At what age did you begin learning Argentine tango?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by jantango, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Yogur griego

    Yogur griego Member

    Darling, please persist! You are blessed with such an age. As soon as you are definitely hooked, and when tango starts consuming your life, you'll learn much faster than most of us. It's like learning a language or playing an instrument, a learning process couldn't be started early enough.
  2. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I've been slow to realize that many people go dancing for the sake of socializing and maybe exercise, and the dance itself is merely a vehicle. They don't particularly care whether they do it well or not.
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    I don't see that as a bad thing. Everybody goes looking for what they want/need out of dance. Too me, the bad part is if they can't find what they're looking for, not if they can't find what I'm looking for. But what do I know? *shrug*
  4. sixela

    sixela Active Member

    Started in 1989, at age 23.
  5. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I'm not saying it's bad, either. It just might explain why someone would never go beyond a rudimentary level in their dancing.
  6. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    We'd likely also need to agree on what dancing tango to a decent standard means (as was said by Subliminal, earlier). If you hadn't said that, I likely wouldn't have responded to your post.
  7. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Do you want to offer a definition?
  8. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    Hmm. Yeah. Years ago, I had a ballroom teacher who was driven to so much frustration by a couple of his students -- a husband and wife who had been studying with him, at that time, for a decade, and never progressed beyond bronze 2/social dance. He said, "I keep telling them what they need to do to become better dancers.They just won't do it." I can see why it was frustrating for him; he saw what they were capable of. But they had fun at their weekly lessons and dance date nights. To each his own, I suppose. *shrug* :cool:
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    That is a good question, not aimed at you, necessarily, dchester. I keep hearing someone here say, "Not ready for a milonga." What constitutes ready for a milonga? I would think that it's a free country. Anybody can go WATCH at a milonga. *speaking out of total ignorance* I would also think that, if you wait to be ready for a milonga, you may never dance at an actual milonga. I would think that, at some point, you have to jump in and swim. Will you know all the strokes? No. Will you win any races? No. But that doesn't mean you can't swim.

    What is the point, in anybody's opinion, where it's safe to jump in, aware that you still have stuff to learn? (Assuming my analogy is not just a bunch of malarkey.)




    Aside: I love your sig line, dchester. Is it new?
  10. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Well to be sure, not all milongas are created equal. The one that I host is very much beginner friendly (partially because we're not big enough to be too picky).

    Generally speaking, a lot of places expect you to gain some proficiency at the practicas, and then whenever that (local) threshold has been achieved, you are ready for a milonga. Typically, it would involve some "proficiency" in walking, the cross, ochos, and the mollinette.

    I'll confess I didn't wait the "appropriate" period before going to milongas, although there are a few women who remember how bad I was when I first started out, and still won't give me the time of day. Oh Well.

    :)

    Thanks. I've had it for a while.
  11. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I use to find students like that frustrating. I figured out to just ignore them. If they weren't interested in advancing their dancing, then neither was I. They and I were in the room for different reasons. They weren't bothering anyone, so it was okay with me.

    I did, and do, think they might have enjoyed their evenings out even more if they had put out just a little effort to become better dancers.
  12. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    A leader is ready when he can get on the floor and not interfere with other couples.
  13. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    I don't believe it should be a problem, as long as such students understand where they are, and OK with it. I see it this way: even though they do not progress, they still get something valuable out of the classes and the activity in general, and it is good enough.
    The problem would be if such a student, for instance, kept complaining about not improving, and yet, did not listen to the teacher, did not follow instructions, insisted on doing things his/her way or put in absolutely no effort from his/her part.
    Mladenac likes this.
  14. bastet

    bastet Active Member

    I first took classes in Argentine Tango when I was in my early 30's. Then set it aside for several years because I didn't enjoy the classes and they couldn't explain to me things I wanted to know. (Visiting teacher workshop). I took it up again 5-6 years later after taking classes with a pair of teachers who were happy to explain things I wanted to know and not just tell me to memorize the cross. That was a bit over 8 years ago.

    On student who have trouble learning (for what ever reason). I've found that some people (generally those who have trouble understanding or having awareness of their own body mechanics) have the most trouble retaining information on a body based idea like dance. I've come to the conclusion that while a teacher can help you, but unless you are willing to put serious time in to developing your own body awareness away from and without someone telling you "yes, this is right" or "no, not this" , you are kind of SOL and won't retain much and just have to keep getting reminded over and over and it doesn't stick. Once you are willing to own it, you can generally make pretty good progress.
    Mladenac likes this.
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks. That makes sense.

    Their loss. :cool:

    I find it interesting how many people have found tango relatively late in life, dance-wise. I wonder what, if anything, that says about the nature of the dance. It also reassures me that I am not too old yet. ;)
  16. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    DH and I started Tango two years ago, when I was 38. I had been doing ballroom and WCS for 16 years before that, so the concept of moving my body and dancing with another partner to music was not new to me, and I already had good balance. I did have to unlearn ballroom following so I could follow like a Tango dancer, but luckily I'm a fast learner. After our first beginning class, we went to several practicas and I believe our first milonga was within a week or so. It never occurred to us that we would be "not ready." Of course, DH already understood floorcraft, so even though he didn't know much Tango, it's not like we were in anyone's way.

    The cool thing is, I've learned things in Tango that helped my other dancing.
  17. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I once taught an 8-week series at a small ballroom studio. A woman who attended my series told me later that she had danced recently with a man who had known her from before. She said he looked surprised about the quality of her dancing and wanted to know what she had been doing.
    Subliminal and twnkltoz like this.
  18. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    My 2 cents: You can actually learn argentine tango in a few days (as you wrote). It may take four years to learn tango. But you will need decades to learn how to dance.
  19. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    uff, only Brigitta ´83 and Eric ´87 are ahead of you.
  20. sixela

    sixela Active Member

    Yeah -- that's why I never answer the question 'how long have you been dancing' with a straight answer. They can _only_ be disappointed when they learn.
    Yogur griego likes this.

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