably not try to mansplain what they should and should not do in such a prescriptive manner. Also, I don't agree (and 40+ ladies in the regular milonga I attend and who know me also know better ;-) ).

    I have a lot of experience attending milongas in cities I visit for work and have never been to (although I usually love to go back to them later). I don't agree with your assessment and certainly not with your level of prescription. Not everyone is looking for the same thing, so more than one approach is "right" and what is right for someone might be wrong for another.

    Somehow I find that unsurprising. I prefer gender-balanced events, even though that means I will occasionally have to sit out a tanda with beautiful music if I'm late to the game. There are always the other couples to enjoy watching (one hopes, or it's a very dire milonga indeed).
  14. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    Laughing out loud. Literally.
  15. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    How I proceed about going to an unfamiliar milonga, or/and in a foreign city.
    I make a research on Facebook. Many tango communities and even separate milongas have their own Facebook pages/groups with a lot of information. One may even see the layout of the room, how the attendees look, dress, and how they dance, because there are pictures, and at times, videos. There are info about organizers and DJ's. One can find out more by looking at their personal pages. It may be interesting to write an organizer a message to introduce oneself, and announce one's upcoming visit.
    Also, I ask my friends. Most of my Facebook friends are tango friends. If they do not live in a city in question themselves, they may know someone who does, or know someone who knows a local. Tango world is small. So, when you arrive, there is already a person (or a few) who is expecting you. Or at least you are not completely unfamiliar with what kind of environment you are going to find.
    Still, as far as dances are concerned, my expectations are never high. I am curious to see a new milonga, what kind of music they play, and what kind of tango they dance... Perhaps, I can meet new people, make a few connections. If I can dance on top of all that, yuppee. If not, OK. It is interesting enough anyway.
    sixela likes this.
  16. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    A noble endeavour to join such a pre-class for the rescue of older tangueras. But how do you protect yourself from getting distracted by hot young babes in miniskirts that look for proper milonga support? :D
  17. Vincenze

    Vincenze Member

    Young babes also go to pre-milonga classes.

    Advanced young dancers almost always have partners-chaperons who don't allow anybody else to approach their girls.

    But young female beginners can be neglected. It's fun to invite them even when they are not perfect. They always appreciate it. Who cares if they make errors?

    It's very different with ladies who don't want to dance with beginners, only with the best. Read this:
    "she can easily find out that she does not want to dance with any of her fellow class goers, because they are by far not ready to dance in a milonga yet."
  18. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    I can't imagine that such ladies would attend a pre-milonga-class, especially if rotation could get applied there. It's so much easier and time saving not to accept invitations at a milonga as long as one is not convinced by the dance level.

    If I'm at a foreign city I'm driven by my interests and schedule. Most time I simply go to a milonga there, usually one that seems to be well suited for me in the internet, at a time I'm rested and feel well. My chances to attend a dedicated event - call it festival or marathon or encuentro - without my SO (or another mate) are quite low at the moment. So that runs very smooth, too.
    Lilly_of_the_valley and sixela like this.
  19. Vincenze

    Vincenze Member

    What will happen to such a lady if a new partner knows only how to lead the box step? I see this snobbish attitude all the time. Many ladies will ignore you even when you're more or less good.

    It's completely different with a man, especially if he's more advanced. If a lady is nice and cheerful, he will lead the few steps that she knows with great pleasure.

    When I visit a festival, I can dance with "provincials" who're not snobby and are ready to dance. The locals can dance with each other.

    By the way, I usually use the rule "One rejection - no more asking the lady for life, unless she's very nice."
  20. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    In tango it is not about "what", it is about "how". Most women have no idea how many steps their partner is doing, and what are they exactly, and they do not care, as long as he has a nice embrace, and moves to the music with gusto.
    sixela likes this.

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