1491  Codes

ARTICLE INDEX


Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2003 11:26:41 +0200
From: andy Ungureanu <andy.ungureanu@T-ONLINE.DE>
Subject: Re: Codes

Bibi Wong wrote:

>
> Depending on how you wish to coin the issue, to me, certain behavioral
> characteristics in the milongas there remind me of the cult of gangsters
> societies. It hit me over my head when Rick wrote that whoever writes
> about the codes would probably be castrated by the milonga community there.

There is a very funny book by Sonia Abadi, "El bazar de los abrazos".
Unfortunately, as far as I know, only in spanish and german for the moment:
http://www.terapiatanguera.com.ar/Comentario%20de%20libros/el_bazar_de_los_abrazos.htm
An english translation is under preparation at
http://www.abrazosbooks.com/next.htm

Many of the short chapters were published before in the Tanguata. There
are very good explanations why you should not say hello to people you
know from the milonga when you meet them in the city accompanied by
family or other friends, or what's about "drinking a coffee" after the
milonga and many other "codes".

I don't think Ms. Abadi suffered any injuries after publishing her
articles. So, leave your weapons at home :).

Andy




Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2003 14:47:19 -0400
From: WHITE 95 R <white95r@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Codes

>There is a very funny book by Sonia Abadi, "El bazar de los abrazos".
>Unfortunately, as far as I know, only in spanish and german for the moment:
>http://www.terapiatanguera.com.ar/Comentario%20de%20libros/el_bazar_de_los_abrazos.htm
>An english translation is under preparation at
>http://www.abrazosbooks.com/next.htm

No problem Andy, we can just all read the book add English pronunciations to
the words and assign to them whatever meaning we want from extrapolating the
meanings from whichever words we understand or think we understand. We can
then have our own synthesis of the contents, something much more appropriate
to us and our tastes. Just because the book is written is Spanish (or
German) it does not mean we need to learn those languages to read it, does
it? After all, we do know the alphabet, no? And some of those words do kind
of look familiar...


Happy reading to all ;-)





Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2003 12:19:49 -0400
From: Sergio <cachafaz@ADELPHIA.NET>
Subject: Milonga Codes I

Rick McGarrey wrote and Luda answers:

"... The men and women never sit together, so
offers and acceptances to meet later are often
hurriedly made during the chatting you see going on
between the music, during the first thirty seconds of
the song before dancing begins, or sometimes when the
man walks the woman to the table at the finish of the
tanda. So the rule is enter with greetings, but don't
acknowledge people when leaving."

Sounds positively medieval!!! In this day and age???!!
Give me a break!! And we should maintain these "holy
cows/sacred traditons", that just make people feel
bad, needlessly??? AND IN THIS COUNTRY??!!

Since I live half of the time in Argentina, the other half in the USA, and
have done so for most of my life; to me, in my heart they are two parts of
the same body. I love both of them and need them the same as I need my two
hands. I feel immensely richer for having learnt all the things the USA
taught me.

I generally write to try to clarify misunderstandings or misconceptions.
Misunderstandings and misconceptions that are the result of total ignorance
of the tango culture by foreigners that learn to dance tango in their own
countries, try to develop their own milonga culture to find all sort of
problems that render their dances painful, unbearable, sometime non-viable.
We have been discussing recently some of those problems thanks to the
contributions of members from Portland, one of the more mature tango groups
in North America . I refer you to their comments.
These same problems appeared in Argentina one hundred years ago (to say a
date) and a way to deal with them was found. The milonga codes are the rules
that allows it to function smoothly, without conflicts and for the benefit
of everyone involved.

The tango culture is as complex as its music and its choreography, an
expression of the Argentinean soul. A culture that is universal in its
humanity, its music, its dance and its lyrics. An universality that allows
people as diverse as the Finnish and the Japanese to embrace it with energy
and the purest of emotions.

Many people travel to Buenos Aires, go dancing, observe the codes and return
home . They do not have the slightest idea of the cultural interaction at
the milongas. They go in groups or as couples, dance and have a positive
experience anyways. Others, obviously due to the help of somebody that
knows the culture start to scratch the surface. They talk and write about
things that do not totally understand, creating lots of questions and
misunderstandings. I tried myself to write about these same codes but I got
in return so little in the way of gratitude and so much in the way of
misunderstanding that I finally gave up. "North Americans are so much
convinced that they are the best about everything that have a terrible time
trying to learn from other cultures" (I am quoting an American lady that
lives in Argentina).

Bibi's and Luda's comments are typical of what I am describing.
There is nothing medieval about Argentinean culture, just to think so shows
an unbearable degree of ignorance! and ARROGANCE!

I do not feel guilt when I call things by their name, considering that the
same comments could have been made in a polite way such as in the way of a
question or a doubt rather than an absolute re-affirmation of national
pride, AND IN THIS COUNTRY??!! HOW ABSURD CAN YOU BE??!!

Happy 4th of July.

I will continue...




Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2003 12:19:55 -0400
From: Sergio <cachafaz@ADELPHIA.NET>
Subject: Milonga codes II

Rick McGarrey wrote Luda answered:

"... The men and women never sit together, so
offers and acceptances to meet later are often
hurriedly made during the chatting you see going on
between the music, during the first thirty seconds of
the song before dancing begins, or sometimes when the
man walks the woman to the table at the finish of the
tanda. So the rule is enter with greetings, but don't
acknowledge people when leaving."

Sounds positively medieval!!! In this day and age???!!
Give me a break!! And we should maintain these "holy
cows/sacred traditons", that just make people feel
bad, needlessly??? AND IN THIS COUNTRY??!!


Argentineans have a lot of respect for any on going relationship and will
not interfere with them.

A person that is perceived as being interested in another will not be
disturbed, will not be asked to dance.
The interest of such person for another could be romantic, intellectual, to
have a conversation or that of a dancer for another dancer.
This relationship, it does not matter how recent, is considered sacred and
will not be disturbed.

If you greet, talk, dance, or seat at a table with another person, longer
than for a few moments, people perceive that as your having a personal
interest and will not disturb this budding relationship out of respect to
both you and the object of your interest. They will not ask you to dance.
If you wish to dance with different people you should look un-attached by
sitting by yourself, with people that are known to be just casual friends or
with people of your same sex.


Next, the world of the milonga and the personal world are kept separated.
This is expressed in many ways.
There is a heavy curtain that separates the outside from the inside world.
The lights are always on, you lose sense of the time of the day;
when you go dancing in the afternoon, the evening or the middle of the night
you lose track of time.

You are just a dancer at the milongas, nothing more or less, somebody that
is there just to dance and enjoy a sublime spiritual experience with other
dancers. You are there to forget about the outside world and your personal
problems.

People will not ask questions to bring that outside world inside. Nobody
wants to know who you are or what you do. They are there just to dance with
you. It is a moment of a man and a woman dancing a tango with total
surrender, emotion, and passion knowing that the whole thing will finish
when the tanda music stops.

Each tango can be in this way an unique love experience. A moment of
passion that is born, lived and which dies soon, ready to be reborn.

This is what tango is all about.

Will continue.




Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2003 12:19:59 -0400
From: Sergio <cachafaz@ADELPHIA.NET>
Subject: Milonga Codes III

Rick writes and Luda answers:

"Interestingly, there is an opposite code that applies
on Saturday nights in the neighborhoods. When we
ENTER these clubs Alejandra usually sees friends from
the downtown milongas, but she never acknowledges
them. Why? Because there's a chance they may have
been going into town without the knowledge of husband,
wife, girlfriend, etc."

"So is it all back to tango being an illicit endeavor,
in BsAs anyway, with participants being suspected of
all kinds of nefarious activities and motives?"

I gave the address to the cab driver to go to a milonga one night. We
started to talk about tango, the milongas, the music, etc.
The driver (a man in his mid 50s.) told me that he used to go dancing with
his wife every week but -'now we had to stop doing it because she developed
a very bad form of arthritis - 'you do not know how much I miss it' - he
continued, with a sad face. After a while we arrived to the club I greeted
him good bye and got off the car. While I am in line at the ticket window I
see him coming, -' I parked the car, I decided to quit working for the
night, then he gave a big smile and said - 'I am coming to the milonga'.

Many people come to the milonga to forget their personal problems, they know
that here they can be young, beautiful again and experience an innocent
spiritual love for a moment of happiness. They feel guilty that they enjoy
it without their companions in real life, so they keep it secret. The other
people respect this in quiet complicity as part of the same brotherhood.

But...there is always a but...when you wish to meet someone to have a
deeper, more personal relationship, you do it like in any other place in the
world but you keep it apart from the milonga. Nobody there wishes to know if
you are rich, poor, married, single, nor any other aspect of your personal
life.

With this objective in mind you take advantage of the moments before each
tango starts when you are facing her and chatting for a moment or as you are
walking her to her table to propose a date outside, later that night or some
other day, some place where your personal life is not mixed with that of the
milonga.
There is nothing illicit or nefarious about these codes. They have a reason
to exist.

Let me tell you the secrecy and mystery adds enormously to the emotion and
the passion of the moment.

In summary: you can continue interrupting conversations, dragging women to
the dancing floor, kicking everyone on the floor as you dance, teaching at
the milongas, feeling miserably, dancing to hip-hop music, etc, etc, etc,
while calling others Middle Age people or humbly learn so that maybe...
maybe you can also achieve some degree of civilization.

I do not wish anybody to be afraid to express his feelings because moments
like this give all of us an opportunity to discuss interesting subjects and
to learn. Further more these are only my personal opinions other people may
disagree with me.

Have a good day!




Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2003 13:05:32 -0700
From: Razor Girl <dilettante666@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Milonga Codes III

> Many people come to the milonga to forget their
> personal problems, they know
> that here they can be young, beautiful again and
> experience an innocent
> spiritual love for a moment of happiness. They feel
> guilty that they enjoy
> it without their companions in real life, so they
> keep it secret. The other
> people respect this in quiet complicity as part of
> the same brotherhood.

Sergio,

Thank you for your insight.
I can relate to what you describe above. I am in a
committed relationship of three years, but my
boyfriend doesn't dance. People at the milongas know
I have a boyfriend but most have never even met him.
Sometimes they ask me, "how can you stay with someone
who doesn't dance" and my response is basically I like
it that way. When I first began tango I invited him
to learn with me. He came to the lessons but it
didn't grab him the way it did me. He wasn't
interested in dancing with other women and he became
jealous watching me dance with other guys. After a
few times we mutually decided it was my "thing" and he
would stay away. Our relationship is rich and
fulfilling, but I am a woman with many facets to my
personality. If I was 10 women I would say my
boyfriend fulfills 9 out of 10 of me. But there is
that last free spirited woman who will never be
satisfied with any one man. This is my milonguera. I
got to the milongas by myself. I dance with all the
men I please. There are a few in particular who I
have an extremely stong connection with. The dance
allows us a time and space to share ourselves with
each other. They know I am not available in real
life, but for those moments I am completely theirs.
This is not a threat to my relationship with my
boyfriend because it stays within the milonga and when
I go home I am his again.

This is my fun.

Rose
Portland, OR




Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2003 21:51:39 +0000
From: ahshol Kahn <kahn44@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Milonga Codes III

I have a girl friend,(am 33) we have been together for eight years now, ever
since I immigrated to this beautiful and generous country.

She is sweet, loving, cuddly, intelligent, passionate, possessive, jealous
and beautiful. I go to the neighborhood milongas with her on Saturdays
nights and we both have a great time.

