I was asked to post results from the poll of why people dance and/or quit tango. Thank to all who responded. A summary of responses:
Most responders were over 55 - none under 25, 58% female.
Most chose tango for its look and feel. Most had done other dances, general ballroom the most common. A tango demonstration/workshop brought tango to the attention of most respondents. Word of mouth was the main way we were found, the Internet a close second.
Most respondents enjoyed their first lesson; only one found it mildly unpleasant. All respondents indicated appreciation for our varied instructors; none found them uninteresting, and most found instructors and dancers warm and welcoming.
That was in class; some did not feel the same warmth at milongas.
A Friday venue idea got some support, Sunday afternoon milongas also eliciting some interest.
Milongueros tend to spend most of their tango money on group lessons and milongas; half the respondents spent their tango money on shoes.
Most people who quit tango did so after the first few lessons, the rest after a year. Those who quit found the community warm and friendly. Just one did not like the community. The largest vote for improvement was for more people of all ages and more opportunities to dance.
The largest percentage of those who quit cited life changes - move, marriage, jobs, etc. The next largest group cited insufficient people to partner and practice. Some found dance partners too critical and rude.
What would entice you to return? Evidently harder to answer; only 58% dealt with that. The biggest draw was a new significant other in their lives who tangos. After that, improvement in health or finances.
Excerpts from some of the comments:
If I thought that any men here would ask me to dance, I'd show up.
We don't want tango for every dance. No dance is the end-all.
people submerged in tango seem to know no other dances.
Given a choice between a dance where we can use all of our dances and a milonga, we choose dances with a variety of music every time.
The music needs to change. Find some top 40 numbers to tango to. They exist, so get away from scratchy violins and squeaky accordions.
Arg. tango is a difficult dance to learn and newcomers need to be able to get going quickly or they won't come back.
Let's have sympathy for single ladies who spend their time and money to go dancing. If they aren't getting value, they aren't coming back.
I think the Arg. tango world needs to ... cast aside the social formality of the milongas -- many find it a major turn-off.
Keep up the good work. I will come back as soon as I can to practicas.
Group has gotten too cliquey. So it would be nice to find something different to dance together at.
My fella hasn't 'found the time' to make it ... I am waiting for him to go. Perhaps I will have to just go without him...
... my work schedule. I plan on participating when I can.
When students learn to dance and are satisfied with their level of proficiency, it is natural to move out of the studio and onto the social dance floor.....taking their new found relationships with them.
The group is too old and/or didn't like vibes of the leadership. Not that leadership was unfriendly, just not the personality that appealed to younger folks. Ultimately, the young like to be with the young.
I find many of the members snobbish and "know it alls", too willing to give advice, but can't dance that well themselves.
Milongas are a waste of time, unless you come with a partner and since I don't have a partner and there are no men, what is the point?
I have moved on to other dances, where there are men and there is some joy in the experience. I may consider returning, if I find a partner.
The problem is not the difficulty of the dance, but the lack of anyone to practice what is learned.
I find that people do not want to try/practice the new movements, but go right back to the basics, so there is no real move forward.
I think it is important to be VERY WELCOMING to newcomers so they return in spite of the difficulty of learning the dance.
Don't let the group, as many do, become cliquish and insular; assign partners to newcomers so they are comfortable and feel included.
Modesto Tango needs to try week night classes
People want to dance more; each milonga needs a special theme or other facet to make it interesting.
Family obligations keep me away at this time... I hope that my life will settle down in time but right now it is very difficult and would hate to see them stop tango in Modesto...
Hopefully it will grow while I am on sick leave and be bigger and stronger in the future..
There were never enough men.
Even when there were quite a few men, few asked me to dance.
I got tired of spending money on dresses, shoes, entrance fees, lessons, gasoline...so I could be a wallflower.
Due to long distance and busy schedule, class or milonga is infrequent.
It is humiliating to get all gussied up, learn the dance steps and perfect them, and then have no one with whom to dance or practice.
Wrapped up in other projects. Driving to Modesto can be a real drag.
Enjoyed the class. Becomes expensive as we need a baby sitter.