Milonguero style

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
#61
That's mincing words a little, isn't it? ..
Um, that was not my intention.

...one good way to get them back is to go focus on what we're calling milonguero style. By limiting yourself to close embrace, it forces you to bring the focus back to connection and musicality. Something that should exist in all styles of tango.
When I began dancing I was a folk dancer and I wanted to be perfect in all styles. That was a long time ago and I've realized much since then. Now I just want to dance my style. I don't want to dance someone else's style, or even various styles

The milonguero style is where I find the best dance, for my money, but my own teacher complained about the way I do it. I had to quit taking lessons from her because we disagreed about how I should dance.

I understand the pleasure of knowing and dancing many styles. It's just not what I want to do anymore.
 

jantango

Active Member
#62
You are right. I recant what I said earlier. Also, I have been thinking about it and I remember from school that a practicing attorney was one of my worst teachers, but a non-practicing one was my best teachers, so a teacher does not have to be a social dancer to teach social dancing. OTOH, I know a lot of teachers, especially imports from BA, that can't navigate at a Milonga. In fact, AT teachers tend to be worse than the average AT social dancer at floorcraft.
Celia Blanco, owner of Lo de Celia Tango Club, has taught tango to social dancers for many years. She teaches at the Zurich festival every year. Celia doesn't go to the milongas. In fact, the only time I saw her dancing in her milonga was the night of her 12th anniversary last month. She can dance well, but has enough to do running four milongas a week. She is a teacher, not a milonguera.

If you know teachers from BsAs who can't navigate well on a milonga floor, it's because they aren't social dancers. Their time is dedicated to teaching and performing.
 

jantango

Active Member
#63
There are plenty of teachers who dance socially. By definition, when more than one couple dances to music in a setting where it is for their enjoyment, it is social dancing.

I'm talking about Argentine professionals who don't go to the milongas when they're in Buenos Aires. They can walk in free anywhere and be treated like royalty. They go to a milonga when they're invited to give an exhibition for which they are paid. Their presence draws more attendance. Then nobody can dance because the floor is too crowded and no one knows how to navigate because they learned choreography not how to improvise.

Perhaps tango teachers in your community go to the milongas. This is not the case in BsAs. I rarely attend El Beso where I have seen Alicia Pons and Monica Paz, but I never see them at Plaza Bohemia, La Nacional, Lo de Celia, Gricel, or El Arranque.
 
#64
I'm talking about Argentine professionals who don't go to the milongas when they're in Buenos Aires. They can walk in free anywhere and be treated like royalty. They go to a milonga when they're invited to give an exhibition for which they are paid. Their presence draws more attendance. Then nobody can dance because the floor is too crowded and no one knows how to navigate because they learned choreography not how to improvise.

Perhaps tango teachers in your community go to the milongas. This is not the case in BsAs. I rarely attend El Beso where I have seen Alicia Pons and Monica Paz, but I never see them at Plaza Bohemia, La Nacional, Lo de Celia, Gricel, or El Arranque.
Alicia Pons and Monica Paz go to Plaza Bohemia (Sunday). Alicia also goes to La Nacional (Monday).
I don't go to Club Gricel myself (too far, too many tourists and bad dancers without manners there), so I cannot account for that one.
El Arranque starts early, and so does Lo de Celia. I guess some people who work just cannot make it because of that.
 

Mladenac

Well-Known Member
#66
In your beginning you actually stick to your studio, your teachers, your peer group. After 3 years you try out every teacher in town or in your region. But, mañana, one of these days you are going to say, nuts to you. And please be honest, also you did it this way!
I am very defined by some teachers because what told me was logical and practical.
I don't go to lessons anymore that's true, but it's not that I am not trying to learn from somebody.
I discuss how sth is done, or how I do it.
I watch some professionals and try to accomodate to myself.

That´s alright. Learning tango doesn´t mean to learn steps, patterns and sequences. Learning tango means to fill the address book of your mobile. And some day you will be independent of your former tango scene. Please be honest, you´ve done it as well!
Caught, I also do it this way.
We all have some background that have been continually changing.
I can hardly be independent of my primer tango scene cause after all a lot of stuff I learned I don't want to give up.

Ok, some start as a social dancer (me) and end up as an artist (artists are lonely).
Some dancers are into exploration some are don't.
Dancer need to be self confident to do that and for that it takes time.
 

