Tango Argentino > young tango dancers at your milongas?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by larrynla, May 8, 2009.

  1. larrynla

    larrynla Member

    The posts by barre-fly about his daughter Melissa raises the question. How many Teens and college-age young dancers are there in your milongas? And where are you?

    Here in L.A. there are not that many compared to the whole community, but we have several thousand dancers so they come out to a few hundred mostly college students.

    For some reason UCLA which is a huge campus has fewer than the California Institute of Technology which has barely a thousand students total. (CalTech is a private university devoted to science, with as many faculty as students because it is a research institute, which owns and operates the Jet Propulsion Labs for NASA.)

    Here the young mostly dance with the young, perhaps because they are numerous enough to be able to ignore older dancers. How is it at your milongas?



  2. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    Thankyou Laer for starting this thread, though, I don't know how interested the members here will be about discussing the youth and their dancing.

    First, I just talked to Melissa's instructor (Felix Chavez) and he concurs that Milongas (in L.A.?) are not the place for Melissa. I assume it is for many reasons. (Her youth, dance skill/style, benefits vs lack of benefits, etc.).

    I had stated in one of my posts, that the dance world is very jealous and posessive. I say this from a great deal of personal experience.
    Melissa loves A.T., she also loves B/L as well as salsa. (W.C. Swing and Hustle...not as much).
    The problem is, could she dance professionally in all 3? For many reason, it is very doubtful.
    However, because of her training background and experience, she seems to be ripening for choreography/movement coach for the entertainment world.
    All well an fine,....but that would mean that it may not be a good idea to attempt to attain a high status in any of the dance forms. (Status as in notoriety).

    Dance schools such as Debbie Allen, teach their youth to be diverse dancers. I guess, eventually, the young dancer discovers which they love most, and when the time is right, begin to persue it for their professional career.

    Because Melissa enjoys the partnered dance most, I am at odds because her partner may want to focus on one specific dance form. We just yesterday, found ourselves in this situation.

    I am going to have a talk with Felix and see if he has any advice.

    Thanks Laer for starting this thread. Please P.M. me if you think you have advice to offer as well. We could really use it.
  3. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    In Seattle, there is a large, highly mature, and very good mix of age groups dancing AT. There are several practicas and milongas for any day of the week.

    The old dance with the young in the milongas that are more popular... No big deal.

    There are milongas that are primarily milonguero, and practicas that are predominantly nuevo. However, its a matter of style, NOT age. You will find younger people who prefer milonguero in the predominantly milonguero milongas, and older people who dance nuevo style in the nuevo milongas.

    The youngest people I dance with here range from 17-mid 20's. There are several guys here who are really good in nuevo, and they're in their 40's and 50's. We have men in their 70's dancing with women in their 20's. We have women in their 60's and 70's being asked to dance by men in their 20's and 30's. Oh and the older dancers are sometimes more popular than the younger ones.

    This blurring of age boundaries are common in AT. So, forgive me if I don't understand this age thing that seems to be such a big issue in Los Angeles. It certainly is not the case in SF, SD, and in the other AT cities I've been to or know of.

    In Seattle, it's a matter of the Argentine Tango style they dance... NOT, age.
  4. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    for myself- I agree with Ampster...don't know what the age deal may be in any given city but I don't note it as being skewed WRT age, more to personality if you ask me, in my own area.

    I dance with people because they are comfortable and I enjoy dancing with them, not because of hwo old they are...not even because they may dance Milonguero or Nuevo- some people tend to do one better than the other and if I like dancing with them, I dance in whatever way they are comfortable, no matter the age...my only dread is the "no embrace embrace" one particular instructor teahes their students here.

    We also have some younger people who prefer Milonguero, and some older people who prefer Nuevo...to each his own.

    I see older people dacing with younger, younger with older and young/young and old/old...all represented and most people each go through the above combinations all through the night- I know I usually cover most all of them in an good evening. My youngest partners are in their 20's and the oldest probably in their 60's or thereabouts. I am in the middle of all that.
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Here (DC) there seems to be a pretty good range from mid-20's to ??? 30's to 50's seem to be most prevalent.