I love her very much, I can't imagine my life without those black, fiery
eyes. I am entirely dedicated and faithful to her but I am like Razor Girl,
I have this 'weakness', I like going to the milongas downtown by myself.

There I can be whoever I want to be for a few moments of fantasy and sublime
meditation.

I go on Fridays nights when she takes Belly dancing lessons (I hope) :). I
tell her I am going to 'the cafe' with the boys. I have not run into her at
any milongas yet :).

When at the neighborhood milonga I see some of the girls from downtown ...
they do not know me, I do not know them. We do not even talk about it. It is
understood.

I feel guilty and promise myself not to do it again, but Friday night comes
and there I am again.

Si soy asi, que voy a hacer? Like a tango says " if I am made this way,
what can I do?

happy tangos to all of you. and remember let's keep my secret.





Sent: Monday, July 07, 2003 12:19 PM
Subject: [TANGO-L] Milonga Codes III


> Rick writes and Luda answers:
>
> "Interestingly, there is an opposite code that applies
> on Saturday nights in the neighborhoods. When we
> ENTER these clubs Alejandra usually sees friends from
> the downtown milongas, but she never acknowledges
> them. Why? Because there's a chance they may have
> been going into town without the knowledge of husband,
> wife, girlfriend, etc."
>
> "So is it all back to tango being an illicit endeavor,
> in BsAs anyway, with participants being suspected of
> all kinds of nefarious activities and motives?"
>
> I gave the address to the cab driver to go to a milonga one night. We
> started to talk about tango, the milongas, the music, etc.
> The driver (a man in his mid 50s.) told me that he used to go dancing with
> his wife every week but -'now we had to stop doing it because she

developed

> a very bad form of arthritis - 'you do not know how much I miss it' - he
> continued, with a sad face. After a while we arrived to the club I greeted
> him good bye and got off the car. While I am in line at the ticket window

I

> see him coming, -' I parked the car, I decided to quit working for the
> night, then he gave a big smile and said - 'I am coming to the milonga'.
>
> Many people come to the milonga to forget their personal problems, they

know

> that here they can be young, beautiful again and experience an innocent
> spiritual love for a moment of happiness. They feel guilty that they enjoy
> it without their companions in real life, so they keep it secret. The

other

> people respect this in quiet complicity as part of the same brotherhood.
>
> But...there is always a but...when you wish to meet someone to have a
> deeper, more personal relationship, you do it like in any other place in

the

> world but you keep it apart from the milonga. Nobody there wishes to know

if

> you are rich, poor, married, single, nor any other aspect of your personal
> life.
>
> With this objective in mind you take advantage of the moments before each
> tango starts when you are facing her and chatting for a moment or as you

are

> walking her to her table to propose a date outside, later that night or

some

> other day, some place where your personal life is not mixed with that of

the

> milonga.
> There is nothing illicit or nefarious about these codes. They have a

reason

> to exist.
>
> Let me tell you the secrecy and mystery adds enormously to the emotion and
> the passion of the moment.
>
> In summary: you can continue interrupting conversations, dragging women to
> the dancing floor, kicking everyone on the floor as you dance, teaching at
> the milongas, feeling miserably, dancing to hip-hop music, etc, etc, etc,
> while calling others Middle Age people or humbly learn so that maybe...
> maybe you can also achieve some degree of civilization.
>
> I do not wish anybody to be afraid to express his feelings because

moments

> like this give all of us an opportunity to discuss interesting subjects

and

> to learn. Further more these are only my personal opinions other people

may

> disagree with me.
>
> Have a good day!
>




Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2003 18:57:18 +0100
From: Guy Williams <guyzen@FREEUK.COM>
Subject: Re: Milonga Codes III

Razor Girl wrote

but I am a woman with many facets to my

> personality. If I was 10 women I would say my
> boyfriend fulfills 9 out of 10 of me. But there is
> that last free spirited woman who will never be
> satisfied with any one man. This is my milonguera. I
> got to the milongas by myself. I dance with all the
> men I please. There are a few in particular who I
> have an extremely stong connection with. The dance
> allows us a time and space to share ourselves with
> each other. They know I am not available in real
> life, but for those moments I am completely theirs.
> This is not a threat to my relationship with my
> boyfriend because it stays within the milonga and when
> I go home I am his again.
>

A classic case of Sweetshop Syndrome:
Is it better to be outside looking in the window and enjoying all the
wonderful things you could buy and enjoy the freedom to chose; OR is it
better to spend what litle you have and enjoy the taste of your favourite
bon-bon.




Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2003 20:36:57 -0700
From: luda_r1 <luda_r1@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Missing codes

Junior wrote:

"There is a missing code that is very important:
"You never kiss somebody in a milonga.
But you can have sex in the bathroom."
;-)

Same as in this country, huh? Just goes to show you.
What cultural differences?

Luda



=====






Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 11:12:52 -0300
From: Alberto Gesualdi <clambat2001@YAHOO.COM.AR>
Subject: Taxi dancers & tango codes

Dear friends from tango list

Concerning this article appeared on the electronic issue of a local newspaper, I receive from a friend a copy of the printed version. It was included in the magazine that cames with the sunday paper , and ... it is too beyond a neutral research, to became a subtle advertisement .

The taxi dancer mentioned Nicolas Godoy, is seen at the cover of the magazine , dancing with an oriental customer, and the inside cover have a slide show of the customer and this taxi dancer, step by step, the picking up at the lodging , the travel, the dancing ,etc..etc... until this modern Credit Card Cinderella is taken back to the entrance of his lodging .

The idea of the taxi dancer is not outrageous, what is bad is to make such a show off , because it turns to be an unnecesary exposure of a person , that has his private right to do whatever he/she wants , without harming their other fellows.

Yesterday there was an accident at Confiteria Ideal, a chandelier fell from the floor and hit a milonguero, an 76 years old man . There was some preventive measures for this chandelier, since it was being on reparation , so some chairs and tables were placed under it to prevent dancers to be below. But the chandelier fell and make a side movement that hit this man.

The case have a wide coverage of the media, and a side effect was that , when the wife of this man was interviewed, she said she didn t know his husband was at Confiteria ideal, he has just tell her " I am going to make some photocopies ...... "


well is an open subject , wether to promote every thing that happens inside the milonga , or not .

I prefer to have some reservation , I do not object the taxi dancers, but please make your business discreetly while the other people is enjoying peacefully his/her social dancing for free with random partners.

Warm regards
alberto gesualdi
buenos aires


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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 16:28:42 +0200
From: "Christian Lüthen" <christian.luethen@GMX.NET>
Subject: Re: Taxi dancers & tango codes

Alberto from Buenos Aires wrote:

> The case have a wide coverage of the media, and a side effect was that ,
> when the wife of this man was interviewed, she said she didn t know his
> husband was at Confiteria ideal, he has just tell her " I am going to
> make some photocopies ...... "

Una trampa photocopia ... =;-o

THAT's the reason why one should be VERY careful publishing photographs
taken at Buenos Aires Milongas!

Happy tangoeing ... preferable only using taxis which are black & yellow!
[he he: those taxi-dancers, for authency, should wear black&yellow-shirts
... ;-) ]

Christian


--
.
christian@eTanguero.net
htpp://www.eTanguero.net/
.


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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 11:06:39 -0400
From: Richard deSousa <mallpasso@AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: Taxi dancers & tango codes

Looks like the guy is going to be whacked twice... once by the
chandelier and then by his wife! :-)

el bandito de tango



-----Original Message-----



Sent: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 11:12:52 -0300
Subject: [TANGO-L] Taxi dancers & tango codes

Dear friends from tango list

Concerning this article appeared on the electronic issue of a local
newspaper, I
receive from a friend a copy of the printed version. It was included in
the
magazine that cames with the sunday paper , and ... it is too beyond a
neutral
research, to became a subtle advertisement .

The taxi dancer mentioned Nicolas Godoy, is seen at the cover of the
magazine ,
dancing with an oriental customer, and the inside cover have a slide
show of the
customer and this taxi dancer, step by step, the picking up at the
lodging , the
travel, the dancing ,etc..etc... until this modern Credit Card
Cinderella is
taken back to the entrance of his lodging .

The idea of the taxi dancer is not outrageous, what is bad is to make
such a
show off , because it turns to be an unnecesary exposure of a person ,
that has
his private right to do whatever he/she wants , without harming their
other
fellows.

Yesterday there was an accident at Confiteria Ideal, a chandelier fell
from the
floor and hit a milonguero, an 76 years old man . There was some
preventive
measures for this chandelier, since it was being on reparation , so
some chairs
and tables were placed under it to prevent dancers to be below. But the
chandelier fell and make a side movement that hit this man.

The case have a wide coverage of the media, and a side effect was that
, when
the wife of this man was interviewed, she said she didn t know his
husband was
at Confiteria ideal, he has just tell her " I am going to make some
photocopies
...... "


well is an open subject , wether to promote every thing that happens
inside the
milonga , or not .

I prefer to have some reservation , I do not object the taxi dancers,
but please
make your business discreetly while the other people is enjoying
peacefully
his/her social dancing for free with random partners.

Warm regards
alberto gesualdi
buenos aires


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LISTSERV@MITVMA.MIT.EDU.





Date: Thu, 5 May 2005 14:39:21 -0300
From: Alberto Gesualdi <clambat2001@YAHOO.COM.AR>
Subject: Tango codes in Buenos Aires

Dear friends from Tango list

I would like to say a few words about the postings of Janis Kenyon and a person that signs "Anita" but who could not be possible to know if it is a man or a woman ( because Anita is part of the anagram of his/her mailbox Ataniche, a tango name that was said to be an anagram of "Che Anita ").

This person Anita is posing himself/herself as a ghost writer for another person that wants to remain unnoticed or like to write with the two mailbox in a freak "Jekill & Hyde" mindgame , but, we have to read all the mails , what else.

- Buenos Aires milongas. There are now , more or less, 50 to 60 open places, after the Cromagnon tragedy .This places are not open every day , as a general rule.

- The kind of people that go to this places is different in the evening than in the night

- Buenos Aires has 47 neighbourhoods, sorry for those of you that believe the song of Alberto Castillo "the 100 porteqos neighbourhhods" . The location of the milongas is not scattered allover this neighbourhoods, but there is a concentration in an area of 7 to 9 neighbourhoods. There are some milongas at the other neighbourhoods, but they are scattered here and there.


What I am intending to say , is all these tango codes, is not the way people around here use to communicate . The milongas are part of a city that has Tango as a promotion for visitors, but does not live under the tango codes . There are a lot of young people listening to rock music, rock radios , and medium age people go to dancing places with music of the 604s or lottery game parlours called "Bingos" , which are actively working in several places around the city.

I suppose that if you come to a meeting of Hare Krishna followers, you will return to your country saying "all the people I saw in Buenos Aires have their heads shaved, were very polite one each other and keep chanting psalms to Lord Krishna and burning incense sticks ". This is true, but it is not a single and only truth , just a part of an angular and splintered truth .


We are recovering some activity of Tango dancing with my spouse, and as far as we have seen at the places we visited , Salon Canning, Viejo Correo, Gricel, Circulo Trovador , Club Espaqol , Niqo Bien , there is more an unformal approach than this tango codes mentioned by Janis in her posting. Eye contact ?? Head nod ?? Silent whisper with the lips ??

