Teaching at a practica

I believe we agree. A man that dances only with his significant other is shy/uncomfortable -- that was the case I was addressing. Men that dance with only the top dancers or most beautiful ladies are another breed. At a given Milonga, I believe the "highly selective" outnumber the shy, but over the course of a year, IME, the shy outnumber the highly selective. The shy tend to start switching partners after a while, whereas the highly selective tend to remain so.

FWIW, in 2 years in my small community I can think of 9 couples that didn't switch partners at Milongas (but later either dropped out or started switching), and 3 couples that rarely switch but are not snobs (includes instructors!). We have 3 females that are highly selective. I don't know that you can call any of the males highly selective to the point they'll sit out over dancing with a lesser dancer, but there are 2 that will dance only with the best of whoever is available.

Something I have observed: Almost all the leads are very reluctant to ask a new face, it amazes me that Tango Distance of all people is often the first to ask. Once that occurs the lady often gets asked nonstop after that.
Last edited:
Some of these leaders also seem to be a whole lot less "uncomfortable" around the younger/thinner/less clothed followers than they are around the older/plumper/conservatively dressed followers. ;)
You did quite a good job to explain the situation. But not why this is possible?

Males in general will only get target of temptations / benefits / manipulations if there is a shortage of them.
And for a leisure activity there is (in general) only a shortage if male dancers have less fun then females.
So some kind of compensation is an intrinsic part of the balance, even that ladies will not like that and fail to appear.

It seems not to be so difficult to find ladies to "teach", as this is some kind of interest for how they dance.
No attention at all might be a much more shattering experience?

But okay, most time I chose the benefit of a one level (and not two!) more experienced partner of fitting attractiveness.
And for me the best method to shield manipulations is to enjoy proper dancing. Not necessarily tango, not necessarily partner dancing, just dancing ... in a chamber, in a disco, wherever.
Before anyone argues that skilled dancers who spent a long time and a lot of money have every right to choose to dance with other people who are at their level, I'm not talking about that. IME, most of the time the ones who hold out for only the best partners are not themselves at the level they demand of their partner.
I never "teach" at a milonga, and if asked for advice/instruction in a practica from someone with whom I am not specifically working, will simply say that abc is my lead to xyz, and that other leaders may well do it differently. That said, I am rather selective in who I ask to dance simply because it is not fun, or sometimes even painful (women who hang off my arm), to dance with some followers. Although I certainly can, and do, dance strictly close embrace when the floor requires it, or when a milonga is advertised as a "close embrace" event, I strongly prefer a liquid embrace. I struggle because I know of no polite way to make it clear that I will dance with _anyone_ who is minimally competent (waits for the lead, doesn't jump from foot to foot, and understands how to walk), doesn't hurt me, and who will join me in flowing, as conditions permit, between open and close as the music moves us. I don't need them to "get" colgadas, or back sacadas, or other "advanced" moves, but at least be able to flow with the music.

I don't want to be seen as snobbish, but know of no polite way to tell women they need to go take some lessons. To learn to walk, or to expand their horizons and dance both open and close, or to fix their connection so that it is comfortable. Unless I am at an event where the majority of follows meet my minimal conditions, so I can avoid appearing snobbish and hyper-selective in choosing partners, this is a primary reason I often dance only with my SO. It is an acceptable way of avoiding a unpleasant evening without appearing too rude.

However, I do feel very sorry for the women who have taken the time and trouble to get made up, put on nice clothes, show up at an event, put on their expensive shoes, and then sit most of the evening.

End of rant. But really I do wish more women would spend the time and energy needed to move their dance up to a level consistent with their hopes/expectations. Okay. This really is the end of rant.
I never "teach" at a milonga,
Can't say that, last time I "taught" at a milonga was yesterday. A pretty girl, got just 18 years old, never danced tango before.
The goddaughter of a mate sitting on my table - not to do my job would have been quite impolite.

I don't want to be seen as snobbish, but know of no polite way to tell women they need to go take some lessons. To learn to walk, or to expand their horizons and dance both open and close, or to fix their connection so that it is comfortable.
I'm reluctant with such advices, too, at least as I usually don't know the financial background nor the return on invest. And to be honest, in most cases I'm not interested in other persons education efforts.
A few weeks ago I danced with a lady that might have dislocated your arm. Slim, with 185+heels at my eye level, and a tension in the whole body I've not felt before. She was sunshiny to dance with me and trembling slightly at the beginning, despite of that she's dancing twice as long as me.
Not the best setup for "teaching" - but she was quite nice, just to mention that. I decided to invite her for a milonga traspie workshop, where her tension got part of a good feeling.
But she'll need at least some dedicated private lessons in dissociation, I will talk with her about that occasionally...
Last edited:

Dance Ads