A few years ago I created a survey called, Why I Quit Tango. Since then over 500 people have responded and nearly half have written their own personal comments. (See below for an unedited list of these.) For all of us who love tango and would like to see it grow, I think it’s worth perusing this list, contemplate the criticisms and perhaps change some of our behavior. (Yes, even your’s truly is criticized for my attitude and behavior regarding this topic.) To make your own contribution, click on link above, or write a reply at the bottom of this blog.
-4. The people are generally not friendly.
-3. I ended a relationship with a beloved tanguero and felt unsupported by my community of female “friends”. One woman told me outright that she didn’t want to sit next to me at a milonga because HE might not ask her to dance. It was then I learned how shallow some of the “connections” in tango actually are.
-2. Milongas start too late. People pick apart others’ dance, so it gets old. My teachers, once I found good ones, are fantastic.
-1. Boring… did not find it difficult, just boring . A step above line dancing.
1. The problem with tango in my city is that, the followers can’t walk properly let alone dancing. How can I learn by trying to lead them? I think it is absolute waste of time to dance with people 20/30 years older than you. I like girls who are young and energetic to dance with not some one who is much slower than me. I won’t learn like that. Plus, teachers teach tango like it is math. Tango must be taught like a sport, and you need to be fit to dance Tango. But usually beginners and older people are not fit, I really love Tango and the music but I can’t find followers. Or, I will need to get private classes which is really expensive.
2. Tango attracts fantasists. I’m a realist.
3. I’ve never met so many narcissistic, dangerous men in such a short time period.
4. I’ve danced/competed ballroom and Salsa for years with excellent success. After 10 months of Tango, I was going nowhere, with no moves, and not even my time to participate in a Milonga.
5. bullies and bad attitudes
6. Didn’t love it enough to put in the time and money to advance beyond intermediate. Was very young and had difficulty making friends / most dancers were 50+.Also wanted to spend my weekends with friends my age who didn’t dance.
7. The highs are very high but I no longer think they compensate for the terrible lows of rejection.
8. Workshops are always geared to intermediate to advanced, difficult to get started when everyone is telling you different things about posture, stance, steps. Watching people have fun at milongas, while I just get corrected and not really enjoy any of it.
9. It takes away too much of my time, and I’m addicted to this point where I realize I need to pull myself OUT and have some balance in life.
10. learned and became good at salsa and bachata; found these dances more fun, more close to my age group and energy level, people less snobish; then I return to a milonga and am striken by the differences
11. I found that it does not matter where I go (perhaps except in BA), tango communities have turned social tango into something weird that its not suppose to be. So I gave up in disgust. To be fair, there are a small number of people who truly understand and respect the social tango tradition but they represent a very small minority.
12. In 1993 at the Verdi, there were many south/central america dancers. The milongueros were gracious, protected me from dance injuries, walked me off the floor. Men asked beginners and all ages to dance and not just the dancer that would make them look best or were the best looking. It was about the connection and feel of the moment and not about how great they looked on the dance floor. How many times I had a beginner leader stop dancing in a milonga to tell me how to do a move that they were not properly leading. A real milonguero would simply do the moves that would make the woman feel safe and capable. It really is all about the connection.
13. It appears the members of the tango club I jointed, the Wasatch Tango Club in Salt lake City, as soon as they put on their dance shoes they loose their ability to communicate off the dance floor. I come from a senior military officer and aerospace executive background where social reparte was important. My goal in attending milogas was to dance tango but also to make new friends; have been in the club 10 years and still no friends. Maybe its the Utah culture thing, but whatever it is, its terribly disappointing.
14. A year of private lessons with Savanna Morgan was the exception to all of the above.
15. I was bored with my level of dancing and didn’t feel like I could afford private lessons, which seemed to be the only way to get better fast enough to keep me interested.
16. fell in love with someone who couldn’t get past the unfriendlly elitism to move beyond beginner level–he didn’t want to change partners and was uncomfortable with rude partners
17. Mostly quit because of being forced to dance more than one dance in a row with someone. It should be freedom of choice like it is with all other social dances in the US. It’s so unfair to the ladies sitting out 3 dances in a row, if they don’t get asked again then it’s 6 dances and so on. The evening is short with dance partners if you have to dance 3 in a row. At other social dances (ballroom, swing, country), I never sit and can dance with many dance partners – the evening isn’t long enough for me to dance with all my friends and if I had to dance 3 in a row it would not be fun and I would miss out dancing with so many great partners of all levels.
18. Moved to new community that is very small and divided by politics. It only takes a few individuals to screw it up for everyone.
19. Too divisive in the community, different circles don’t talk or dance with each other, forcing you to choose.
20. Fell in love with a man who was incredibly jealous and put tango on the shelf for 4-5 years
21. first: I don’t have a partner to dance with or practice with, then..I don’t like to pay for classes or the millangas and just sit there and watch and hope someone will ask me to dance, then..the teachers are not nice enough and considerate and are very “irragant” to dance with any woman other than very pretty girls or very beautiful dancer, then….even though I forced myself to go to a millanga alone, I sat there almost the entire time. I’m a professional it hurts my pride to just sit there and fell not worthy of the great dancers to ask me to dance. especially when some men and even the teachers come to where I am sitting with another woman and asks the younger, the prettier, and better dancer to dance with. that is very humiliating. so I went home and never came back
22. I started trying other dances like Blues and Swing and Waltzing and found people to be much more open and friendly and sexier and more enjoyable to talk to and be around.
