Ladies that want to talk

#1
I was at a Milonga. There were several newby ladies that wanted to talk on the dance floor... followed by several experienced ladies that wanted to talk on the dance floor... Pretty much everyone wanted to talk... (BTW at other Milongas instructors want to talk nonstop to me on the dance floor...)

When I talked to ladies a couple of times off the dance floor, naturally they were very quickly asked to dance. I think the leaders must be thinking thoughts like this: "Look at that, Tango Distance is talking to that lady! I'd better walk right past the 10 seated ladies I haven't danced with yet and quick ask her to dance!" Apparently something about the proximity of the Tango Distance makes a lady a very desirable dance partner.

Someone complained about the talking to the Milonga organizer ( https://www.sadtrombone.com/ ). Tango Distance has been busted by the Tango Police.

So please help a poor, struggling Tango Distance out here. Is talking like the closeness of the embrace, and the lady's choice? If talking is bad, how does one politely encourage a temporary vow of silence? Is a small amount OK?

I know talking ideally occurs between and during the song intro, but not for the rest of the song. How does one politely stem the flow of hundreds of words a minute, or does a good leader just go with it?
 
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#3
Is this chatting while you're actually dancing? Not just in the breaks between songs? I have four strategies which I pick from depending on how well I know the follower, whether she is a beginner or not, the venue, my mood, etc
  1. "Sorry, I can't talk and dance at the same time."
  2. Keep dancing, focus on the music, say nothing at all.
  3. Stop dancing, open the embrace, listen attentively. If she keeps talking, clear the floor.
  4. (With people I know well) "Shhhhh"

I was at a Milongas. There were several newby ladies that wanted to talk on the dance floor... followed by several experienced ladies that wanted to talk on the dance floor... Pretty much everyone wanted to talk... (BTW at other Milongas instructors want to talk nonstop to me on the dance floor...)

When I talked to ladies a couple of times off the dance floor, naturally they were very quickly asked to dance. I think the leaders must be thinking thoughts like this: "Look at that, Tango Distance is talking to that lady! I'd better walk right past the 10 seated ladies I haven't danced with yet and quick ask her to dance!" Apparently something about the proximity of the Tango Distance makes a lady a very desirable dance partner.

Someone complained about the talking to the Milonga organizer ( https://www.sadtrombone.com/ ). Tango Distance has been busted by the Tango Police.

So please help a poor, struggling Tango Distance out here. Is talking like the closeness of the embrace, and the lady's choice? If talking is bad, how does one politely encourage a temporary vow of silence? Is a small amount OK?

I know talking ideally occurs between and during the song intro, but not for the rest of the song. How does one politely stem the flow of hundreds of words a minute, or does a good leader just go with it?
 

MaggieMoves

Well-Known Member
#4
I'm a known talker and social dancer at the same time. It's a nervous habit I have, especially if I don't know the guy.

Any dance that really requires less concentration I'll try to start up a conversation.
 
#6
No verbal talking during the dance. We talk with our bodies. :)
It is not a personal choice. Talking distracts other couples. I want to hear music when I dance, not my neighbors' chatting. If you wish to talk, get off the floor and then continue your conversation.
That is what I may do with a partner who cannot stop talking. I take him by the hand and usher him off the floor. Or I can say to him: we are in the way here, would you rather sit and talk? ;)
Most of the time, it is not even necessary. Simply not supporting the conversation, and just carrying on dancing in silence helps them to do the same.
 

RiseNFall

Well-Known Member
#7
The best amateur leader I have ever danced with (best = consistently easy to follow and comfortable to dance with) STILL cannot talk and dance at the same time. :p I just save the chitchat for between dances. He was the first non-pro to ask me to dance at a social.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#9
By talking on the dance floor do you mean standing on the floor while not dancing?

how does one politely encourage a temporary vow of silence?
Lead difficult to follow movements that your partner can't follow unless they are paying attention. They don't have to be complex, just things that they have to be paying attention to in order to pick up on. (complex works too)

does a good leader just go with it?
It has less to do with how good you are, and more to do with why you are there.
I would not ask someone again if they talked the whole time, although there have been exceptions with women I had danced with a lot, and enjoyed a lot. Those who are not in that very small group, would get a "yes, but can we just dance? reply if they asked me.

Have you ever heard the saying that if you can't, or won't, give yourself 100% to tango, you shouldn't bother?
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#10
I would not ask someone again if they talked the whole time, although there have been exceptions with women I had danced with a lot, and enjoyed a lot. Those who are not in that very small group, would get a "yes, but can we just dance? reply if they asked me.
I told a leader who talks a lot during the tanda "I can't listen to you talking and the music at the same time". He responded (I kid you not)

"You don't need to hear the music; you're supposed to just 'listen' to my body and follow my movement"

Where's that facepalm emoji when I need it?

Even if that were true (and certainly dancing together without music is a great exercise for both roles) WHY ON EARTH would I want to bother with social dancing if I was never intended to listen to, enjoy, and move to the MUSIC playing? I'd go in to modern dance or performance art and move to wind-chimes or birdsong or the audience breathing or inner city fire engines or something. Sheesh.
 
#13
"You don't need to hear the music; you're supposed to just 'listen' to my body and follow my movement"

Where's that facepalm emoji when I need it?
I've actually been in classes where the instructor told the followers they should ignore the music and just pay attention to the leader. While on some level there's some logic there for beginners who are learning how to follow and not just execute the step being taught, this is just terrible advice in general.

It's so much easier to lead a follower who is paying attention to the music and can dance to the beat on her own.
 

Angel HI

Well-Known Member
#15
That leader was misinformed.
Well, of course.. that was my point. ;)
Well, 2 things..... Of course, if one makes a comment or two about a movement or the dance, preferably a nice one :) , I see no issue no with that. Dance is a social activity, after all. If one is carrying on some sort of extended conversation, nice or not, that will undoubtedly interfere with the interaction of the dance with the music, traffic pattern, each other, and all sorts of things.

Re the poster who is "misinformed", I think that he is not as misinformed as he is not quite fully knowledgeable about the matter. He is probably repeating something that he was taught at some time (I was as well), and, to a degree, I believe that he is right... to a point. I was taught many years ago that the man interprets the music, and the lady interprets the movement. However, the missing element is that she has the very difficult job of extending that interpretation into the musicality of the movement which definitely requires her to listen to the music, as well. Many guys miss that part, but this is probably a discussion for another thread. :)
 
#16
Whoever is teaching that it is OK to talk during the dance and not listen to music, to either partner, has no business teaching Argentine Tango.
But I believe no one taught the man in question that explicitly, it most probably was his (mis)interpretation of the piece "a lady has to follow the lead", which, in itself, is true. :)
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#19
I've actually been in classes where the instructor told the followers they should ignore the music and just pay attention to the leader. While on some level there's some logic there for beginners who are learning how to follow and not just execute the step being taught, this is just terrible advice in general.

It's so much easier to lead a follower who is paying attention to the music and can dance to the beat on her own.
Do you think he meant it simply as a drill, or do you think he was claiming that's how followers are supposed to dance in general?

(Depending on the answer, I might recommend that you consider a different teacher)

 

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