Sorry, this may happen but it is not the usual communication we have seen. Maybe the places we went are not the real milongas, and Janis know other places where a bunch of good people gathered together to keep the tango codes alive ,with nodding, eye contact and whisper.

But for a visiting person, if it is a woman specially, it is enough to ask the organizer of the milonga she is visiting, if she can be introduced to local people to dance.

Of course , this woman visitor could choose to make the tango code way, but it is not an enforcing regulation , just a .... tango code from the good old times.

Warm regards from the city where the most popular radio show starts at 6 am and have nothing of tango on it , shame on Roberto Pettinato the conducer, a former saxo player of Sumo rock group, a cult group that ended when his leader Luca Prodan died ,and split in two good rock groups , Las Pelotas & Divididos .

Well...... Divididos has a Tango, a bit offensive, but Pettinato belongs to the other group, so he will not include this tanto into the broadcast , definitely.

alberto gesualdi
buenos aires







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Date: Thu, 5 May 2005 14:52:15 -0500
From: el turco <shusheta@GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Tango codes in Buenos Aires

In addition to Alberto Gesualdi's practically tested observations
about "the signalling" styles can be improved easily in classes and
practicas that many tango schools organize weekly for their students.
However, most of "the tourist tango dancers" lack in having awareness
of where should start with or which places are best shots to meet
"local folks"
What I'm gonna suggest below would be helpful for those want to dance
with local folks.If you are not interested in learning tango as
training, but seeking special connection and some unexplainable
spiritual feelings when they dance with people, sorry but this
guideline cannot help you out.
-first of all, stay away from Touristic tango lessons:
# including special instructors brought to your guest house etc.
# stay away from particular intro tango lessons at
Confiteria Ideal (check La Viruta every Mon, Wed, and Fri for tango
lessons, you will see 100-200 LOCAL people learning tango from young
tango instructors (10pm--midnight). Porteno y Bailarin, El Beso,
canning also have similar classes, however, somehow LOCAL folks go to
La Viruta classes as massive numbers. Impossible not to meet some
local people there before milonga, then the signalling becomes easy.
After couple nights, your new friends' friends will start inviting you
for dance.
# Argentine folks, and foreigner tango residents in BsAs
are so picky, those who dance terribly are NOT picky of course :)).
When I talked to several good dancers from different ages (of course
ones who speak English) I realized that If you are a BAD
dancer-especially for followers- They don't want to dance with you,
even if they know you. this is a big problem for North American
followers, since most of their instructors don't criticize them, in a
constructive manner. therefore, so many followers think that they
dance OK, sorry but in BsAs everybody can dance tango OK. the
competition and being able to get the good dancers is possible by
developing your own "dance personality" (i call it like that, some may
call different).
# Guys, forget about thinking how to develop cabeceo, you
have two chances in BsAs, you will ask for dance to a portena, or
foreigner. If she is a portena, everything is easier to give your
signal. If she is a foreginer, then good luck, you have to make your
intention clear. therefore, during the "seek and ask" phase walk close
to her table, then make it sure she is aware of you and then you can
tell her how beatiful dancer she is-if it's like that of course :)
this act requires observation-A.K.A watching people dancing when you
are sitting. You should get a candidate list for dancing for that
night. Depends on the how cool she dances, she might be favorite of
many other Guys. therefore, be aware of this "signalling" game.
# Lads, and Lassies, this suggestion is for both sides. This
is about the "milonga logistics". El Beso has great, cozy ambiance for
me, however, the entrance to the dance floor, exit, the way to
restrooms, the way to the Bar to get drinks is the same only one
path. So, imagine, some folks are ready to dance, some of them are
done with that tanda, or changing partner, some folks from the window
side trying to reach restrooms, everybody has to use the same exit for
all these activities. Hence, if you are sitting at somewhere that
only the people who dance can see you barely, sorry but You might not
get many signals.Logistically important spots will help you out
believe me. La Viruta, Canning, Nino Bien, La Glorieta, Porteno y
Bailarin are OK for this issue.


# without speaking, or having a strange or fake head nod, you
can invite partners to dance. As i said, signalling is a game like
milonga itself, a social issue, so if you are socially OK, you won't
have problems, however, if you have some issues with getting
socialized, that might be a issue. I recommend this solution:

travel more, dance with different people at different atmospheres.

Bests,
Burak
Minneapolis
www.tangoshusheta.com




Date: Thu, 5 May 2005 16:48:18 EDT
From: Cherie Magnus <MACFroggy@AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: Tango codes in Buenos Aires

Anita,
I normally don't bother with little arguments on the Tango-L, but for some
reason I really don't want you to be under the wrong impression.

I am a foreign woman living in BsAs. I learned to dance tango here 8 years
ago. When I lived in L.A. and danced around the U.S. I found the custom of
inviting people to dance absolutely barbaric compared to the Codigo here. In the
U.S. men may come to you to ask you to dance and even if you don't want to, you
usually accept, because we are trained not to be rude. I used to give many
"mercy" dances during any given milonga. And it's true, if a man walks all the
way across the floor to offer himself to you for 7 minutes, it's very
embarrassing for him to walk back, rejected. Also in the States and in Europe, it is
very common for the woman to run around the room, inviting men to dance. I find
it difficult to be aggressive in making a man lead me, in fact, I find it
impossible.

I LOVE the Codigo here! I feel so empowered. Nobody knows if I refuse
someone. I give no mercy dances. I dance with whom I want to, to the music I want to.
I feel in control: no man can approach my table without permission. There is
none of the sitting down with you and monopolizing that often occurs in the
U.S. I LOVE IT!

And what Janis says is correct: if a man comes up to you here at your table
and asks you to dance, he's a bad dancer and often a bottom feeder. Except if
he knows you well and is certain that you would like to dance this particular
tanda with him.

Another thing: in the BsAs milongas, it is not dark. The lights are kept high
just for this reason--so we can see across the room. And the "Vamos!" Janis
describes, well this is a man you "know", and he knows and you know that this
particular tanda is one you both wish to dance together.

Believe me, this system is incredibly civilized and fantastic for both men
and women.
But it comes after 100 years of practice. Not possible in the U.S. of A. At
least for a while.

Of course I'm speaking about the traditional formal milongas here. There are
many places for young people which have no codigo--and where I feel vulnerable
and with less control. One night at La Viruta I couldn't get rid of a man who
pulled my arm to get me on the floor!! And so I left.

Best,
Cherie




Date: Mon, 9 May 2005 00:45:45 -0400
From: "Ana M. Gonzalez" <ataniche@BELLSOUTH.NET>
Subject: Re: Tango codes in Buenos Aires

> Subject: Re: [TANGO-L] Invitation to the dance
>
> Hi Anita,
> I felt the same thing. But when anyone on this list mentions ethics it
> usually brings at least a few blasts of cold wind. I stand ready to
> support your position. There is an accepted way of behavior and then
> there is an ethical way of behavior.

Yes, I could not help noticing that myself.
A hug to the wonderful men who write to me privately.
I wish Janis could share publicly the charming and clarifying response she wrote to me.
Thank you Cherie for a rational and incisive analysis.
I have been thinking recently about gender equity and feminism.
Gender equity is the next generation of thought stemming from feminism...whose sentiments I think have proven to be somewhat misplaced...and have done a dis-service to women.I am interested in the unique character of both sexes, and in women being able to fulfill their dreams and exercise their capabilities, but I am not interested in women who want to do men one better.(And they have given up a significant part of their uniqueness to do that). It makes some men to babble with fear. There is a big difference between independence and power tripping.
I think American women have misunderstood the cultures where men appear to have "control". If that system works properly (and I know that it is not always balanced, and that there are abuses ) as I understand it, the woman is respected in her place, venerated, protected...Why is this a problem?
The message I get, is that the world of tango is somehow inhospitable to women. We are not equal partners in the experience, but are at the mercy of the men, prey to the judgement of the milongueros. I read that they "may not dance an entire tanda"..."all eyes are on these men who dance very little but very well". If they are so good at it, you would think that they would love to dance, and would dance alot.

Anita




Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 14:47:28 +0000
From: Sergio Vandekier <sergiovandekier990@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Understanding codes

Yale Tango Club - Tine writes: "I went there (La glorieta) on my recent
trip and was quite taken aback by the MO of inviting.
Men will position themselves a meter or two in front of you and if you're
not
looking in their direction, they will start gesturing wildly and waving at
you,
even verbally asking if you want to dance."

I used to go to La Glorieta de Belgrano, an open dance in the middle of a
park situated close to where I live when I am in Buenos Aires. We always
followed the milonga codes according to tradition until the place became
very popular with tourists. This attracted a different type of dancer, the
one with whom no Argentine woman would ever dance .

So now he goes to La glorieta places himself head down and wiggles his legs
in the air to attract the attention of the tourist lady who unsuspectedly
accepts the invitation to discover that he is a very poor dancer.

Summary: He does what he does because you are a tourist. You should learn
the ritual of 'Cabeceo" properly before you go to Buenos Aires and disregard
any invitation that does not follow the codes. Pichi explained this quite
clearly.






Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 17:00:57 +0200
From: Hélène Eckert <Helene.Eckert@ITU.INT>
Subject: Re: Understanding codes

I agree about la glorieta... going to BsAs quite often, a year ago I used to love it, and a year later i don't like it anymore, mainly for =
the low level of dancing... it's a pity but there is not much we can do about it... still, the place is worth going at least once, because the =
natural setting is great !
Hélène

-----Original Message-----



Sent: mardi, 10. mai 2005 16:47
To: TANGO-L@MITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: [TANGO-L] Understanding codes


Yale Tango Club - Tine writes: "I went there (La glorieta) on my recent
trip and was quite taken aback by the MO of inviting.
Men will position themselves a meter or two in front of you and if you're
not
looking in their direction, they will start gesturing wildly and waving at
you,
even verbally asking if you want to dance."

I used to go to La Glorieta de Belgrano, an open dance in the middle of a
park situated close to where I live when I am in Buenos Aires. We always
followed the milonga codes according to tradition until the place became
very popular with tourists. This attracted a different type of dancer, the
one with whom no Argentine woman would ever dance .

So now he goes to La glorieta places himself head down and wiggles his legs
in the air to attract the attention of the tourist lady who unsuspectedly
accepts the invitation to discover that he is a very poor dancer.

Summary: He does what he does because you are a tourist. You should learn
the ritual of 'Cabeceo" properly before you go to Buenos Aires and disregard
any invitation that does not follow the codes. Pichi explained this quite
clearly.







Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 10:26:22 -0500
From: Lois Donnay <donnay@DONNAY.NET>
Subject: Re: Understanding codes

Reading this discussion, one thing worries me. When I bring my group down to
Bs.As every year, their main fear is that they will not be able to dance.
This has been fostered by some local dancers who had problems when they went
down. I ask everyone who is worried about this to go back and read El
Turco's comments, and look at the general tone of his writing. Even though
this was his first trip to Bs.As, he danced quite a bit and was obviously
happy with the dances he received. Your attitude is all-important. If you go
down arrogant, or pushy, or worried or hesitant, you probably won't be very
fun to dance with. Try being happy and nice.

In any case, GO. It can be a tango-changing experience if keep yourself open
to it, and let the experience teach you. I understand so much more with
every trip.

