Skip to main content

Leading Ladies

We frequently meet women who have become flight risks from tango because they have been dancing several years and want to improve, but are frustrated by the small number of men who wish to improve.

Similarly we meet many women who wish to dance more than they do, often waiting for 40 minutes to an hour at a 2-hour dance. This is not a case of 'learn to dance better' because many of them dance better than, for example, the Young Pretty Girls (YPGs) at the same dances who often are being danced off their feet.

We advise these women that their development as dancers and/or access to increased dancing time relies on them either learning to lead, or being prepared to follow those women who do. This is unwelcome news for most women who began tango expecting to dance with men, but it's the reality in a world where women are generally the majority at any milonga.

The men, by comparison, can afford to be complacent about their dance ability because they are always in demand, no matter where the milonga is in the world.

The outcome of this is a tango ecosystem which is limited by the number of available men, bolstered by the number of them who are community-minded enough to dance with a range of women. This number is increased as more women become leaders but is once again limited by how many women actually want to dance with them.

Taxi dancers provide some relief in this area (ahem) but the forseeable future is one where women embrace (ho ho!) dancing with women or they move on from tango scenes. To paraphrase Steve McQueen's comment about motor racing, "if you say that you want to dance, and you're not dancing, then you don't want to dance."



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Advice for Followers

This post is about the most common questions that I'm asked about following.  It's a companion piece to my Advice for Leaders post. Read both, especially if you don't do both, because you need at least some perspective into the other half of the dance if you wish to improve.  My apologies for the use of gender when describing leaders and followers, sometimes my typing fingers get tired.  Regarding 'style', I've posted elsewhere on this site about that but suffice it to say that this advice is for a tango approach where a leader and follower move together to build a dance that is greater than both of them.
My post on leading talks about accepting followers as they are, strengths and weaknesses, just like in the movie Bridget Jones' Diary (one of my faves). However, followers can be on the receiving end of some pretty dreadful technique which sometimes means that they have to react rather than follow. 
Having said that, you should always be trying to give you…

More Lessons? Really?

I recently read a blog by a well known dancer and teacher, who had responded to a question from a reader about connection. The reader questioned 'why it works with some people but not with others?'. The teacher's response could be summarised that “one could only really change oneself, so dancers needed to focus on improving their own dance and technique, and to take more lessons”.

This is great for those who make a living as teachers, but where is the evidence of progress for all that investment?

There are thousands of dancers in Buenos Aires who enjoy dancing socially and who look like they've taken very few lessons. I'm not saying that they are great dancers, but they certainly dance better than many of those in other cities who have years of lessons under their belts.

I've danced with a lot of women, and a few men, in a lot of countries. Their dance abilities ranged from absolute beginners through to professional dancers and a  consistent thread running thro…

My Garden of Linkly Delights!

I've been sending out links on a weekly email list for a few years now, as well as to my Sacada TangoFacebook page and the New Zealand Facebook page Tango Dancers.
Many of them were archived into a post on this blog A Few of my Favourite Things where I organised them into coherent groups. This post is where I shall put them in future as an archive. They'll tend to look like a bit of a grab bag but I prefer to think of them as a wilderness garden... ___________________________________________________________________________
Cabeceo technique with Janis Kenyon  https://jantango.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/which-is-your-technique-gazing-or-staring/

Important news regarding closure of milongas in BA https://www.facebook.com/groups/www.wellingtontango.co.nz/permalink/784703498386424/

Interviews, videos and recollections of Carlos Gavito via Tango Commuter
http://tangocommuter1.blogspot.com/2017/11/gavito.html

Melina Sedò on the art of finding the right teacher for YOU.  http://melinas-two-ce…