Lost my tango appetite

#41
I am sure others might have told you already but firstly it is normal to feel this way...
We have all felt like we are wasting our time, like we get no satisfaction out of Tango, but we have all made one major mistake... We looked at the people who have been doing tango for years and years or the pros and we said to ourselves: "I look at these guys, I see women being in a trance dancing with them and I want to do THIS too" So its either THIS or nothing..!
You can't go though from A to Z with one go! That is why you get disappointed, you have to start with focusing on going from A to D maybe..!
So,
For me as a follower there are three things that will definitely do it in a dance..!
1) Confidence and not arrogance!!! So hopefully not many ladies from your community saw your initial message...I know you didn't mean to sound arrogant, it is all the frustration building up, but it was a bit arrogant from your side to think that most ladies in the practicas suck..!
2) Musicality!!! If a leader for me is following the music doing simple but well thought through sequences, following the beat and the melody then I am happy at some level. So try to find some drills for finding the beat and the melody in Tango music.
3) Surprises!!! Women in tango like in life like surprises, ONLY if they are good ones!!!haha
So try to practise your improvisational skills. Maybe start simple with a small sequence you know how to do very well, then change the way you start the sequence. Maybe change the way you exit the sequence, maybe both, entrances and exits. And after try it on the dancefloor in a closed and open embrace. Lastly, try to do the different sequences you have come up with, on the beat of the music and on the melody..!
One basic sequence, gives you multiple new sequences if you change the entrances and exits, and then the feeling of it changes if you change the embrace, plus the dynamics of those same sequences change if you do them on the beat compared to the melody...! Aaaaall GOOD surprises!!! ;)

Last piece of advice...Don't give up!!! Find what you love about this dance and stick to it! It needs a lot of work and personal practise but if you do it, if you don't let yourself go down that easily, you will see you will be enjoying every dance a lot more, simply because you will be enjoying creating movement in your own body first!!!
To great dances!!!
 
#44
This dance brings me no pleasure anymore, no satisfaction.
Milongas are late in the night so I can't go, at practicas we mostly have female dancers with a few weeks of training-2 months at most.
I see people with many years of tango behind being able to dance them, I see women being in a trance with them and I want to do this too.
Do you only get satisfactions in this dance after 3-5 years?
I only have 1 and a half.
Hi Victor, I have been dancing for 5 years and have had hundreds of lessons, attended only a few milongas and have found the following:

There are too many women looking for a date and a night out so they have a few lessons and then think they are ready to dance....they are not in my own opinion....but they want a man.
Milongas are late traditionally but sometimes you might find an afternoon one but as most people work during the day, as well as the instructors, they schedule everything after work and eating.
Milongas are run for the benefit of instructors so that they can have a lesson (which you pay for) before the milonga (which you pay for).
I have found that if I go to a milonga as a new person (woman) I am totally ignored unless my own instructor is there and he dances with me. Forget any other instructor dancing with you because they have not had your money and so will not dance with you.
I am disappointed in the fact that the men are so unsure of themselves they do not want to approach a woman in the correct way in order to get a response to their invitation.
I am not 16 years old and do not expect men or women to behave that way at a milonga but unfortunately they do.
It is very clicky at these events and you would think men with lots of leadership skills from years of dancing would actually approach someone new and ask them to dance but frankly they do not. Such bad manners to new people is bound to put anyone who has any skills for the dance off.
In my own group in Macon, GA our men are the best at asking new women who come along to dance even though, I hate to say it, most of those cannot put one foot in front of the other. At least an attempt is made to make people feel welcome which I have yet to see anywhere else.
Also I was recently at a Milonga evening in Atlanta where the man who was a pratt thought it good practice to tell a 5 year dancer on the floor that it was a 50-50 dance and he didn't like it when I thanked him for the dance! He then apologized for commenting on our situation but if he had been a good leader he would have danced through the issue. Clearly he was not a good leader otherwise I would have followed him.
Do not be discouraged by rudeness at milongas or the fact there are so many women but become a very good leader yourself.
Milongas are social events not just a dance and so it would be easy for you to walk around and stand by people and make contact with them even with a nice smile and hello to them. Move around, sit in different places, do things which do not leave you sitting around.
Finally, I got this off my chest. I'd like to know just how many milongas and lessons and workshops I have to take before I am accepted in any one group.
My friends travelled to England and went to a milonga and had partners and not once did anyone approach the women to dance but sure as heck the men went and got plenty of women to dance. I think men have to get a backbone if they want to dance successfully. Thank you for listening.
 

Loki

Well-Known Member
#45
IME, many women who fancy themselves tango dancers will only accept dances with the alpha male (or maybe alpha and beta) at any particular venue. This sends a message to the other men not to bother. The sword cuts both ways.
 
