Tango Argentino > At what age did you started to dance tango?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by viktorija3105, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. viktorija3105

    viktorija3105 New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I want to know at what age you have started to learn how to dance tango,
    Basically I want to start learning tango dance, bud apparently have been told that people in the UK, come to learn how to dance tango in the age of 25+
    As I am currently 17, I am not sure whether I should go for it, I don't know If I would be comfortable with dancing with a person that is twice as old as me,
    Would that be a problem(age different),? Also I am worried on how would others react on my age, because I will be the youngest person in the class. :(

    Any help appreciated,
  2. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    As they say in this country, "Strike while the iron is hot".

    DO NOT HESITATE. Many people far older than you have learned to be very good tango dancers.

    You specified learning to dance tango. I began learning tango when I was in my forties, but I became a serious dancer in my teen years. No one refused to dance with me because I was young. They didn't care. I was judged only by my ability to dance. By the time I was 27, I had already been dancing for 10 years. There is/was nothing wrong with that.

    Many people in their later years only wish that they had begun dancing tango when they were much younger. You have an opportunity that many people do not have.

    Go for it, and don't look back.
  3. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Where is that video of a young girl performing at a milonga with her father?
  4. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Hi, viktorija.

    The only way to know if you would feel uncomfortable dancing with people much older than you would be to try it.

    Yes, people will notice if you are the youngest person there, but so what?

    I've taken lots of classes in jazz dance, and African dance, where I was by far the oldest person in the room. I was aware of that, and I'm sure the young people there were, too. I did it because I wanted to learn how to dance that style, and I didn't think there was a anything too weird about it.

    But, yeah, I can certainly understand how it would make you think about it.

    There are lots of older people who are cool, you know. I came to that conclusion after watching the older dancers in Buenos Aires. But then I'm not exactly young, either.

    Try it out and see how it feels.
  5. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Having several universities in the proximity, our local tango community got a significant amount of younger dancers. From my observation, major obstacles younger beginning students of tango face (somewhat more often than the older ones) are following:

    -Lack of focus and consistency, simply because most of them are still in school, or in transition, and it gets extremely busy at times. Also, beside studies and tango, they tend to try million other things, in terms of hobbies, pass times, meeting friends and dating, which is, again, completely normal at their age... and that could be distracting and detracting.

    -Lack of social experience and assertiveness that, especially for girls, may result in awkward situations, and been taken advantage of. In a more traditional community that aspect would be regulated by stricter social rules, and elders watching over and protecting those girls from abuse (and the girls actually listening to them :)), which is not always the case in the modern state of affairs.

    -Some of out local tango venues are in fact night clubs, and have 21+ admittance policy.

    That said, the age itself is not a problem. I see lots of younger people become amazing tango dancers, and enjoy the endeavor a great deal.
  6. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    At the last matinee I went to last Sunday (DJ duty), an excellent follower had also taken her 10ish daughter with her, and the daughter managed to invite quite a few men to dance. She'll be a great dancer (just like her mother).

    My oldest son was dancing tango with his father at age 1 (in an attempt to let his mother enjoy some dancing), by the way, but that was apparently too young for him to remember.
  7. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Started around 35-36 for A.T, and maybe 25-26 for ballroom.
    I'd say you are too young. Dance salsa instead for the next ten years.
  8. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    I find the salsa scene a bit more toxic to young girls, at least the local salsa scene, to be honest. Even my wife had unpleasant encounters and she's a lot older.

    Also, I'm missing a bit of rationale for why you're saying she's "too young".

    Sadly, Gabriela Misse has died, but see this thread:


    It's perfectly possible to dance when you're a lot younger than 17.
  9. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Damn, Andrea in January, and now Gabriela?
  10. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    My guess is that if you are much younger, you will have a whole slew of folks trying to take you under their wing to mentor you. You also might get some inappropriate attention from older guys if you are female, but the majority will probably not be that way and would hopefully be sensitive to the fact that you are young enough to be their child.

    Tango'ing with middle aged folks may not be the fun thing that hanging with people your own age would be, but tango is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds. If you start now, and give a reasonable amount of time and energy to it, you will no longer be a beginner when you go off to University. Since the place you attend Uni may have a thriving student tango scene, that will give you a leg up. If there isn't a tango group in your school, you can start one and you'll already have some contacts in the tango world (even if it's just the better dancers in the community in which you learned) to help you out, or come teach workshops.

    I say "Go for it!" and don't let the age thing bother you. Not everything you do in life will have a small range of age participation, obviously, so this could be a great opportunity for you in ways beyond just learning tango.

    By the way... to answer your original question.. I started in my early 40's (and now let's just say I'm closer to 60 than 40 ;)) and the younger people here respond to me in one of two ways... they see me as an experienced dancer that they are afraid to ask for a dance OR they want nothing to do with me because I'm "old"... sometimes it's hard to tell which is the reason for being avoided by a young person :D

    Just go and have fun.
  11. Zoopsia59

    Zoopsia59 Well-Known Member

    There is one aspect of tango that you might have more trouble with than an older person, and frankly, the older people struggle with it too...

    If you study tango for more than a few months, you will find that almost everything you get told or taught will be contradicted by someone else. For a young person who's learning mindset is still very influenced by the absolutes inherent in traditional schooling, this could be quite confusing and frustrating. Heck, most of the middle-aged dancers find it confusing and frustrating.

    But one of the things you learn as you go through life, is that the traditional school model of undeniable factual information doesn't apply to most of the rest of life. In fact, most situations are a lot fuzzier and very little in life is clear cut. You have to make your own choices based on what feels right to you instead of being unconditionally directed.

    Just another way in which Tango parallels life, but magnified. ;)
  12. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    No, fat fingers. I meant Andrea.
  13. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    No idea who the original poster was meaning, but if you youtube Copes you may find performances by the old Juan Carlos and his comparatively young daughter Johana.
  14. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Not suffered enough.

    Remember the words of the late Gavito.
    "All you wanted to achieve, and never achieved, and will never achieve. All the places you wanted to see, and did never see, and will never see. All the beloved friends, relatives, whom you lost. Your own life, the only one you have, soon coming to its end. This is what you must put in your tango."
  15. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    And then you have a perfect caricature of tango angst. Aren't there any other emotions that can go into tango, e.a. youthful joy and ebullience?
  16. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    i haven't suffered 'enough' either, then. I've still been dancing for over 20 years.

    You put in your tango what you have, and I bet there's usually enough if you are 17.
  17. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Shrug: it's just a dance ...
  18. sixela

    sixela Well-Known Member

    I bet those maestros who've been dancing for 50 years weren't thinking of the impending end of their life either when they started dancing. I think a younger Gavito might have had a different perspective.
  19. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Of course you can with milonga, and maybe even with vals,

    but tango is serious bizzness.


    Any questions?

  20. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    I must be doing it wrong. I'll have to work on that.

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