Tango Argentino > young tango dancers at your milongas?

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

  1. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    All quotes are from Angel Hi...
    I am a member of DF to learn/seek advise), discuss, aquaint myself with other members, etc.
    I contribute to this particular thread, because I want to share my POV and opinions, regarding the topic.

    When I am seeking advice, yes, I do, very much want to hear it. However, as I should have been implying...I am in this thread to join in on the discussion. Just because I ask advise on certain things, doesn't mean I am not quite knowlegable on other things. (Why is that so hard to understand?)
    Angel Hi, the facts say otherwise. First, pros are very busy. Second, they spend a great deal of time performing, teaching, etc., etc. Dancing with someone that doesn't contribute anything (whether it's a wonderful experience, dancing to promote self or studio, etc). A pro. gets really burnt out on the social floor if they only have dances that are beneath their skill level. Missy is a pro. level salsa dancer....(and dang it,....I am not bragging), she scours the clubs,dance floor for dancers that will give here a great dance. Lately, she has been finding less and less. Lately, she has not been going out salsa social dancing as much. If she knows that some great dancers (or good friends) are going to be at a club/social that she can go to...she may go.
    Angel Hi,....it's just a fact....I am sorry to say.

    I have got to go pick up the kids...perhaps I will continue later.
  2. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    I appreciate your comments, and as you read in my post b/c I said the same thing, understand quite well; yes, we all sometimes ask, sometimes offer, sometimes just talk/share.

    You misunderstood. When I said then that pro doesn't have a clue what real dance is, I meant that a real pro will always find joy in the dance. It doesn't matter if the dance is a challenge, or full of "upper level" (whatever that is) steps. It is the dance that we enjoy. I began a teacher training session like that a few years ago.... "It's so nice to see so many of you here. It is a shame that 80% of you will dacne the rest of your lives, and never once know what it feels like". Not very popular at the time... :) , but by the end of the day, everyone understood that dance is not steps nor the complexity or flambouyance of same...it is the feeling that one realizes when one does it well.

    I remember when your daughter began, and I have seen many progress as you say she has. Pro level? Maybe...maybe not. Maybe in your areas, and not in others. Maybe, yes...period. However, as an accomplished dancer/teacher/coach/adjudicator/performer/counselor, I would suggest that she stop denying herself the longterm internal pleasure of the dance looking for the shortterm external rush of a fancy advanced - crowd wowing lead of some step/pattern that, in the grand scheme of things, is only really be impressive to the performer.
  3. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    There is one professional dancer that we know that sincerely seems to enjoy each and every dance....but that has nothing to do with her being pro. It is because she is a beautiful human being.

    Actually, Angel Hi, she still hasn't figured out why she dances. Hence, the reason I get so defensive when I am compared to a "stage dad". I do know some parents of very gifted dancers that deny this in themselves and are content that their kids just want to be better than anyone else (be a star/famous). They will do whatever it takes to secure this.

    I would love to beleive that I give my daughter such unabaited support because I simply love to see her dance, and that is partially true. The greater truth is, I hate to see her win a comp., ...complimented on her dance, when she did not deserve it.

    However, there are moments that give me great thrills. Epecially underdog moments...examplified by the the classic tail of the famous prima ballerina, whom, before a big/important ballet, accidently injures herself, and the unkown, understudy, whom has worked hard/trained her entire life, with many sacrifices and obstacles having faced her. She suddenly finds herself in a once in a lifetime opportunty and wows everyone. Now, she herself is famous and everyone lives happily everafter. The End. :>)
    -Live your life, like you are writing your autobiography-
  4. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    well- actually- the thread was about whether young people are going out to the milongas (and revised to whether young people are interested in learning AT)...but almost all your posts are about your daughter's abilities and the entire thread becomes derailed with commentary about your personal beliefs about social tango and your daughter and desire for fame....so I can't quite see that you were exactly on topic....but whatever. I'm trying not to buy in to it any further myself.

    You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink....best let this horse figure things out on their own, I'd say....
  5. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    Reply to OP: So as I was saying, AT in Seattle is far from dying. We have a good number of young, new tango dancers, and new older dancers, and we even need to grow more. We even have several milongas and practicas you can go to every single day of the week if you so desire. We also have a high ratio of intructors to student. The majority of which are great at being able to teach people to dance socially... Which is the point of it all.

    In Seattle, AT is alive, well, and growing... I hope a lot more. We take our tango seriously here.
  6. kieronneedscake

    kieronneedscake New Member

    If I may provide a perspective on the value of social AT, and/or multiple teaching influences with an analogy and an anecdote that may make it ring true:

    Consider Queensbury rules boxing. A man may learn to box impeccably in the ring but then be murdered in the street by a thug with a knife where a student of self defence might prevail. He has learned competitive fighting, not the art of combat. While AT may not be a conflict (though sometimes it feels like it), the point here is that one set of rules defined by one school is not the whole story.