#46
IME, many women who fancy themselves tango dancers will only accept dances with the alpha male (or maybe alpha and beta) at any particular venue. This sends a message to the other men not to bother. The sword cuts both ways.
I agree with you but I am, I promise you, the exception. I just love the dance and have studied it and danced it and would just like to dance and experience the way different people interpret the music and lead it. I'm ashamed that women who go to a milonga would be so callus as to refuse a dance if someone has the courage to ask. To my mind it comes down to go old fashioned manners.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#47
First... welcome to our Forum. I hope you are here to discuss!

To my mind it comes down to go old fashioned manners.
But maybe the question is, whose good old fashion manners.

We call events "milongas," but in a "real" milonga in Buenos Aires, it is improper to approach someone to ask for a dance. "Rejection" is simply not returning a potential partner's gaze.
I think that anyone who goes to a milonga there would be mistaken to expect to be overtly welcomed as a new comer.
Maybe it's because of my own abundance of years, but I think of AT as a dance for mature people who have years of dealing with the hard knocks of life. (That recent post about the age of most ATers supports that. Oh, and I was quote a bit younger when I started learning the dance! )

maybe just another way to think about it
 
#49
I think everyone who dances AT knows the "look" and response but I'm really talking about the fact that if a particular group of people are hosting a milonga that it would be nice if someone at some point acknowledges the fact they have a newcomer by offering a dance. I understand the rules of engagement and have been to BA but here in the states there are many small groups who only have perhaps 20 people who attend. Surely good manners is how our group approaches strangers and that is for the men to offer using the traditional look. After all why would a total stranger or strangers be there if not to dance and enjoy the AT world?
 
#50
People are there to dance, but they may choose not to dance with a person at a certain moment, for whatever reason, and that person has to respect that. If a woman avoids looking at a man, that man has no choice but respect the distance, and her lack of interest. No eye contact -- no interest in dancing. Coming over and asking under such circumstances would not be polite.
People, if you like someone at a milonga, demonstrate that with your body language, look at them! and preferably, smile. :)
 
#53
Some people have never learnt cabeceo, and they are surprised if they don't get invited
A cabeceo, yes, but it may not even be a cabeceo. It would be nice even at communities where verbal asking is acceptable. Just to look at a person who we like, to observe from a distance, to show interest and encourage them.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#54
One of my best recent dances was with someone who stood about 20 feet away from me, smiled / nodded / looked quizzical as a new song started.
This was at a country western place, so some people, somewhere, learned about the important of (gasp!) establishing eye contact (or, looking at their cell phone). Guess who gets more dances?
In AT it's just a more highly refined ritual, or could be.
And who is teaching people Argentine Tango and not educating them about the culture?
Maybe DWTS? (I shouldn't start...)
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
#55
I have found that if I go to a milonga as a new person (woman) I am totally ignored unless my own instructor is there and he dances with me. Forget any other instructor dancing with you because they have not had your money and so will not dance with you.

It is very clicky at these events and you would think men with lots of leadership skills from years of dancing would actually approach someone new and ask them to dance but frankly they do not. Such bad manners to new people is bound to put anyone who has any skills for the dance off.
The main organizer in our area greets and usually dances with newcomers. So it's not true everywhere. If you came here, he would dance with you. You might not get dances from anyone else though (except the less skilled leaders) until they see you dancing.

Also I was recently at a Milonga evening in Atlanta where the man who was a pratt thought it good practice to tell a 5 year dancer on the floor that it was a 50-50 dance and he didn't like it when I thanked him for the dance! He then apologized for commenting on our situation but if he had been a good leader he would have danced through the issue. Clearly he was not a good leader otherwise I would have followed him.
I'm confused by this.. you thanked him at the end of the tanda or before the tanda was over? (effectively ditching him during the tanda) What was the issue that prompted this exchange? How long had HE been dancing tango, do you know?

Finally, I got this off my chest. I'd like to know just how many milongas and lessons and workshops I have to take before I am accepted in any one group.
I visited DC last fall and danced quite a bit at every event I attended, including Eastern Market milonga which I always heard was snobby. I went back a month later and got no dances at all at the 1 event I was able to get to that trip.

It's always a crapshoot being in an unfamiliar scene. There are so many factors at play. I've been dancing over twice as long as you. I've studied all the styles and can teach most of them. I'm "middle-aged", not a young thing.

Even in my own community, I have had nights where I barely danced and other nights where I never got to sit down. Same leaders. There are always more women than men pretty much anywhere.

I do have to say that some things have changed over the years:

1) I am asked to dance far more now than I did at the 5 year mark.

2) I care far less about the leaders who don't ask.

