At what age did you begin learning Argentine tango?

dchester

Moderator
Staff member
#82
ok, big deal, but I do not understand why these things need to lead to a completely off-topic immature argument by various persons.
You seem like a decent guy, so I'll just point out that there's a lot of history and context behind some of the posts that you are complaining about.

Not everything (nor every one) is exactly what you may think right now.

(of course, I've been wrong before though)

:D
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#83
Anyway. So my brother sat down at the bar while he was waiting for the concert to begin. He and another patron struck up a conversation about music and guitar especially. My brother bragged and talked authoritatively about all he was learning -- which was a lot for a guy who'd only been playing for less than two years. My brother went on and on.

Then the emcee said, "Ladies and gentlemen ... please join me in welcoming ... George Benson!" And the guy sitting next to my brother got up, walked to the stage and started to play.
Great story. There are wise sayings about learning more by listening and/or asking questions rather than talking.
 
#85
This is something that can be easily seen because your eyes will tell you.
It is not so easy because the story your eyes are telling changes during the years, it changes when your experiences are changing you. When I look the old course summary videos from many years back I see totally different things today compared to when they were fresh. I se more details and wholeness, how musical the instructors were, the extra things they did just for fun and so on, cooperation. Things I did not pay atention to at the time the video was filmed.
I am sure you can remember a situation when you were 15 and notice how differently you think of it today.
 

LKSO

Active Member
#86
It is not so easy because the story your eyes are telling changes during the years, it changes when your experiences are changing you. When I look the old course summary videos from many years back I see totally different things today compared to when they were fresh. I se more details and wholeness, how musical the instructors were, the extra things they did just for fun and so on, cooperation. Things I did not pay atention to at the time the video was filmed.
I am sure you can remember a situation when you were 15 and notice how differently you think of it today.
Yes, I know exactly what you are talking about as I have experienced it many times. I know that peoples' taste changes with their experience and my remark was not intended to persuade newbies to dance apilado, my preference. My remark was that whatever a person sees AND hears in it is on them and they should make informed choices based on their own preferences. This is why I recommended going to a milonga well before taking any kind of classes because what occurs in a milonga can be vastly different from what is taught in classes.
 

jantango

Active Member
#87
Here's another question to continue the lively discussion about learning Argentine tango. By the way, I agree with milongueros that it should be referred to Buenos Aires tango, because that's where it began, grew, and prospered...in a small part of what is now a huge capital city.

During your discovery and investigation of tango, its music and dance, how much time (in weeks, months, years) have you spent in Buenos Aires absorbing the culture, codigos, and customs of the milongas? If you haven't been yet to Buenos Aires, do you want to visit some day?
 

LKSO

Active Member
#89
Classes aren't bad, and in fact, they're _necessary_ to become proficient enough to dance at milongas (and to correct ingrained errors that you pick up by just dancing at milongas that make you a worse dancer for your partner than you might be).
So would a private lesson be better than taking classes since it will give you the teacher's full attention? I've never taken privates but I agree with this conceptually.

From what I've seen, most of the dancers treat lessons with teachers like fast food, taking a class here and there. I'm familiar with what each teacher teachers and can immediately identify who a person took lessons with. Most of them have been taking classes for many years and they seem to enjoy it because they have recommended that I take lessons with so and so also. I always decline because these teachers seem to produce a vast number of students whose dancing behaviors could use some work.
 

UKDancer

Well-Known Member
#91
During your discovery and investigation of tango, its music and dance, how much time (in weeks, months, years) have you spent in Buenos Aires absorbing the culture, codigos, and customs of the milongas? If you haven't been yet to Buenos Aires, do you want to visit some day?
  1. None.
  2. Probably not.
Buenos Aires Tango is something for the people who live and dance there to enjoy. I dance tango and it is enjoyed all over the world, with regional variants that reflect local cultures, codes and customs.

An alternate question might be how many portenos travel widely, other as tango professionals; and when in, say, Rome, how do they dance?
 

sixela

Well-Known Member
#92
So would a private lesson be better than taking classes since it will give you the teacher's full attention?
Yes. If the teacher is good, of course. If it's someone who knows sequences and Does Not Have a Clue, no.

From what I've seen, most of the dancers treat lessons with teachers like fast food, taking a class here and there. I'm familiar with what each teacher teachers and can immediately identify who a person took lessons with. Most of them have been taking classes for many years and they seem to enjoy it because they have recommended that I take lessons with so and so also. I always decline because these teachers seem to produce a vast number of students whose dancing behaviors could use some work.
To the teachers' defence, it's not always the teacher's fault. Some people are determined not to learn what they need to learn, because it's "too boring" or "a lot of work".

