small community issues

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#61
"taxi dancers to keep the ladies happy and to encourage beginner leaders to keep coming back. Have any of you lot heard of this being tried and did it make a difference."

I know of at least one town (which shall remain nameless) where the organizers adress this need by having men show up specifically to provide partners where men are in short supply. It's all done sort of "on the sly". These events have continued to be popular for several years, so I guess it must be working.
To me the term "taxi dancer" implies payment for dance, and the only place I'm sure this goes on is in Buenos Aires, based on my readings. From what I read it is a pretty common thing there.

I have thoughts about how most of us think about paying for things with money, which aren't fully formed and which I should proabably keep to myself.
You would know best whether such an idea would be accepted in your community. But maybe you don't mean "taxi dancer" in that sense.

Cruise lines have "Gentlemen Host" programs. Cruise in return for dancing with the ladies.
What can you offer these men? Free lessons? Free admission to the milonga?

One instructor here in Portland allows anyone who has taken one of his classes to take his "Tango from the Ground Up" class free of charge. Having experienced dancers who aren't total beginners in the class is (hopefully) a benefit to those who are complete beginners. But that's a suggestion for teachers, rather than organizers, I guess.
 
#62
One of the places I used to go to had a free Practica after the lessons and there were always loads of "experienced leaders" who would come after the class to dance with the pretty young beginners. Unfortunately they were not the type that you would like to see dancing with your sister.
 
#63
Quite a few people on the email list started suggesting that they organise a load of taxi dancers to keep the ladies happy and to encourage beginner leaders to keep coming back. Have any of you lot heard of this being tried and did it make a difference.
Yes, Ceroc do this - they even have a manual - that's what I call organised :)

Taxi dancers are a great way to up retention numbers for new dancers.
I'm not aware of any other organisation using them.

Taxi-dancers have been used historically in dance halls - there's a Wikipedia description here. And I love this quote:
A "taxi" is not a prostitute, and no sexual favors may be expected off the dance floor.
Makes me wonder what sexual favours may be expected on the dance floor... :)
 
#64
"A "taxi" is not a prostitute, and no sexual favors may be expected off the dance floor."
Makes me wonder what sexual favours may be expected on the dance floor... :)
:uplaugh:

My father used to talk about such men in dance floors - I wondered if maybe he was one himself for a while - but I had never heard the term 'Taxi dancer'. thats very usefl since the only one I had was 'gigolo' which, depending on the source, generally included favors beyond the floor, ahem, the dance floor.

However, I also see 'Taxi boy' as a male prostitute - according to Wik thats the term in Argentina http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigolo so maybe one should use the term with some caution?
 

DancePoet

Well-Known Member
#65
Word!
I do think the milonga hosts really set the tone and make a big difference. My favorite local milonga is similar; the couple who host it are very friendly and welcoming, and each of them seeks out and dances with the newcomers. There are still a few cliquey folks who won't mingle but the number is small; most people follow the hosts' example. :D
A milonga can be a place to dance and socialize. It's good when the host sets a positive example in both tone and actions. This can really pay off over time.
 

DancePoet

Well-Known Member
#67
I was just reading an email detailing a milonga held last weekend in a city not too awfully far from us that hosted a very well known tango teacher that week...

This teacher did not allow ladies to ask a lead to dance at the milonga. The teacher insisted that they use the Buenos Aires "look" to let the men know you wanted to dance.
Well, that raised the hairs on the back of my neck... this is 2008 right??? At our small milongas I have to remind the new ladies to not be shrinking violets and to stand or be seen where the men will realize that, YES, they DO want to dance so they think to ask them! There is no way they are going to flirt with their eyes! It might have worked at the particular milonga in question that night because I imagine it would become part of a "game" but I cannot see it succeeding for very long in any open tango community that is embracing newcomers regularly.
Didn't allow ladies to ask for dances? :shock:

The "flirt with your eyes" might work in Argentina (does anyone know if they still do that there :?: ), but not in New England. True, maybe as a one time idea for experimenting with cultural tradition sake, yet I'm wondering how this would even work. :roll:
 

DancePoet

Well-Known Member
#71
Quite a few people on the email list started suggesting that they organise a load of taxi dancers to keep the ladies happy and to encourage beginner leaders to keep coming back. Have any of you lot heard of this being tried and did it make a difference.
Kind of like what I've heard termed as "dance hosts".

