[View as PDF file] Background A few years ago, my friend Arturo Newman, put forth the idea of making a movie which involved tango and vampires. His reasoning was that there is this weird connection between the two–i.e., both vampires and tangueros stay up all night, wear black, shun garlic, and have this sort of […]
Generally, before even taking a step, an experienced leader or follower can tell how good their partner is and how enjoyable the dance will be just by the “feel” of the embrace. However, beginners seldom realize how important the embrace is and don’t know how to create that “luscious” feeling. The diagram shows a cross […]
1. It can be physically difficult. Unlike open embrace, close embrace allows zero tolerance for error. If your steps and movements don’t match exactly your partner, it’s immediately apparent and uncomfortable. 2. It can be emotionally difficult. Locked inside all of us are intense emotional feelings–love, hate, fear, happiness, shame, pride, anger, respect, confusion, delight, vulnerability, longing, etc. For whatever […]
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 […]
Musings by Richard Powers For hundreds of years dance manuals and other writings have lauded the health benefits of dancing, usually as physical exercise. More recently we’ve seen research on further health benefits of dancing, such as stress reduction and increased serotonin level, with its sense of well-being. Then most recently we’ve heard of another […]
I am aware that tango dancers are incredibly passionate about “their” dance, and want desperately for their partner (if not the whole world) to fall in love with tango and immediately learn everything. Furthermore, I should be very clear that I am not opposed to students teaching their own class in the community–in fact I encourage it. However, […]
Does, or did your tango community have a local coordinating organization? How well is that working? Does it grow the community by helping with scheduling, promoting and requiring standards for instructors? Or, on the other hand, is it a hindrance by stifling creativity, dominating the scene and causing dissonance? What’s your opinion. If you don’t […]
Many (perhaps most) tango communities at one time or another have had to deal with unpleasant and inappropriate characters. These people can be disruptive and divisive to the community. The topic of this Muse is, “what was their behavior and how did you deal with them?” Any examples, descriptions and advice you can give will […]
Have you composed a new tango and would like the world to hear it? Tell us about yourself, your music and give us a link to your compositions in a reply below so that we can hear your music.
What’s the most annoying things that tango leaders do that make you crazy? Here’s your chance to rant about it–and make suggestions on how you can communicate this to your leader. Just write your comments and replies below.
I always felt that dancers at a festival might want to let people know what they thought and felt without having to state their desires verbally. So I created a set of free stickers for guests at my festivals. Here’s the ones I’ve created so far. If you have additional ideas, leave a comment below. […]
After compiling, weighting, interpreting and combining over 500 responses received from the “Navigation and Etiquette Survey“, here are the Top 10 Navigation and Etiquette Rules: Maintain forward flow and never block nor move against Line Of Dance, Stay in your lane, Use cabaceo and politely accept refusals, Dance small appropriate figures, Keep eyes up, be aware, […]
Although the 8-count basic has some great stuff, here’s 8 reasons I believe tango instructors should not use it to teach absolute beginners: It’s difficult for beginner’s to execute correctly, It misleads couples into thinking they know how to dance tango, It doesn’t encourage good lead and follow, It stifles improvisation, I causes beginners to […]
By Beth Anne Osborn, 2008 If you are new to tango or just new to Portland ValenTango, follow these simple guidelines and you’ll double your chances of getting Danced. Attend Classes at your ability level. Don’t make the mistake of taking classes that are beyond your grasp expecting to meet the “Good Dancers.” By choosing the right level class […]
Teaching tango to absolute beginners is a daunting and challenging task. For my own edification, I’ve created this Venn diagram as a way of isolating out and thinking about each essential component separately. Under each component I’ve listed only a few suggested topics–as each instructor will have their own idea of what topics to cover […]
Clay Nelson, Ph.D. August 1, 2010 Abstract: Accelerometers in an iPhone are used to measure the g-forces (i.e., acceleration, or more loosely, the changes in motion) developed while walking solo forward and walking solo backward to tango music. The individuals tested and reported on in this study are a male tango teacher (myself), a male […]
It’s often said that “tango is a metaphor for life”. In this “Muse” I’d like you, the dancer and reader of this blog, to be a little more specific and give examples of ways in which tango has taught you lessons about relationships, sports, careers, hobbies or whatever. Just post your comment and stories below […]
To help tango organizers pick the best day and time for a milonga, I’ve created a survey to get your input. To fill it out, click on the Start Survey button at the bottom and select as many day and time spots as you want. Remember, these are the time slots you would like the […]
Last night I had a dream. I dreamed that someone gave me new car. But it wasn’t just any car. It was a brand new Lamborghini Diablo convertible. Sort of like the one Al Pacino drove in the movie “Scent of a Woman”–cherry red with plush leather seats, 520 horsepower V-10 engine, and power everything. “Boy!” I […]
Well, I myself didn’t quit, but I know lots of people who have. Of course, the drop-out rate for beginners is always high, but perhaps we’ve all known someone who was hugely committed and addicted to tango, spent many years dancing tango, and then suddenly quit. Which brings me to the subject of this […]
Place free tango ad for any aspect of tango you want. For example: Art * Books * Instruction * Lodging * Personals * Venues * Festivals * Videos * Cruises * Jewelry * Cloths * Shoes * Fundraisers * DJs Just go to “Free Tango Ads“.
