Argentine Tango has captured my heart but along with the pleasure of the dance comes the pain of not being able to find a good enough supply of partners. See how I am trying to fix this.....
About four years ago I fell in love with Argentine Tango. This beautiful dance gives me a great deal of pleasure but at the same time causes me pain. The reason being that I cannot find any experienced dance partners either to learn with or to partner me at Milongas.
My sister and I have spent a great deal of money with some of the world’s leading Tango teachers and have even been out to Argentina twice. There is a wonderful agency out there that will provide experienced partners – but then it is their national dance and plenty of guys who need to earn a side income.
In this country, Tango is taken up as a social dance and does not have the structured syllabus set out by the likes of IDTA or ISTD. If someone becomes good enough they turn to teaching or performing - they never dance with clients socially. The idea of taking money for partnering is beneath them. Men who take up Tango socially do not generally take it to the high levels I am used to with my Ballroom and Latin team and as there is no competition circuit the standard is very low and inconsistent. Even when I have found the occasional guy who wants to be a paid partner it has been disappointing.
Never one to give up easily, and as the owner of the only dance school in the world with a team of experienced dance partners, I decided that my best option was to train some of my regular team to dance Tango, after all they have all the leading skills and this should enable them to learn another dance. I found a teacher is one of our team and who has learnt Tango from the perspective of a Ballroom and Latin dancer. He totally speaks their language and knows how to translate the different feeling and interpretation to them.
My guys are taking to this new challenge like ducks to water and I am very proud of them.
I will be ready to start classes in September and I want to get the word out. I am going to offer two types of class.
Everyone has a partner like my signature Ballroom and Latin classes - these will be charged at a premium rate.
The cheaper option where there will be a male teacher plus a small team of trained partners. The clients will be taught the follower steps then take it in turns to practice with the team but not have a dedicated partner for the whole lesson. This is still a hundred times better than going to a class with very few men who are complete beginners.
Our team will also be available to hire for Milongas - I can't wait!!!!
We are still unique in the market with dance lessons where everyone is guaranteed to dance with an experienced partner. The concept is no different from getting a tennis coach or personal trainer but it is more affordable and very sociable as it is in a group lesson environment - we all make friends and the atmosphere is electric.
As I am now in my 60s I haven’t got the time or patience to go to dances and hope that someone will ask me to dance with them. Apart from the disappointment, it is humiliating to be passed over for younger, slimmer girls even if their dancing standard is well below mine.
I have made the decision that dancing is part of my life and it can give me a lot of pleasure. For me it is a worthwhile use of my leisure spending money. After all, if I took up Golf or Tennis I am sure that the costs would probably be considerably higher than my weekly fees at dance classes.
Some women find the idea of paying for a partner to go to a social dance uncomfortable. I come from a world where traditionally men pay to take women out on a date. Most of my clients are professional women with the right kind of spending power and it is just a matter of assuming the man’s role and paying for two! I can promise you that the experience of being escorted to a social and knowing that you can dance whenever you like with one of the best dancers in the room who will not wander off leaving you fuming – is incomparable.