Tango Argentino > I have some problems as a beginner

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by nekolilith, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. nekolilith

    nekolilith New Member

    Hey! I'm a person who started Tango about 4-5 months but I think I'm not able to dance well. I know I need to do practice and go to Milongas so much if I want to be good but it makes me feel a little strange when I see other people who dance good. Today I went to practice but there wasn't any man who demanded me to dance and being the only woman without a partner made me feel bad :'( There were 2 guys who were taking the lessons with me but they danced with other women. And I'm a little shy to ask when I feel like that. I heard a man saying " tall women are better to dance with " that's also what made me feel demoralized as a woman whose height is 4 feet and 11.5... Whatever. Maybe this is out of topic, but I just wanted to share my problem and hear your opinions/suggestions.
  2. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi nekolilith, welcome to DF.
    And don't get discouraged. Starting tango as a follower means to have a lot of patience. More important than the milonga is to become a part of a local tango community, first. Bake a cake and simply say hello, here I am. By the way, can you tailor? That will make a lot of tango friends, too!
    nekolilith likes this.
  3. Someday

    Someday Member

    Congrats on a well articulated and concise description of your 'problems'. They are the most common problems. I really like the idea of baking a cake. Seriously. If the opportunity presents itself and food is welcome, then there is no quicker way to get some attention than to bring good food to a practica or milonga (but ask the organizer first). Food I've seen are trail mix, pies, fruits that are easy to eat such as grapes or oranges, cheese/crackers.

    Ok, that being done here are some ideas:
    * Introduce yourself to the organizer (part of becoming part of the tango community) and say you are a beginner and would like some help in enjoying and participating in the milonga so could they explain the rules (cabaceo etc). For friendly milongas, this might be enough that the leader introduces you to others who will take you for a spin.
    * I'm a big believer in taking a class, if offered, before the milonga so that you can meet people as you rotate through the leaders. Tell them that you are a beginner and are eager to learn. So, when the milonga begins at least you slightly know a few folks. If you find a particularly good leader in the class, then go for it and tell them that you would enjoy one tanda with them if they get the chance to go over the class material or learn whatever. Remember that a milonga is not the place to 'get instruction' but to dance (a practica is where you can get instruction).

    * Don't get discouraged. This is very true for followers and for leaders. Remind yourself that you are there to learn tango and don't let comments get you down. Good leaders make an effort to bring new tango dancers into the community (and they are jerks if they don't) because we need new blood. And, good leaders should be able to dance with all body types. But, yeah...tango isn't any different from the 'outside' world where there is often value placed on body type. It's just that, as in the real world, people who only want to be with certain body types, limit their experiences and the community in which they live.

    Off the top of my head, those are my suggestions.

    Oh, if you can, take lots of classes so you are constantly improving.
    nekolilith likes this.
  4. Reuven Thetanguero

    Reuven Thetanguero Active Member

    All good comments above... I would suggest to get dancing shoes with as high hills as you can, as long as they are comfortable.
    My son is 6'6" and his wife is 5'0''. Dancing together for them is difficult. But at 19 I presume you are single and there are plenty of men that are in a suitable height for you.
    Don't get discouraged, be determined and you will be rewarded with a lifetime of joy.
    nekolilith likes this.
  5. Vincenze

    Vincenze Member

    Don't go to milongas.

    Try different classes with different teachers.
    There will be guys who go to classes and want to practice with a charming young girl like you.

    I actually prefer tiny and slim partners. I can move, lift and turn them as I wish. Tall women are much heavier.

    If you have money, get a package of 10 private lessons with a good male teacher from Argentina. He can teach you to follow with your body.

    Look at Laila & Leandro, they are best of the best. How tall is Laila?

    nekolilith likes this.
  6. Tango Distance

    Tango Distance Active Member

    To see old topics sorted by number of views, click "views" or this link:


    There are great topics like "Why some women are not asked to dance."

    My experience is height or weight doesn't make much difference. The one adaptation is I have had some short ladies turn their head sideways in close embrace, kind of like listening for a heartbeat without a stethoscope. Oh yeah, they also often fuss about being short, but really, it is not a problem, don't worry.

    4 or 5 months should be enough to go to Milongas that I have seen in my area.
    nekolilith likes this.
  7. nekolilith

    nekolilith New Member

    Thanks for comments, really. :)
    Baking a cake sounds like a nice idea, it's so generous.
    I'll go to workshops (+Milongas) this weekend maybe that'll help me to improve myself more and break the shyness to ask men when I do practice.
    By the way, if I can't get the efficienty that I want, I'll think about about taking classes from a good male teacher when I have some money.
    I appreciate all of your helpfulness, I am more awake that I need to believe in myself, so that'll help me to feel more secure about this and confidence will come
    automatically ^_^
  8. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    To take a bunch of private lessons is a proper way for followers to avoid struggeling around with clumsy practice partners.
    But keep in mind that potential practice partners might perceivce exactly that... :cool:
    nekolilith likes this.
  9. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    It does take time to break into tango. IMO, practicas are a better place (than milongas) to get to know people and improve, assuming the practica is well attended. Sometimes guided practicas work out well regardless of the size. Finding a practice partner, really helps, too.