Lois Donnay
Minneapolis

> I agree about la glorieta... going to BsAs quite often, a
> year ago I used to love it, and a year later i don't like it
> anymore, mainly for the low level of dancing... it's a pity
> but there is not much we can do about it... still, the place
> is worth going at least once, because the natural setting is
> great ! Hélène
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Discussion of Any Aspect of the Argentine Tango
> [mailto:TANGO-L@MITVMA.MIT.EDU]On Behalf Of Sergio Vandekier
> Sent: mardi, 10. mai 2005 16:47
> To: TANGO-L@MITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Subject: [TANGO-L] Understanding codes
>
>
> Yale Tango Club - Tine writes: "I went there (La glorieta)
> on my recent
> trip and was quite taken aback by the MO of inviting.
> Men will position themselves a meter or two in front of you
> and if you're not looking in their direction, they will start
> gesturing wildly and waving at you, even verbally asking if
> you want to dance."
>
> I used to go to La Glorieta de Belgrano, an open dance in the
> middle of a park situated close to where I live when I am in
> Buenos Aires. We always followed the milonga codes according
> to tradition until the place became very popular with
> tourists. This attracted a different type of dancer, the one
> with whom no Argentine woman would ever dance .
>
> So now he goes to La glorieta places himself head down and
> wiggles his legs in the air to attract the attention of the
> tourist lady who unsuspectedly accepts the invitation to
> discover that he is a very poor dancer.
>
> Summary: He does what he does because you are a tourist. You
> should learn the ritual of 'Cabeceo" properly before you go
> to Buenos Aires and disregard any invitation that does not
> follow the codes. Pichi explained this quite clearly.
>
>
> ---------
> Send "Where can I Tango in <city>?" requests to Tango-A
> rather than to Tango-L, since you can indicate the region. To
> subscribe to Tango-A, send "subscribe Tango-A Firstname
> Lastname" to LISTSERV@MITVMA.MIT.EDU.
> ---------
>
> ---------
> Send "Where can I Tango in <city>?" requests to Tango-A
> rather than to Tango-L, since you can indicate the region. To
> subscribe to Tango-A, send "subscribe Tango-A Firstname
> Lastname" to LISTSERV@MITVMA.MIT.EDU.
> ---------
>
>





Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 09:13:20 -0700
From: Yale Tango Club <yaletangoclub@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: Understanding codes

Hi Sergio,
I am sorry that the presence of sexy foreign tangueras has inspired some lewd and lecherous fellow Argentines to ruin this tango opportunity for you.
Tine

Sergio Vandekier <sergiovandekier990@HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
Yale Tango Club - Tine writes: "I went there (La glorieta) on my recent
trip and was quite taken aback by the MO of inviting.
Men will position themselves a meter or two in front of you and if you're
not
looking in their direction, they will start gesturing wildly and waving at
you,
even verbally asking if you want to dance."

I used to go to La Glorieta de Belgrano, an open dance in the middle of a
park situated close to where I live when I am in Buenos Aires. We always
followed the milonga codes according to tradition until the place became
very popular with tourists. This attracted a different type of dancer, the
one with whom no Argentine woman would ever dance .

So now he goes to La glorieta places himself head down and wiggles his legs
in the air to attract the attention of the tourist lady who unsuspectedly
accepts the invitation to discover that he is a very poor dancer.

Summary: He does what he does because you are a tourist. You should learn
the ritual of 'Cabeceo" properly before you go to Buenos Aires and disregard
any invitation that does not follow the codes. Pichi explained this quite
clearly.




************************
Tango Club at Yale

YaleTangoClub@yahoo.com
www.yaletangoclub.org

To subscribe to our event emails, please email us or visit our website.
To unsubscribe, send us an email, or if you're in a hurry, do it yourself by sending an email to YaleTangoClub-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com. If it doesn't work, just let us know. We're nice people and we really don't want to aggravate anybody. Thanks!






Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 18:36:34 +0000
From: Sergio Vandekier <sergiovandekier990@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Understanding codes II

Campanero says : "The "code" of the milongas in BsAs is what it is. It might
not be fair,
just or politically correct, but it works in those milongas. There is no
point in bemoaning those facts or in holding it's participants in
contempt. There is nothing wrong with choosing one's dance partner using
whatever criteria we want...."

Codes exist for a reason.

Some people dance Argentine tango as if it was a Fox-trot and then are
surprised that there are some different codes of conduct to theirs some
place else.

Most ballroom dances are done for fun but Tango has other components, of
concentration, communication and deep spiritual connection between partners
that make this dance a special experience.

A man, good dancer knows that unless both members of this equation that we
call tango, vehemently wish to dance with each other this connection will
not occur and the dance will be a failure. Such a man will do everything in
his power to grant the lady he wishes to dance with absolute freedom of
choice. He never will place himself directly in front of her, or address her
verbally or by gesticulation (unless he knows her very well, and wishes to
joke), he will rather stand in front to one or the other side so that she
will eventually see him and stare or continue directing her gaze someplace
else.

A woman, good dancer knows that unless she exercises that absolute freedom
to choose the man she wishes to dance with, the resultant tango will be a
total failure and will leave her with a sensation of frustration.

Summary: for any human interaction such as a casual dance, or a superficial
contact, people use some codes of conduct, for other such as love, romance
or a especial dance, with deep spiritual connection, on the other hand there
are different codes to follow.






Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 18:46:46 +0000
From: Sergio Vandekier <sergiovandekier990@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Understanding codes III

Tine says: "Hi Sergio,
I am sorry that the presence of sexy foreign tangueras has inspired some
lewd
and lecherous fellow Argentines to ruin this tango opportunity for you.
Tine"

The environment at "La Glorieta" was ruined more by the naive, ignorant
woman that accepts invitations to dance totally outside any codes of conduct
than by the men that such attitude attracts. Those men would not be there if
it wasn't for those ladies that come from abroad looking for them. Let me
know next time you come to town.

PS. please read Pichi's note in detail. Sometimes I think I understand the
frustrations of Hector Masseli. :)))






Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 21:01:24 +0200
From: Peter Jouliard <Peter_Jouliard@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Understanding codes II

if there is a code in place, ok, why not follow it. if i am in spain i speak
spanish. makes sense.
but, what is wrong if a man states his wish to dance with a women polity
with words? and what is so difficult for her to decline the offer. If you
accept that 2 people dance with each other because both have a reason to do
it, it seems natural that there are reasons that one of them may not accept
an offer.

I know, that is not real life. there, we have questions of "honour",
"reject", etc.

If you have other interest than just dancing with another person (to be seen
with a good dancer/to proof yourself, to protect your ego, you name it) then
of course, all kinds of problematic interactions arise. Then you define and
defend tango and related behaviour as you see it, etc.

Wouldn't it be nice if we (tango dancers) could just meet each other in our
wish to dance and accept and respect us. then we do not need codes to
regulate behaviour because it will be "regulated" by the respect for each
other.


peter





Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 15:12:37 -0400
From: "Steininger, Francine" <FSteininger@IIE.ORG>
Subject: Re: Understanding codes II

Well, that would be great... but when someone asks you when you're not looking at them, or comes up from behind and taps you on the shoulder, =
(the "sneak up on you apprpoach") etc, its not always easy to say no, particularly if you like the person or just know he's a nice guy. And =
if you do, it could be a variety of reasons (tired, you just don't want to dance with him that night, or he had a pungent dinner (!), or you =
just don't connect with him and find him difficult to follow, or because you're waiting for someone else to get off the floor for the last =
dance), or whatever, you risk "alienating" him or getting him upset (which is unpleasant for the follower as well)... the idea of being able =
to have a signal for mutually understanding eachother prior to the request, is a great one - both for the woman (because she has more =
control over her choice, and doesn't have to reject) and for the man - since he doesn't have to deal directly with rejection.

my 2c...

-----Original Message-----



Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2005 3:01 PM
To: TANGO-L@MITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Re: [TANGO-L] Understanding codes II


if there is a code in place, ok, why not follow it. if i am in spain i speak
spanish. makes sense.
but, what is wrong if a man states his wish to dance with a women polity
with words? and what is so difficult for her to decline the offer. If you
accept that 2 people dance with each other because both have a reason to do
it, it seems natural that there are reasons that one of them may not accept
an offer.

I know, that is not real life. there, we have questions of "honour",
"reject", etc.

If you have other interest than just dancing with another person (to be seen
with a good dancer/to proof yourself, to protect your ego, you name it) then
of course, all kinds of problematic interactions arise. Then you define and
defend tango and related behaviour as you see it, etc.

Wouldn't it be nice if we (tango dancers) could just meet each other in our
wish to dance and accept and respect us. then we do not need codes to
regulate behaviour because it will be "regulated" by the respect for each
other.


peter






Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 21:29:09 +0200
From: Peter Jouliard <Peter_Jouliard@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Understanding codes II

Hi francine
"the idea of being able to have a signal for mutually understanding each
other prior to the request, is a great one - both for the woman (because she
has more control over her choice, and doesn't have to reject) and for the
man - since he doesn't have to deal directly with rejection."

if i do not want to invite you, you will not signal that you do not want to
accept.
if i signal that i do want and you appear not to see it or do not accept the
invitation, then it is a rejection!
So she has the same control if she does it with a code or if she simply
says it gently. What changes is, that one can play "having not seen the
signal" so the person "signaling" may play not having sent it. it is all
about protecting your ego, not loosing face. And yes that is that is a big
deal in real life and so in tango.
peter





Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 21:44:16 +0200
From: Peter Jouliard <Peter_Jouliard@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: codes and making rejection easier

there are a lot of reasons a women might reject to dance with me, that have
nothing to do with me. She is tired, she is waiting for her prefered dancer,
she doesn't like the music, etc.

there are also a lot of reasons related to me. she doesn't like my style of
dancing, she doesn't like my skill level, she thinks i am to sweaty or to
old or to ugly. or she simply doesn't like me, can't maybe even tell the
reason.

if i, as a leader who invites, can't accept these facts of life, but have to
get angry with the women, or myself, or tango or society, then i'd better
start collecting stamps. no code will help me.

peter





Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 15:59:02 -0400
From: "Steininger, Francine" <FSteininger@IIE.ORG>
Subject: Re: Understanding codes II

Yes, I suppose it's the subtlety of the thing that makes a difference... having said that - its all quite nuanced, and I'm sure in different =
environments the codes evolve to meet the way the tango evolves in that city or culture... and of course, dealing with people you know is =
different from those you don't. In the end I think the important thing is to pay attention to your partner (this goes for both women and men, =
as women also ask here...) and really see if they seem to enjoy dancing with you. Being observant and sensitive to your partners, and the code =
of the group you are with, and being willing to adapt, is probably the best way to go...

