Beginner Study Both Vals + Milonga Advisable?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Dufus, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. Dufus

    Dufus New Member

    Would it be advisable for a beginner to start out taking a class in both Vals and Milonga on the same night?

    The school I would be going to has a Level 1 class in Vals immediately following an L1 workshop in Milonga. Since I would already be at the school, it would be very convenient to take both classes consecutively.

    However, I was wondering if it might be confusing for a beginner to take both styles at the same time?

    I'm not a rank beginner. I did attend one two month long class in Argentine Tango a year ago. Almost all we learned how to do though, was walk forward and backward with a contra-body motion.
  2. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Active Member

    Take it. Nothing bad will happen to you. :)
    Concentrate on music in both classes.
  3. newbie

    newbie Active Member

    Of course, attend both classes.
  4. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    I introduce Vals & Milonga to beginners in exactly this way as the final, double-length, session of a short series of tango classes, and it seems to work well. Of course, we don't get very far in one evening, and we return to both styles in more depth in later classes for those that wish to continue. An awareness of the distinctive rhythms of these styles, adapting what beginners already know, is the main focus of the session.

    All? Many would-be tango dancers can't do that, creditably, after several years. They should have paid more attention at the start, because tango is a walking dance. That said, the tendency of many teachers just to march their students up and down the room, for what seems like a significant part of early classes, is a real turn-off to many, many people. The students don't understand why it is important, and haven't developed good posture and cannot, immediately, carry their weight in the manner required.
  5. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    agreed; they are not exactly complementary, but yes just do it.
  6. Mladenac

    Mladenac Active Member

    I was learning vals and milonga after six months of tango.
    You still fall into beginners' group (under a year). ;)

    Take classes, if you don't feel comfortable drop out.
    It might be too advanced at your current level.
    Don't be hard on yourself if you cannot make it this time. :D

    I was "curious" alike you now. Some things worked some didn't but I would have known if had not tried.
    Beauty of tango is that you continually push your boundaries in a safe environment. 8)
  7. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    Go for it. Sooner you do, the sooner you'll be able to get out and dance when you hear a Vals or Milonga tanda. ;)
  8. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Don't let your mind dissuade you from pursuing your desires.
  9. Mladenac

    Mladenac Active Member

    Listening vals and milonga in spare time will also do you good.
    As well as listening to tango.

    The more music you know the better dancer you become.
  10. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    Everyone has told you to take the milonga and vals classes at the same time. I'll be the first to ask why? Have you been dancing tango regularly for the past year after those two months of classes? If not, you haven't been listening to the music. Now you want to learn two dances at the same time which are different rhythms and dances entirely.

    What makes you think you're going to be dedicated enough to practice two dances between class sessions if you haven't been practicing the one you started a year ago?
  11. UKDancer

    UKDancer Well-Known Member

    Well, one answer is that tango, as it is danced socially pretty much everywhere, consists of a family of closely related (and certainly not entirely different) styles: tango, vals and milonga. The sooner the rudiments of each style can be acquired, the sooner you can be starting to participate in tango social events - practicas and milongas, and gain that important practical experience and exposure to the music genres. Dancing is best learned by dancing, not from sitting out.

    You can learn very little from a teacher, and rather a lot from your partners. But only if you dance.
  12. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    We all have our definitions. The rhythms are certainly different, but in my mind the dances are very similar, if not the same.
  13. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I do believe I've heard it both ways regarding milonga: it's the same (I swear I had a YouTube of a milonguero doing milonga on his porch and saying at the end that it was the same as tango, but can't find it now), it's different in Buenos Aires.

    Certainly milonga and vals have a different feel than most tangos, and comeone who is aware of that would express it in their movment even with the same "steps." Many people dance pretty much the same to each of the categories, which is very sad.

    For instance, I always write about using the little pauses in milonga (that many people write are not there).

    TangoBro just posted this link for milonga
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Merlqw_BB8
    in the competition thread, and at least with the first song, (downloads have been really really slow on this) they are using the music as I would. BTW, I love it!

    Same steps, etc are danced with a different feel.
    I didn't have anything to write on the OP, because, I guess, I don't feel strongly one way or the other at a beginner level, where I would expect someone to still be working on basics like getting everyting to work with the basic rhythm of the music.
  14. AndaBien

    AndaBien Well-Known Member

    Can you say where the pauses are in your video? Anyway, if you hear pauses and want to dance to them, by all means do it. My first teacher always said, "There are no rules in tango".
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Go for it. The music and the feel of tango, milonga, and vals all differ from each other, but the overall body of steps is the same, the fundamental technique (especially at the beginner level) is the same. It will be good for you to learn the differences, and to hear the different music. And, you'll have to start sooner or later! :) Besides, if you really struggle, there's nothing that says you'll have to continue.
  16. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Sheet music for Vieja Milonga
    http://www.todotango.com/english/las_obras/partitura.aspx?id=6519

    Note that there are at least 3 places where "pauses" are clearly indicated.

    These vary in flavor, but here are a few time stamps where there is a suspension of movement, sometimes with a full collection, etc, that accompany the "pauses":
    1:05
    1:19
    1:43
    1:52
    2:30
  17. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Argentine tango, argentine waltz and milonga certainly are different dances with different appeal, different feel, different technique, different vocabulary. But I think this is no problem at all. Ballroom dancers also have to learn 4 up to 6 dances at the same time.
  18. Subliminal

    Subliminal Well-Known Member

    I think a distinction needs to be made about what level a dancer someone is and how complicated the dance is. Particularly Argentine Waltz. "It's like tango but you step on the 1 of the 123" will get people on the floor. Sure, when you start to explore the music, the timing, the style, it starts to look like a different dance. But that can come with experience.

    Milonga is a slightly different beast. I would say it's harder to get people moving without at least giving them a pretty in-depth lesson.
  19. newbie

    newbie Active Member

    That's why it's fine for the OP to attend both classes on the same evening.
  20. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I think its a good question. There wasnt much vals classes when I was learning..you just listened to the music and danced tango..but milonga,

    now milonga is really into the floor and grounded, fast and syncopated I wouldn't teach either together on a regular basis....

    but you have to start somewhere...

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