    I can only think of one girl who dances a bit of AT who is in her teens (15-ish, IIRC), but that's more a factor of her mother liking to dance and daughter getting dragged along with. I've really only ever seen her mom's teacher and one other gentleman ask her to dance. I can totally see men being hesitant, what with the issues of child molestation and blah blah that are so common in society today.
  6. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Ampster, the situation is very similar in SF Bay Area AT community. Age is not a factor.
    PS. Right now I am sad because one of my favorite partners is about to graduate from school and move out of the area. :( ;)
  7. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    Where the young dancers go in Buenos Aires

    I am reminded of Rosita's granddaughter who wanted to learn tango as a teenager. Rosita and Pocho went Saturday nights to Club Juvenil on Corrientes during 2000 where milongueros went to dance. She danced with Pocho, so she learned from the best. She didn't need to take classes; she just danced. Occasionally another milonguero would dance with her. I remember this because I recorded her dancing with Tonino.

    There is nothing wrong with young people going to a dance in Buenos Aires as long as they are accompanied by a parent. I saw a young boy about ten years old in Centro Region Leonesa a couple months ago. The women wanted to dance with him, but had to wait patiently for the cabeceo. He had confidence and danced better than men with years of experience.

    The young singles places in Buenos Aires are La Viruta in Club Armenia in Palermo and La Glorieta de Barrancas in Belgrano in an outdoor gazebo in the park. Both are more like practicas, and they draw a younger generation to tango (20-35 years).

    There are children in the clubes de barrio where it is customary to see large family groups. This is a totally different environment from the downtown milongas where an adolescent or chile would never go alone.

    Tango Chamuyo: The Milongas and Milongueros of Buenos Aires
  8. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    and it seems that he himself is not too interested in tango as a social dance (these seem to be officially endorsed by him, so i take them as representative of his preferences)

    For a more social, but not completely "walking hug" approach Stefan and Mitra are in Los Angeles
    ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOFzmtNiPeM , the couple in black and white from 0:25 to 0:42, then it gets mixed, but you can see glances of him later on (note to self - white is the perfect color if i ever want to be noticed at a milonga)).

    And Moti and Naomi:
    ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp1Mk2e2vQs (i really like the infrared look)

  9. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    Yup, it shows.

    That lead swapping thing was cool. I've done it before and it's fun. Try wearing orange... Oh, and there's a couple of Seattle peeps there too.
  10. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    From these two videos, I see no traces of Argentine tango training in the guy. Everything, starting from his posture, is completely different. This is very ballroom/Hollywood kind of tango dancing.
    I can appreciate it as a different form of art, but these two numbers, at least, are very far from AT. It is OK if it is something you want to learn. I guess he is very good at it (whatever it is). But in milongas, it will not take you anywhere.
    I am sorry if it sounds harsh, I have nothing against this person and what he does. But I believe if he showed up in a milonga with experienced dancers himself, very few people would want to dance with him...
  11. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    Lily speaks the truth. I was in the process of writing something, but she took the words right out of my mouth.
  12. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    Hi all,
    No one was harsh. You all were just giving your opinions. I appreciate it.
    Felix is in his mid 70's I beleive. I don't think his body can still do what his mind wants him to do. Missy wants to do showtango....just like Miriam. Felix, I feel is a good start for a number of reasons. (I trust him, for one and Missy likes him).

    The 3rd clip, I was not impressed with, but the Moti and Naomi cliip I enjoyed. There was a lot of detail in the dance, and it was very lyrical. Missy has trained all her life to pay attention to detail. Missy would enjoy that type of dancing once in a while, but she would get bored if that was all there was.
    Watching the Moti/Naomi clip, Felix has taught her a great deal of what "they" were doing. I am sure he will teach her all that "they" were doing, eventually.
    I will research Moti and Naomi.

    Added: (affter doing some research). I think that Naomi was at the Milonga that I took Missy too. She was the one who's footwork Melissa and I admired. Unfortunatly, there wasn't a Moti there, so good footwork was about all she could show. (I beleive). I also see that she has danced with David Chiu. I met David at one of Missy's rehearsals. Nice guy.
  13. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

  14. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

  15. 'round Midnight

    'round Midnight New Member

    I don't know whether it's best to comment on this thread or the other one. They're getting mixed. Though I don't live in LA, I dance there on a regular basis. Some thoughts:

    Barrefly, as has been discussed in the other thread, there is show/stage tango and there is social tango. They are different. If your daughter is learning show tango from Felix, don't expect her to be able to dance successfully at a milonga. He is not considered to be in the mainstream of social dancing. If she wants to dance socially, she should study with someone who dances socially and teaches social dancing. I would like to amplify Gssh's suggestion of Mitra and Stefan. They are among the best in LA, both as dancers and teachers. That is not to take anything away from Naomi or Moti, but Mitra and Stefan are full-time career dancers/teachers, and I don't think Naomi and Moti teach together, nor do they teach full-time. (I dance with both women regularly and both are exquisite social dancers.) Two others to consider are Vladimir Estrin and Varo Boyajian.

