It's over for another year, the Australian Tango Championship finals took place last night in Sydney and now Australian tango dancers know who the winners are. Both the couples who won are professional tango dancers who make their living from dancing and teaching tango - the couple who came third are a young couple I watched with admiration on the floor at the Wellington festival. Sadly once the competition was opened to professionals it was obvious that amateur couples would not - and could not win, something which you may feel strongly about.
I can now come clean and say that I did not approve of this year's event - partly because they mixed professionals with amateurs. Although it had an army of enthusiastic and well-intentioned volunteers it did not do what I believe it should do which is showcase tango to the general community. There was no publicity outside the tango world - certainly not in the entertainment or media press, or even the Latin American media. Plus which it clashed with the Argentinian community's Independence Day celebrations so it was never going to get support from the Argentinian community in general.
Many enjoyed themselves and, by all reports, there were some beautiful dancers who did not win, or even get a place. As is always the case with these competitions there were some dancers who were deeply disappointed about the results and some who found that the competition brought out a hostile and unfriendly atmosphere at certain events.
I think that if the competition is to continue as part of the Australian tango scene it needs to be re-thought. What do you think?
Our small poll found that roughly 22 per cent were taking part, 16 per cent were watching, 10 per cent thought it should not be part of tango activities, 33 per cent saw no point in it since there are no rules in tango and 22 per cent were not in favour of competitions!!
Please note: I welcome comments in true editorial style - both against and for my opinion.