Saturday 26 February 2011

Post inbetween posts 4 - I'm not a cheerful blogger

Since I've started this blogging business, I‘ve visited lots of other blogs. Most of the Tangueros write about music or famous Maestros, share their lovely experiences or review the Milongas, that they have visited. I‘ve read so many great stories, that make me feel like Ebenezer Scrooge, always nagging ... I‘m really sorry.

But: That‘s just me. I‘m not the cheerful, romantic person who gets all googly eyed, when seeing a new dancer enter the room and compliments him on his super technique. I‘m the gal who complains about that same guy showing off on the dance floor. 

Believe me, I‘ve had lots of wonderful experiences in Tango, at Milongas, during classes, in the exchange with friends. If not, I would not keep on doing it. But I will most likely not write about these moments of bliss. There are enough people who do that.

I want to go on writing about the stuff, that many do not care to express. Sometimes, this may be provocative, contradictory to other people's opinion and not "tango-politically correct". I know that there are quite a few, who share my opinions, but don't dare to make a statement, because they are scared of "loosing contracts" or making enemies. I‘m not and I believe that talking about all aspects of a phenomenon - also the negative ones - leads to development! 

I nevertheless do stay polite and try not to insult other people's feelings.

And this is what I ask from people who comment on my blog as well. I do accept critique and lively discussions with Tangueros, who do not share my opinion, as you can very well see in the commentaries. But now people start threatening or insulting me anonymously or by using pseudonyms. I can cope with them personally, but I do not have to give them a voice on my blog. This is why, from now on, commentaries will be moderated. This is not an open forum, but my private blog. Do not hesitate to comment though. Usually I read the blog once per day and if you do stick to the rules of polite conversation, I will of course post you commentary.

Everyone else, readers and commentators, I thank with all my heart for taking the time to read my blog.


Sherri Dances said...

I love your Blog. Sometimes I feel all alone in my thoughts and you have given me courage to be myself! -thank you

tangocherie said...

You go, girl! It's your blog and you can do what you want with it.
I'm looking forward to reading your honest opinions!

ghost said...

Woo hoo!

No more trolls :o)

Mrs Mulford said...

Moderating comments also stops spam but not cake :-) Pls keep writing.

Melina Sedo said...

Cake??? No, we would never want to stop cake! looking forward to having some! ;-)

Harry said...

How right you are, Melina! It's not just sunshine in tango. Two examples:

What about a DJ (one of those travelling through all Europe) who puts on crappy sounding stuff and you yourself know exactly that there are excellent sounding, remastered versions of the same titles? Just happened abroad, far north, and nearly spoilt my evening, if I'd not had such a wonderful dance partner.
Why not buy the best you get? After all, DJs are paid (well, most not too good..)!

What about invitations to milongas that sound like an invitation to a church service? I do not want to celebrate "the" tango, I want to dance it!

I encountered both within only one week, and I could name more.

Nobody, mostly me included, dares to tell a DJ that s/he is not doing well. This (nearly exclusively) happens in a hidden way. When DJing I'd really like to hear what's good AND what's bad. Only this way we can improve...

tangobitch said...

Hi Melina,

I wholeheartedly agree that there are enough people highlighting the good things in tango. As long as a blog creates useful discussion, I think there's nothing wrong with saying things as they are. I even started my own blog where I can rant about my tango frustrations. My purpose was mainly to get things off my chest so I wouldn't carry all of it around with me into the milongas or practicas. A self-therapy of sorts.. Anyway, I digress.

I love what you write and even enjoy reading about vampires. Hope to make it to a class you teach in the UK one day.

Melina Sedo said...

Cool blog, Tangobitch! :-)
Hope to meet you in the uk.

Thanks for your post, Harry! Yep. Bad DJing is one of the worst things. I recently wrote an article for the german Tangodanza, where I described the last years European Tango Championship. One of the (many) critiqueworthy point was the poor DJing of the famous DJs. They are heros and nobody ever dares to complain. Apart from me - which is why so many people start hating me. Well....

When it gets to bad, I can always start a new project. Do bungeejumping. Or work at a grocery store. I never intended to be a Tangoteacher all my life anyway! ;-)

But now, back to work.

Still some studying to to and preparations for our Vampire game tomorrow. Yay!