23. I still dance now and then, but basically I am so bored with the local community. They are clique-ish, arrogant and generally immature.
25. too much tango drama with some of the women
26. The two instructors I liked moved away leaving a technically good couple , but who had no patience with stragglers. I found tango to be draining and needing obsession I was advised to drop salsa and adopt a ‘ Tango lifestyle’ a la Paz and Hart. I felt I was putting in more than I was getting out. I looked at the drawn faces of tangueros vs. energised salseros and made a choice. I kept up the salsa, LA and Cuban, visiting Cuba wow! plus Bachata and Cha- cha, also learning Lindy and Brazilian Zouk Lambada. The latter uses similar music to Kizomba an Afro-portuguese tango derivative which is too bump and grind for my taste. I read Kapka Kassabova’s book about Tango toxicity , 12 Minutes of Love, which confrmed my feelings. Also Long past Midnight at the Nino Bien. Oh and I found the tanda system had me praying for the end as I had used up all my moves after two tracks and was getting tired and bored. Thankfully the idea of Mirada y Cabeceo never took off.
27. Moved away from Minneapolis to Chicago. Dancers in Chicago are all old and grumpy.
28. I found that it was all or nothing in the tango community. Since tango wasn’t my life, I was looked down upon by the good dancers, so I only got asked to dance by mediocre or creepy dancers.
29. Too few good leaders around to dance or practice with. Men prefer babes who could barely dance and it doesn’t seem to matter that some of us worked hard to be good followers get passed over.
30. Eventually, it got to the point where the hassle of the cliquiness and the constant potential for rejection outweighed the pleasure of it. There weren’t enough leaders I enjoyed dancing with.
31. Different economic demographic
32. I took lessons in 6 Tango schools in my city, going through various levels. Also, even after travelling 3 times to Buenos Aires and taking workshops 3 to 4 times a day for a month AND taking 3-4 privates a week, I would return home and still have trouble finding partners to dance with. Often the more advanced couples just dance with a significant other or a clique member. In my home town, I’d often spend most of my evenings sitting down. I would dance more in Milongas of Buenos Aires. As even though I was there only on vacations. I found I’d have more fun in my evenings dancing Lindy Hop, WCS or Salsa (where followers would often walk up to me and invite me) than watching other people dance Tango. In Argentina, I found the dancers there far more welcoming of a new face. In Germany I danced more than in my home town despite the language barrier. One of the teachers I took Tango lessons from did not actually have a dance with me in a Milonga until after I completed my second trip to Argentina (which was after I had attended the school she worked at for 2 years).
33. too energetic. Lots of big moves made me breathless like dancing a marathon race. Went to milongas and never got asked. Waste of time and unpleasant to be overlooked for all the time and effort spent becoming proficient and as a women men did not appear to appreciate being asked to dance. And yes, very elitist. The same few folks dancing round and round. I don’t call it a social dance at all.
34. it’s not so much that the local community is small, but it is incestuous, limited and unevolving at times.
35. too significant impact on social life (real friends) and too significant impact in general (all other things in life ;))
36. Too hard to find someone inspired and motivated to improve.
37. There are very few happy people in tango.
38. I think about quitting because i am a skilled dancer with a strong connection to the music, and i seek the same. but those men stick to their established favorites or chase pretty clutzes.
39. Answers vary based on Chicago vs Pittsburgh
40. At this time there were no Milongas in our region. So I did not fancy to learn a dance that I could not practice.
41. I moved to Portland in the pursuit of tango since I had heard great things about its community. Sadly, despite immersing myself immediately for quite a while by attending practicas and milongas several times a week and volunteering at the festivals, I found the community difficult to gain/maintain access to and spent a lot of time sitting around watching. Maybe partly due to the fact that I did not have the financial means to take lessons with local teachers, but I had just come from a year of dancing almost every day and taking group lessons at least three times a week (I had had a work-exchange with an instructor in the city I had moved from), so felt that what I mostly needed were simply “miles.” Of course, many people here in Portland were/are very friendly (mostly the ones older than I by 10-20 years) but a large number of leaders kept ignoring me completely. I’d say I was an intermediate level follower at the time and would have needed dances with followers my level or better to improve.
42. I am/was considering getting back by taking10 privates.Then went to a milonga last night where I watched men snatch up skinny and or younger and or asian and or sluttily dressed women, while I got asked by two poor leaders, and, at 1:30 am, one “good” dancer, who I had a ton of trouble following. he also smelled like B.O. I’ve seen him a lot, and I think he looks flashy on the floor, but is a sucky leader. Tango isn’t kind to women, is also what I want to say here.
43. I’ve been dancing (at least once/week) over 8 yrs. but our community still has only 3 advanced leaders. Gender imbalance and always a problem. Ray Barbose has the right idea in limiting registration to keep gender balance!
44. Not enough time with school and job!
45. Realized that tango community/dynamics not conducive of maintaining a healthy relationship with significant other.
46. I’ve weaned myself away from the privates, classes, workshops, milongas. Spent alot of money in the last 3yrs only to dance basic steps over and over, the level of male dancers here is not that high. I don’t like dancing close embrace all night, I prefer salon style with hipper music, the old tango music is monotonous and gets on my nerves after an hour. They all sound the same after awhile. There are some snobs, but I don’t care, I ignore them. I just want to dance and I’ve been disappointed more times than I have had enjoyable times. It’s probably time to move onto another dance, probably West Coast Swing/Hustle, it’s happier music and the people are much friendlier. I feel that if I don’t attend every single weekend workshop, classes/practicas/milongas, that I truly am not part of the tango community. Like I’m not that serious. It also costs a ton of money and traveling by myself.