-----Original Message-----



Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2005 3:29 PM
To: TANGO-L@MITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Re: [TANGO-L] Understanding codes II


Hi francine
"the idea of being able to have a signal for mutually understanding each
other prior to the request, is a great one - both for the woman (because she
has more control over her choice, and doesn't have to reject) and for the
man - since he doesn't have to deal directly with rejection."

if i do not want to invite you, you will not signal that you do not want to
accept.
if i signal that i do want and you appear not to see it or do not accept the
invitation, then it is a rejection!
So she has the same control if she does it with a code or if she simply
says it gently. What changes is, that one can play "having not seen the
signal" so the person "signaling" may play not having sent it. it is all
about protecting your ego, not loosing face. And yes that is that is a big
deal in real life and so in tango.
peter






Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 16:14:47 -0400
From: Nitin Kibe <nitinkibe@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Understanding codes II

>From: Peter Jouliard <Peter_Jouliard@HOTMAIL.COM>
>Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 21:01:24 +0200
>
>but, what is wrong if a man states his wish to dance with a women polity
>with words? and what is so difficult for her to decline the offer. If you
>accept that 2 people dance with each other because both have a reason to do
>it, it seems natural that there are reasons that one of them may not accept
>an offer. I know, that is not real life. there, we have questions of
>"honour",
>"reject", etc.
>

In terms of accept/reject, tango is perhaps less simple than life, where you
know more about the other party. For example, would you refuse a not so
good dancer if you knew the person was a nobelist, a billionaire (!!), head
of state, etc.? Precisely because in most milongas people know little more
about each other than what is visible, namely physical attributes and dance
skills, rejection is more "personal", more tied up with "honour" etc.

I would also like to mention symmetry between the capital spent in asking
and the effort spent in rejecting. Most asymmetric scenario: Man makes long
lonely visible walk across floor, woman rejects brusquely in a nanosecond.
Same outcome but better symmetry and so less bad feeling: woman spends more
time, softens the blow with smiles, small talk, lets him down gently, etc
etc. Cabeceo has good symmetry: neither party spends much capital/effort, a
glance, raised eyebrow from the one; a slight yes/no nod from the other; no
particularly hard feelings, no visibly bruised ego, la milonga continua.

Good wishes to all.

NK
Wash DC





Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 17:13:23 -0600
From: Bruno <romerob@TELUSPLANET.NET>
Subject: Re: Understanding codes II

Hi, Sergio:

>Most ballroom dances are done for fun but Tango has other components, of

concentration, communication and deep spiritual connection between partners
that make this dance a special experience.<

Why spiritual?

According to Maria Nieves for her Tango is the closest to having sex (a un
polvo) without the sexual contact. Excuse my choice of words, but I think
Tango can be many things to make it cut and dried.

Best regards,

Bruno





Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2005 20:08:48 -0500
From: "Christopher L. Everett" <ceverett@CEVERETT.COM>
Subject: Re: Tango Codes as Traffic Rules

Sergio Vandekier wrote:

> I think the same as Oleh and El Turco that there is no conflict what
> so ever
> :))).
>
> We all agree that there are different tango styles that should be
> cultivated
> and practiced the problem is *the where and the when*.

I have a hard time believing that the codes dictate how people dance.
The codes dictate that you avoid running into people. The codes are
about traffic management. Everyone follows the rules, then collisions
are minimized.

It's almost like driving a car:

-- if you can go forward, you go forward
-- don't arbitrarily stop and put your car in reverse
-- check your blind spot before you change lanes
-- don't drive on the wrong side of the road

All that said, I liked Sean's previous post about crowding backsteppers
and learning the change of front. It's like tapping your brakes for a
tailgater.

One other point I haven't seen raised in this discussion: figures more
than 2 or 3 steps long have multiple exits at every intermediate point
before the final step. Most of the time, I don't see teachers showing
students where and how to bail out of figures. Even so, you can learn
a lot exploring your options.

--
Christopher L. Everett

Chief Technology Officer www.medbanner.com
MedBanner, Inc. www.physemp.com





Date: Mon, 1 May 2006 13:51:58 -0300
From: "Janis Kenyon" <jantango@feedback.net.ar>
Subject: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes
To: <Tango-L@MIT.EDU>

I am a regular viewer of Codigos de Milongas, a new program on Solo Tango
which follows young men at home to the milonga with a commentary by men who
have danced tango for many years.

Program #2 presented Damian (23) who spoke about taking many classes and
then privates to learn. He learns the hard way when he approaches a girl at
her table in Plaza Bohemia. She refused him, so he went to ask another girl
who accepted. Carlos Matera (organizer of Sunderland) was speechless when
he saw Damian wearing jeans to a milonga. Matera wasn't in agreement with
anything Damian did or said.

Program #3 had Jonathan (21) showing his white shirt and jacket, but putting
on a black t-shirt and pants. He talked about the importance of the codes,
but complained about getting excuses when girls didn't want to dance with
him. He carried his shoes in a bag, which never existed when Roberto
Dentone was young, who commented "muy loco." Jonathan went to invite a girl
to dance as soon as the guy at her table went to the men's room. After he
danced with the girl, Roberto commented, "Tango is an embrace. He broke the
embrace. He needs to keep his head straight to be more elegant."

Program #4 showed Gaspar (20) wearing a t-shirt, pants, and sneakers.
Salvador A. Molinari (Tito) pointed out that he's wearing comfortable
clothing, but if a woman spends an hour doing her hair, makeup and getting
dressed to dance, the least a man can do is to wear good shoes. Tito noted
that he didn't bother to use deodorant or cologne. Gaspar went to La Viruta
and approached a girl at her table. Tito remarked that this obligates a
woman when she might have a commitment with someone else.

Program #5 has Hernan (24) calling Gricel for a reservation on a Friday
night. He wears a t-shirt and sneakers, so he feels out of place entering
Gricel where all the men are wearing suits. He walks around looking for
someone close to his age and finds a table nearby. He's the first one to
use a head movement to invite a young woman. In his critique, Julio Cesar
Rodriguez says sneakers are for the gimnasium, shoes are for the dance
salon.

In Program #6, Hugo (28) goes to Villa Malcolm where he invites a woman to
dance before he has seen her dancing. He approaches her table and motions
with his arm to invite her; she accepts because she has been looking at him
since he sat down. He soon realizes that she isn't at his level, but makes
the best of it. Oscar Steimez predicts that he won't want to dance with her
again; later Hugo confirms this.

I would like to see this program follow a real milonguero at home and at the
milonga. New dancers could benefit from their many years of experience.

Saturdays at 5:00pm; Mondays at 10:00pm
Solo Tango TV - Canal 7 Cablevision
www.tangocity.com






Date: Mon, 1 May 2006 18:04:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: Rick Jones <rwjones52@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes

During a recent three-week trip to Buenos Aires, I was very surprised at the number of people wearing blue jeans (and even sneakers) at evening milongas. It certainly cut into any feeling of elegance that the ladies created with their wonderful evening dress and that some of the guys did with their equally elegant attire.

I would imagine that the responsibility for this trend lies squarely with the organizers. I would find it hard to believe that they can't set some sort of dress code for their milongas. Simple: no blue jeans, no sneakers, no whatever.

If the organizers are letting this type of dress in, then there's no real incentive for anyone to dress differently.

Rick Jones
Washington DC

Janis Kenyon <jantango@feedback.net.ar> wrote: I am a regular viewer of Codigos de Milongas, a new program on Solo Tango which follows young men at home to the milonga with a commentary by men who have danced tango for many years.

Carlos Matera (organizer of Sunderland) was speechless when he saw Damian wearing jeans to a milonga...Program #4 showed Gaspar (20) wearing a t-shirt, pants, and sneakers...Program #5 has Hernan (24) calling Gricel for a reservation on a Friday night. He wears a t-shirt and sneakers...






Date: Mon, 1 May 2006 19:24:15 -0600
From: Tom Stermitz <stermitz@tango.org>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes

Wait a minute. Which evening milongas were you at?

I went to Consagrados, Bauen, Correo Viejo, Canning, Ideal (de la
turca), El Beso (late-evening).

At the afternoon and evening milongas I went to, almost everyone wore
at least "office casual". I know the secretaries get off work and
show up at 5:30 or 6:00. The men didn't always wear jackets. But, I
never saw many blue jeans.

Also the age range for the women ran 40 - 60. For the men 50 - 70.

Maybe you attended younger milongas?


On May 1, 2006, at 7:04 PM, Rick Jones wrote:

> During a recent three-week trip to Buenos Aires, I was very
> surprised at the number of people wearing blue jeans (and even
> sneakers) at evening milongas. It certainly cut into any feeling
> of elegance that the ladies created with their wonderful evening
> dress and that some of the guys did with their equally elegant attire.
>
> I would imagine that the responsibility for this trend lies
> squarely with the organizers. I would find it hard to believe that
> they can't set some sort of dress code for their milongas. Simple:
> no blue jeans, no sneakers, no whatever.
>
> If the organizers are letting this type of dress in, then there's
> no real incentive for anyone to dress differently.
>
> Rick Jones
> Washington DC






Date: Tue, 2 May 2006 14:35:13 EDT
From: TangoSherwin@aol.com
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes

They were probably "youngsters" from the U.S.





Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2006 18:49:23 -0300
From: "Janis Kenyon" <jantango@feedback.net.ar>
Subject: [Tango-L] Women inviting men to dance and the milonga codes
To: "Tango-L" <TANGO-L@MIT.EDU>

The tradition in the milongas is for the man to invite a woman to dance with
the movement of the head or lips. I wasn't aware that a place exists in
Buenos Aires where the women do all the inviting until I viewed the recent
program of Codigos de Milongas on Solo Tango (Sat 5pm, Mon 10pm, Wed 5pm).

In this recent edition, milonguera Elba Biscay commented on a young woman's
conduct in relation to the milonga codes as she knows them. Elba danced
with Osvaldo Centeno in the finals of the Campeonato Mundial in August 2005.
She pointed out that one has to like tango before you learn to dance it.
She said, there are no men [with whom to dance these days].

The program followed 22-year-old Constanza as she prepared to dance at La
Fiesta del Reves. She does all the inviting and dances with three men. On
the last Tuesday of the month, women pay the 6 peso admission, but men get
in free. Women do all the inviting. This may be appealing to those who
aren't adept at using the cabeceo. I spoke with the organizer who told me
they're having a Fiesta del reves tonight at Cabildo 3246 in Nunez from
10:30-2:00.






Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2008 08:01:01 -0700
From: "David Hodgson" <DHodgson@TangoLabyrinth.com>
Subject: [Tango-L] Argentine Tango codes, a meditation..

Hello all:
I thought I would start off the new year with some thoughts that might be of
interest to some, a passing fancy to many and I am sure fodder for a few.

Recently there was a little talk about Cebeceo in our community and got me
to thinking about ?The codes? in tango. I have only made a few changes that
would only pertain to the community I dance in. the rest is really intended
for Argentine Tango as a whole.
Hope it is of some benefit to someone:

Martin wrote something about Cebeceo, which is really great and hits the
nail on the head.
He also mentioned about the codes. I believe a little clarification and
perspective on the codes needs to be mentioned, and I feel I can finally
talk about now.

I am going to guess most of people reading this list were introduced to the
codes when they started tango. The cebeceo being one expression of these
codes.

The conflict and much confusion I see going around is that the codes we talk
about with in Argentine Tango really do not exclusively exist with in the
tango we all love, revel in, get frustrated with, hate and express. Nor just
in the dance halls or floors where we share together. The codes exist
everywhere in the world each of us lives in. The clerk checking out your
groceries, or janitor. Your boss, and peers. Your husband or wife, partner,
lover/s. Family, friends and loved ones. The stranger walking down the
street, or standing next to in line at the movies, or at the next table in
the restaurant. Perhaps part of a chosen spiritual path. Perhaps the sensual
affections from a hot gal, getting hit on by a hot guy or even a lap dance

>from a great stripper. Yes this extends to us on the dance floor and no one

is really exempt. The confusion comes in where we think the codes begin and
end in BSAS. They don?t.