Ok, leaders it’s your turn. What’s the single most annoying thing that tango followers do that make you crazy? Here’s your chance to rant about it–and make suggestions on how you can communicate this to your follower. However, before you do, I suggest you first read over last months “Follower’s Rant“. Below is a brief […]
Since that time, I have only strengthened my opinion and resolve that tango dancing is no more about competition then sharing a feeling, or an emotion, or a conversation, or a sexual relationship with another person is. (Can you imagine, for instance, having a competition sex festival) Now, when getting ready to leave for a […]
The one who had made everyone else disappear When I woke up this morning, I found no one in the house. I looked outside, but there was no one in the street. Boarding a bus with no driver, I made my way to an empty airport and onto a plane, where I waited, alone. exhausted, […]
What’s the difference between a passion, an obsession and an addiction–and where does tango fit in? Record your vote on this issue in the poll below and then give us your thoughts, ideas, experiences and input regarding this issue in the comment section below. ( To include your profile picture in the “Leave a Reply” section, click […]
To help organizers, instructors, DJs and orchestras connect up with one another, I’ve created three separate data bases. To add your contact information to the data base and/or to view the contact information in the data base, click on the appropriate links below. Submit your contact information to the Data Base: Local Organizer’s Contact Form Traveling […]
Have a tango gripe? Here’s your chance to be heard. Any tango topic is fair game. For example what’s your feelings about: tango festivals instructors classes DJs tango etiquette and behavior gender balance navigation regional difference in skill, ability and friendliness The only thing I ask is that you be reasonably gentile and respectful in […]
(Note: To read report, click on it’s title below. To make comments, fill out either of the two reply blocks at the bottom.) Letter from TangoTecnia Milongueras y Milongueros: With great pleasure we present the 2014 Report Attributes and Preferences in Tango. For the first time, the tango has a complete picture about the tastes, […]
Throw out your best idea(s) for a Tango Bumper Sticker. Type them into the Facebook comment section below and the one with the most Likes by Sept 1, 2015 wins a free breakfast from me at either ValenTango or BurningTango.
[View as PDF file] Three indicators of a successful tango community are its quantity, quality and cooperative spirit. Although many of the factors which affect these indicators are “interlinked”, let’s attempt to take a look at each of them separately. I. Quantity: Obviously, there needs to be a critical mass of dancers for a community be considered a […]
Tango and Portland were destined to be together and this is how they met. 1991 my (then) partner and I (Polly McBride) attended a Seattle workshop in something we’d never heard of called “Argentine Tango.” Before class, instructors Sonny Newman and Patty Leverett did a demonstration that featured flying legs, whirling turns and fabulous footwork. […]
Have an idea for a tango pin button?…or would like to express your tango passion with a pin button. Or maybe you have a machine that makes pin buttons. Whatever the case, this Muse is for all of you to connect, toss around ideas and maybe make some tango pin buttons and find a way […]
Solution 1: For flash dances out on the streets of Ashland, Bjorg uses a painter’s tarp and duck tapes down the edges. Works pretty well! Solution 2: Buying a large piece of linoleum or vinyl from a home store is cheap and easy to lay down, but if on concrete there’s no padding and I […]
Have an idea for a poll you’d like to see me conduct? Click on Contact and send me a message with your idea.
Twenty years ago it was difficult to obtain authentic Argentine tango music. That has changed and now the availability of good tango music has helped the spread of tango worldwide. However, putting together and/or obtaining a good playlist is still challenging and it is the topic of this blog. Specifically: How does one share their tango playlist files? Is there […]