Mladenac

Well-Known Member
#67
I think it's very much the opposite. The better AT dancer you are, the more dancers that you can dance with and the number of partners always grows.
I got a little bit picky over time. We were both nitpicking a bit.
It's true that over time I met more dancer that dance how I want but that is mainly during festivals.
It's not that I am not optimistic about that. :D

Also, the better dancer you are in AT, the better you can lead movements that the follow has never learned. For instance, advance AT dancers can generally lead volcadas on follows that have never used them before. I mean volcadas in both the Nuevo sense and Milonguero sense.
That is debatable.
Once the follower can follow or my lead she is not beginner any more no matter how she has been dancing.
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
#69
You are right. I recant what I said earlier. Also, I have been thinking about it and I remember from school that a practicing attorney was one of my worst teachers, but a non-practicing one was my best teachers, so a teacher does not have to be a social dancer to teach social dancing. OTOH, I know a lot of teachers, especially imports from BA, that can't navigate at a Milonga. In fact, AT teachers tend to be worse than the average AT social dancer at floorcraft.
I think assessing in advance any dance teacher is tricky. I have usually asked someone who has experienced thier teaching what they thought was good and bad about the teaching.

A good Argentine teacher can be lost in a foreign country if they can't communicate across languages.

I can see you would like specific things from a teacher, and that is fair enough. Sometimes feeling comfortable with the person teaching is enough, to learn new something new.

It does seem to be leading to a Catch 22 in this thread..the real milongueros don't teach and the good teachers don't dance. That's why I think some of the better teachers are coming out of the US and Europe; their learn their craft in BsAs, and they are better skilled at sharing it because they are outsiders and observe and experience in a different way than those for whom it is a 'lifestyle'
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
#70
... I think some of the better teachers are coming out of the US and Europe; their learn their craft in BsAs, and they are better skilled at sharing it because they are outsiders and observe and experience in a different way than those for whom it is a 'lifestyle'.
I don't know whether coming from US or Europe is the factor at play, here, or whether it is just that there is no reason to think that an advanced practitioner of any dance style (and I am assuming that we agree that the milongueros are advanced dancers in the styles they prefer) will automatically make a good teacher. There is the old saying: those that do, can, and those that can't, teach; but you can invert it, and say that some that can teach, do, and many that can't, try anyway.

The whole 'lifestyle' thing can be a real turn-off for a lot of people new to tango, although for some, it adds to the fun. It only really makes sense in the right context and otherwise aspects of the whole package can just appear to be ludicrous. I seriously doubt that teachers have any responsibility for the induction of anyone interested in the lifestyle aspects of tango: that is what the wider tango community is for, for those that want to go that way.
 
#72
When I began dancing I was a folk dancer and I wanted to be perfect in all styles. That was a long time ago and I've realized much since then. Now I just want to dance my style. I don't want to dance someone else's style, or even various styles

The milonguero style is where I find the best dance, for my money, but my own teacher complained about the way I do it. I had to quit taking lessons from her because we disagreed about how I should dance.

I understand the pleasure of knowing and dancing many styles. It's just not what I want to do anymore.
I find that understanding how things work in one style of AT contributes to my understanding of other styles. I am often inspired from dancers of almost any style and that inspiration helps fuel my personal style. The milongueros are an infinite source of inspiration for me, but so are some other dancers, like Gustavo Naverro or Fabio Salas. Understanding many different styles individual or groups doesn't mean that I want to copy them or imitate them, but it enriches my understanding and gives me more choices and tools to work with in my own dance.
 

jantango

Active Member
#73
When I began dancing I was a folk dancer and I wanted to be perfect in all styles. That was a long time ago and I've realized much since then. Now I just want to dance my style. I don't want to dance someone else's style, or even various styles

The milonguero style is where I find the best dance, for my money, but my own teacher complained about the way I do it. I had to quit taking lessons from her because we disagreed about how I should dance.

I understand the pleasure of knowing and dancing many styles. It's just not what I want to do anymore.
Dance comes from within. No one can change who you are. Shame on your teacher for trying to limit your dance. You made a good decision. Dance your style!
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#74
bordertangoman said:
...I think some of the better teachers are coming out of the US and Europe; their learn their craft in BsAs, and they are better skilled at sharing it because they are outsiders and observe and experience in a different way than those for whom it is a 'lifestyle'.
The whole 'lifestyle' thing can be a real turn-off for a lot of people new to tango, although for some, it adds to the fun. It only really makes sense in the right context and otherwise aspects of the whole package can just appear to be ludicrous...
I´ve understood it in a different way: in order to teach it may be helpful to keep some distance from "the scene" with all it´s daily business, intrigues, folklore, customs at the place of origin.

