Why isn’t Argentine Tango more popular?

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I think it’s two main reasons:

  1. Terrible marketing: meaningless (or somewhat frightening) words like ‘passion’ and ‘intimacy’, cliché images, music most people think is awful.
  2. Terrible teaching, too focused on walking, which is a boring and demeaning experience for beginners who can’t do it or appreciate it yet.

To make tango popular we can:

  • Show people they can do this amazing dance on contemporary music.
  • Wear fashionable clothing to appeal to hip contemporary people.
  • Teach people movements they can do successfully on the first lesson, and that reveal the interesting aspects of tango improvisation (sacadas, voleos, ganchos, barrida). All the ‘basics’ (walking, crosses, change of foot, ochos, giros) require too much body control for beginners and are demoralizing. Also walk, cross, and change of foot are not very interesting movements until you have a high level of connection skills to appreciate the subtlety of these moves.
  • Do real market analysis and then go find the people who like it and those who won’t.
    • The most important feature of those who DON’T like it are people who are have a good time and are comfortable making new friends in bars.
    • People who like it: •divorcées … •intellectuals, especially women who don’t like to smile so much, and anybody who doesn’t like small talk… • engineers/geeks… •professional women who want to find their “feminine side”… •really shy guys… •people interested in fine body control (pilates, yoga, martial arts, crossfit… )… •clean/sober looking for something that takes a lot of concentration to distract from addictions.

There’s another model, making tango more social. Read about the strategies of Berlin’s Milonga Popular, who makes a milonga like a party, with free drinks, performance art, and keeping the absolute beginners on the Milonga from their first lesson.

Really do we need more photos in sleazy red dresses?

 

We all need more students, more dancers in our milongas, and great partners to dance with for the next few decades…

How can we Popularize Tango?

marketinggyide cover  e

Marketing is about Who is in the Room with You.
And Why.

 

With Sven Elze, Founder of the very popular Milonga Popular – Berlin, we’ve created a Thinkbook for Organizers, exploring how we can define the Tango Tribe who will resonate with each of us, find new marketing channels, craft resonant messages and images, and create experiences that make students fall in love with Tango from the first session.

Enter your email below for immediate access to the Thinkbook…

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Power is the courage, confidence, and competence to make things happen. I want to create in a way that’s incomparable and define my own compensation package. You too?

Syntax of Power is a raw, potent, and spare revelation of how I got to where I am and how I take on the struggle every day.

This book is not about tango, it’s about everything else.

It’s about stepping into the darkness of change, learning how to take care of yourself, and making things happen.

Dyv stands for Duro y Vio. We were inspired by a 2007 conference at Harvard University about tango as a transnational culture. Also we wanted to create something that would help people to imagine a queerer tango. We forbid ourselves to use the word ‘passion’ and instead tried to articulate the experience more precisely.

Argentine Tango is more than an elaborate and difficult dance, it is an international culture of intimacy, desire, and dignity. No mere romance or memoir, the intricately woven stories evoke tango’s true mysteries … the elation, the frustration, the compulsion…

We published the book in 2009. Dancers asked “how did you know what I was feeling?”

Silences in history. Silences by code. Silences of fear. You already know that Tango’s silences can be sublime and they can be devastating.

What I do in my blog is use myself as a lens – sometimes a microscope, sometimes a telescope. I try to be as honest with myself and you as words concede. Then I try to find a deeper meaning and imagine a pathway for us.

A blog post can be a fragment, a wisp of inspiration, an outline for thinking. A book must complete and reconcile it all. Now I drag the social scientist to the scene to enumerate the facts of the case, the mystery which brought both stardom and tragedy to my life.

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