47. Did not quit yet! I will not quit ever probably attending milongas, I might have to quit classes one day if I have to put my money elsewhere
48. Class/milonga venues a little too far from my home, and in areas I feel uncomfortable driving home late at night from.
49. Too many hours of down time, when I go out I like to dance, and most tango leads are busy dancing, but I do not feel they are that intereted in the dance and very selective. Cabecio very difficult for me. At salsa clubs, they rush and are enthusiastic to dance with everyone. I dance until I am exhausted.
50. Quality of instruction. Not enough social venues to dance tango.
51. I haven’t quit, but really disliked your response, Clay, that women should learn to lead (or else sit) and people (who consider themselves to be good dancers)won’t dance with lesser dancers. (you made this quite obvious to me a few years ago)
53. I find it very difficult to ask someone to dance with me.
54. My husband didn’t think we had time for it
56. The lack of continuity, proper advertising, politics, and a lousy venue!
57. I have danced tango for over 10 years and no longer had the energy to put in the time to remain a part of the “in crowd”.
58. Alot of travel involved. Time and mileage committment not conducive and more and more costly (as)
59. I found that people got very serious about it, and sometimes I felt that my sense of humor wasn’t welcome. Also it seemed that one had to look or act or dance a certain way to be an acceptable partner within any given community, which really annoyed me and made it hard when visiting a different community.
60. Certain instructors said unsavory (and untrue) things about other instructors directly to me and I assume to others. This was very unprofessional and had consequences for the insulted instructors. There is a high level of social/emotional retardation in certain instructors in the Tucson scene – this has harmed the Tango community. I will no longer dance with or take classes with them. Also, some of the ‘respected’ experienced older dancers are rude to and hypercritical of less experienced and younger dancers. These individuals seem to care more about Tango as a means to maintain symbols of their upper class status, (and look down on and insult dancers who are not wealthy) than they do about Tango as an end in itself. They may have done well at learning the dance of Tango, but they suck eggs at the dance called Life (or, the dance called grow-up-and-acquire-the-ability-to-introspect-and-treat-other-human-beings-with-kindness )
61. too late in evening. Couldn’t go out at 10:00 anymore.
62. Originally, I moved out of the country where there was no tango for 4 years. On my return, I began a relationship with someone who doesn’t dance. The last few months, I’ve begun to reenter it, but have found it discouraging for many reasons: 1) cliquishness 2) general unfriendliness and at times point-blank rudeness 3) lack of dance partners 4) frustration at my own level of dance (many years ago I was quite good) 4) inability at this point in my life to afford the $200 shoes or the sexy clothes 5) I’m an awkward in-between age at 33, too old to be hip with the young tango-nuevo crowd; too young for the more mature dancers. Most people my age are dealing with kids and careers. I know that if I stick with it, I can overcome some of these frustrations, but at times it requires too much energy.
63. the good lead dancers don’t dance with new people/visitors eventhough some could be advanced dancers. When you hear “no” so many times, you give up and find something else for fun!
64. I live 35 to 90 miles from where I need to go to dance. I’m not going to drive that far, pay the gas money and the entry fee, then sit there all night to do one dance.
65. Haven’t Quit — yet… Still looking for the right partner, more time to practice, more money for more lessons, and a good job in Argentina.
66. I didn’t quit. I’m an ongoing work in progress
67. Over the ten years I’ve been dancing, the music in the milongas (in the US, anyway) has changed from the Golden Age recordings that I love to more “Nuevo,” which to my ears is just disco with bandoneons. I don’t mind this kind of music if I’m not dancing, but absolutely hate it when I am.
68. At the time that I began dancing there were not many earlier in the day tango dance options. With a family and my work it was too difficult to be out dancing late.
69. None of these are quite right. I quit because I got tired of sitting on the sidelines and watching other people dance. I could not convince myself to pursue men for dances when they did not seem interested in dancing with me. I lost confidence in my attractiveness as a partner.
70. Tango in U.S. was not like tango in Buenos Aires. No tandas, no cabeceo, no escape. Hounded by unwanted partners, injured by crazy steps and figures.
72. Classes weren’t great
73. inconvenient days/times
74. Husband is willing but he and both of us travel too much to attend regular lessons.
75. The bickering and politics between instuctors.
76. My wife decided to sleep with other men.
77. knee problem and toes
78. The teachers in the Minneapolis/St. Paul tango community are not working together to improve and grow tango here in MN. I’m tired of the petty bickering and politicking. They ought to be trying to improve the level of tango in the community. I wish we had more tango teachers. Our overall population is about the same as Portland and yet Portland has more tango dancers, milonga’s and teachers.
79. Knee problems, my wife especially found that some partners were easy to dance with, others torqued her knee or were otherwise insensitive.
80. Life is very busy and it is difficult to make sure that my girlfriend would go with me to a lesson. also, in the middle of some lessons i became sick and was unable to continue so I ended up loosing the money I had prepaid for a set of lessons and that loss turned me off from trusting the instructors.