It might be a good idea to have a person or two volunteer for this once in awhile. :cool:
 

DancePoet

Well-Known Member
#73
"taxi dancers to keep the ladies happy and to encourage beginner leaders to keep coming back. Have any of you lot heard of this being tried and did it make a difference."

I know of at least one town (which shall remain nameless) where the organizers adress this need by having men show up specifically to provide partners where men are in short supply. It's all done sort of "on the sly". These events have continued to be popular for several years, so I guess it must be working.
To me the term "taxi dancer" implies payment for dance, and the only place I'm sure this goes on is in Buenos Aires, based on my readings. From what I read it is a pretty common thing there.

I have thoughts about how most of us think about paying for things with money, which aren't fully formed and which I should proabably keep to myself.
You would know best whether such an idea would be accepted in your community. But maybe you don't mean "taxi dancer" in that sense.

Cruise lines have "Gentlemen Host" programs. Cruise in return for dancing with the ladies.
What can you offer these men? Free lessons? Free admission to the milonga?

One instructor here in Portland allows anyone who has taken one of his classes to take his "Tango from the Ground Up" class free of charge. Having experienced dancers who aren't total beginners in the class is (hopefully) a benefit to those who are complete beginners. But that's a suggestion for teachers, rather than organizers, I guess.
Hmmm ... not sure I like the idea of having ladies pay a guy for a dance.

Perhaps it could be good to give a guy free entry into the dance in return for his time as a dance host?
 

bordertangoman

Well-Known Member
#74
Hmmm ... not sure I like the idea of having ladies pay a guy for a dance.

Perhaps it could be good to give a guy free entry into the dance in return for his time as a dance host?
Gawd the people round here are real skinflints; I got invited to DJ and still had to pay to get in!
 

DancePoet

Well-Known Member
#75
Taxi dancers are a great way to up retention numbers for new dancers. I'm not aware of any other organisation using them.

Taxi-dancers have been used historically in dance halls - there's a Wikipedia description here.
Interesting ... so it was orginally something businesses did to attract men. Why am I not surprised. :lol:
 

DancePoet

Well-Known Member
#76
My father used to talk about such men in dance floors - I wondered if maybe he was one himself for a while - but I had never heard the term 'Taxi dancer'. thats very usefl since the only one I had was 'gigolo' which, depending on the source, generally included favors beyond the floor, ahem, the dance floor.

However, I also see 'Taxi boy' as a male prostitute - according to Wik thats the term in Argentina http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigolo so maybe one should use the term with some caution?
Ayuh, "dance host" seems like an improvement. :cool:
 

DancePoet

Well-Known Member
#78
Gawd the people round here are real skinflints; I got invited to DJ and still had to pay to get in!
Sheesh. :roll: When we have a teacher help with the complimentary lesson, or a person dj, or even someone who co-ordinates the food, we let them in to the milonga for free. Seems like a no brainer to me.
 
#79
Perhaps milongas should adopt the same rule as is adopted at one milonga (my favourite) that I attend. Alan (teacher then DJ) starts the milonga with an open-armed welcome. He thanks the people already there for attendnig and asks any newcomers to raise their hands. Something akin to an AA meeting we clap the newcomer. Alan then reminds us of the free beveages and cakes in the corner and leaves us with this message "remember everybody. We're here to have fun. It's just a dance. So remember to dance with everybody, even those that you don't know...." He sets a good example by he, himself, targetting women who have been seated for too long. And people pick up on this and so it makes for a milonga where all levels are dancing with each other. Faces that I have seen from other milongas arrive and those that don't like to "share" as it were never come back, those that do, do. And so, when it comes to getting a good attitude at a milonga perhaps it is those that organise it should be setting an example :bkick:
I guess the `leader` does influence the environment (although, certainly, the dancers themselves should play a part). Here in Kuala Lumpur, our local teacher cum DJ will always walk over and introduce herself, if she sees someone new show up at the venue. She will talk to them and make them feel at home. If they haven`t already met the other dancers, she will also introduce them to us. I guess it helps that the other dancers here are friendly as well. But without her, the scene here might probably not have survived (there are very few dancers here to begin with - just enough to keep going).
 

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