[Tango-L] Beginners and milongas

Jake Spatz spatz at tangoDC.com
Sun Feb 17 16:05:35 EST 2008

Chris (et al.),

I have a question about something you wrote...

Chris, UK wrote:
> The count is simply the means used by DIC teachers to tell the class which step to do when. [...] In truth that's the job of the music, and the dancer's feeling for it.
These two statements reference quite different things, no? Counting 
steps is merely putting them in order. The "count" of the music is 
another thing entirely, and may or may not have a direct relationship 
with the ordinal sequence of steps.

To judge by what you write, it seems that these different exercises are 
often conflated simply because they both use the same range of numbers. 
But I've never conflated them myself, nor have I noticed many others 
doing it. In fact, the only dancers that come to mind are certain 
performers with stage-training... if they open a routine with the 8CB 
(and many of them do), it's invariably off the music. (Sometimes I see 
them trying to collect with the beat, but they always fail for some 

Now, I wouldn't argue that the 8CB, or any pattern, is inherently 
unmusical; just that _a direct association_ of the step-count with the 
beat-count is usually a recipe for clunkiness... the culprit in most 
cases being a faulty notion of how to "count" rhythm. But why people who 
can't play a drum would ennoble themselves to explain rhythm at all is 
beyond my ken.

To get to the actual question here... Is there really a widespread (and 
deliberate?) conflation between step-order and the measure of the 
music-- or am I just splitting hairs?


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