Category Archives: Thoughts

Not just another grumble about the F word

I debated whether to write this post. Floorcraft is a perennial topic, and the view from friends who’ve been in London tango far longer than I have is that nothing is going to change, so there’s not a lot of point in yet another discussion about it.

But at the same time, it is without question one of the biggest differences between tango in Buenos Aires, and that of London – and during my recent month-long stay in Argentina, I came to see the topic in a whole new light …

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Bringing a little Buenos Aires back to London with me

Last time when I returned home from BsAs, I found myself wishing that London tango were more like, well, Argentine tango. I mean, I looked forward to dancing with friends and favourite partners, of course. But I felt the contrast keenly in a number of ways.

This time too. The difference was deciding that, while there are factors I can’t control, there are others that I can – whether directly or indirectly …

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Saying farewell to Buenos Aires with one last milonga – and one last protest

I said at the beginning of the trip that I’d be adopting a more relaxed approach this time around, after last time visiting 25 milongas in 12 days.

One reason for staying here a month is to take things easy – an absolute maximum of one milonga per day. Yes, really. Honestly. You’ll see.

This claim was met with a certain amount of scepticism (‘100%’ is a certain amount, right?) …

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This person, this music, this moment: Reconnecting with the essence of tango

I remember returning from Buenos Aires in 2019 with a whole new understanding of what tango is about – at least, to me. Back here now, I realised that I’d lost some of that understanding along the way.

Well, perhaps not lost, nor really forgotten, but allowed it to become somewhat buried by other things – by the other world which is London tango. Here, now, I’ve reconnected with it …

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Transforming London milongas, part 3: Creating more leaders

In part one of this series of thoughts on how we make London milongas a friendlier and more welcoming place, I invited leaders to make a habit of dancing one tanda with a stranger.

The reason I made this suggestion to leaders specifically is, of course, due to the imbalance between leaders and followers. So part three comprises my thoughts on how we might change this …

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Transforming London milongas, part 2: Dealing with perceptions of cliqueness

Some London milongas are perceived to be ‘cliquey.’ That may be one of those irregular verbs, depending on one’s relationship to the milonga in question, from first-time visitor to fixture: I have good friends; you’re a bit snobby about dance partners; they are a clique.

What I’m going to do here is look at what might lead people to feel that way, and some steps we can take to address it. There are a couple of things I think we can all do, and three steps I think milonga organisers can take …

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Transforming London milongas, part 1: The magic of the unknown dance partner

There’s a blog post I’ve been struggling to write for some weeks now, communicating some thoughts about issues on the London tango scene, and how we might address them.

The reason for the struggle is two-fold. First, and more trivially, it might be felt presumptuous for a three-year dancer to think he understands the problems, let alone has any idea how to solve them …

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Lessons without dance are too painful right now

Lessons without dance

There’s never been a time like this before in anyone’s living memory, and we’re all feeling our way through the darkness here.

The challenges we each face also depend on our circumstances and our personalities. In general, I’m incredibly fortunate when it comes to the circumstances part …

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The coronavirus conundrum: four questions for the London tango community

coronavirus.jpg

So far, to my knowledge, nineteen London milongas have closed for now: Mayfair Milonga, La Mariposa, Carablanca, I Love Mondays, Tango Garden, Tango 178, Tango Bridge, Etnia, Madame Yvonne, Tango Space, The Light, La Davina, London City Milonga, Tango E14, Tango Amistoso, Corrientes, Milonga la Tanguera, Negracha and The Mercer.

The remaining ones will doubtless follow suit in the next few days; at this point, London tango is essentially suspended.

The London tango community appears split on the issue, with four main views being expressed …

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Thoughts on tango and the coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus COVID-9.jpg

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about how the tango community should respond to the coronavirus outbreak. By virtue of spending 12 minutes at a time in close embrace with someone, and doing that with perhaps ten or twelve different people in an evening, we clearly run a significantly greater risk of transmission than the average person.

The virus is already circulating in the European tango community, including a British tanguera who caught it there and is currently in the Royal Free (fortunately she is well enough to be posting on Facebook about it) …

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