Hi there. I ve been dancing tango for 4 years. I really enjoy this dance, I listen to tango music almost every day, I get dressed formally and I am polite to everyone. The trouble is that men that used to dance with me which are good dancers now they almost avoid me and prefer other ladies that didn't dance with them much or not at all when they were dancing with me.
I feel very confused and don't know what to do. I am not arrogant and don't mind dancing with leaders that have just
picked up tango only because I know how it feels to sit alone and watch but feel ashamed to approach a lady and ask her for a dance. I try to improve my technique further and practice on my own when I have the time but nothing seems to change the situation. I used to dance 10 tandas with different leaders some nights a year ago. Now the situation is reversed and I don't know what to do. I am participating at an amateur dancing rehearsal and my partenrs at the rehearsal do not want to dance with me at the milonga. I tried to ask them first but they came up with a cheap excuse and then they danced with another. I feel I am judged very strictly when I dance with somebody who is good. Good leaders even avoid me in lessons and they tell me in my face that they don't think it is going to work. I am frustrated and don't know what else to do. I have literally tried everything and seriously considering not to go in a milonga ever again. Even if I try different milongas the tango society here is closed and is like a clique. They don't accept you easily and even if they do they can stop dancing with you very easily. Please help! I like tango as a hobby but I feel forced to give it up.
I 've been told that my arms are rigid and heavy when I embrace someone. I have realised though that this problem arises only when I am too tensed and anxious and feel strictly judged by someone. When I manage to let go of all this emotional baggage and dance freely then everything is alright. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to let myself dance freely when I am surrounded by ppl who are so ready to substitute me with a better follower on the first mistake I make. I think my problem is a trust issue between me and the person I am dancing with. Only when I know that whatever happens during the dance will not affect his future disposition towards me, I can dance freely. Any ideas so as to how to fight emotional baggage?
You say, "emotional baggage", and "trust issue". This suggests that the dance floor is not the best place to "fight emotional baggage". I recommend a psychotherapist because good ones understand how your emotions affect your outer world as well as your inner world.
You will always be surrounded by people who are better than you and those who are worse than you; it is a normal state of life. When you have dealt with at least some of your issues with a psychotherapist, you will not be troubled by leads moving on to other follows, no matter what reasoning they may have; you will no longer judge them for their own choices. Then you will be free. Then you will be relaxed.
My advice is to find some friends with a similar interest in tango. I would think ideally a partner for you and one or two other couples. Have your own little tango parties. Dance with each other, swap partners and have fun. Next time you want to go out, bring the entire group. One, you'll have your own group to draw from and I guarantee other's will notice. If this doesn't work, come to Texas and I'll dance with you.
This is what I did at first and indeed it was working until now... But I have started to notice that they don't like tango that much and that they are using it in order to find girlfriends as most men in milongas here do. So I guess I ll have to find another company. If I was near US I could also try your milonga, Stephen but I live in Greece and I haven't really been abroad ever :P
I read this yesterday and decided to come back to throw in a word of encouragement. Your comment about 4 years gave me a clue.
As a leader, I am on the other side of this problem. I discovered that many of my favorite partners go through the same cycle - suddenly they become "rigid" and "heavy on embrace." The reason seems to be the following: they are getting better at the dance and they start to try to guess the next move and try to embellish a lot instead of "just follow" the lead. Extra embellishments, especially energetic boleos and amages, are the worst as they very often through women off balance at the moment when leader does not expect it. So these followers end up in the same category as absolute beginners, feeling wise. But they are not beginners and leaders are not prepared to treat them as beginners.
This might be one of the reasons for your woes. Stick to basics for a while, cut down on embellishments, concentrate on axis and embrace and see if that will help.
Thanks for the input! I will try to follow more. I do not use many embelishments but if the music is good I concentrate more on the music rathen than dancing with my partner. I will try it in the next milonga and see what happens...
Maybe this will help...
I am a leader who is intermediate.
Who do you think I love dancing with the MOST? Beginners. Why? Because of one reason: they are not judgmental. If I make a mistake, they don't care and don't know.
Is it possible you are giving the idea that tango is too rigid with rules, rather than just dancing for fun?
I never judge anyone for making mistakes. I always smile and say no problem, don t worry! :) I myself make lots of mistakes and I know it so I could never judge anyone dancing with me. However, I tend to judge myself too strictly because I know that the tinniest mistake I make could possibly make the person dancing with me reluctant to pick me for a dance on the next milonga. Lately I am trying to get rid of this thought and when I manage it I enjoy dancing a lot more.
Try changing your dancing style. As a lead, the best followers are those that (a) try to stick to me like "glue" and (b) try to make the dance as passionate and intimate as possible, rather than technical.
Also give compliments to the lead afterwards, as many leads (like follower) are very hard on their own dancing.
Maybe that will help.
Furthermore, I decided I don't want to change myself for anyone. If I do it, I will do it for me. I have stopped going to milongas for a while. The music Djs play here is awful let alone uninspiring and I cannot dance with enthusiasm anymore.
I so know what you mean. That is happening to me! I do not know what to do. When I was a beginner I had lots of dances and now that I am starting to progress the people that asked me to dance are avoiding me. Some girls are dancing like 3 or 4 tandas in a row. I don't know what I am doing wrong. I can see these girls progress even further but I am now progressing. There is only so much one can do with a wall, to progress you need to dance with a partner. I love Tango but the milongas are really upsetting me.