The tango connection

There are evening where people are cheerful and there are when are gloomy.
I may say that I never know what to expect when I go to local milonga. ;)
I came for dancing but didn't dance, or I came accidentally and enjoyed dancing. :cool:
I am suprised by everyting now. ;)
I believe it is a good attitude. You take it the way it is, and make the best out of it. That way you enjoy life more.
 

jantango

Active Member
Since AT is social dance it is also socializing. In smaller communities I find it perfectly appropriate when follower invites for the dance. We are all friends, not strangers. We chat, we laugh, we know a lot about each other. So it would be very inappropriate to treat them tools. That we know them only to fullfil need for dancing.

IMHO Codes depend on environment we are in.

"when in Rome, do as the Romans do"
If tango is about socializing for you, that's fine. That's not the case for me. I don't go to a milonga to talk with friends; that's done outside the milonga. The main agenda of a milonga is TANGO. I go to listen to the music while watching or dancing. The milongas of Buenos Aires are more formal. If there was lots of socializing, no one could hear the music! Men are seated in separate sections around the dance floor from the women. The time for brief conversation is between dances, not at the table. There are milongueros who have known one another in the milonga for 40+ years and don't know each other's names. Yesterday a milonguero asked me for the name of a milonguero who shares a table with him every Sunday because he doesn't know it and wants to visit the milonguero in the hospital. Obviously, the milonga environment in BsAs is different from your community. But you should know how it is in case you ever visit the Buenos Aires milongas. That's why I've been writing about them for years on my blog.
 

jantango

Active Member
Ugh! Guys thinking that a woman can be something on the side are beyond repulsive to me... I find even the innocent flirtation problematic. If his SO minds these kinds of things, he should not do them. What a messy world...

Ah, and is that true? Back caressing in the tango world is the equivalent of touching someone up. Disgusting! Oh, you just manged to burst my bubble of my one and only mystical tango experience so far. But, no worries, I do not want to kill the messenger.
Enjoy tango on your home turf and never plan a visit to Buenos Aires. With that attitude, you won't last one tanda in a milonga. Argentines have no problem hugging and kissing and back rubbing, either on or off the dance floor. You will be put off by it.
 
Enjoy tango on your home turf and never plan a visit to Buenos Aires. With that attitude, you won't last one tanda in a milonga. Argentines have no problem hugging and kissing and back rubbing, either on or off the dance floor. You will be put off by it.
:confused:

I actually think that I will enjoy milongas in BA very much. Remember that I actually like hugs and kisses and especially hugs. If the guy is a creep, the embrace if off, the caressing won't do much for me, and understandably, I won't like it. It really depends also on the culture in whose context these things happen.
 

Mladenac

Well-Known Member
If tango is about socializing for you, that's fine. That's not the case for me. I don't go to a milonga to talk with friends; that's done outside the milonga. The main agenda of a milonga is TANGO. I go to listen to the music while watching or dancing. The milongas of Buenos Aires are more formal. If there was lots of socializing, no one could hear the music! Men are seated in separate sections around the dance floor from the women. The time for brief conversation is between dances, not at the table. There are milongueros who have known one another in the milonga for 40+ years and don't know each other's names. Yesterday a milonguero asked me for the name of a milonguero who shares a table with him every Sunday because he doesn't know it and wants to visit the milonguero in the hospital. Obviously, the milonga environment in BsAs is different from your community. But you should know how it is in case you ever visit the Buenos Aires milongas. That's why I've been writing about them for years on my blog.
I find it sad that people going to same place for years and don't know each others name.
Maybe AT could also stand for Alieanated Tango. Social dancing in that case is oxymoron to me.
I don't like people talking where is the dance floor. and around it. I find babbling annoying.
There is always a place aside from the dance floor for chatting a bit and made the dance better.
I like dancing with some person more when I know her, or can chat a word or two.
It gives me additional intimacy that would be impossible without it.
I am able to understand and to feel her dancing more that night.

In Europe it's usual to have tango weekend that experienced dancers gather.
And people on festival gather also. Some attend milongas and workshops, some only milongas.
They dance and socialize and friendships are developed.
I believe it's different in BsAs. I believe it's against tradition but it's sth I am fond of.

I like the tone you wrote about blogging. ;)
 

Mladenac

Well-Known Member
Enjoy tango on your home turf and never plan a visit to Buenos Aires. With that attitude, you won't last one tanda in a milonga. Argentines have no problem hugging and kissing and back rubbing, either on or off the dance floor. You will be put off by it.
So you want to say that groping is perfectly fine for AT and those who dance must accept it?

IME People develop and change over time. :cool:

Pushing them to fast and to soon could have counter effect.

The problem is when people are aggressive openly or subtly.
And beginners do not know what is appropriate, or to take a stand for themselves.
Sometimes leaders have problem when follower is to aggressive in their embrace also.
The solution is to learn how to communicate and to tell what's bothering sb.
 

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
So you want to say that groping is perfectly fine for AT and those who dance must accept it?

IME People develop and change over time. :cool:

Pushing them to fast and to soon could have counter effect.

The problem is when people are aggressive openly or subtly.
And beginners do not know what is appropriate, or to take a stand for themselves.
Sometimes leaders have problem when follower is to aggressive in their embrace also.
The solution is to learn how to communicate and to tell what's bothering sb.
I think there is a big distinction between groping and being affectionate.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
I think there is a big distinction between groping and being affectionate.
Yep.

I get that hugging, and kissing, and a variety of forms of contact can be a social norm, and that it is in Argentina, and that there is nothing icky about that. I have no problem with that. My dad's whole side of the family does the greeting-via-hug-and-double-cheek-kiss thing, it doesn't matter if you are strangers, what the age difference is, what the genders of the people involved is. I get it. A hand on the back while walking, casual touching (arm, shoulder, back, etc.), linking arms or even sometimes holding hands while walking...none of that phases me.

