Tango Argentino > Lost my tango appetite

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by A.Victor, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. A.Victor

    A.Victor Member

    This dance brings me no pleasure anymore, no satisfaction.
    Milongas are late in the night so I can't go, at practicas we mostly have female dancers with a few weeks of training-2 months at most.
    I see people with many years of tango behind being able to dance them, I see women being in a trance with them and I want to do this too.
    Do you only get satisfactions in this dance after 3-5 years?
    I only have 1 and a half.
  2. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Not now.
    But around 3-5 years yes I enjoyed it.
    Now, same that what you say, lack of followers and they're bad. They like it when they dance with me (I would not say in trance though, like your veterans) but I don't enjoy dancing with them.
  3. A.Victor

    A.Victor Member

    It doesn't seem that it's worth it to me anymore.
  4. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    Are you travelling to festivals, marathons, Buenos Aires?

    Local community is always on the same maximum level.
    There are many drop offs, so you need to travel.

    I hope that you are privately OK.
    And what I noticed that when I had expectations from tango I didn't enjoy it so much.
    And later when I was focusing what I can give to tango, tango community, my dancing partner my pleasure increased dramatically. :D

    There is suitable video for followers' side :)

    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
  5. A.Victor

    A.Victor Member

    No, I barely have enough money to travel in my own country.
    I'll watch the video, thanks.
  6. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    I would say, if you cannot go to the milongas, there is no point.
    A lot of people got used to taking a nap in the evening, so they can go out late at night.
    Others have reorganized their work schedule.
    Some found extra work to subsidize their tango travels.
    But they were motivated by their love for tango. If there is no motivation in the first place, there will be hardly a solution.
    Mladenac likes this.
  7. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    After 1.5 years of dancing you are beginner - intermediate level as some general tango level metrics.
    It will take you about 3 years at least to feel free at the dance floor.
    You have a lot of stuff to explore till then.

    It's seems that you are a bit under the weather (not so very cheerful) at the moment.
    This will change, hoping for the good.

    You can practice as home, listen to the music, watching some inspiring couples on youtube.
    When you are feeling OK go the practica just to socialize, meet people.

    When I dance with beginners I like their enthusiasm, and I laugh more with them.
    I dance with people not with dancers, every time is different. ;)
    Over time some people develop perfectionist relation to tango, so they don't enjoy and have fun.

    And stuff you have been learning over 1.5 year should slowly get to you.
    Beginners are more mechanical dancers, while advanced ones are more emotional (they feel dancing) :D
    Try to be aware how your partner is moving, listening to the music, responds to you and
    there are so many nuances to watch over at your side as well. ;)

    And don't feel pressure that you have to go to milongas, practica, practice, listen to music.
    Do what you like and when you like it. It's your leisure time. :dancingbanana:
    ocean-daughter and Lois Donnay like this.
  8. A.Victor

    A.Victor Member

    Mladenac, I would gladly do this, but it all started when my teacher along with other students. female and men alike, told me that I'm not on the beat.
    I can hardly hear the beat, when I dance I follow that long sound created by other instruments like the violin or the bandoneon.
    It's hard for me to follow the beat and even more, to keep in rithm with it.
    If I can'tfollow the beat, I can't dance, right? And my followers won'tfeel happy, right? As some of them tried after that to help me to follow the rithm of the beat, which was almost invisible for me.
  9. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Very few people don't actually have sense of rhythm. So, it is possible to work on that, develop it, and learn to step on the beat. Tango beat is not of a particularly hard kind to follow.
  10. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    This is more common than you know. The beat is not provided by the usual percussion instruments (ie: drums), so for many people unaccustomed to the orchestration, it is hard to pick it out of the mix. The more you listen to the music, the easier it will become to hear it. Spend some time just enjoying the music without trying to dance (if you haven't already) Then play drummer with your hands (or clap to it) Tap your foot. Take the pressure of trying to dance and lead out of the equation.

    You are already listening to the Bandoneon and it actually does provide the beat quite often. Sometimes it comes from a piano. It's easier to hear the rhythm in music like that of D'Arienzo, so if you can get your hands on some of those tracks, you can listen to how the Argentine orchestration provides the beat when it's in the forefront of the piece, and get accustomed to it. Once you are hearing it in the strongly rhythmic "marchy" music, you will probably be able to pick it out in other more fluid melodic tracks as well.

    Don't give up. This is frequently an issue that can be overcome because it can stem not from an innate ability, but more from how we've trained our musical "ear" through a lifetime of specific musical styles.

    There is another issue that comes up in dancing on the beat, that relates to technique, but I'll address that in another post. It doesn't sound as though that is the root of your problem, anyway.
    Mladenac likes this.
  11. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Finding the beat in tango music can be more difficult than some other types of music, due to the lack of drums in it. You'll need to obtain and listen to tango music at home. The one instrument to focus on (at least for a while), is the bass. Try to just tap your finger with the beat, and it will become easy over time. Then try stepping to the beat.