    I agree with what was previously said about taking the pre-class at milongas, to get to know a few people.

    While I don't know anything about your tango community and what the preferences are, there, it's true that many people prefer to dance with people closer to their own height, (especially if they are into the embrace), however it's less important to people who are more into steps. BTW, the better you become, the less important that becomes, regardless of the prevalent style.

    Also, finding a teacher that you can understand (what they are explaining / asking you to do), and whose students dance well, are keys to quicker learning. Then practice what they teach at practica.

    Tango (at least for me), is a very difficult dance to learn. It's a long journey, but so far I've progressed from absolutely sucks, all the way to mediocre. Maybe in 10 more years, I'll make it to good.
    nekolilith and itwillhappen like this.
  10. Vincenze

    Vincenze Member

    Many men go dancing in order to dance with girls like you, not older ladies.
    You have all power in your hands.

    You don't have to ask anybody at a milonga. People usually rotate in classes and you have a chance to exchange some words. If you find a good dancer, praise him and ask him to invite you at this moment. At a milonga keep close to him and look at him and others. If he doesn't invite you, he's a fool.

    Gather information about other classes and check teachers by watching their videos on YouTube. Every teacher has his or her own style.
    If there are only 2 guys in your class, does the teacher dance with you? Is the teacher a man or a woman?
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
    nekolilith likes this.
  11. Reuven Thetanguero

    Reuven Thetanguero Active Member

    While it's generally true, those "many men" are also looking for a good follower. I would rather dance with an "older lady" that follows well and is a delight to dance with, than a young attractive lady that does not what she is doing on the floor.
    nekolilith likes this.
  12. Vincenze

    Vincenze Member

    A girl who has been dancing for 4-5 months is good enough for me. She may become a white swan in a year or two and may remember me.
    Mladenac and nekolilith like this.
  13. Reuven Thetanguero

    Reuven Thetanguero Active Member

    That's when she will catch my attention...;)
    nekolilith likes this.
  14. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    A lot of good advice to which I wish to add: when you are at the practica, do not passively wait for a partner to come along. While it is OK for anyone to ask someone to partner up and practice, I understand it might be awkward for a beginner. So, start practicing by doing your solo exercises. People everywhere are attracted to active self starters more than to passive consumers.
    In general, methinks your only problem so far is that you are very young, and as such, a little impatient. :) It's been only a few weeks. Everything will be more than fine, and soon.
  15. Vincenze

    Vincenze Member

    She'll be dancing with her friends. Why will she need you?

    It's actually more fun to dance with a beginner because she enjoys everything. You won't be able to impress a lady who already knows everything.
    nekolilith likes this.
  16. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    You sure don't seem to believe in that "partnership of equals" thing.

    Have they asked you to be a consultant for "fifty shades of tango" yet? You should consider it; you'll fit right in.

    Who doesn't like a challenge? Once again, you seem to be very sure of things...

    Not to mention that a lady who hasn't danced with you (the generic you) by definition doesn't know you, and by extension doesn't know everything. At least not if you make it your tango instead of a bland imitation of someone else's.

    There's certainly an element of "impressing the ladies" in tango (although you and I probably don't see eye to eye about what you impress them with). But impressing a skilled follower gives me a lot more joy than impressing a beginner.
    Lilly_of_the_valley likes this.
  17. snapdancer

    snapdancer Well-Known Member

    You have to wonder about a guy who says "I actually prefer tiny and slim partners. I can move, lift and turn them as I wish. Tall women are much heavier."
    Reuven Thetanguero likes this.
  18. Reuven Thetanguero

    Reuven Thetanguero Active Member

    I don't aim to impress, just to enjoy dancing. In a couple of months she may catch my eye and I will gladly dance with her.
    She will not "need" me, but she might be interested in dancing with me.
    I don't want to sound arrogant, but the way I view it is that if a lady doesn't want to dance with me, it's her loss.:cool:
  19. Vincenze

    Vincenze Member

    1) A beginner is interested in dancing with you. You refuse to dance with her because she doesn't know "what she is doing on the floor."
    2) Other guys like me dance with her. She improves.
    3) Now she must be interested in dancing with you. But why?

    From my personal experience:
    1) I was interested in dancing with some very good ladies.
    2) They refused or showed indifference.
    3) Now I don't see them as desirable partners. There are other ladies who don't mind dancing with me.
    4) Now I see professional dancers as very desirable partners and I can get them by paying some money. They can give useful advice.
  20. itwillhappen

    itwillhappen Active Member

    Maybe at the moment you could have a lot of findings yourself doing some stuff in front of a mirror?
    If you simply do a slow step, land smoothly on the leg, wait for a breath, do the next slow step, ...?
    For some common mistakes look here:

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