    You might call it the tango school of hard knocks, but there is value in being challenged to cope in different environments, and to maintain your dance in the face of differences in schooling and ability. There is so much variability in the ways the many great tango dancers do their thing that not learning how to adapt will surely deny the opportunities to work with most of them.

    Consider a problem that is very real in my county. We have a selection of tango schools within about 80 miles, i.e. near enough to mix at social events. One teacher (and I have heard of another) teaches AT that is billed as authentic, but his students are totally and completely incompatible with everybody else in the whole country dancing the same dance. It transpires that this teacher teaches only fancy patterns and in so doing never teaches his students a proper lead and follow. What they do superficially looks like tango, but there is no connection, only pattern recognition. If one does not know their patterns, one cannot dance with them without it disintegrating into trodden on feet and embarrassment.

    I have learned some AT. I can dance my own personal style pretty much anywhere in the world and be understood. Of course there are regional variations, certain steps and leads that are interpreted differently, but I dance with strangers (Argentine, German, Italian, Dutch, and more) and enjoy it. I cannot dance with these poor people who are led to believe that they can dance AT, but when they step out of their bubble they find themselves bewildered by their inability to dance. I've seen tears that could have easily been avoided.

    The arrogant student assumes that he or she is not able to dance with their partner because their partner is in the wrong. The humble student feels deflated and wonders what they themselves are doing wrong. Neither is a good outcome and neither reflects the truth.

    Individual teachers are better at teaching some aspects of the dance than others. I think it is almost silly to limit oneself to a single source of teaching when there is so much other talent out there. A good teacher will not create students like the unfortunates I describe above, but how does one establish who is a good teacher without comparing them with others?

    There is also a negative side to social dancing: In learning to accommodate the variety of dancers, one can pick up bad habits. I view this is a small price to pay for the sheer range of inspirations and variety that is there to be experienced. For this reason, I personally believe that no total tango beginner should be forced to learn with an equally new partner as it creates as many problems as are solved in the classes, but this is a different topic.

    Returning to main topic: I don't see many youngsters in the UK. Mid-20s is where it starts more or less. I am still a tango youngster at 28 and sometimes feel the lack of a peer group. Occasionally teenage daughters are brought along to see what mummy and daddy get up to all the time, but this is very rare. The primary source of youth comes in the form of university tango societies (eg. Cambridge, Oxford, some London colleges).
  7. 'round Midnight

    'round Midnight New Member

    Barrefly, You said that you are not seeking advice, but this thread puts me in a grumpy mood, so I'm going to offer some anyway. Feel free to ignore it, or even flame, you won't offend me.

    You appear to think that the way to learn AT is via the same pedagogy as ballroom/dancesport (syllabus, patterns, routines, levels, competitions, etc.). That is not the way AT is "done". There are a number of teachers/studios that teach that way. NONE of them has credibility or respect in the AT community at large. BTW, I have never encountered a teacher in Argentina that teaches that way.

    I hope I'm reading you correctly, but it seems that you want your daughter to go straight from private AT lessons to the stage. If you/she pursue the ballroom pedagogy, she may be very successful at impressing audiences that are not knowledgeable about AT, but if she performs for an AT audience, there will be whispers and snickers. Furthermore, if she wants to dance socially at some later time, she will have a hard time gaining acceptance, because social AT is about musicality and connection, not show. The only place to develop that connection and musicality is at the milonga, dancing with people of all ages and skill levels.

    You say that your daughter shouldn't attend milongas because she doesn't want to dance below her level. It is not unusual to encounter people at milongas with that attitude. They are uniformly despised. The beauty of AT is that it can be enjoyed even with mismatched skill levels. Advanced AT dancers understand this. Intermediate dancers frequently don't.

    Finally, let me offer a little gentle feedback on your posts. You say you are not a "stage dad". I do not know you personally, and in all sincerity, will not even hint at the suggestion that you are. All I know of you is from your posts on this and one other thread. You should be aware that, to me anyway, you SOUND like one.

    To the rest of the readers of this thread, let me apologize for once again taking it off-topic. I'll try not to do it again....
  8. 'round Midnight

    'round Midnight New Member

    Keironneedscake, you write very well. I wish I could express myself so eloquently....
  9. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Kieron, once again you are spot on. Great, great post. http://www.dance-forums.com/showpost.php?p=692118&postcount=46
    And, it is not the way that real BR is done either.
  10. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Woo, where'd all this come from? I dunno, I leave you lot alone for a few days and you all go crazy on me...