    IMO, your beginning teacher may have done you a disservice by not pointing this out and working on it with you from the get go. Being able to feel the beat is very important, and it's certainly a learn-able skill.
  12. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    As usual, dchester and I are on the same page

    (insert big smoochy kiss here)

    And I totally agree that the teacher should have addressed it in an early class. "You're not on the beat" is an insufficient correction.
    Angel HI likes this.
  13. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    Yes you need to relate/synchronize your steps to the music in a way that you and your partner can enjoy the tanda
    No, it is n o t necessary to be aware of the beat. An intuitive dancer is not aware of the beat but the body is still moving to the music. I am mostly doing so and I am also aware of other things in music as you told us.

    It can take time to develope an intuitive skill and for me the most important thing was to walk to the music. It was a strong passion - I could not sit still and listen but I had to walk, move to the music at home. It was deeply satisfying too!
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
  14. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    What you are doing is to hard to do it continuously for a regular follower.
    I do that but occasionally.
    You cannot follow the beat at the moment because you are to tense.
    Listen more music at home and try to notice nuances.
    Now the music is your enemy, let it be your friend.

    Rhythm in tango comes from different sources; bandoneon, violin, piano, and other instruments less often used.
    So it's quite to notice it. There are orchestras that have very clean beat.
    I believe the music by Edgardo Donato and Francisco Canaro would be quite good.
    They have slower songs with clear beat.

    Maybe useful videos:

    Her mark is too strong but video could be helpful:

    I would rather do circular movements like riding a bicycle.
    Every beat is a step on a pedal. ;)

    And this is also very cool :D
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
  15. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I disagree with this. To be clear, one doesn't have to be consciously aware of the beat, as long as they are aware of it on a subconscious level (which is the ultimate goal). However, if someone is not on the beat (or doesn't feel the music), they first will need to become consciously aware of it, before incorporating it into their subconscious.

    The ultimate goal is the get to point where you are no longer actively thinking about the beat, similar to not thinking about what your feet are doing when walking down the street (as it's handled by the subconscious).
    Mladenac likes this.
  16. LadyLeader

    LadyLeader Active Member

    I would place our disagreement on a different spot.
    When I call a person intuitive dancer i mean that s/he is aware of the beat on a subconscious level. So I think we agree about the possibility of musical dancing without conscous awarenes of beat or other music structures.

    And your are right that all musical training we know is based on building up a conscious awarenens of beat and other music structures and then incorporate it into the subconscious. But that is not the only way!

    I started with an untrained subconscious musical skill and by hard work developed it to a better subconscious skill. On the way I became slightly aware of the beat also :) mostly by Joaquin Amenabars trainingmethods.
  17. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    Ok, this idea has helped me when i started out:

    One of the characteristics of tango is that there is no percussion in tango. The dancers feet are the percussion.

    There is no instrument to "step on" in a 1-to-1 fashion - the beat is implicit in all instruments. So when you are following the violin, or the bandoneon you are doing exactly the right thing. Pick an instrument, a melody line you find compelling, and sing along (preferably alone - (well, your singing might be much better than mine) - i do this while driving). By staying with the melody you are going to be in the beat.
    If you find somebody who wants to seriously work ask them to let you listen how they sing/hum along to a song - this will tell you more about how they hear and experience the music than when they count and show you the end result of this process.
    Actually singing the music to each other is one of the exercises that Homer does, and i think it is an excellent way to learn about the relationship between the music, the leader following the music, and the follower following the music and picking up the themes that the leader latches on in the music.

    Re: Tango Burnout - This is not going to get better. Being able to put followers to sleep is actually not that satisfying in itself, especially when the dance is mostly work and not fun. The only escape is to love the music and work on your own personal relationship with the music. You have to look for your own dance, your own joy in the music and your partner. I don't know if it is much of a comfort, but leaders have it a bit easier there - we get to look for our own dance earlier and continuously. It is much harder for followers - they usually hit this after 4 or 5 years, when they have really mastered the technique of "following", and there are fewer and fewer leaders who challenge them - switching from being challenged by the leader and the technique to finding ones own dance and relationship to the music is hard, and a lot of followers don't make it.

    And going to milongas is essential - IMHO tango only exists on the communal dancefloor, with the music.

    Xenophon and sixela like this.
  18. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    Another thought:

    I actually think that as a leader one does not need to be on the beat - the primary job of a leader is to mark/move in a way that allows the follower to be on the beat. We should not feel the beat in our own body, but in the followers body, and often that means for the leader to move ahead of the beat to create a way for the follower that they can take on the beat, or to move behind the beat to allow the follower to move somewhere on the beat and we follow after them.
    To some extent I believe that it is the followers job to be on the beat, and the leader should "steal" the rhythm from them, and not the other way around.
  19. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    I guess I never thought of that. It's a different approach from mine, as I lead before the beat, with the goal of us both accompanying each other, and stepping on the beat together.

    I suppose when you come down to it, there's more than one successful philosophy for most aspects of tango.
  20. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    The guy has problem dancing with beginners on the beat. And you are thinking way out of solving his problem. ;)

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