Category Archives: Thoughts

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

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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

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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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Eight ways to prevent leaders giving up in their first year

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An experienced tango friend tagged me in a Facebook thread by a tango teacher, on what can be done to encourage beginner leaders to stick with it long enough to graduate from Tango Hell.

I wrote a lengthy reply, and then realised I’d just written my next blog post. Here’s what I wrote …,

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Private or group lessons? Yes.

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I’m doing lots of reading about tango, and one thing I came across was someone quoting an Argentine tango teacher when he was asked should you do x or y? His answer was often: yes. There is value in both. Try them both. Use whichever feels right at the time.

That’s how I feel about private and group lessons …

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