Theresa said...


thank you for this comment. Yes there are a lot of awkward and ridiculous milonga invitations ....

The topic of criticizing a DJ is delicate. It doesn't make sense to criticize just because he puts music you don't like. And what you may find an annoying overload of a particular type of music may be amazing for other people (remember our table at Impruneta complaining about a certain DJ, and the rest of the crowd was enthusiastic!).

So, like you, I often don't dare to comment on the DJ's work. In the case of technically bad DJing we should do it, but for all other aspects of DJing there are almost always other people who enjoy what you find annoying.

And for my own DJing, I know that it's impossible to make everybody happy.


Harry said...


you are completely right about different tastes.

But still, if there is only one style, say, singers of the fifties with their dramatic way to sing, overpowering the orchestras. Or no change in mood and energy at all.

In such a case I allow myself to critizise - in principle. Or I make proposals, tell the DJ wishes, if s/he is accessible. Mostly I don't because I know that I often don't find the right words in the moment, being disappointed, sometimes angry about what I hear. So I remain silent, sometimes I better leave.

But of course, speaking about technical stuff, I mostly make clear that I'm not content with crappy sound, use of only a cheap sound card in a cheap notebook, and, yes, the use of bad mp3s.

Even worse, when I get the impression that a DJ just collected - and plays! - what he found in the internet, for example at etc. I know some of these files quite well, I often used them as a check, what I would need to have (and put on my shopping list).

And, by the way, we all are not grown up with tango music. If anyone says s/he doesn't need to prelisten, s/he must have a VERY small selection or simply doesn't take the job seriously.

OK, that's for now. I need to continue cleaning my flat ;-(

See you!

Melina Sedo said...

I agree with Harry on "the right to critisize":

For me it's not about taste, it's about danceability and creating an appropriate "flow" during a Milonga.
I will not impose my taste on a DJ, but if I've got the impression, that he's playing too much of one style of music or only Tangos, that are too complex and not easy to dance, or Tangos that are too aggressive and will induce the dancers to go crazy...
In these cases I might say something. Not per default, but if I am asked, I will surely tell him/her my honest opinion. And I am asked quite frequently by organisers.

I think, that every dancer at a Milonga, provided that he/she knows the music and is advanced enough to judge it's specifics, should be honest enough to say his/her opinion.

all this goes fro critisim of teachers as well, as I wrote in my post: It's a job, for god's sake!

For me, there are no gods and Tango itself is not a holy cow. It's work in progress and we all participate, from the humblest beginner to the most famous Maestro!

Back to work...

For exemple the

Litzo said...

In my opinion, if anyone that wishes to comment, they should always leave the name. If you're prepared to say it, be prepared to not be anonymous. As for being critical, there's nothing wrong with it. It's hard to grow if you can't listen to others. But keeping it with respectful boundries is a prerequisite to enagement with others. Your blog is the only one I read regularly. Thank you for writing it Melina! xx


Theresa said...

Melina and Harry,
I agree with both of you about when it might be appropriate or necessary to criticize a DJ, especially if you are the organizer of a milonga. Or as a guest of a milonga, to try to make suggestions to the DJ.

But Harry, I don`t agree at all with you on the point of prelistening. My collection is big and I do take the job seriously, but I never prelisten in a milonga. I prelisten at home.


Melina Sedo said...

Yup. I pre-listen at home as well. Only very, very rarely at the Milonga. Then on the iPhone, not on the Mac, that I'm using to DJ.

Melina Sedo said...

@ Richard: Thank you so much for being a faithful reader. Looking very much forward to this summer... :-)

Preen and Ogle said...

Talking about dislikes with regard to DJing - I hate it when a song starts 2/3 seconds after the previous one has just finished. I need time for the music to subside in my head and maybe a little time to exchange a few words with my follower, especially if it is the first time we have danced together. An experienced DJ friend says it is down to the software being use. Well, all I can say is that in BsAs they appear to have the right software.
Think about please, DJ people!

Chris said...

About DJs prelistening, I agree with Melina and Theresa. A DJ who knows the music has no need to prelisten. The DJ who doesn't know the music would be better first doing a few more years "prelistening" at home or in the milongas of more experienced DJs.

Melina, Well Done for a great blog.