Tango Argentino > Snotty Subculture

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Gssh, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    I think this is a interesting topic, and as zoopsia suggested it is probably worth a new thread. In my first milongas i also did not get all that many dances (I was a young martial arts guy in a club mostly full of old people - it is funny that i now look at the same milonga and things have equalized - somehow there used to be so many old people in the world, and now everybody is so young :) ). The hostess saw me standing around kinda lost, and asked me for a dance, and after the first few bars she asked in a very surprised/incredulous tone "You know how to dance tango?" - which still ranks as one of the oddest compliments i have ever gotten. And no, i did not know how to dance tango - i had had about 6 months or so of classes at that point. It is difficult to imagine i could have danced any worse.

    Anyway, i never experienced anything that i would describe as a unnecessarily complicated ritual, and i got about as many or maybe even a few more dances than i expected when i started to go to milongas. I was somewhat confused about who to ask for dances, as how willing followers were to dance with me seemed to be orthogonal to skill level, and for a while i avoided dancing with "advanced" followers because of horrible experiences (in retrospect i realize that i actually danced with one too many intermediate followers in the middle of their adornment-unled gancho-unled boleo phase, and that me feeling completely out of control/out of my depth had preciously little to do with with the quality of my lead), but taking the pre-milonga class helped to get to know a few people that would reliably be willing to dance with me, and going to a milonga a few times in a row helped, too.
    Overall i don't think i have experienced a lot of ritual and castes and cliques - well, i have experienced all those things, but not to a higher degree than i have experiences them in other social and even work settings. The implicit and explicit sorting of people by skill/who is a rewarding person to work with as opposed to somebody who is going to just hurt you without teaching you anything was less than i have expereinced in martial arts. I am actually even now somewhat in awe what risky stuff followers allow leaders to try at full speed when they are clearly not on top of the technique - there are some people in martial arts who run through the good will of their training partners quite quickly, too, but in general they are much more selective in who they think has enough control to allow them to try stuff.

  2. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I've run into some snotty people. But to be honest, the online snobbery has been much more vicious than anything I've seen in person, except for one incident early on.
    twnkltoz likes this.
  3. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I would say the vast majority of tango dancers are dedicated to their dancing and are eager to help other people become interested as well.

    However, there is a steep learning curve and a high drop out rate. Speaking for myself, but perhaps others too, I only try to be encouraging and helpful after I see that a particular person has some enduring interest and staying power. I have enough experience trying to be welcoming and encouraging to all newcomers to know that it's usually a waste of my time.
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Why would you say it's a waste of time? No challenge. Just curious. :cool:
  5. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I use to be very supportive toward newcomers, thinking it would help them. I found that most of them quit anyway, regardless of my efforts. The dropout rate in tango is, by my estimate, around 90% within 3 months. I think tango requires a certain amount of devotion from each student. If they don't have that devotion, my encouragement won't make any difference, so I save it for whom I think it will be useful.
    bordertangoman likes this.
  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Wow. :(

    I think the dropout rate is pretty high for other forms of dance as well, though. I think that, a lot of times, adults seek dance for emotional reasons that have nothing to do with dance. In a matter of a few months, either the emotional need has been addressed, the person realizes that dance can't address the need, people run out of money, realize how much work dance is, etc. I don't think that's unique to tango.

    But I think it's important to have people like you, who reach out to new people and try to make them feel welcome. It's one thing to quit because you realize that dance is different from what you expected. It's a whole different proposition to quit because you feel isolated/alone in a "social" dance scene. *sigh*
    bordertangoman likes this.
  7. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I suspect you mean a shallow learning curve ;)
    sixela likes this.
  8. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I guess it could be said that most students are on a shallow and short learning curve. I was interested in students who were willing to stay on the steep and long curve.
  9. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    I think the curve of things one needs to learn early on is steep but the curve of actual learning is shallow. Hence the drop out rate.
  10. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    lots of things could be said, but at least try to convey mathematical niceness to mathematical concepts
  11. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    If you wish to explain what a steep learning curve is, go right ahead.
  12. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    It's one of his pet peeves. If the curve is steep on a graph of paper and the X axis is time and the Y axis is progress, you're making lots of progress.

    But in the idiom, the comparison is with a journey climbing a hill, and speed isn't constant on the X axis: the steeper the road, the more arduous the climb, the less you advance.

    Of course, that idiom is internally inconsistent with 'plateaus' in the learning curve, which should then properly be called walls.

    I suppose _only_ in a tango discussion group can you have religious wars over language idioms.
  13. Steven123

    Steven123 Member

    The tango people I have met are really nice . . . All anybody wants is a hug . . . I mean it is not perfect you know . . . I am also aware of about one or two snotty tangueras out of about one hundred that I have met in my lifetime, and I can understand that they don't want to dance with everybody because they were always leaning on the man and spreading their legs out and stuff . . . At the place I'm dancing now I haven't met any snotnoses and some of these ladies are pretty good . . . I was really surprised about how nice they are . . . I guess this is in comparison to the scenario of salseras in a club responding to a stranger gringo asking them to dance. It might depend on the male/female ratio in the town where the dancing is happening. If there are fewer males than females, then the males will think they are too good and consequently act snotty. Fewer females, vice versa.
  14. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I think people have a common understanding of what a steep learning curve is, regardless of the math.

    However, if we decide the x axis is progress and the y axis is the amount that needs to be learned, maybe we don't need to discuss the discussion anymore.
    pygmalion likes this.
  15. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    RIGHT HERE; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_curve

    a steep learning curve is one where you are learning a lot very fast..

    I suspect the average tango learning curve is shallow but downward; they are learning that they know less than they thought they did when they came in the room, and it slopes down to a cliff which they fall off and they go and learn salsa or jive instead, or take up fly fishing.
    LoveTango likes this.
  16. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    isnt there a diagram of leader's hell somewhere on DF
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    I can only imagine how demoralizing it is to learn that you don't know how to walk. ;)
    LoveTango and twnkltoz like this.
  18. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    if you cant learn tango... you have no chance at salsa , since there are many kinds and there is only ONE TRUE TANGO:eek:

    which i have no idea what it it:cool:
    twnkltoz likes this.
  19. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Great minds think alike. :)
    Mr 4 styles likes this.

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