    You said, "First, I just talked to Melissa's instructor (Felix Chavez) and he concurs that Milongas (in L.A.?) are not the place for Melissa. I assume it is for many reasons. (Her youth, dance skill/style, benefits vs lack of benefits, etc.)." If she wants to see and learn social dance, I couldn't disagree more. If she wants to learn Felix's style of show/stage dance, then why even go to a milonga? I guarantee that you won't see it there.

    Now, if your daughter wants to dance socially, there are two LA milongas that I would recommend that have a significant number of younger dancers (< age 35). The first is Stefan and Mitra's Oxygen milonga on the third Saturday of the month at their studio in Mar Vista. The second one is called DiVo and is on Monday nights at the Santa Monica Bay Women's Club. Details for both are on the TangoAfficionado.com website. All the people mentioned above regularly attend one or both of those milongas.
  16. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    No teens here, though there are rumours that one had signed up for classes last year. At 46 I am among the youngsters.
  17. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    A few years ago, I took my daughter to a certain studio, trying to get Tango lessons for my daughter. The instructor, (a lady) scolded me for even thinking of teaching my daughter tango, at such and early age. She even questioned my parenting skills, and ask me to leave her studio. (she was very rude to me).

    In one sense, she is correct. This is why I do not want my daughter spending her time trying to perfect her social tango dance skills. Social tango dancing is rather intimate, and I concluded (thanks to all of your posts) that show tango, ala Felix, is more kid friendly. I am quite certain that Melissa will have no problem learning social tango, but I don't beleive that now is the time.
  18. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    show tango

    I think the question is can Melissa learn stage tango without first learning social tango. You bet she can and be damn good at it. How many of you tune in to "Dancing with the Stars" every week? Football stars, cowboys,playboy models etc. etc. In one week they learn one or two different ballroom routines that are often better then some so called professionals I've seen. They have no ballroom social skills at all what they do have are great choreographers and a pro partner.
    Felix needs no defense but he is a good friend and let me say this, The videos you show are 20 or 30 years old today Felix is around 75 years old and still dancing and teaching.Bravo... If you watch Show Tango it's just like watching Show ballroom not much of what they do resembles the social dance. Watch a show rumba and if they don't tell you it's a rumba you wouldn't know it. The fact is you pay your money to see a stage show and you have no idea what you're going to see until the lights dim and the curtain goes up. The problem we have at social tango is the look-at-me-wannabe-show-payasos (clowns)
    taking up floor space keeping others from enjoying themselves. Is there a solution ...I don't think so
  19. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    So, this was him in his prime then? I'm just curious as my first teacher just turned 80.
  20. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    Tango lessons for children?

    Barrefly wrote:
    A few years ago, I took my daughter to a certain studio, trying to get Tango lessons for my daughter. The instructor, (a lady) scolded me for even thinking of teaching my daughter tango, at such and early age. She even questioned my parenting skills, and ask me to leave her studio. (she was very rude to me).

    In one sense, she is correct. This is why I do not want my daughter spending her time trying to perfect her social tango dance skills. Social tango dancing is rather intimate, and I concluded (thanks to all of your posts) that show tango, ala Felix, is more kid friendly

    Your daughter doesn't need formal training to learn tango--she can learn by dancing with you. She doesn't need to dance perfectly as a young girl. Dancing with you is something she will remember all her life. I speak from personal experience. My parents were ballroom dancers. My sister and I were learning tango from the age of 10 in our living room from our dad. We had tango albums playing all the time in our home.

    Our culture views tango as inappropriate for children to learn. It was a different story in Buenos Aires when tango permeated daily life and everyone was growing up learning to dance (without lessons) by dancing. Young girls were escorted to neighborhood dances by older relatives as chaperones where they could learn by watching and dancing with the boys. I have talked with enough milonguero/as to know that all of them were learning tango by the age of 14.

    Take a look at the video of Silvio Lavia and his daughter (maybe five years old) at the Gricel anniversary in April 2007 at 2Xtango on Youtube.

    Tango Chamuyo - milongas and milongueros of Buenos Aires

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