I seriously doubt that teachers have any responsibility for the induction of anyone interested in the lifestyle aspects of tango.
I am really thankful that my first teacher (an uruguayo) took me by the hand after three weeks, showed me all the milongas and venues of my hometown for several nights, showed me different archetypes of tango characters, explained not only the codigos for the milonga but also the night-life rules, told me about the squabbling among the teachers and their cliques, and what was most important to me, set me an example of his own tango philosophy. Dont want to miss it. It left a mark. And so one of my first threads in this forum was an outcry of indignation when I saw tangueros dance to Adios Muchachos. But who if not my! teacher could teach me such essentials.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#75
Yes, once in 13 years. She was in El Arranque many years ago. I was surprised. She may go to Salon Canning or Sunderland Club, I don't know. But if she showed up in Lo de Celia, she would have to be patient for invitations like any other newcomer. Susana Miller went to Lo de Celia on one occasion, and that was years ago. I remember seeing her dancing in flat shoes, not heels.

Graciela and other big name teachers don't know how to use the cabeceo on the rare occasions they go to a milonga. I read an article by Milena Plebs on this subject. Even she didn't know. That's understandable since she was Miguel Angel Zotto's partner and didn't dance with other men. She asked a milonguero why no one was inviting her. He responded, you're too busy talking with the woman next to you. You have to look around and let men know you want to dance.

Is it any wonder why dancers aren't learning the codes and customs of the milongas? Those who teach don't dance socially.
She must have learned about it then. A couple years back, she was in Boston and I cabeceoed her for a tanda.

She might have a future in this tango stuff, as she was pretty good.

 

jantango

Active Member
#76
She must have learned about it then. A couple years back, she was in Boston and I cabeceoed her for a tanda.

She might have a future in this tango stuff, as she was pretty good.

I love the way dancers take a Spanish noun and add the past tense ending ed to form a past tense verb in English text.

Cabeceo: nod, nodding; shake of the head, (horse) toss of the head.

You nodded to invite her for a tanda. How was the tanda? She is very short and you are very tall.

Graciela danced with Eduardo Pareja recently http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PRHDXXSe2E
 

Mladenac

Well-Known Member
#77
I love the way dancers take a Spanish noun and add the past tense ending ed to form a past tense verb in English text.

Cabeceo: nod, nodding; shake of the head, (horse) toss of the head.

You nodded to invite her for a tanda. How was the tanda? She is very short and you are very tall.

Graciela danced with Eduardo Pareja recently http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PRHDXXSe2E

There is a term for that: Spanglish (mixing Spanish and English)
It's not so surprising in tango comunity because many spanish (tango) words have their meaning through the dancing population.
The same thing is IT where English is influencing other languages.

Height difference might be the problem but it's not necessary to be.
There are tricks to accomodate that difference.
 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
#78
I love the way dancers take a Spanish noun and add the past tense ending ed to form a past tense verb in English text...
You should hear them speak Spanglish along the Mexico/US border.

I like to add "ando" to English verbs, e.g. -
"What are you doing"?
"Oh, estoy watchando".
 
#79
I don't like to be in the debate of varies styles, etc., since I really don't know enough to even have much of my own opinion. However, I think it is very important for teachers to let the students know that they need to adapt their style to the environment. Just this past Saturday, I was in a crowded milonga. A couple of foreign visitors invited me to dance. They are not bad dancers, but they didn't know how to dance small. Even though I tried very hard to confine my dance, I would not be able to stop their big back/forth movement and multiple sweeping big turns, unless I back lead. So I declined their second tanda (invitation). I think that one of them was very surprised at my refusal to continue, because he thought that the dance had been great. I didn't explain, but how could I? I hope that they would have noticed by watching the crowd that they should not dance so big.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#80
I don't like to be in the debate of varies styles, etc., since I really don't know enough to even have much of my own opinion. However, I think it is very important for teachers to let the students know that they need to adapt their style to the environment. Just this past Saturday, I was in a crowded milonga. A couple of foreign visitors invited me to dance. They are not bad dancers, but they didn't know how to dance small. Even though I tried very hard to confine my dance, I would not be able to stop their big back/forth movement and multiple sweeping big turns, unless I back lead. So I declined their second tanda (invitation). I think that one of them was very surprised at my refusal to continue, because he thought that the dance had been great. I didn't explain, but how could I? I hope that they would have noticed by watching the crowd that they should not dance so big.
Whether you choose to spell it out for them or not, is your choice. I don't think you would be wrong whether you did or not.

In any case, it does seem that they were not able to determine that for themselves.
 

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