81. Work and new puppy eroded time availability, then got more serious about general ballroom, and not enough time for tango
82. after 2 years of listening to the music and reading about the history of Tango I decided to take a class. I evaluated all the obstacles to decide if it was worth going forward. I decided not being able to find a practice partner was a deal breaker. I quit after a few classes because I spent most of my time watching beginning couples with very little opportunity to try it myself. Now I don’t even listen to the music anymore.
83. Heard others describing their Technicolor experiences during a dance which I never perceived or shared. (having just my comparative tiny black-and-white screen.)
84. no local same sex tango venues, and partner isn’t comfortable learning tango as a lead in straight venues. Since partner doesn’t tango, but does other social dances (i.e. Country Western) I tend to do that more often with her in gay venues.
85. Husband doesn’t dance it.
86. Significant other did not dance and it became “uncomfortable” to dance with other men….
87. Haven’t quit but have found a local dirth of partners at my level and was getting bored enough to consider dropping out.
88. Was fun for a few years, but then spent too much time dancing with bad dancers–took the fun out of it. I was improving but the leaders weren’t. I got bored and moved on to other things. I liked the people though overall.
89. Always very few young people – being in the wrong age group gets old FAST. I’m young and naturally prefer dancing with younger people that are both physically more pleasant and have bigger potential in dancing. Advancement goes faster too!!!
90. I felt like I had to “join a cult” to fit in at the Tango Society of Minnesota. There is intense pressure to dance exactly the way the main faction of purists determined was proper, people make nasty comments on the dance floor about others, there are very nasty politics and cliques that go on. People who have been dancing it and taking lessons for five years are “not good enough.” I was repulsed to see one local instructor taking applications (photo required!!) and money up front, and only then POSSIBLY accepting people into a PRACTICE GROUP. This is elitism at its worst. There are “dirty old men” who demand close embrace. I prefer to dance it only with my husband. There should be room for a more social distance from the partner. I dance tons of salsa and I don’t mind dancing sexy socially, but I, as the follower, decide how close I want to get. Not the leader!
91. Level of dance not great here.
92. *Partners who were critical (playing ‘teacher’) instead of just doing their best to follow *Difficulty in meeting other singles *Left-wing politics of most teachers
93. Classes are always late at night and I had to be up for work 4:30AM. So I tried just going to dances for awhile, but if you aren’t in classes no one will ask ou to dance unless your 20 something than it doesn’t matter if you can dance or not.
94. Was rarely asked to dance at practicas
95. Plateaued in my abilities and cut back on expenses which prevented travelling outside my local community. This was concurrent with developing new interests.
96. it was too intimate of a dance for my jealous (now ex) boyfriend.
97. Spouse’s interest and proficiency level not as high as my own. Easier to quit than try to become integrated in a new community.
98. Job change made staying out so late very difficult.
99. So many responser complain that they don’t get asked to dance. It’s not so easy for leaders either. After almost three years and a recent trip to Buenos Aires where I took private lessons every day, I still often feel clumsy. And if I ask the wrong kind of person to dance, one who doesn’t like dancing with a “beginner” I actually get clumsy. I love tango but too often it makes me feel like a klutz.
100. Arthritic ankle….needed surgery
101. Too few dance partners who take the dance seriously and become proficient. It seems the women study tango and the men just try to pick it up, which frankly, makes for bad dancing! Also, the tango community is so ridiculously fragmented, it makes the pool of dancers at any particular studio or milonga way too small.
102. No convient time to practice tango in Fresno
103. I have not yet quit- though have considered it a few times, mainly for the reasons listed.
105. I have not quit, but have stopped goup lessons ( see above) and woudl love to find other instruction that will take me to the next level, but have not so I may just move on. It is very frustrating. Milongas are so cliquish which is so immature
106. As contrasted to Portland, the number of tango activities is not as frequent, so repetitive practice was much harder for me. I lilve a full hour’s drive from where the lessons and practicas are, as well. This doesn’t seem so bad until you start making the drive routinely, on top of all the other driving you already do. There was no partner locally for me.
107. I am still dancing, but not as much as I once was. My main reason for dancing less is not listed here, and I find that odd, since I think it’s a common one: I got into a relationship with someone who doesnt dance and has no desire to learn. I have friends who have quit altogether for this same reason. I also find the clique-sih ness a bit hard, especially since I am middle aged (though considered attractive).
108. the teacher i had that i liked stopped teaching
109. Hard to find tango lessons at the right time and day of week
110. worked out of town
111. Other responsibilities clashed with dance lessons and it can get expensive.
112. Dance partner moved away. Husband don’t dance
113. sig other doesn’t tango
114. I did not enjoy the dance as it was too slow and I could not move. I like a dance that is more active and fast moving. Like WC swing or East Coast Swing.
115. I had too many other conflicting activities
116. Started a relationship with a jealous man.
117. Saturday is not a good day for me.
118. Most instructors do not offer a coherent approach that builds on basic moves and gives the impression of having learned a body of knowledge. Too mysterious, open-ended, and, it seems, no two instructors communicate with one-another.
119. Went to Argentina to dance more, then came back with Argentine husband. We now have 3 kids and would love to dance, but there aren’t any kid friendly dance venues and we’re pooped by 9:30!
120. it seems as if one needs to have acrobatic qualities to dance the tango.
121. The schedule. I wasn’t sleeping well, dragging around on 3 to 5 hours. Found out that if I go to bed at 10 or so, I’m fine. But the milongas all start at 10 or later. So I chose the rest of my life over tango.