The codes that are talked about (or not talked about) in the milongas of
BSAS are a dialect of the codes we experience in our everyday life. Are they
important, yes extremely. Because the particular dialect of codes that exist
in the milongas of BSAS are the model of the codes we develop for our selves
with in our own expression of this dance.

I am not Argentine nor was I raised there, so I do not understand a lot of
the subtle details of the dialect of the codes down there. I was born and
raised here in the US. I chose to live a different life than most of the
people I see around me, which has often left me feeling like a stranger in
my own home country, except for a few places. In these places I have been,
the codes do not manifest them selves from a place of assumption (your codes
are the same as everybody else?s. ?Egalitarian?). A few codes may be handed
to you, for the most part you seek them out, discover, learn and integrate.

In order for this to work one must develop their own codes and have this
work with the rest of the dance hall. Which means that someone has to take
it upon them selves to be aware of them selves and the world, make mistakes,
get feedback from other people. Yes, also be open to receive a dance and
open to ask for a dance. If there is rejection to a request, it is not
personal, it is just a tanda.

I did spend some time in BSAS, not as a tourist but for other reasons. Used
the codes I?ve integrated long before I found tango (and continue to
refine), that work in other places where I have earned my way, and had no
problems in the milongas and on the streets.

Did not impose, just walked in as my self, with what I know, paid attention
to the space where I was, danced well, and made sure to tip the server or
barkeep. Had no problems getting dances from most of the women (many were
local), helped a few women start getting dances from the locals by showing
her off. Yes it does help that I dance well, I also work my ass off to be
good.

If someone wants to adopt a few things from The Argentine dialect into their
own codes, this is great (refinement of your own codes). Or perhaps someone
takes up the practice of integrating the culture and lives it all the time
for a while, outstanding (they will have a lot to share when the project is
complete). If someone wants to take this on as a research project, fabulous
(Please teach what you learned).

I believe the knee jerk reaction going on is (from some of the Argentines I
have talked with and some of the people pulling a sales job touting the
Argentine way). Is about Argentine Tango loosing its heart or the real
meaty, juicy, sublime experience we all crave, or even loosing contact with
it?s culture. That is up to the people who dance Tango. If we rely on the
formula of steps, or imposing that walking is the only way, or continue to
prop ?Connection? on a pedestal. Then yes, the Tango we love will become
another ballroom dance. Flaccid.

If we take this next year and developed what our expression is as a
community, (individually and as a whole), find our own voice and style. Not
being right but also tossing in an embellishment and style of arrogance. Men
and Women alike. We have a good community, teachers, people and dancers.

>>From my eye and experience our community has the potential, but also has a

lot to learn, experience and integrate. This is just a next step in the
evolution with in our community (please fell free to add any community name
in here).

For the Leads: If you want to tout what you got (Lies!! like your foot
work). I want to see what you got out there on the dance floor and I want to
see this in the face and eyes of the Follow (Nuff said).

For the Follows: I don?t just want to see how flashy the adornment you can
do are (boring). I want to see that you are clearly present with the Lead,
you have accepted a dance from. That your embellishment is a beautiful
accent to the expression of your individual voice (because there are a few
of us that are listening to this when we lead you).

Some people are a part of Tango for fun and a nice social dance only. Thank
you!!
Others are here for different reasons. Thank you!!

There is room and expression for everyone. Each dancing as individuals, in
an embrace with another, and moving as a whole on the entire floor.

Regardless if it is in Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Denver,
London, Tokyo, Berlin, etc. Or even the many salons of BSAS. When we visit
places they will say ?Wow, that is dance style of city your from. Show me
something of your style and I will show you something of my own style?. Or
possibly ?Buddy, that sucks, show me that step again and will show you a
different step?.

If Argentine Tango is to remain out of the realm of ballroom, then this is
one way how to keep it living and breathing, out of many possibilities.

As far as Argentine Tango forgetting where it came from. I like to think of
this Tango as a connection with a Lover you can never forget. It marks you
for your life time, and no matter where you go there is a thread that is
expressed through this mark. It makes us who we are. Also for us who dance
tango, know we can integrate and not hide this thread.
Argentine Tango must travel away from BSAS for a time, but will never forget
and will return with a new expression.

As Tango will do with each of us.

Now this people,, are the codes and that is also sexy.

I also believe (along with the above) that it is equally true the Argentines
will not let any one else forget where Argentine tango came from either.


Hope everyone is having fun and Happy New Year!!!!
David Hodgson

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Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 13:28:09 -0500
From: Stephen.P.Brown@dal.frb.org
Subject: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes

Previously I wrote:
"I don't think it makes much sense for an organizer or a group of
community
leaders to impose a set of rules on those attending milongas. People go
to milongas to have fun dancing tango, not to have a bunch of rules
imposed on them,..."

I recognize that in Buenos Aires, the organizers don't make the codes of
behavior for milongas. The codigos were established a long time ago,
those codigos help create a smooth running milonga where everyone can
enjoy dancing. The failure to observe these codes typically comes from
ignorance or a lack of caring. As someone who participates in the
organization of milongas and deejays on a regular basis, I understand the
desire to help people understand the codes and ensure that milongas are
run as smoothly as possible.

Those teaching tango have an obligation to teach the codes as way to help
their students participate successfully in milongas. Community FAQs and
etiquette lists also may be helpful. What I don't think will work very
well is a milonga organizer distributing *and* enforcing a formal set of
rules.

With best regards,
Steve









Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 12:46:33 -0600
From: Tom Stermitz <stermitz@tango.org>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes

You can set up the milonga to discourage good behavior, or to enable a
better chance of success:

(1) Enough tables and chairs for everyone to have a seat
(2) Tables around the dance floor, with aisles BEHIND the seating
(3) Rectangular dance floor, small enough to focus the energy.
(4) Good sight-lines between the tables.
(5) Aisles to the floor so you don't have traffic jams.
(6) DJs that know how to build excitement and social interaction

The whole point is to create a good flow and navigation on the dance
floor, keep walkers OFF the floor, and make it easy to reclaim your
seat in between tandas.

Good navigation and floorcraft require a certain density of dancers.
If you have too much space, the leaders don't get used to dealing with
traffic. More than two or three steps of clearance between the
couples, and navigation gets very random.

A practice would be set up differently. For example, you may need
large open expanses of floor so people can try their moves without
endangering the navigation and social feel.



On Apr 22, 2008, at 12:28 PM, Stephen.P.Brown@dal.frb.org wrote:

> Those teaching tango have an obligation to teach the codes as way to
> help
> their students participate successfully in milongas. Community FAQs
> and
> etiquette lists also may be helpful. What I don't think will work
> very
> well is a milonga organizer distributing *and* enforcing a formal
> set of
> rules.
>
> With best regards,
> Steve






Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 16:39:37 -0500
From: Stephen.P.Brown@dal.frb.org
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes

Chris, UK wrote:

>Actually those teaching tango have first an obligation simply not to
>sabotage the natural tendencies of intersocial behaviour from which the
>codes arise. A bit more consideration of that can save loads of time

spent

>issuing milonga etiquette directives... with the added advantage of
>actually working.

I agree. Bad teaching can contribute to poor floorcraft and an inability
to observe the codes. Tom Stermitz once commented that many people have
walked into the first tango lesson completely able to navigate through
crowded dance floor. After their first lesson they couldn't.

Let's try to get to a few details that might facilitate a natural
understanding of the codes:
Beginners should be taught the line of dance.
Beginners should be taught that tango has pauses.
Beginners shouldn't be taught rote figures.

How will beginners learn about tandas and cortinas? about the cabeceo?

What if you organize a milonga and a number of people who show up dance
performance-style tango, not social tango, and virtually none of these
people observe the ronda or other aspects of the codes?

By the way, I should mention that a milonga that I deejay for regularly is
quite devoid of problems that might arise from people failing to observe
the codes. Most of the dancers are experienced, and the facility has many
of the physical characteristics that Tom Stermitz described as
facilitating success. Sometimes early the evening, the density is a bit
low, which encourages just a bit of random navigation.

With best regards,
Steve





Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 10:25 +0100 (BST)
From: "Chris, UK" <tl2@chrisjj.com>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes
Cc: tl2@chrisjj.com

> Beginners should be taught the line of dance.

How about: Beginners should learn the line of dance.

> Beginners should be taught that tango has pauses.

Beginners should learn that tango has pauses.

The essential objective of education is not teaching, but learning.

> How will beginners learn about tandas and cortinas?

Listen.

> about the cabeceo?

Look.

The essential /process/ of education is not teaching, but learning.

--
Chris



PS Mario asked:

> I'm just a newbie but I'm glad I didn't spend time and money in this
> class. I'm not knocking the teachers..they are working their butts
> off..but gee whiz is this what it's all about?

It's what in Europe is called Line Dancing...

A.k.a. Crackpot Tango Teaching Method #4. Thankfully it's dying out.











Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 11:30:23 +0100
From: Melina Sedo & Detlef Engel <tango@tangodesalon.de>
Subject: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes
To: TANGO-L digest system automatic <tango-l@mit.edu>

Thank you Sergio, thanks Trini and all of you.


I find it so very important to make everybody understand, that you
need to respect the codes of polite behaviour, when you're in a
Milonga. It's not even about Tango-Codigos, it's just basic
instinct. ;-)

-You do not invite someone to dance, who avoids eye-contact to you.
-You do not sneek up from behind and surprise him or her.
-You do not interrupt a serious conversation.
-You do not assume, that every person will love to dance with you,
even when she has never had the chance to see you on the dance floor.
-And, if you happened to "break" this rules: You do not insult
someone, if this person declines politely to dance with you: nobody
is OBLIDGED to spend time hugging you.

Unfortunately all of this happened a lot to me during our recent tour
to the US, even in the "very traditional" Milongas:

I am used to being invited by the Cabezeo/Mirada and I rarely accept
a direct invitation out of several reasons: Very often I am just
tired after a day of classes or I have not seen the person dance yet,
so I avoid eye contact. Or I am doing something else, like resting
between two tandas and drinking a glass of wine or talking to
someone. Or of course, I just don't want to dance with this person.
So, if I get invited in such a case, I decline very politely and
always with a smile. I do not want to hurt anybody.

But: Apart from being forced to decline direct invitations of
stangers so extremely often in the US, I got some real rude
reactions, like an omnious "You made a big mistake", uttered in a
threatening voice.

Sometimes, things like that happened MULTIPLE times at the same
Milonga, once even with the SAME person.

And one man (an Argentine!) did something real strange: I was just
avoiding eye-contact with everybody as I was very tired and this man
came to my table and asked me. As I had declined already declined
three (!) direct invitations during this one Tanda, I told him very
nicely: "Excuse me sir, I'm quite a traditionalist, so I don't accept
invitations at the table. I'm so sorry." He smiled and stepped some
meters away and looked at me in a Cabeceo-like-way. I was so stunnd,
that I accepted his invitation, but later on I was even more surprised.
He told me, that he was an Argentine and uses the Cabeceo on a
regular basis. But: I had not reacted like the argentine women do:
they look, if they want to dance with you! So, I asked him, WHAT DOES
THAT MEAN NOW? THAT I DID NOT WANT TO DANCE WITH YOU!

Unbelievable, but true.
Sometimes, truth is stanger than fiction... ;-)

What can I do?
A friend of NYC recommended me, to speak more about these things
during classes. We never did this, as we always assumed, that most of
the people do understand these things instinctively and we do not
want to bore grown-up-people with sermons about argentinoid-Milonga-
codigos. But Detlef and I decided to follow our friends advice and
will try in the future integrate one or two sentences about this
topic in every class, where it might make sense. And we'll talk about
this more often to people.

