"Dear Simone"

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
#41
I assume you meant longevity of the dancers rather than the longevity
of Tango in Cambridge? Tango Bar fits best my rather idealistic thinking
of the non-profit way Tango could be organised in today's age. After all
tango was a people's dance, now taken over by artistic commercialism.

Besides dedication and genuine enthusiasm (and you need that to initiate,
participate, develop and sustain any kind of voluntary group/community)
the other key you lightly touch on is the opportunity to dance more than
once a week, in fact to be able to practise as frequently as needed.
Lucky Cambridge dancers!


That's a thought!
here's details of the Cambridge all nighter..Saturday 23rd October 2010

http://www.cambridgetango.com/site/cambridge/4seasons.shtml
 
#42
the infamous Negrachas club - well, I would say that that pretty much does exemplify general UK attitudes: perhaps the 'poor' dancing there is actually the ultimate expression of the British Tango style
I would say more the London tango scene.

You will find the scene in most of provincial tango communities rather different and much more pleasant.
 
#43
I would say more the London tango scene.

You will find the scene in most of provincial tango communities rather different and much more pleasant.
Yup, seems to be from my very limited experience... but 'where London leads, the rest of the country follows...'.

Perhaps, for now, in developing a 'UK style', we should employ the usual 'London/ rest of the UK' paradigm? And what about the marked regional differences (which are being eroded, but are still extant), including in what are effectively different countries?

It's obviously a pretty daft idea... sorry - just ruminating publicly....
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
#44
There doesn't seem to be much of a social scene round me. Where do people dance around the Worcester (UK) area?

PS: Sorry that sounds off topic. I meant that London is out of the question, and you don't get much more provincial than Worcester...
 
#45
There doesn't seem to be much of a social scene round me. Where do people dance around the Worcester (UK) area?

Difficult but off the top of my head:

There are communities in Hereford, Malvern, Cheltenham and Bristol to the south.

There is a community in Shrewsbury (maybe BTM can help?) to the north.

There are communities in and around Birmingham.

If any are of interest let me know and I will try and send some links.
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
#46
I'll have another look myself, but there's not a lot going on in Birmingham as far as I can tell. There are occasional weekend things organised around visiting teachers, but not much in the way of bread-and-butter regular dancing (if you see what I mean).

Perhaps it's like my regular world (Tango is an occasional treat for me). Lots of people do classes and lessons, but never actually get around to dancing. I'm not complaining, as I teach, but it always seems strange.
 
#47
I agree with two things in the article:

1. Copying/memorising steps is not sufficient

and

2. You don't need to be Argentine to be a good teacher.

Can't say either of these are exactly earth-shattering news, but I'm willing to concede the message might bear some repeating.

I have two gripes with the article. One general one and a specific one:

* General: He needs to make up his mind about Argentina. He rants about how Tango is mostly a tourist thing there, the country in an awful state, the Argentine teachers poor etc etc. But in the end he ends up justifying his methods by referring back to, yes, Argentina, quoting Argentine sayings and pointing out how Argentines would so agree with him:

"It's a route which is well understood in Argentina."

Eh....I though you said the guys out there didn't know how to do things. Make up your mind.

* Specific: Bit of a hobby horse here, but I got very annoyed about him telling his hypothetical follower off for wanting to dance cheek-to-cheek "uninvited". Huh?!?! I mean, I do my best to follow the lead (don't always succeed, but I agree that's the aim!) but I had always understood the type of embrace to be a kind of joint decision and know for a fact that some men are uncomfortable inviting a woman closer for fear of being perceived as intimidating or sleazy. I myself am an avid CE and cheek-to-cheeker and will usually try to move in. Sure, if I sense discomfort I won't shove my face into his cheek, but surely a follower can initiate this?

His justification for not dancing cheek to cheek seems very odd to me too:

"I need her to face me so that she is alert to my lead, as I am to her response, if there is one"

Again, huh!?! Why would I need to be able to look him in eye to be alert to his lead? That doesn't seem very "touch-based" to me. I usually have my eyes shut anyway.
 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
#48
...His justification for not dancing cheek to cheek seems very odd to me too:

"I need her to face me so that she is alert to my lead, as I am to her response, if there is one"

Again, huh!?! Why would I need to be able to look him in eye to be alert to his lead? That doesn't seem very "touch-based" to me. I usually have my eyes shut anyway.
I agree. I rarely look at my partner when I'm dancing - other dances also, but I think I am fully aware of her alertness and what she's doing, because I can feel it through however we are connected. With tango, it's pretty much always apilado. I've seen many dancers who want to stare into their partners eyes while they are dancing. This, to me, would be a distraction from trying to give her a good dance.
 