3) I go home happy dancing fewer but higher quality dances with my preferred leaders. If no one else asks, sometimes that's a blessing. ;)

4) I am usually only UNhappy with my experience when several of my favorite leaders are either not there, or don't ask me. (Or I get hurt). I'm not unhappy dancing less with everyone else.

The number of years you've been dancing is somewhat irrelevant. People progress at different rates based on so many things. Besides, no one in an unfamiliar community is going to know something like that.. they will only know what they see and feel in your dancing. Even if you look and feel great, there will be those who think you are doing it all wrong or who don't like the style you use.

In your own community, the comparative skill level matters more than the years. All communities have their Long Term Beginners. You probably know who yours are. ;)

Even in assessing by "years", it's still relative. In some communities, 5 years means you haven't been dancing as long as most of the community. In others, 5 years makes you a pro. In each of those communities there will also be someone who has been doing it longer who isn't as skilled as you are, and someone who has been doing for less time who has surpassed you already.

That's just how it is.
 
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#57
I'll start with a proposal for a solution: How about whenever a "Milonga Etiquette Guide" or "Milonga FAQ" is written, include a line like this:

"Men, please be sure to ask at least one new lady to dance at every Milonga."

Since I can't seem to resist numbers, here goes: Figure a man does about 10 Tandas at a Milonga, and about 1 new female for every 10 men. If each man asked the new face, that lady would get 10 dances that night -- pretty good!

... I have found that if I go to a milonga as a new person (woman) I am totally ignored unless my own instructor is there and he dances with me. ...
... It is very clicky at these events and you would think men with lots of leadership skills from years of dancing would actually approach someone new and ask them to dance but frankly they do not. ...
... I'd like to know just how many milongas and lessons and workshops I have to take before I am accepted in any one group.
My friends travelled to England and went to a milonga and had partners and not once did anyone approach the women to dance but sure as heck the men went and got plenty of women to dance. ...
I have seen these things in my community with some event organizers. It does amaze me that I'll ask a new face who has been sitting 1/2 the night, and she'll then dance constantly the rest of the night. As I am typically the least experienced male at a Milonga, it's not because I am making her look so good! FWIW, I think it is great fun to successfully lead a beginner in steps she has never done before, and to hear things like "You are so easy to follow." and "You are so good!" and "You should teach!" Yes, I realize it is their newbyness speaking but I still like it. Maybe becoming a Tango snob is inevitable someday (hopefully not!), but at 1 and 1/2 years I still enjoy dancing with newbs.

... I am disappointed in the fact that the men are so unsure of themselves they do not want to approach a woman in the correct way in order to get a response to their invitation. ...
... I think men have to get a backbone if they want to dance successfully. ...
Can you clarify this further? I know newby men can be shy about asking ladies to dance (I was certainly one of those men), but I don't get the sense the experienced men are afraid of new ladies.

There are some lengthy discussions on ladies getting dances here. Click on the "views" word to sort threads with the most popular ones first, and you'll see several good discussions.
 

pascal

Active Member
#58
whenever a "Milonga Etiquette Guide" or "Milonga FAQ" is written, include a line like this:
"Men, please be sure to ask at least one new lady to dance at every Milonga."
a teacher of mine found a simpler way by deciding that in her milonga/practice, the ladies were allowed to invite.
To make it crystal-clear to every newcomer she scotch-taped many A4 size papers all along the walls, stating that
"Ici, chacun peut inviter n'importe qui. Même une femme."
(Here, anyone can invite anyone. Even a woman.)
We had to tell her.
 

LadyLeader

Active Member
#59
I would prefer the followers to initiate various strategies to rise the number of leaders in their communities instead. That would rise the number of available dances and then it would be ok to activate the follower initiatives.

When the communitiy has a larger group of followers compared to the leader group the activation process will also activate a fight between the followers. If you start to look for them you can find some really nasty behaviours between the followers when a popular leader is in reach.

This autumn some experienced followers in our community will initiate a tutoring project. They will tutor beginner leaders and in that way they try to keep the interested leaders dancing and helping them to advance faster. It will be a time limited relation maybe two tandas per practica for some months to start with.
 
#60
This dance brings me no pleasure anymore, no satisfaction.
Milongas are late in the night so I can't go, at practicas we mostly have female dancers with a few weeks of training-2 months at most.
I see people with many years of tango behind being able to dance them, I see women being in a trance with them and I want to do this too.
Do you only get satisfactions in this dance after 3-5 years?
I only have 1 and a half.
dont want what you see, because all satisfactions you saw might not be true. in addition to this, you are right , when you dance very well, you will be free with your partner and you can feel the trance, so you have to pratice. and people wrong about that you need someone to practice. practice with someone is important but not the only important part. real improvement comes with doing practice by yourself. while you are praciting with someone you cant focus your technic as when you work alone. finally, you must focus enjoying yourself not improvement.
 

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