Great blog article about a universe galaxy with a male gender imbalance!
Tango Therapist said:
"Sure, I can see some good advantages. What I find bizarre is that you seem to deny any possibility of any negative consequences to all men's classes. So tell me, what is your community doing to draw and hold new women dancers?"
Without hearing my question, apparently, he rattles on: "Women don't feel demotivated with men-only classes. Look around. They have all the dances they want! They dance non-stop with the most handsome men. Especially the beginner and intermediate young men want to dance with women twice their age. Empathize with women?!! I find it hard to feel sorry for them. They are dancing their hearts out."
Then he tried to point out what he saw as my hypocrisy: "I can see that you were enjoying yourself with Sergio," he added to his argument. "Sergio is one of the best dancers here," he said, pointing at the man I had danced with. He's a men's group teacher. He prefers dancing with women too but has mostly given up on women dancers because he says women are so slow with learning and often drop out. His income comes from classes. Men come to the classes; women don't or they drop out. In fact, he's taking a men's group to a tropical island.* I went last year. Great experience," he says.
Well...if the men won't dance with each other, there's your problem right there. The best way to know how a comfortable and competent lead feels like, is to follow. The best way to feel what a bad, uncomfortable, pushy lead feels like is to follow. When I emulate what a guy is doing back to them, they get a fast lesson in how bad a dance can feel.
I've taken a lot of tango classes, but I learned the most from feeling and stealing) what the best dancers were doing while I was in their arms.
To let men dance with each other who don't like that might be a way to mitigate the imbalance.
It's just the same with women at the milongas around here.
Role switching might be helpful, totally independent of the gender situation.
But I think it's not a good teaching method to mirror back to someone how bad a dance with him might feel.
A teacher should in the first line show her/his students a path to feel themselves comfortable while dancing.
That their partners feels comfortable will be a nice side effect during this process.