But to not let me go between songs of a tanda? That is unnecessary, presumes intimacy we do not actually have, and it certainly doesn't follow the cultural norms of any milonga I've been to. It is most certainly a line crossed, and it has nothing to do with me being a newbie. Similarly, caressing my back (or my hair), or letting a hand drift too far south towards/past my waist? Absolutely out of bounds. Period.

Not to mention, regardless of anything else, if something done (even innocuously) makes the other person uncomfortable (and they speak up about it), that's got to trump everything else. Close embrace is a norm, it's considered OK, but if someone is put off by it and requests open embrace...well, then, that takes priority. Period. Anything else is not oK.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
Argentines have no problem hugging and kissing and back rubbing, either on or off the dance floor.
Back rubbing while dancing???

My gosh, on my one trip to Argentina I was hugged and "air kissed" by my "seat mate" when we ran into each other after we had picked up our luggage at the airport. And another woman I talked to at some length in the Irish Pub (??!!) next to my hotel hugged and "air kissed" me when we ended our conversation.
In spite of growing up with parents who wanted to be "American" and rejected the customs of the "Old Country," I've grown quite fond of this!

I see similarities between Janis' descriptions of the milongas in Buenos Aires and what I experience at the country western place I go to. (many differences, too, of course) Not knowing people's names, what they do for a living, whether or not they are married, etc. is the norm for me.
 
Some guys do not mind being asked. Many are being kind, and try to oblige the lady who is asking them. But if it makes any difference for you who to dance with, your not being able to choose will get in the way of your pleasure. Some night you won't be able to dance with whom you wish at all, because all you were doing was obliging the proactive ladies. Sometimes you are already making a connection, and here comes another person, completely oblivious of what is going on, and asks you. You say "yes" and abandon the first person, or say "later"to the second person and still go with the first, either way there is an awkward feeling of something being interrupted.
Of course, some are either not as sensible to those matters or/and it does not really matter much to them who to dance with. To each his own, I guess.
It seems to me like the problem is largely that most women don't put much consideration into the act of inviting. When I make an invitation, it's taking into account dozens of factors in order to maximize the odds that the tanda will be a good one for both of us. I have no problem being invited to dance by a woman who appreciates the responsibility one assumes when inviting someone to dance.

On another note, I will generally say yes if a woman wants to dance with me specifically. If it appears like she just wants to dance and I happen to be the closest available target, it's an automatic rejection.
 
on another thread, "What are the 5 top reasons that make a man ask a woman to dance? Beauty comes first?", I saw this comment re not breaking through the embrace from Ampster:
dchester said:
I haven't made it out to the West Coast yet for tango. Do people start dancing right away, or do they chat for a bit (similar to BsAs).​
Normally wait a bit at the beginning of the tanda. Then, in between songs the wait gets progressively shorter and shorter. It's more like a "pause." Sometimes it's more like a pause without breaking the embrace.
If there's someone blocking the line of dance then you "dance on your tile" until they start to move (Giros are particularly handy). Hopefully, they'll get the hint. If the couple insists on taking way too long and blocking everyone else's lane... then common sense and good navigation skill will prevail.​
When it comes to dancing the Argentine Tango, I am, and will forever be... A beginner! :notworth:

Ampster's Tango Blog
More comments are welcome.
 
But to not let me go between songs of a tanda? That is unnecessary, presumes intimacy we do not actually have, and it certainly doesn't follow the cultural norms of any milonga I've been to. It is most certainly a line crossed, and it has nothing to do with me being a newbie. Similarly, .... letting a hand drift too far south towards/past my waist? Absolutely out of bounds. Period.
re not letting go between the embrace: It depends on the whole package! Not letting the partner between the songs can be really creepy, but it really depends on so many other factors.

Btw, the letting-a-hand-drift-too-far-south, in particular past the waist, has that happened to anyone?
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
regarding when to start dancing and in response to AnnaN's request for comments...

I've probably written this before... quite simply, I nearly always wait until I hear a rhythm established to start dancing
 
Embrace is one thing I miss the most about dancing in Buenos Aires.
For some reason it is hard to encounter from a North American or European man dancing tango. Some do have a nice embrace, but alas, too few. A lot of otherwise not so bad dancers who listen to music, mastered a nice walk, etc, for some reason just do not embrace the woman for real. My partner often complains about the same thing in "gringas".
When I lead, women often share that they feel more relaxed, less awkward embracing, dancing with me than with the men.
Gosh, all that and some discussion on this board at times make me start thinking that a lot of people outside South America are just not comfortable being close to members of the opposite sex...
 
When I lead, women often share that they feel more relaxed, less awkward embracing, dancing with me than with the men.
OMG! That's what I have been talking about re this guy! It was awesome. I had room (not as in space on the floor only) and time in the rhythm of the music to do my steps, no rushing, but freedom of movement. Incredible!
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
all that and some discussion on this board at times make me start thinking that a lot of people outside South America are just not comfortable being close to members of the opposite sex...
I think it's young people who are more "uncomfortable" with being close to members of the opposite sex (and of course I am generalizing). It has to do with biology, and how things change as we have more experience in life. (and, OK, the "maturing" of our bodies - especially for men) And, yes, there is a good deal of cultural influence there, too.
 
I think it's young people who are more "uncomfortable" with being close to members of the opposite sex (and of course I am generalizing). It has to do with biology, and how things change as we have more experience in life. (and, OK, the "maturing" of our bodies - especially for men) And, yes, there is a good deal of cultural influence there, too.
I have a feeling that age does not matter, but then I would like to hear from those who know how to hug how they do it.

I wish someone could do the subtitles for this clip:
 

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