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Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Tangueras investing in the long term

Let's face it, men take a lead role in this improvised partner dance. As a consequence, they have to master a lot of skills before they can begin to dance with confidence and improvise effectively. In broad terms, they must develop a high level of body awareness & control, navigational skills and musicality - not something you pick up in just a few lessons. The men who achieve this are focussed and determined.

Despite this, there are women in the tango scene who are heard to complain that they ....
  • want to dance more often at milongas, and preferably with the more experienced dancers, or
  • expect their partners to employ a variety of showy figures to make their dance more enjoyable, or
  • only enjoy dancing with men who lead well and respond sensitively to the music.

Men, on the other hand, are known to lament that they ....

  • fear that their dance partners will become bored with their limited repertoire of figures, or
  • lack the confidence to dance in the milonga, because of the challenges of navigation and being watched by others, or
  • need their partners to be more balanced, controlled and patient, rather than anticipating.

Sound familiar? Does this apply to your tango community?

Speaking from a woman's perspective, I'd like to think that wise tangueras are patient - they are, after all, mostly in it for the long haul. They know that a leader needs a lot of time and practice to develop funfamental skills, as well as the confidence to dance well with them in the milonga. They also realise that their own road is a long one too. For a woman in tango, responding with sensitivity, good musicality, skill and confidence requires hours of focussed practice as well.

Basically, these ladies understand that it's vital to learn to walk before trying to run. So they don't expect to be entertained with elaborate performance figures. They have long since realised that trying get them to jump through these hoops will only lead men to throwing in the towel altogether (and where would that leave the ladies?), or see them wrestling with those figures (and their partners) because they lack the necessary foundations.

On closer inspection, those patient and wise tangueras need not be the selfless creatures they seem. They're strategic & far-sighted, and are working towards developing the local pool of competent and confident male dancers, who will bring them hours of pleasure on the dance-floor for years to come.



tangocherie said...

Interesting posts and a very nice blog!
I've added Tango Salon Adelaide to my tango blog roll.
Keep 'em coming!
Saludos de Buenos Aires!

Tango Salon said...

Thanks Cherie.
Hope to meet you sometime when we're in BsAs.

Steve Littler said...

So true! Well said!

El Stevito de Gainesville

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