Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Social Interaction

I spent last night in my living room, and yet it was a very satisfactory evening of tango. Two friends came by, one fresh off an airplane, and we made dinner, looked out over the city, and talked about life, tango, and the mix of the two.

I often find milongas and practicas lacking a strong social element. I'm not sure if this is particular to Seattle, but I suspect it is true to some degree everywhere. At least for me, a lot of the problem is created because I like dancing, and tango music drives me to the floor.  It's very tough to maintain a meaningful conversation in 1 minute chunks every 15 minutes.

A couple of the dances here in town maintain a stronger social atmosphere: China Harbor, and Om Culture; they have more space dedicated to non-dancing, and seating that encourages staying off the dance floor. Perhaps not coincidentally, they are also my favorite dances currently. Social atmosphere is not entirely dictated by layout, of course; other dances here have fluctuated in terms of atmosphere, attendance, music, etc.

How do you maintain social connections 5 or 15 minutes at a time?


  1. If you want to socialize, then find an activity with friends and do so. A milonga is for dancing, at least that's the way it is in Buenos Aires. If dancers spend more time talking than dancing, it's not a milonga.

    Here are a few details about the milonga in BsAs: it's not about making a social connection; that you do AFTER the milonga. The chit chat is about the music, not about your life. People generally don't know others' names and don't even care. The main purpose of going to a milonga in Buenos Aires is to listen to the music and dance which you're inspired.

    I've heard about the 4-minute date in the USA. There's no time for that at a milonga.

  2. Hmm. Well, perhaps so, although *many* things I have read from bloggers or visitors to BsAs suggest that many dancers do indeed sit out much of the night, at a table with their friends, socializing.

    And why shouldn't 'dancing' be an activity I do with my friends? Maybe it's less of an issue in a place with as large a group as BsAs, but in a smaller community, I think building social bonds is probably fairly important to keeping people involved and interested in dancing.