Who is this blog for?

I created this blog primarily for the Dancer.  As it states in my header, this is Arlene’s London Tango.  The London Tango that I knew and loved when I first started dancing has changed dramatically.  With the influx of Tango Shows and the advent of Argentine Tango being featured on Strictly Come Dancing, London has become inundated with Milongas and teachers.  Everyone wants to dance Argentine Tango and many people think they can teach.

I try to keep an open mind, but Argentine Tango evokes many emotions, it can be difficult.  I was lucky to learn in a time when the milongas were limited and we all knew who the teachers were.  We also knew who everyone else was, whether we talked or danced with that person or not.  It seems that almost overnight we have acquired venues to go to every night of the week.  Sometimes there is more than one choice.  There are teachers who I have never even heard of or who have started teaching so soon after learning how to dance.  It can be difficult to keep up with it all.

When I set up the Milonga Calendar, I used to include practicas and special workshops.  Because of the influx of teachers and classes and new Milongas, I have decided to keep things simple and just focus on the regular weekly Milongas.  If you want a class, there is usually one before the Milonga.  I also list special events such as shows, concerts, festivals and special one-off milongas.  They are all on the calendar.  If it is Tango related, and it is happening in London and I know about it, it will be listed on the calendar.

If you teach a class, you can have your name listed on the sidebar or you can advertise on two Facebook groups:  1) Argentine Tango in London and 2) London Tango (I am not affiliated with this group except as a member).  You can also join the Yahoo Tango-UK group.  Interestingly enough, I get a lot of my information about closures or special events from these three sources.  I do not endorse teachers.  I no longer know who many of them are, and if I do know them I would not know how to recommend them if I haven’t had a class with them.  I have danced with many who have become teachers.  I don’t even want to go down that road.  The less said the better.  Teachers, can’t live with ’em but can probably live without a lot of them.  The choice is yours dear Dancer.

If I am not listing a milonga it is probably because I don’t know about it or I know about it and it isn’t a regular one.  There are some people who start milongas and the venues keep changing or events get cancelled regularly.  To me, these are not reliable milongas, so I don’t list them.

I have my favourite milongas.  They have stood the test of time and are still going strong.  They must be doing something right.  I haven’t been to every milonga.  I can’t do everything.  However, I have listed them for you, with links to the websites.  As a dancer, it is up to you to take some responsibility before you go out.  I might have missed something.

I also have links and posts that go further afield, like Buenos Aires, the Mecca of Argentine Tango.  There are links to Tango in Europe.  If anyone has a good tango link to a place they like to dance in Europe, and I don’t have it, please let me know.

If there is something you would like to know about or see regularly on this blog, please let me know via a comment.

In the meantime, Happy Dancing!

I’m Not Dancing Much These Days

I have written a little bit about how I came to Tango on my About Me page, and over the years I have had a lot to say about it and my dancing experiences.  I started cutting down on my dancing long before I moved to Eastbourne.  People come and go in Tango for many reasons.  I never really left, just put it on hold.  If I was living in London right now, I would be dancing regularly, even if it was only just once a week.  After all the years of going out nearly every night, it can get dull seeing the same faces night after night and having the same experiences. I used to do other things for a few weeks and then come back to it.   I like variety.  I know many women that would do the same thing.   However, I am a terrible traveller for Tango.  I would never consider going abroad for a Tango festival.  I would, however, consider going to a milonga in a town I happened to be visiting or I would consider visiting a city knowing that there would be some Tango there – like Berlin, or Sevilla, or Paris, or Roma, or any other city I was interested in visiting.   I wouldn’t go to a place just for Tango.

There is Tango in Brighton and Hove.  I can’t be asked to drive there for Tango.  It isn’t the same type of driving as London driving.  I would rather stay in Eastbourne and dance Salsa or Ceroc.  I am not committed enough to set up any Tango here, though I would really be happy to help out if someone else wanted to do it.  As long as they aren’t hacks.

Tango used to fill a void, but as my life has changed other things have been replacing Tango.  However, I really do miss a close Tango embrace sometimes – especially when I listen to some of my favourite Tango music.  At least I still have the music, which is where it all started for me anyway.

If I am not writing about Tango, it’s because I am not out there dancing, not because I don’t have anything to say about it.  I still read blogs and keep up to date with what is happening in London.  There is a lot happening in London, some good and some, eh.  At least you all have choices.  I try to list all the milongas.  There are new ones popping up all the time that I can barely keep up with them.  Some have done the distance and have been around for years, and then some disappear after a couple of months.  Personally, I think we have too many.

Same thought for the teachers.  Easy come and easy go, and some don’t know what they are doing.  We have so many visiting Maestros.  Who are these people?!!!  Maybe my age is showing, but my understanding of a Master is one who has spent nearly a lifetime perfecting a craft.  I am not saying that these visiting teachers are not good dancers or teachers, but Maestros?, puhleeze!  Besides, how can one perfect Tango?  It is supposed to be a dance of improvisation.  It comes from us, from within.  Nobody can teach you that.  You can only be taught the basics, the rest is up to you.

Then we have the demonstrations from these so-called Maestros.  I have to admit that when I first started out, I was very impressed by the back to the head kicks, the ganchos, the jumps, etc.  But that is not real Tango.  That stuff gives people the wrong idea about what Tango is all about.  Just look at all the Tango shows and stuff you see on TV.  I am not saying that these people are not skilled or talented, merely that they are not portraying real social dancing.  I prefer to see people dance beautifully and give me something I could actually aspire to, not the showy acrobatics.  I also don’t want to have to pay extra to see it either.  If I want to see a show, I will go to one.  I want to dance at a milonga and not spend extra money watching people doing stuff I would never to on a dance floor when I could actually be dancing.  As I said earlier, I am not dancing much these days, so when I do go out, I want to make the most of it.

Until I do manage a close embrace in The Tango Way, enjoy yourselves people and have a dance for me.  If you have anything you want to say or need help with, just send me a comment and I will see what I can do.

Happy Dancing! 🙂

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