JohnEm

Well-Known Member
#49
His justification for not dancing cheek to cheek seems very odd to me too:

"I need her to face me so that she is alert to my lead,
as I am to her response, if there is one"

Again, huh!?! Why would I need to be able to look him in eye
to be alert to his lead? That doesn't seem very "touch-based" to me.
I usually have my eyes shut anyway.
I'd missed that so went looking for some video
and very dark it is too. However it shows him dancing
in a Vee hold, temple to temple so she is indeed looking at him.
Or he opens out so the connection is by arms and sight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAHRmbYXYbY

His tango seems to contradict his Dear Simone piece.
I'm with you, if people talk about touch then the connection
should not be visual but tactile. The eyes don't have it, feel does;
the eyes can be closed - well the follower's anyway!
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
#51
Thanks for that. Presumably the list is self-selecting? I know of two Birmingham teachers/clubs not listed (there's only one in the list), and I found no one in the area I didn't already know about. It seems to be a very limited scene for a region of the country so heavily populated, and I can't find anywhere to go and dance this weekend.

I do wonder how popular tango is. Is it on its way up or on it's way down? But this is off topic. However, my puzzlement at the dearth of venues and regular dancing opportunities is genuine, given the obvious commitment and enthusiasm of the tango community.
 
#52
Yup, I'm not sure how that list is compiled - I know for my area that it lists things that are no more, and doesn't list a lot of things that are.

Simply Googling 'Tango [my locality]' got me the best results, after some sifting.

It's probably different by region, but I'd say (Argentine) Tango's on the up slightly: round here the teachers really are doing it for the love, and organise free (or cheap, depending upon the venue) milongas, plus even drop-in classes will usually snag at least a few people who'll keep coming back forever (as opposed to Salsa, say, where you rarely see the same face twice, at beginner level:(), given TA's nature.

Seems to need zealous and committed folks, on a mission to spread the Tango love in that area....
 
#53
have you danced in Cambridge? I started my first lessons there. There is a strong tango community now and i would say they are the most consistently good dancers, perhaps becuae of their longevity and their opportunity to dance more than once a week.

I hope to go to their all nighter in October..perhaps all the uk DFrs should agree to meet there?
I envy the Cambridgites their opportunities to dance and their strong tango scene. However, I've suffered my deepest moments of tanguera misery on the planchadora's bench at an all-nighter and would need a lot of persuasion to repeat that experience. Sadly, Cambridge still has a bit of a rep for unfriendliness. Maybe it goes with the high standards?

On the up-side, Leicester is now a three+-times a week tango scene with more planned, and a strong core of very keen people.

But nowhere in the UK comes near London for sheer numbers of milongas and dancers, and of course, quality. I guess Cambridge and Bristol would come next.
 
#54
I'm sorry but can I just step in here and say, a hell of a lot of italians and eastern europeans emigrated to Argentina before and after WWII. So a Crap load of people are actually 1st or second generation European immigrants. Can we have less illinformed ranting please?

Danny has his own axe to grind and in fact the blessed dotty fruitcake forwarded that blogpost to Tango UK again.

Does it even matter? why is anyone attaching any kind of value or credibility to this? No one in the UK takes him seriously. He might have a couple of good points but they are entirely undermined by the rest.
 
#55
I envy the Cambridgites their opportunities to dance and their strong tango scene. However, I've suffered my deepest moments of tanguera misery on the planchadora's bench at an all-nighter and would need a lot of persuasion to repeat that experience. Sadly, Cambridge still has a bit of a rep for unfriendliness.
That will have been because there were so many londoners there.
 
#56
I'm sorry but can I just step in here and say, a hell of a lot of italians and eastern europeans emigrated to Argentina before and after WWII. So a Crap load of people are actually 1st or second generation European immigrants. Can we have less illinformed ranting please?
Where was the illinformed ranting about this, specific, subject? As opposed to people asking about it... ie attempting to genuinely be less illinformed?
 
#59
dont make me laugh:twisted:
I was very impressed on my visit to Shrewsbury by the excellence of the teaching, the warm welcome, the droves of beginners/improvers well on the path to being delightful and considerate dancers and the fact that they gave my partner what was, in effect, a free private lesson.


However, I'm not sure that this thread is the best place to be discussing the merits and demerits of UK tango zones.
 
#60
Can we have less illinformed ranting please?
That's a rhetorical question, is it? :D

Does it even matter? why is anyone attaching any kind of value or credibility to this?
It's a discussion piece.

I didn't say I found it credible, just that there are some parts I agree with.

And, frankly, I can at least respect someone who's thinking about how to improve Tango in the UK, even if I disagree with him.
 

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