Tango Argentino > Teachers: do you dance at Milongas?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by LoveTango, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    I danced with teachers occasionally at milongas. The dances were mostly good. For one of my favorite milongas, the teacher/organizer leading me a tango when I started visiting that milonga. That really opened the door for me. People recognize that I can dance, so they invite me. Now I consider this milonga my home milonga, and go there every time if I can. I think the host dancing with new people is very good for the milonga.

    However, I had some not so good experience:

    - Once at a milonga, the host teacher led me a milonga (dance). At the end, he told me that I should work on my milonga, and he was just teaching a milonga class and I was welcome to join. Well, since I enjoyed dancing milonga with many other leaders, I don't think it was all my fault that our dance was bad.

    - Another time, one of my leader friends introduced me to a prominent teacher (he is also the host of that milonga). Later, he led me a tango, I think, to show respect to his friend who introduced me. It was the last tango of a tanda. We danced one tango and he told me that I was pretty good and left. I don't feel bad that we only danced one tango. I was appreciative that he invited me to dance. However, I must say, I didn't enjoy the dance because he didn't give much to it (not about the steps).

    When I started thinking about taking private classes, the above mentioned two teachers are the first that I crossed out.
  2. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I dont think you should judge the experience on one dance. yes I dance with my students at milongas, but I stop teaching. If i need to simplify what I'm doing to accommodate their experience then I do but i dont dance with any less feeling then normal, but your teacher maay have been tired or any other sorts of reasons for you to think he didnt put much into it.
  3. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    I can't help it. Besides, I don't think that I would get another chance to make adjustment. In both cases, I am not their student.

    - the teacher#1 made a mistake of not leading a smooth dance, assuming that he knows how to lead a milonga. Believe me, I know how to dance milonga (I love dancing milonga and most dance with either beginner or advanced leaders were good), but our dance was terrible, I simply could not follow him.

    - the teacher#2 made a mistake of dancing with me if he was truly tired that day. I don't think he should feel obligated to dance with me because of his friend. I didn't do anything to pressure him (not even indicate to him that I expect a dance).

    They are both nice. Otherwise they would not have asked a stranger to dance.
  4. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    LoveTango, I'm not sure what your question is, or is there one?

    You seem to be unsatisfied with two specific situations, but are asking a general question, sort of.
  5. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    I am sorry. I didn't ask a question. I know that there are some tango teachers using this site. I was just trying to communicate my feelings. Maybe some of the teachers didn't realize how by being nice to invite dance from strangers could turn away potential students?

    I was not venting either, just some thoughts.

    If the forum admin think this topic is not adequate here, please remove. Thanks a lot!

    By the way, I edited my original post. Hope it helps clarify my intention. Thanks for your feedback, AndaBien.
  6. ant

    ant Member

    I understand where you are coming from with regard to the two teachers you have highlighted. At the end of the day you want to feel a teacher has something to offer from a technical point which I don't think you believe of either teacher based on the experience you had and also on a personal level you want to feel comfortable with them and again you appear not to. With regard to your assessment of their technical merits if your judgement of their ability is not good then I think you must go with that. With regard to feeling comfortable with them, if they can improve your dancing then I think you need to get past that and go for the improvement because I presume that is why you would go for a lesson.

    As regards dancing with teachers generally as a social thing I have mixed feelings. If they are not your teachers then I think you should think of them like any other partner and they you. When they are your teachers especially private teachers I try not to dance with them socially unless they tell me to. My thinking in this regard is that I don't want to be professionally assessed when dancing socially and if they are not assessing me I would want to know why not. A loose,loose situation for them as far I as I am concerned, hence I try to avoid it.
  7. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    Thanks for your opinion. :)
    I was not holding a standard/expectation higher than for any other leaders.
  8. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    Actually no. I only hoped to have a nice dance. (just nice not extraordinary). And my standard of nice is not high. For example, I danced nearly every tanda at the last milonga I attended (my "home" milonga). I considered each one of them nice (though not all satisfying). So you see, my "nice" is not a very high expectation. :)
  9. ant

    ant Member

    Your expectations of the dance were not commented on by me.

    But you used those your experience of dancing with them to decide whether or not you should choose them as a teacher. It seemed to me that the areas you were highlighting were their personal dancing abilities and their atttitude towards you and it was this aspect I was considering.
  10. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    I see. Thanks!
  11. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Ah yes, the good old "recruitment by intimidation" approach. :rolleyes:

    Have a read of "Tango Tyrant"...
  12. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    That was a fun read. The writer has a good sense of humor. Now I added another link to my tango collection.
  13. pascal

    pascal Active Member

    #1 may have tried to fool you by deliberately leading badly, hoping that you'd think that the cause of the bad communication is your poor following. Coz, well, he is a teacher and cannot lead badly. The trick failed in your case, because you know that your following is good.
    About the #2 I do not see where the problem is. He obliged his friend, period. I know I hate it when someone introduces me to an unknown follower. Then I know I'll have to invite her at some moment during the evening. "Ok so we're supposed to dance together, I will dislike it as much as you will, let's make it quick."
  14. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    isnt there a monument somewhere to the unknown follower?
  15. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member

    I know how it's been pushed to invite somebody to dance with.

    That is not unknown follower, you always have some parameters how you invite a stranger. :D
  16. LittleLight

    LittleLight New Member

    Ah, yes. I have a friend who dabbles in AT very rarely, but is a childhood friend of a really good dancer/teacher. He's always trying to introduce me to this guy, get me to send this guy his regards etc. My friend is sweet and he means very well - he's trying to get me a dance with this guy. I'd looooove to dance with him, of course, but not by cornering him that way, so I'm forever doing thinks like saying "your childhood friend x says hi" and then running off quickly.

    Where will my momument be?
  17. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    I am sorry, I didn't get the meaning of this remark. :p
  18. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    I also started reading tango commuter's blog. It is good to get a leader's perspective. Now I understand why in one of the most popular milongas here, so many leaders sit out while there are plenty of followers to invite.

    I think next time, I will be a little more responsible in starting a dance, without being pushy, of course.
    - Off topic, sorry.
  19. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    Right. I hope that the teachers don't feel this way in milonga. They should be able to freely decide whom to dance with. Although all leaders and followers have similar problems, they have friends and obligations, too.
  20. LoveTango

    LoveTango Member

    That's smart of you. I think your friend's friend is less pressured since his friend is not around.

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