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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Ask Arlene…About Moving to London and hitting the Milongas

Dear Arlene,
(and everyone else)

can I ask for advise here? I am moving to London (for at least the coming year) end of september. I have started dancing Tango (in Berlin, Germany, where I am originally from) in 2004, but had a major break when I started to work in Afghanistan in 2008 (not much Tango there!). Going to London is of course a chance to ‘restart’! I am thinking of taking a course again to brush me up, and would like to know which ones can be recommended. Also, is there something like a ‘dancepartner fair’ on the net, or is it okay to show up without a partner? Same question goes for Milongas – in Berlin it’s normally no problem to go alone, but I heard different from other locations. Thanks for everyone abloe to guide me here!!

Kristin

Dear Kristin,

My opinion is to forget about ‘courses’.  If you want to meet people and refresh your Tango, my advice is to go back to basics and do the beginner’s classes before a milonga.  After all, you are a woman and you don’t need to know fancy moves.  If your leader is sensitive and reasonably skilled, you will be able to follow whatever he leads.

I have heard that the dancing in Berlin is mainly ‘Nuevo’.  I don’t know what your preferences are.  I am a strictly salon dancer these days.  Regardless, getting back to basics is not going to hurt you.

It is ok to show up alone to a class or a milonga.  Many people do, but there is no guarantee of dancing when you first start going out.  If you want to get dances you must be seen regularly at the milongas as people tend to dance with those that they are familiar with.  It is a bit of an effort, but worth it.  I am basing this on my own and other people’s experiences.  Going to a class before a milonga ensures you meet potential partners.  You need to network.  Make friends with other women.  You will need it and will have someone to talk to when not dancing.

I hope this helps.  Good luck with your move to London and Happy Dancing!

Arlene

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