    I think some of the problem is that, from the way you communicate, you appear to have a set of assumptions which most people in the AT community would disagree with - in other words, they're flawed.

    It doesn't help that we're talking mainly about a third party, and so this discussion is second-hand and inevitably distorted.

    It also doesn't help that you yourself are not familiar with the social scene.

    It also doesn't help that you've decided that the social scene is irrelevant on behalf of this third party.

    It also doesn't help that you seem not to understand the points that people are making about the different skillsets.

    It also doesn't help that you appear to believe you have a deep level of knowledge, when this is obviously not the case as you've not danced AT yourself.

    And finally, it doesn't help that you're always going on about your daughter being a great salsa dancer. I mean, so what? I'm pretty competent at salsa myself - that means nothing within the AT scene. It's irrelevant. It's like saying she's great at knitting or something.
  11. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

  12. hbboogie1

    hbboogie1 New Member

    You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink....

    You can lead a horse to water.......but a pencil must be lead....hahahahaha
  13. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    yep- that fantastic 'ole English language...:rolleyes:
  14. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    So, it's a concensus. Everyone thinks I speak from my rear.

    Answer me this...(no reference to my daughter,...just a clean debate).

    How many do not beleive that this young 16 yr. old latin dancer from N.Y.(15 in this clip), after six months of A.T. private training, couldn't walk into her 1st Milonga and be the best on the floor? (Short of the top pros attending).
  15. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    The leader, no.
    The lady could do OK. It depends on many factors. Be the best -- no. To be among the best social dancers require a lot of (duh!) social dancing, in a real milonga setting, with at least a few different partners. It takes time. One has to pay one's due on the floor.
    But all that has been already said above...
  16. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    Thankyou Lily,
    Do you think you can reference some "best" social dancing clips and tell me what aspects that you feel they would not be able to pull off.
    Her is a clip of Hugo and Miriam. I beleive they are simply social dancing,...though they are alone on the floor.
    Do you believe that the couple I reference, could not dance as well?
    If no, then How so?
  17. Tango Bellingham

    Tango Bellingham New Member

    Depends - 6 months training with whom? Robert Hauk in Portland? Detlef & Melina in Germany? Alicia Pons? Any one of dozens of good social dance teachers in the US, Argentina, and Europe? Probably a decent chance, but she'd have to take all her ballroom technique and styling and put it in her pocket for the duration.

    And the "best on the floor" would still be the old Argentine couple who had been dancing for 60 years or more.

    Like I've said before, I've danced with alleged "championship ballroom dancers" and ballerinas with 40 years of ballet training who took a couple of Argentine tango lessons, and every single one of them was completely undanceable at first - awful embrace, incapable of stepping on the beat, zero connection, physically or emotionally. Just nightmarishly awful. Now, to her credit, the ballerina went down to Buenos Aires with her husband to study and dance in the milongas, and now she's an absolute dream of a dancer. The championship ballroom dancers - no clue how they turned out - I never danced with them again, and they dropped out of the scene.

    I received a memorable butt-chewing from Florencia Taccetti on her first trip to the US back in the 90s. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I thought my 20-some odd years of dance, martial arts, and movement training would make this dance a breeze to pick up. Florencia straightened me out pretty quickly when I voiced that opinion in our first private lesson - I didn't sit down for a week! :)
  18. barrefly

    barrefly New Member

    Take your pick?
    Could you reference some of their clips, explaining which aspects the young dancers would have trouble with?
  19. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    To find out about different aspects of social tango dancing one needs to acquire in order to be an adequate dancer in milongas please refer to the posts above. A lot of people explained it several times and in so many words.

    Hugo and Miriam here are doing a good example of socially appropriate kind of dancing. However, as you noticed yourself, they are alone on the floor. So Hugo does not need to navigate. He takes advantage of all the available space, and breaks from the imaginary ronda more than one time.

    (I have never seen Hugo dancing socially, but I saw him performing with a follower who is, mildly put, not a professional tango dancer, and he made her look very good.... a positive sign.
    I have seen Miriam dancing socially, and there is no doubt in my mind that she is very capable of that. )

    I second ( third? nnn? ) the suggestion that if you tried to dance argentine tango (a social dance based on immediate connection between partners and musical improvisation), many points people were trying to make would become much more clear right away.
  20. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    It would be a waste of their time. These things have been explained to you over and over again, but you refuse to listen to anything said unless it's fawning over how wonderful your daughter is, so why should they waste more of their time talking to a brick wall?

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