Which I did just now. ;-)

Thanks for listening my sermon.


Have a nice day,


Melina


Melina Sedo & Detlef Engel
www.tangodesalon.de
www.youtube.com/tangodesalon
tango@tangodesalon.de
(0049) (0)681 9381839
(0049) (0)177 4340669









Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 22:08:24 +1100
From: "Vince Bagusauskas" <vytis@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes
To: "'TANGO-L digest system automatic'" <tango-l@mit.edu>

While I try to use the Codigos and often get this bemused look from women
who don't understand it, I think from my observations, people, either
male/leader or female/follower, in Australia are more direct and go up to
the person and ask for a dance.


-----Original Message-----



Sent: Tuesday, 11 November 2008 9:30 PM
To: TANGO-L digest system automatic
Subject: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes

Thank you Sergio, thanks Trini and all of you.


I find it so very important to make everybody understand, that you
need to respect the codes of polite behaviour, when you're in a
Milonga. It's not even about Tango-Codigos, it's just basic
instinct. ;-)







Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 08:22:46 -0800 (PST)
From: "Trini y Sean (PATangoS)" <patangos@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes

There are many ways of accepting a dance gracefully, but there are not as many ways to decline a dance gracefully that save both parties from potential embarassment. That's the point of the cabaceo.

If there's someone I'd like to dance with but the music isn't right for us, I don't want to tell him "Your DiSarli sucks". I'll avoid him until a more appropriate music comes on.

Sometimes it might not be a person's dancing. One time at a milonga, Sean and I had a little argument that left me not wanting to dance at all. Do you think I wanted to explain that to the guys who asked me later to dance? It was much easier for me to just avoid eye contact.

Going up to someone and asking for a dance can be fine. Good friends of mine (people I've invited to my house socially) ask all the time, as do I with them. That's fine because we feel comfortable being honest with each other if neither of us want to dance at a particular time. We don't need to make excuses with each other.

For everyone else, it's the cabaceo that helps us avoid making up excuses and embarrassing anyone.

Trini de Pittsburgh



--- On Tue, 11/11/08, Vince Bagusauskas <vytis@hotmail.com> wrote:

> While I try to use the Codigos and often get this bemused
> look from women
> who don't understand it, I think from my observations,
> people, either
> male/leader or female/follower, in Australia are more
> direct and go up to
> the person and ask for a dance.









Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 08:36:39 -0800 (PST)
From: Jack Dylan <jackdylan007@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes
To: TANGO-L <tango-l@mit.edu>

Melina,

Thanks for the common-sense advice on how to behave in the
milongas - at least, you would think it?is common sense :-).

And thanks for your anecdotes of milongas in the USA. Yes,
I believe you. My partner and I have lived long, full lives both in
the world of dance and in business. One thing we agree on is
that Tango does seem to attract some very, very?strange people.
Certainly far more than the law of averages would suggest.
I have no idea why.

Jack


----- Original Message ----

> From: Melina Sedo & Detlef Engel <tango@tangodesalon.de>
>
> Unbelievable, but true.
> Sometimes, truth is stanger than fiction.... ;-)
>











Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 10:39:25 -0600
From: "Lois Donnay" <donnay@donnay.net>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes/blowing my
nose
To: "TANGO-L digest system automatic" <tango-l@mit.edu>

I'm not saying this to anyone personally, but I think it's good to remember that even if
you have been dancing for 3 years, 4 years, 8 years or even 20 years, that does not mean
that you have improved, or even retained your skills. Even if you are a teacher. I'm sure
everyone on this list has unfortunately seen this - a former favorite partner, or a dancer
you looked up to, just doesn't have it anymore. Maybe they took some time off for personal
reasons, maybe they decided they were so good they no longer needed lessons, maybe their
ego has gotten to them, maybe they only dance with one or two people who always correct
their problems, maybe the ratio in their town means that people always compliment them,
because no one wants to sit all evening, maybe they've gotten ahead of themselves and are
doing complicated moves too advanced for their skills - there's a long list!

I always remember, if some of your partners are praising you, it does not mean you are a
good dancer. The punishment for honesty can be swift and lasting, and no one wants to be
labeled a bitch. In Buenos Aires, women are brutally honest. Here, I have been "boycotted"
for years because I told the truth. (Ironically, whenever I have done this, it has boosted
the will of that man to get better - "I'll fix her! I'm going to get really good, and then
never dancing with her again!!" See how I sacrifice for my community??)

Tango needs constant vigilance to stay good. One of my students asked "When do I graduate?"
You don't. I try to find someone who will be honest with me. Then, most important, I buck
up and listen.

I'll be in BA Saturday - email me if you are there also!

Loisa Donnay
Minneapolis, MN






Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2008 02:13:51 +0900
From: Astrid <astrid@ruby.plala.or.jp>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes/blowing my
nose
To: Lois Donnay <donnay@donnay.net>
Cc: TANGO-L digest system automatic <tango-l@mit.edu>


> Here, I have been "boycotted"
> for years because I told the truth. (Ironically, whenever I have done this, it has boosted
> the will of that man to get better - "I'll fix her! I'm going to get really good, and then
> never dancing with her again!!" See how I sacrifice for my community??)
>
> Strange, when I have done that, I usually got something like "I don't need to listen to you, there is a bunch of beginners eating their heart out to dance with me, and they are all Japanese and don't talk back". And that was that, usually... How do you do it, Lois? ; )







Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 09:57:57 -0800 (PST)
From: Mario <sopelote@yahoo.com>
Subject: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes
To: tango-l@mit.edu

??? They don't come any 'stranger' than you, Jack.
?
"?One thing we agree on is that Tango does seem to attract some very, very?strange people.
Certainly far more than the law of averages would suggest.
I have no idea why."? - Strange Jack








Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 11:39:09 -0700
From: Nina Pesochinsky <nina@earthnet.net>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes
To: tango-l@mit.edu
format="flowed"

So maybe a good cortina for some of the milongas outside of BsAs could
be a great song by the Doors "People are Strange":)

"People are strange
When you're a stranger,
Faces look ugly
when you're alone.
Women are wicked
when you're unwanted,
streets are unhaven
when you're down.
When faces come out of the rain
When you strange
No one remembers your name
When you strange."


Quoting Mario <sopelote@yahoo.com>:

> ??? They don't come any 'stranger' than you, Jack.
> ?
> "?One thing we agree on is that Tango does seem to attract some
> very, very?strange people.
> Certainly far more than the law of averages would suggest.
> I have no idea why."? - Strange Jack
>
>
>
>
>








Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 12:12:57 -0800
From: "Brick Robbins" <brick@fastpack.com>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes
To: tango-l@mit.edu
<ca2c2380811111212q1246f952oe0e5a1adb93b5f7f@mail.gmail.com>



From: Melina Sedo & Detlef Engel <tango@tangodesalon.de>
Subject: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes

First off Melina, vielen Dank an Sie und Detlef for the wonderful
workshops you gave in Portland. I learned much from you.

>>I find it so very important to make everybody understand, that you

need to respect the codes of polite behaviour, when you're in a
Milonga. It's not even about Tango-Codigos, it's just basic
instinct. ;-)
<snip>
Unfortunately all of this happened a lot to me during our recent tour
to the US, even in the "very traditional" Milongas:<<

While I agree with you in part, I think you may have missed one
important aspect of this.

The LOCAL codes of polite behaviour.

And "basic instict" in social settings isn't really instinct, it is
learned behaviour, so what is acceptable in Germany may not be
acceptable in America, probably won't be acceptable in the Middle
East, and might not be acceptable in BsAs

Many try to abide by the codigos from BsAs in local US milongas
(especially the better and more traveled Tangeuros) and that may work
well in some places, but not so well in others.

Argentine Tango in the USA does not exist in a vacuum.

It exists within the context of American culture, and more
specifically American Dance Culture. American Dance Culture teaches
that if someone attending a dance, they want to dance, so it is OK to
ask them. It teaches that it is acceptable for women to ask men. And
it teaches that it is rude to refuse a dance, after all "it is only 3
minutes."

Americans may be unpopular around the world, though less so this week
than last, but there is nothing wrong with Americans (or anyone else)
acting like Americans while in America.

Your story about the rude Argentine is not surprising. I don't know
his history, but he may have simply been following the advice "When
in Rome, do as the Romans do," and he never would have acted that way
in BsAs.

I most always use the Cabeceo, especially at a festival or visiting a
community new to me, but sometimes even following the Codigos in the
USA can be perceived as being rude.

For example: I was recently chastised by a woman for not asking her to
dance. I explained to her that she was most always intensely watching
the dance floor, so I could never catch her eye to ask yer. She told
me that in that case, I should have walked up to her, tapped her on
the shoulder to get her attention, and then asked her to dance!

Brick Robbins
San Diego, CA
http://www.sandiegotangofestival.com/





Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 21:46:08 +0000
From: rockies@comcast.net
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes/blowing my
nose
To: "Lois Donnay" <donnay@donnay.net>, "TANGO-L digest system
automatic" <tango-l@mit.edu>
<111120082146.28531.4919FD1F000F11F200006F7322069997350101009B9D@comcast.net>


A wise friend once said 'why would you want to dance with someone who doesn't want to dance with you?' We are better off concentrating on those who do want to dance with us.

There are myriad reasons why someone may not want to dance with someone else, but you're better off to just accept that there will be some who don't want to dance with you, just as there may be some whom you don't want to dance with. North Americans have a problem with directness, and I often wish we could simply receive constructive feedback without being hurt over it. Tango is hard on the ego. Maybe it's a lesson in developing less ego?

Comparison and competition do make a person a better dancer. Ultimately however, it doesn't make a person *feel* better when they fail to meet or even come close to their ideal. I think however, that one should be grateful for the positive experiences in tango, and therefore focus more on those. I also think it's important to have compassion for those of a lower level. You were there once too, remember? On the other hand, yes, it can be frustrating to stay with partners whom you have outgrown, and maybe it does them no favors in a way, unless they are still learning and refining. For some people however, their enjoyment does not center on whether they are good dancers or not, they simply want to dance. We shouldn't deny them the right to that, but if we have delusions of our ability and want to dance with those who do care about ability, well, there's nothing like a milonga to put us in our place. Do your own thing... if you want to refine your dance to be the best, then do i
t, and
if your goal is to simply dance, improvement disregarded, then do so. But don't expect others no matter which side of the fence you are on to only subscribe to your ideal of tango etiquette (or any other aspect of tango). An optimist has a great time at the milongas even if he or she is rejected often, because they will remember the one or two great dances of the night. A pessimist focuses on the rejections or unenjoyable dances. You get what you think about, and whatever you focus your thoughts on is how your experience is going to be.

Abrazos

Randy









Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 15:34:33 -0700
From: Nina Pesochinsky <nina@earthnet.net>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes/blowing my
nose
To: tango-l@mit.edu
format="flowed"

True enough, Randy.

Sometimes it is a true grace when some people do not want to dance
with you or me or others. Just because someone happens to dance tango
does not mean that it is their best social talent.