Some will try to resolve cognitive dissonance between how they dance and how they'd like to dance by simply not caring about what would make them a better dancer...

It takes a teacher with an enormous amount of charisma and dogged determination to get students from A to B. Sadly, there aren't enough of these around to cater for all the world-wide tango dancers (certainly if you want them to be perfect); nobody's perfect and every community must make shift with what it has.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
#93
Sixela, this is another example of the same thing happening. It's not directly your fault, so this is not an ad hominem attack from my side either. I am not looking for a fight, I am just observing the behaviour of some people here, which is rather interesting.

So, there's a guy who posts a rather questionable advice, and with only two years of experience - ok, big deal, but I do not understand why these things need to lead to a completely off-topic immature argument by various persons.

Let us just respect each other, because what we're getting is the same chain reaction every time.
Hang around some more and you might get where Sixela is coming from.
 
#95
During your discovery and investigation of tango, its music and dance, how much time (in weeks, months, years) have you spent in Buenos Aires absorbing the culture, codigos, and customs of the milongas? If you haven't been yet to Buenos Aires, do you want to visit some day?
None.
No, not particularly.

I dance tango for what it is around here.. a social dance. It's the people here and now that are relevant. To be chasing a higher spiritual plane of tango which perhaps inevitably leads to Buenos Aires (or Berlin, or New York for all I know) is to not be here and now with us.
 
#96
During your discovery and investigation of tango, its music and dance, how much time (in weeks, months, years) have you spent in Buenos Aires absorbing the culture, codigos, and customs of the milongas? If you haven't been yet to Buenos Aires, do you want to visit some day?
None
Maybe.

I feel no inner need to go there. I am happy and fulfilled by the large community of dancers in my city, ranging from hard core Apilado to VU to nuevo. Personally, I do prefer Apilado. But I like to "show off" sometimes with nuevo "fancy moves" when the floor and my mood and my follower all coalesce.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#97
I can certainly see the value of visiting Buenos Aires at some point, if only to buy shoes. :D But I honestly don't see why, as a dancer, one would feel compelled to visit. Maybe I'll change my mind as I learn more about the dance,the music and its history. Don't know. *shrug* From where I sit now, the main benefits of a tango holiday are 1)authentic BsAs instructors. 2) an intensive milonga experience -- dancing every night, if you want. 3) tango shows and exhibitions

Of those three, two are available lots of places in the US. Heck. Even when I lived in AT Podunk, USA, the local AT society sponsored an intensive long weekend a couple times a year, in which they brought in teachers from BsAs and in which there were multiple milongas to attend for several nights in a row. Was that available all the time? No. But that's no different than my planning a trip to BsAs six months from now.

To me, the only thing lacking here would be shows and exhibitions. That would be nice to have.

So is it worth the time, hassle and expense to me? At this time, no. Maybe later.
 

sixela

Well-Known Member
#98
4) the culture. I do have access to all the latest gossip (my regular dance partner is hooked on BsAs and tends to spend 2-3 months in BsAs a year when her husband lets her) and to porteños, but that doesn't mean you can understand the culture if you're not immersed in it.

Mind you, without naming names, I know some local teachers (uuhm...'tango champions') who go to BsAs and _still_ fail to grok it as far as I'm concerned, but I digress.

You should go for the steaks alone. Well, unless you're a vegetarian, that is.
 

sixela

Well-Known Member
#99
Actually, I think one of the best sources of 'the culture' you can get access to outside of BsAs are the expats.

Not the visiting teachers, who are a special kind of animal (as jantango tirelessly but correctly reminds us), but the people who've emigrated to Europe for different reasons but happen to have been frequent visitors to milongas (you can usually stumble upon a couple of them who've become DJs and the occasional local tango teacher).

You can usually spot a bunch of them by using football as a scent trail. Sometimes they even have a local football club ('soccer' for US readers).
 

AndaBien

Well-Known Member
There seems to be implicit acknowledgment that tango dancers should know tango culture, but I'm wondering about that.

If someone wants to dance in BA, then it would seem a good idea to know the culture of BA milongas. Same thing if one wants to dance where the BA milonga culture is being aspired to in some degree.

If someone just wants to dance tango, as they know it, in the community where they dance, is there some additional value to understanding the BA culture?
 

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