122. There were leads I would have loved to dance with but they had eyes only for the skilled followers – which I understood. It just left me feeling like a kid with my nose pressed against the candy store window. I would have returned to group lessons just to have a variety of partners to dance with but I injured by foot and back and have not been able to return.
123. Physical: low back and knee pain Mental: time spent dancing was taking away from other things I needed to accomplish in life. Psychological: although purported to be one of the better leads and most accomplished tango dancer in the area I did not feel that I could communicate my intentions to my partner effectively all of the time and disagreements were disheartening. I did not feel that I was progressing acceptable to my ambitions. I felt that dancing occasionally when there was free time would gradually diminish my level of ability which seemed to already be stuck below expectations of myself so I quit altogether in order to avoid continuing disappointment.
124. As an older woman, seemed that the men wanted to dance with younger women. Feeling like endless need to improve. Also, social dances often start so late. I tend to be an early riser.
125. Most of these aren’t reasons I quit necessarily, they are just some unpleasant things that can accompany a tango lifestyle. The major reason that I quit is because I started college and moved to Ashland OR. I couldn’t find a single teacher there that had half the talent of my old teacher and I didn’t have the money (nor did I want to spend money on bad instruction) to continue lessons.
126. I found the men often were very arrogant (sadly without reason), and the women competitive (also hard to understand except in so far as this was a response to the often low ratio of men to women)
127. I found other tango dancers wouldn’t ask me to dance unless they thought I was a good dancer. I found a dance partner after about 6 months and started getting good, then I started working in Seattle and there wasn’t enough time. I wasn’t having enough fun to return to get good. I took group lessons from Carrie (entire series) and Alex, went to 3 TangoFests in Portland and Seattle. After going to contra 3 times, I had more friends than I made in 9 months of Argentine tango! That was eye opening.
128. the women play too many games……..ect
129. There are times when I just want to go and be there, listening to the music, but not interested in dancing. There is implied pressure (looks and other gestures) from many of the women that I should be asking them to dance. And that makes it uncomfortable for me to attend when I am not up to dancing but would like to be there, so I just stopped going completely.
130. Sort of drifted away…
131. My most favorite dance partner got a serious girlfriend and no longer would dance or even socialize with me any longer. In a small community, that was very painful for me.
132. I did enjoy when the lessons that Mary Menz taught at the church on Friday Nights. It was a good time for me.
133. Tango is still my passion. But for women of a certain age and proficiency level, at least in the U.S., it is a dreadful experience, made all the worse by our love for it. I do not see any way for any tango community to address the widespread arrogance of self-styled young experts who prefer to dance only with pretty young things. This attitude is not limited to youngsters; I have found older self-styled “experts” — whether instructors or not — to be equally unfriendly and unwelcoming, especially in Portland, although I have had the same experience in Seattle and San Francisco. I dance well, although I would never dream of being so arrogant as to call myself “expert.” I am not objectively an unappealing partner, nor are the other women I know who suffer from the same attitudes.
134. The level of understanding and dedication of the vast majority of tango dancers was very low. Far to many dilettantes living out their fantasies.
135. Instruction was so much about steps again and again. I needed more basic understanding of the fundimentals of why steps are placed where they are and some basic understanding of the building block movements and when they can be applied. I was not retaining this dance as well as others for that reason. Knowing how to walk and do back ochos are not enough of a base. There was an excellent teacher in Juneau (Pat Belec at The Dance Loft) that showed us the “count” and what combination of steps you could apply on that count and people picked up the dance much quicker. I had started to move onto other dances that I could pick up and use faster so Tango fell by the wayside.
136. I love tango and always will. It gets very intense, though, because with me it’s all or nothing. I have quit several times because I get very busy with work and parenting. It’s always wonderful to go back and find that I still love it, and that people still want to dance with me, and that I still want to dance with them. When I take a break, I tend to do another kind of dance I can fit into my schedule, like salsa or jazz or other studio classes. This keeps me in shape, at least, and it’s easier to go back.
137. Being busy with school and work.
138. They played the same music over and over and over again. It got old fast.
139. Not a friendly group in any city I’ve ever danced unfortunately
140. not enough connection between the music and the moves–although it does have a recognized count, the way its usually danced, it’s more like background music to a repetoire of moves
141. After being part of the organizing in our community, I have slowly been spending more of my time on the organizing and less of it dancing, that is just not any fun, since I detest organizing and have by association begun to hate tango. Also, I am sick and tired, SICK AND TIRED of being a woman over thirty who has worked hard, become very very proficient, and is now utterly ignored at milongas and festivals by most of the better male leads. I thought for many years that the way to get dances with good dancers was to become a better and better dancer myself, but the better male dancers are much less interested in getting good dances with experienced women who have something to offer in the dance, than with starry eyed newcomers who are oh so easy to impress. There is not enough respect for experience and excellence in this community.
142. I’m a tall woman and wanted to dance with someone my height or taller-and a teacher I had was very critical of my height.
143. Not an integral group of various ethnic races
144. too late in the evening for a person at work 6:30 AM. I would love to find intermediate and advanced classes early evening-6-7pm or weekends,,morning and afternoons like the availability of salsa classes. Also, tango classes seem to me a little more aout of the way for a car-less person. More dance partners willing to dance with those they don’t know.
