How do you keep beginners interested in tango? How do you encourage those who have done a beginners course (usually 6 to 8 weeks) to stay on in tango and move up to the next level - or at the very least to attend a few milongas? Does putting on a graduation give them the confidence to continue? I have just got off the phone to one of Sydney's leading tango teachers and this was the gist of our conversation.
The attrition rate in tango dancers in the first few months is high. I don't think this is peculiar to tango. I am a passionate yogi as well and I hear yoga teachers saying the same thing. I did belly dancing for a couple of terms then I dropped out - is this a clue? How do you keep students coming to class? You can of course charge them upfront for a course - this is pretty basic, most people do this. But this doesn't ensure they will stay.
Yoga and belly dancing are solitary pursuits, i.e. you don't need a partner. You don't need a partner in tango either, but it helps to have someone to practise with - and the over-supply of women at most milongas puts quite a few women off. Unless you are looking for a partner I think this is sad because there are so many interesting people at tango that I will sometimes talk more than I dance! Is it because it is more difficult to dance Argentine tango than just about any other dance? because every dance is different, and there are infinite combinations of figures and steps?
what do you think? Are some teachers better than others at keeping students and if so is it because they are better teachers - or better marketers - or both? Is there anything we can do to encourage these people who were attracted to tango because they wanted to dance to the music to stay on? Love to hear