One of the dancers in our dance company said that when she was
training in ballet, one of her teachers told some girls that they
should learn to cook and get a husband, because they will never dance.:)

It is important to recognize people's talents. Sometimes it is
conversation and not tango. Sometimes it is neither tango nor
conversation, but playing chess. Sometimes if you have really good
conversations with someone, it might be best not to dance with them
because it might ruin the conversation.

I think that it is very useful for all tango dancers to learn
something else to do other than dance that they can do together.
Singing is useful because with some people in the milongas you can
sing along and don't need to dance.

Drinking champaign to tango music is another option. Afterwards, it
feels as if you had danced together:)

My point is that tango, and being in the milongas, is much more than
just dancing. The social universe of tango is immense. In BsAs,
there are people whom I have known for many years in the milongas,
with whom I always chat and catch up, and with whom I have never
danced and probably will never dance. And yet, these tango friends
are no less valuable than the people we dance with. I also have met
lovely people, whose company I had enjoyed immensely, with whom I
finally danced. Afterwards, I wish I didn't. Dancing was bleak by
comparison with a sparkling conversations that we have had.

So when people don't want to dance with you, maybe it is an
opportunity to discover something else that is interesting about them.

In BsAs, this is easy because people hang out in the milongas for
hours. In the US, people are anxious to either dance or go home, and
hanging out together does not seem to be a priority.

Not dancing can be both a tragedy and a blessing. You have to choose
which it is moment by moment:)

All the best,

Nina



Quoting rockies@comcast.net:

> A wise friend once said 'why would you want to dance with someone
> who doesn't want to dance with you?' We are better off concentrating
> on those who do want to dance with us.
>







Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 21:49:04 -0300
From: "Maria Olivera" <ma_olivera@yahoo.com.ar>
Subject: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes
To: <tango-l@mit.edu>


Amazing Melina!

I remember I was there when the threatening "you made a big mistake"
happened...

I had several experiences myself with the lack of etiquette at Milongas...I
know I was responsible of some of them because I didn?t want to look
"snobby" and I know some people are way too sensitive to that idea, so I
agreed to dance tandas that I should have said "no, thanks".

A couple of weeks ago I was dancing in a USA city (no need to mention which
one) and I ended up feeling so annoyed that I asked my partner to leave.
First, I was having dinner, to be precise, I was chewing a piece of bread
with hummus, and there comes the host of the milonga and invites me to
dance...I felt like I didn't want to turn him down and said yes, feeling
very uncomfortable (that was my mistake). So I danced the first song while I
chewed my bread.

Right after that, during a Cortina, I stand up from my table to go to the
ladies room, for which I had to cross the dance floor that was empty, of
course. A young boy jumps up from his table and comes to me to invite me to
dance to some music that was not being played yet. I told him I was on my
way to the ladies room and left. But when I came back (the tanda had already
begun) and I was heading directly to my chair without even looking towards
where this boy was, he jumps at me again and says "so, let's dance"...again,
I felt I was being forced to say yes, and so I did. Of course, they guy
didn't even thought that my style of dancing (which he had seen previously
during the little demo my partner and I were doing) had nothing to do with
his style, and definitely I wouldn't dance with him if I would have been
able to chose.

And finally, the strawberry of the cake: The next tanda comes, a guy invites
me to dance, I was not on the mood any longer, but I said yes again. Between
songs I said all the indirect sentences I could think of to try to lead him
to say "if you want to seat...please, do it"...but he would reply in the
most selfish ways I could imagine:

- "I'm tired, this concrete dance floor makes my legs weight a ton"
- "For me is OK, I work on concrete floor everyday"
- "It's really hot here, isn't the air conditioning working, how does
everybody keeps dancing?"
- "Oh, I'm used to this weather, it doesn't bother me at all"

And so on...

After that tanda I just told my partner and my friends that I wanted to go
home...and I started to understand how important it is to talk about the
usage of the etiquette and that it's supposed to be used to allow the
dancers NOT to dance with anybody they don't want to, or in any situation
they don't want to, for whatever reason.

So, Melina, you're doing the right thing, as usual! Please, keep reinforcing
this concepts! We'll do the same to the extent we can.

Hugs!
Mar?a
www.tangosalon.com.ar

PS: I posted this message today but it didn't get to the group, maybe it was
too big, I hope now it gets to the list.







Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 17:16:41 -0800 (PST)
From: NANCY <ningle_2000@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes
To: Maria Olivera <ma_olivera@yahoo.com.ar>
Cc: tango-l <tango-l@mit.edu>




--- On Tue, 11/11/08, Maria Olivera <ma_olivera@yahoo.com.ar> wrote:

> I had several experiences myself with the lack of etiquette
> at Milongas...I
> know I was responsible of some of them because I didn?t
> want to look
> "snobby" and I know some people are way too
> sensitive to that idea, so I
> agreed to dance tandas that I should have said "no,
> thanks".

Dear Maria,

Please! You must turn down those guys. When you don't, it only encourages them because they say, "Well, Maria Olivera danced with me and she liked it" as a reason not to improve or to impose themselves on other women. It is already a ratio problem in most communities where there are many more women than men so that even the most mediocre of dancers is able to dance all he wants and has no incentive to improve. And then with no discouraging words, they call themselves 'teachers' with sometimes less than a year of lessons and dancing. And the women are not any better. They hound the men and chase them down until they must go and hide in the restroom so they can have a rest.

A very kind man once explained it to me. 'It is your body that you are giving to him. You have the right to choose to whom you give it.' Don't you agree?

Un abrazo,
Nancy












Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2008 14:28:51 -0500
From: David <dchester@charter.net>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes
To: tango-l@mit.edu
Cc: tango-l-request@mit.edu

Maria,

You're story made me laugh, as I've had many conversations with my wife (OK maybe some of them were arguments), about my inability to pick up on what she is really saying. Basically, us men (at least in the U.S.) simply are not smart enough to pick up on hints like you listed (sad but true). You have to communicate in a way that is so simple, that even WE can understand it.

If you say something about the heat, we think you want to talk about the temperature, or if you talk about the concrete floor, we think, "Wow, she can tell how different floors feel, I wonder why I can't do that".

: )

Basically, it just wouldn't occur to many of us that you're hinting about something else. I've been married for 25 years, and I still don't understand my my wife can't just say, "will you turn on the light", instead of saying, "it's getting a little dark in here".


BTW, I've had the pleasure taking classes (and privates) from Maria (and Gustavo) in Vermont, and let me just say that both of them are two of the nicest people you would ever want to meet (and excellent teachers, too).

Regards (and hopefully our paths will cross again some day),

David


---- tango-l-request@mit.edu wrote:

> From: "Maria Olivera" <ma_olivera@yahoo.com.ar>
> Subject: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes
>
> And finally, the strawberry of the cake: The next tanda comes, a guy invites
> me to dance, I was not on the mood any longer, but I said yes again. Between
> songs I said all the indirect sentences I could think of to try to lead him
> to say "if you want to seat...please, do it"...but he would reply in the
> most selfish ways I could imagine:
>
> - "I'm tired, this concrete dance floor makes my legs weight a ton"
> - "For me is OK, I work on concrete floor everyday"
> - "It's really hot here, isn't the air conditioning working, how does
> everybody keeps dancing?"
> - "Oh, I'm used to this weather, it doesn't bother me at all"
>
> And so on...





Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 12:07:52 +0100
From: Melina Sedo & Detlef Engel <tango@tangodesalon.de>
Subject: [Tango-L] Last mail on topic: Milonga codes

Dear Brick. Hi all.


Thanks for your reply to my mail.

You are absolutely right, that there are different social behaviour
rules in different countries.
So, going to a table and inviting someone to dance my be ok in the
US, but not in BA.

And, to go to a table might not be the main problem. If you invite
someone directly and you have checked out by eye contact, that there
is a general "openness" to you, this may be totally good.

But I just cannot belive, that the "rules" find it ok, to interrupt
someone, if he or she is (seriously) engaged in something else or if
this person is obviously avoiding contact. And: IF the "rules" say
it's ok, then it's still against good instincts. ;-)
As Trini already put this: It is NEVER a good idea to approach
someone, who's avoiding eye contact or who looks at you in a
rejecting way. If you do so and are then rejected, you should not
wonder. No?

I'm surely no blind admirer of argentine culture, in fact, I'm a big
critic of a lot of the "reglas" or "codigos". BUT: the Argentines got
one thing right and this is the Cabeceo/Mirada. It just makes sense
in the Tango (or Dance) context. And trying to promote that one
"rule" in addition to the Tango itself, can be no mistake, I find.

And then: I'm 42 years old and I find myself most of my time trying
to cooperate and interact with others. This is in general good and I
don't mind. It's been part of my job(s) since years!
But dancing with someone socially, especially in a close embrace, if
you really try to commit, is something very intimate and demanding.
When I dance with a man (or a woman) I really want to please that
person and give him (or her) a good time. And I want to have a good
time too.

This is not about just wanting to dance with the "stars". In fact, I
just had the nicest Di Sarli Tanda with a "beginner" in Stockholm,
who did not dare to invite me and whom I had to encourage for 4 days.

But: I just cannot please a person, if I'm focused on something else
or real tired or I don't like that person's dance-style or the person
at all. And I do not want to start acting as a Tango-robot, even
though I'm a professional teacher now.

I could do gymnastics with anyone and (almost) anytime, but Tango is
something unique and I want to keep it that way.

Have a nice day,


Melina



Melina Sedo & Detlef Engel
www.tangodesalon.de
www.youtube.com/tangodesalon
tango@tangodesalon.de
(0049) (0)681 9381839
(0049) (0)177 4340669






Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 00:53:56 -0300
From: "Maria Olivera" <ma_olivera@yahoo.com.ar>
Subject: Re: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes
To: <tango-l@mit.edu>

-Basically, us men (at least in the U.S.) simply are not smart enough to
pick up on hints like you listed (sad but true). You have to communicate in
a way that is so simple, that even WE can understand it.

-If you say something about the heat, we think you want to talk about the
temperature, or if you talk about the concrete floor, we think, "Wow, she
can tell how different floors feel, I wonder why I can't do that".

-BTW, I've had the pleasure taking classes (and privates) from Maria (and
Gustavo) in Vermont, and let me just say that both of them are two of the
nicest people you would ever want to meet (and excellent teachers, too).

David


David!

You've made me laugh too...you might be right about me having to be more
direct, but there's something I've learned when I was involved in
politics..."don't ever underestimate the people you're talking to".

Nevertheless, I appreciate your advice, and next time I'll go straight to
the point.

Thank you very much for your comments on us and our classes, we also had a
great time with you two, and that weekend in Vermont was magical. Hopefully
we'll be able to see you somewhere next year.

Abrazos,

Mar?a

---- tango-l-request@mit.edu wrote:

> From: "Maria Olivera" <ma_olivera@yahoo.com.ar>
> Subject: [Tango-L] Milonga Codes and weird anecdotes
>
> And finally, the strawberry of the cake: The next tanda comes, a guy

invites

> me to dance, I was not on the mood any longer, but I said yes again.

Between

> songs I said all the indirect sentences I could think of to try to lead

him

> to say "if you want to seat...please, do it"...but he would reply in the
> most selfish ways I could imagine:
>
> - "I'm tired, this concrete dance floor makes my legs weight a ton"
> - "For me is OK, I work on concrete floor everyday"
> - "It's really hot here, isn't the air conditioning working, how does
> everybody keeps dancing?"
> - "Oh, I'm used to this weather, it doesn't bother me at all"
>
> And so on...





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