Monthly Archives: January 2009

When Extended B.A. Tango Holidays Are No Better Than Two Weeks

We met an older couple in a class and got talking with them when we found out the teacher wouldn’t be showing up.  Nice enough couple who chose to come to Buenos Aires for a couple months to continue learning Argentine Tango.  They were a reminder that humans have an amazing ability to choose ignorance over knowledge.  After being in B.A. for three months, here are some of the comments they shared with us:

“We tried to find a book with all the figures of Argentine Tango and couldn’t find one.”

After mentioning that unlike Ballroom dancing (what they dance back home) Argentine Tango isn’t about the steps, they said,

“Oh no, Ballroom isn’t about the steps, it’s more about this…” – The male counterpart of the couple proceeded to show the swing and sway of the upper body.  We competed in International Ballroom and know full well that Ballroom dancing is ALL about the steps.

After speaking about the milongas they said,

“It gets frustrating when you only know and repeat five steps.  Time to get back in the class and learn more steps!”

We also met another older couple the week before who couldn’t comprehend when the teacher said, “Soy Milonguero.  No soy bailarin.”  (I’m a Milonguero.  I’m not a dancer.) Then again, we’ve heard over and over again how tango tourists think any old man who dances Tango is a “Milonguero”.

This kind of ignorance is found in all forms of personal interests and hobbies.  If you’re INTERESTED in something, why not take the time to research it and learn about it?

The Foreigner or The Porteño

After a private lesson, our Tango teacher stated how it is a difficult decision to make:  Do you dance with the Porteño/Porteña who is more likely to embody the “feeling” of Tango?  Or do you dance with the foreigner who generally has far better technique?

The “feeling” is beautiful, indescribable, and almost impossible to find outside of Buenos Aires.  However, the “feeling” can only carry the dance so far when it exists within three fixed series of steps (for example).

Technique allows for so much more in the dance.  More creativity, a more elaborate expression of the music, and more freedom to enjoy the dance.

We hope to find, learn, and integrate both the “feeling” and the technique.