145. Foot surgeries!
146. When it’s good, it’s really good, but it’s frustrating to sit and rarely be asked to dance because I’m new to the Chicago tango scene or because there are no leaders available. And I am an attractive woman in my twenties, and I dance pretty well. Often I barely get to dance, and then when I do it’s often someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, and then it’s not fun and you’re stuck with them for the whole tanda. I love it when I really get to do a lot of dancing and with good partners, but the rest of teh time it’s frustrating and depressing.
147. I am experiencing and enjoying other dance forms where there is not the uncertainty between the Argentine cultural cabeceo/wait for the man to ask, and the US pattern of the women setting themselves up to ask the men for the next tanda. Too many milongas where there are too few leads, especially leads willing to dance with women over 50.
148. also a foot injury. I found the junior-high-esque social scene to be baffling and tedious, leaving so many dancers (not just beginners) sitting on the sidelines more often than not at both practicas and milongas. The clique scene amongst supposedly mature adults is unbelievably childish. I feel like it put even the most positive and energetic beginners on the defensive. Only the young, slender followers were drawn in, no matter their skill or experience, to be “mentored” by the self-proclaimed local elite. Get over yourselves, You are not nearly so great as you think! And the intense criticism of beginner leaders… the learning curve is greater at the beginning for leaders, so how are they to improve without the supportive embrace of the existing community? Instructors were excellent dancers, but not necessarily good teachers… as in, “…I actually know HOW I am doing what I am doing and am able to communicate that in various ways to others, able to spot what a student is doing that interferes with their progress and am able to help them through their specific problems….” etc. I found the classes to be frustrating…. the blind leading the blind, each left to interpret the teaching, the concepts, according to our own limited experience, phobias, whatever.
149. i never quit , and i never will
150. The main reason is there are male predators within the community that the community at large puts up with. Truly sad.
151. some physical limitations
152. Used to dance 1-3x/week. Haven’t since we had a baby.
153. I haven’t “quit” as much as I’m “taking a break”. While I could give reasons such as “not enough partners, too cliquish, etc., which can all tend to be true, mine are more personal. I was beginning to feel obligated to go to my weekly milongas. It was beginning to feel routine, stale. When that happens, especially with something I love as much as tango, then I know it’s time to take a break. Circumstances in my life right now have made this a good time for a respite as well. I’m hoping to get back into it soon; I miss my friends and of course the dancing. But I won’t do it just for the sake of saying “I dance tango”; I want to be in love with tango again!
154. My fiance and I wanted to just dance with each other and the instructor instisted we switch it up. We felt this dance is too close for strangers. I don’t want to be all rubbing up close on some haggard old woman telling me how I SHOULD dance and my fiance doesn’t want some “Chester molestor” dude rubbining up on her telling her “Can you feel me yet?” We will stick with Salsa…
155. Lessons to complcated
156. Had hip replacement surgery and never got back into it.
157. As a Martial arts instructor leading with the upper body was against 37 years of training not to lead with the “face” upper body first instead as whole body using legs to propel and move from the waist. Also I found a majority of the ladies that i partnered with had little or no patients with myself as a beginner and their exasperation was very apparent
158. Don’t have a Tango Dance Partner – but I’m looking for someone.
159. too difficult to attend late night milongas while working full-time
160. fell down in the priority list in terms of how I want to spend my free time
161. Other business interests distracting, life getting in way of tango, problems with my weight and self esteem. Male 320 lbs.
162. Also, I got tired of the same old fashioned scratchy tango music (recorded in the 30-40s) that the DJs were stuck playing. This became a big divide in the community.
163. I dream about new steps and I tried one step with many others. Finally found one person to really take it further besides enjoying this step. She liked it so much she kissed me and I returned her kiss. My significant other saw this and that was it. I found the best person I can dance but that was my last dance. Sad but true.
164. Single malt scotch is great liquor. But, after drinking the same stuff — with no variation — for years, it eventually gets old. Even in Buenos Aires, up to 30% of the music at a milonga in non-traditional or non-tango. Portland is waaaaay too conservative where music is concerned.
165. Started dating a non-dancer who was very jealous of my dancing with other women.
166. Age elitist
167. besides above, entered relationship with non-tango dancer.
168. Husband had a hard time learning to lead.
169. I actually got pretty good at Tango…I make a pretty decent partner…I try to go early in the evening when folks will be willing to dance with newer dancers, but when the more experienced people begin to trickle in, of course they want to dance with each other – makes sense…when I first started attending lessons, practicas and milongas, the more experienced folk were really gracious and inclusive…lately, they aren’t so interested in reaching out to the less-experienced. Those that do, very often are critiquing on the dance floor. I don’t mind a few suggestions, but coaching me so that I can do the fancy things they seem to wish they were doing with someone else is stressful. While I certainly understand the desire of more experienced dancers to dance with more experienced partners, it feels really good when people take a few dances to offer to new folk.
170. It got to be like work
171. same old thing every time
172. As a new leader, it’s very frustrating when you get stuck in “limbo” land where advanced dancers don’t really want to practice/dance with you, and you see newer followers accelerate ahead of you over and over again while you remain stuck. Also general level of tango instruction is terrible and not very geared toward non-dancers (little somatic/rhythm/dance experience). They either try to teach too much of things you can’t remember or bore you to death.
