[Tango-L] Beginners and milongas

Carol Shepherd arborlaw at comcast.net
Fri Feb 15 12:37:31 EST 2008

Since we all hate the 8CB paso basico so much and feel it is a failed
teaching method that encourages the wrong kind of dancing and collisions
on the pista,

how do we all feel about the open frame 6CB (modified box step) that is
frequently taught for milonga?

I say it is a nice, simple figure that is easy and fun, which lets
beginners feel a lot of confidence and gives them practice in floor traffic.

The key words in beginner retention being "easy" and "fun".

(she said, donning the same flamewear as Doug)


doug at swingfusion.com wrote:
> <alex>
> Most fail to see tango in its social light - that it is a social dance - a
> social experience. Tango has its own culture. (Some have called it a cult.)
> Beginner classes often fail in not teaching or conveying the other aspects
> of tango (beyond the dance, the vocabulary, the technique) - not delving
> into the history, the culture, the social aspects and ultimately the (local)
> opportunities available to dance tango socially on a regular basis.
> </alex>
> Lindy Hop is not easy.  Most(?) Lindy Hoppers come in via east coast swing
> which is rhythmically much simpler, is (arguably) NOT the REAL swing, often
> teaches bad habits (giant rock steps, arm yanking and "girl tossing" among
> others) that need to be unlearned, and all sorts of other bad things.  But
> it is easy and fun.  In almost no time, people get it and are dancing and
> having a good time.  In six months most are pretty good.  Those that are
> inclined and able move on to Lindy and/or Balboa and/or West Coast Swing.
> Many are happy to be where they are, simply dancing east coast swing.
> Tango has a very fun, rhythmically simple, mechanism for getting people out
> dancing and having a good time quickly.  It is called Milonga.  If beginners
> were taught 8 to 10 basic Milonga patterns, got to walk/run around without
> all of the culture, the history, the expectations and the occasional
> outright arrogance that makes Tango simultaneously so subtle, so beautiful
> and so difficult, I bet that many more (in the US at least) would stick and
> then move on to a real study of Tango.
> Totally off the wall suggestion (dons flameproof attitude):  What if
> beginners were taught Milonga, and the first, say six or so songs of the
> Milonga after a beginner lesson were Milonga, and the beginners were
> encouraged to change partners after EVERY song (I agree with Carol
> Shepherd's comments regarding the negative impact of tandas on beginners)?
> Yes, not PC and totally culturally incorrect.  But it might help get
> dancers, especially younger dancers, having fun and dancing a lot sooner.
> It might even get them to stick.
> doug
> _______________________________________________
> Tango-L mailing list
> Tango-L at mit.edu
> http://mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/tango-l

Carol Ruth Shepherd
Arborlaw PLC
Ann Arbor MI USA
734 668 4646 v  734 786 1241 f
Arborlaw - a legal blog for entrepreneurs and small business

More information about the Tango-L mailing list