173. backpain and pain in feet
174. my toes hurt so much I couldn’t relax my body
175. To the best of my remembrance, Arthur Murray taught American Tango, not Argentine Tango, in Beginner level group classes. I left Arthur Murray- Carmichael CA after two years (1997 – 1999) and moved over to independent ballroom dance studios in Sacramento CA for dancing. Another reason for my leaving Arthur Murray was that they did not teach West Coast Swing (WCS). I became infatuated with WCS and did not have the time to pursue Tango, either American or Argentine Tango. WCS took all of my time from 2000- 2002. I like blues music and WCS is a great dance step for WCS.
176. After 13 years Portland’s tango community has turned into a place for athletic young ego driven hot shot to show off. They disrupt the floor What was once the city of the best BA style milongas in the US is now disrupted at every milonga with flying stilettos, galloping giraffes and large multiple back steps.
177. found that there was little room for change as it was considered not traditional enough and that suggestions of change were usually dismissed rather rudely. However, the lack of younger dancers and the growing popularity of blues dancing with younger dancers I think can be attributed to the lack of room for anything that’s deemed untraditional.
178. Current issue is primarily the economic downturn and lack of funds to continue dancing. But I found that there was a ‘elitist’ attitude among some of the male leads at the dances. I might still be considered ‘young’ by some at the milonga, but it appeared that I am not the right “body type” to be asked to dance. It appeared that there were a lot of female followers who might wear a size 12 or larger were passed over as possible partners, and only those very trim and slim seemed to be asked to dance a lot. While I do enjoy watching others dance, there is a point that dancing more at a milonga myself would make it enticing to continue and not find something else to do. Even with being told by many leaders and instructors at group lessons that I was a good follower and good dancer, someone who could hear the intention in the music and follow some improvisation well, it was always a bit disappointing to sit out for most of the night.
179. The Portland tango community has, sadly, changed for the worse since I started dancing there. When I began I was welcomed and always found a partner. Now, the community has become extremely elitist, ageism is a big problem, and the cliques baffle me. The community will not grow if beginners are not welcomed, and if newcomers feel rejected. Everyone should be able to dance!
180. Haven’t quit yet, but consider it almost weekly/monthly. I really enjoy milonguero style, few leads dance milonguero style. Too many people people dancing “nuevo” and showing off, endangering others in the milonga.
181 My knees and ankles gave out. I took up other activities to develop more strength and take some pressure off the joints. Osteoarthritis.
182. There was no community here no men that could dance 7 to 10 woman and the men in Flagstaff just could not dance
183. moved and there really is nothing in Salem Oregon I am lucky if I get to dance 1x a month
184. to many new dancers from ballroom that have no clue and wont learn the basics, inklusiv etiquette
185. inertia. once I need to miss because of “life”, it’s hard to go back
186. never felt like i fit in. felt like i was always fighting / begging for dances or sitting out.
187. I struggled (and still do) with irrational fears of not being good enough and being rejected. The seriousness and the unwritten injunction against feedback make tango a hard place to find positive support and encouragement. Many teachers are very good at telling you what you are doing wrong but very poor at catching you doing something right. For someone lacking confidence, it’s a very intimidating and overly macho world.
188. WORK too much to do too early in the morning; too much travel; too much work; nothing to do with tango and too much to do with life
189. Local politics caused my wife to refuse to continue. Naturally I joined her and today we golf instead. I miss the passion of tango very much but not the local politics. Our local society could have been much more than just a stage for a few people to be large fish in a small pond.
190. FOOT PAIN
191. saw West Coast Swing– decided I wanted to learn that and drifted away from Tango
192. My wife’s spine deteriorated from a car accident many years earlier-she was confined to a wheel chair & walker for several months-had 2 fusion surgeries a year apart. Is now healing and we plan on resuming social dancing–no more teaching or performing.
193. I found Tango to be an extraordinarily vulnerable-feeling experience on many levels. AND I loved it. AND my love for it made it somehow an even more delicate experience, emotionally, than could be easily shared with a wide variety of partners I didn’t know — and where trust hadn’t been established. More advanced partners who were patient and encouraging were so helpful — sometimes angels, really! More advanced (and sometimes even less advanced!) partners who gave me more feedback than I could take on board, or who were critical or impatient, or made it clear it bored them to dance with a beginner… Well, that was fine for awhile. I was willing to tough it out for the beauty of the dance… Until one day, suddenly, I’d just had enough.
194. hurt knee
195. We were down to 6 people when I got too pregnant to dance.
196. The first instructor we had was a Prima-Dona, and still is..we prefer going to Festivals, or take classes from visiting teachers, in which we have a variety of instructors.
197. I loved it, but my partner went on to other activities and I continued on my own, but it got so personal with people that were not intended to be personal with. I was having intimate dances with people I did not know – I had not established my dance community within the Tango community. I just love the dance, and have started back on Tuesday nights at the Century (1 time) and plan on attending more often. There is also a WCS dance accross the hall, so I love haveing such good dance venue choices.
198. My husband just didn’t get into it!
199. broken foot had to be repaired and I tried too early.
200. One of the instuctor’s is masoganistic. Few women of my age who are enough fun and good followers.
201. Moved to an ageist community. Found festivals to be attended mostly by younger people (I am over 50) and went from favored partner to no partner.
202. I liked the music, and liked watching others dance Art Tango, but do not like to dance it myself. One other factor in general, I am very tired of dancing with partners who weigh 250 pounds or more, some of whom death grip my hands and leave blue marks. I am a senior and take heart meds. In BR, I also gave up the Mixers for similar reasons. I rather listen to the music, chat with friends, band members etc. I am burned out in dancing with rookies – I used to dance with all the women that most of the other men AVOIDED, thus causing my overload because they were not sharing the bad with the good partners.
203. Too few good leads in my age group and few older leads serious about improving their dance. Again the ratio of older women to available leads.
204. I did not like the attitude of the dancers that look down on other forms of social dance. Argentine dancers need to take a page out of the ballroom etiquette book. It is a dance – stop being such social snobs. You can be very accomplished at Argentine AND be good at other dance forms.
205. retired and couldn’t afford to pay to sit and NOT get asked to dance
206. I am now 60. I look good for my age, but sometimes I do feel it is a dance I should have started when I was 20.
207. i don’t care _so_ much about gender & age ratios for strictly dancing, unless people keep asking me out.
208. I was so excited about Tango that I actually went to BsAs to learn more. While i was there, i heard the inside scoop of how people judged each others dancing, including themselves. Lets just say that it was disheartening. I felt self-conscious after that. It seems that even some advanced dancers are so harsh on themselves (and others) that I wonder if they actually enjoy the dance anymore.
209. I would love to tango every other night, and would love to take some private lessons to improve my style, but other things (my job, lack of money, family commitments) keep taking up my time, and private lessons are expensive.
210. When Patricio Touceda and Eva Lucero left town, I was unable to find instructors that would push me toward the limits of my abilities. Local instructors are pleasant, but repaet the same lessons over and over, and I often found that I was teaching them steps or variations from my experiences with P & E. The new Argentines were sweet and competent, but not in P & E’s league. I’m really surpised that you do not include “not getting enough dances” as a reason why one would quit tango. I know numerous older women who left the dance because they would sit around all night watching old turds dance with the younger women. You may be skirting a major issue here.
211. I can’t wear high heels and my legs are not my best feature. I felt too old, too heavy. I went to some Milongas and mostly didn’t get asked to dance. It was too discouraging.
212. I still struggle with the music sometimes
213. Good dancers rarely dance with intermediate level. My private teacher did not even dance with me at milongas. We seemed to do well in our lessons and he told me I was doing great; however, I guess not good enough for even one set at a milonga.
214. I quit twice. Once because of the lack of community, and secondly because of lack of community and also work schedule.
215. economic-purely. will be back as soon as money situation resolved! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!
216. Found the ability of American Tango dancers mostly unwilling to “feel” the heart -to-heart connection/movement.
217. Too much time to maintain inner circle relationships. Intimacy and Time required at night kept me away from my family.
218. Danced so much I got Morton’s Neuroma on my foot, walked in pain for a year
219. too many other obligations very demanding job (demands on my time) when I do try to go out dancing it is hard to break into the community When people go out regularly or are presently taking classes it is easier to find partners since people are familiar with you but when you only go out from time to time it is hard to find people to dance with. I don’t think this is exclusive to the tango community it happens with other partner dances as well
220. Also do not want to live in a city again and tango events are not held in the places I will be living in the next few years (South Dakota, Alaska).
221. I got to be intermediate; met a beginner follower; fell in love; we became one of the best dance couples in our scene (albeit a small scene); she traveled to Europe without me and danced all over; she got great at tango; she had better dances with men other than me; she moved to a big city and got begged to help “teach” with hot shot instructors; I’m still intermediate, shy about snooty chicks; have my best dances with little old ladies; broken heart; victim of Tango.
222. We just got busy.
223. I felt I needed it less than before (when I was a tango addict and danced 4-5 times a week for about 3-4 years).
224. My husband/partner was frustrating with the learning curve and also didn’t like to dance with other people. Nor did he like me to dance with other people, so we were both stilted in our ability to advance our dance.
225. The lice out break in the Portland, OR Tango community grossed us out. And, we took some kind of weird analysis through tango workshop and discovered the people we were dancing with were creepy.
226. I haven’t actually taken many tango classes, I am still hoping to restart Tango but have had a variety of injuries over the last few years and am only just now able to think of dancing again.
227. I never enjoyed milongas-far too serious (compared to other social dances); everyone too wrapped up in the “drama” aspect; women incapable of asking men to dance
228. Hard to make progress with significant other as dance partner because learning to lead is so difficult.
229. I still but not as much as before. I”ve been dancing about 7 years including 3 trips to BsAs. I live in the SF area. There are some real snobs in this dance. It’s like going to high school. There’s a tremendous lack of social etiquette with people who do this dance. Also, I think your dancers in Portland are much better musically than the Bay Area. It’s a lot of either flash here or people who move like corpses.
230. People in tango, in general, especially as compared to other social dances and hobbies that I have participated in, take themselves too seriously. They may start off with the best of intentions, but over time most become more elitist and exclusive than they were when they started, many drop any social niceties toward those they aren’t interested in dancing with (passively aggressively avoiding the situation of being asked, rather than being able to clearly say no thank you without feeling it must be an affront), and many become so caught up in searching out that one special moment or in the never ending quest for improvement that they forget how to just be IN the moment and to enjoy themselves.
231, I haven’t really quit, just taking a hiatus. Advanced dancers rarely ask intermediates to dance. There is little opportunity for improvement without that. As I checked above, tango community is snobbish.
232. Could not afford the time or money when I began college.
233. i never quit. maybe i shouldn’t be completing this survey?