Tuesday Night Tango: "The SURVEY"
At the end of December 2012, Capistrano's, the long-time venue
for Tuesday Night Tango closed its doors.
In the process of hunting for a new space, dancers in the area participated
in a Survey to share their thoughts about the local Tango scene,
and to offer their ideas and suggestions for the night.
Below, an archive edition of The Survey, along with a rundown
on the many responses that helped inform both the shift to a new venue
and Tuesday Night Tango's updated format.
With venue changes in the wind, The Survey
below went out in early December 2012 on paper to dancers in
Ventura, Oxnard, Santa Barbara and Ojai; via email to those in the
Quantum Tango "loop"; and on the web at www.QuantumTango.net.
Dozens of dancers responded to The Survey and generously shared
their thoughts, including: newcomers to tango and dancers with
decades of experience on the dance floor; students, active social
dancers, and tango teachers; leaders and followers; local dancers,
visitors from beyond the "neighborhood," and tangueros
who used to live nearby and have since moved away to new communities
in the Bay Area and beyond.
A rundown on a few major themes revealed by The Survey:
Day of Week:
|89% prefer Tuesday ... 11% favor other
days of the week
|Time of Day:
||76% prefer the same time ... 18% like
a later hour, 6% like earlier
|65% prefer the present Ventura/Oxnard
area ... 35% would like a spot
further north ... and closer to
the freeway is better for most
|82% enjoy a restaurant settings ...
although some prefer to focus on
their dancing rather than eating/drinking
|100% like the "open-minded"
approach of Tuesdays though several
also enjoy the more formal
atmosphere of a traditional milonga
||100% like a smooth surface ... and 35% of those
prefer wood floors
|77% enjoy a mix of traditional + newer
music ... 23% favor "classic"
|90% prefer a format that mixes an open
práctica and a milonga ...
10% would favor a shift toward a
more "traditional" event
25% especially like Tuesday Night for its feedback + active
||opportunites to learn; the chance to
dance with many partners
|Sense of Needs:
||strong(er) social dancers; more/better
instruction; regular events
|Tuesday + Needs:
||"stick around"; add more study/learning;
cater to all levels of dancers
||email reminders, online calendars, websites
+ personal relationships
|interest in social events + parties; in field trips/carpools
to L.A. events;
in more/different opportunities
to learn tango; in emphasizing
strong floorcraft + good/traditional
Share Your Thoughts + Input
This recent change in venue offered us as dancers a good opportunity
to revisit the idea of Tuesday Night Tango -- both to
assess its place in our local Tango Scene, and to ponder how the night
might best respond to the ever-evolving needs and interests of both
individual dancers and our wider Tango Community at large.
In that spirit, dancers were kindly invited to take a few minutes
to share their thoughts and feedback about Tuesday Night Tango,
perhaps by way of The Survey below:
- You can share your thoughts via email
.... U.S. Mail ... in person ... and/or by dropping off your survey
in one of the Monday or Tuesday Night donation buckets.
- Don't care for surveys? No worries: We're always happy to hear
your thoughts in person -- or give Stephen
a call ...
Take "The Survey" + Help Create the
Like tango itself, Tuesday Night Tango and other similar
gatherings are both artistic creations and a communal expression of
ourselves as dancers -- a meeting ground, a collaborative event, a
And since we all make Tango happen by coming together to share our
energy, insight, generosity, and love of the dance, thank you for
participation in The Survey below.
Your thoughtful answers will help inform & shape Tuesday
Night Tango in the coming year, and add your voice to the
good work of keeping Tango strong, vital, alive and growing in our
- To answer The Survey digitially,
please copy any interesting questions below, paste them into a reply
email, add your thoughts, and send it all to Stephen
The "Tuesday Night Tango" Survey
Thank you for taking part ...
Kindly respond to any or all questions below that
happen to catch your eye ...
(In this digital version, look for sample responses appearing
in blue italics ... feel free
to adopt / adapt any of these which may apply ... and/or, in the
best tango tradition, improvise your own replies in any way you
Survey: Some Basic Questions ...
Day of the Week :
Since it first got under way back in 2008-09, this event has been
held on Tuesday Nights.
- Should we stick with Tuesdays ... or look to shift to some other
night of the week?
- If not Tuesday, what other day?
Yes, I love Tuesdays, let's keep
it on Tuesdays ...
No, I always dance in Denmark
on Tuesdays ...
I'm easy -- sometimes I'm free on Tuesdays, sometimes not ...
The only opening in my busy schedule is a weekend after Mother's
Time of Day :
For the last four years, dancing on Tuesdays has run
from about 7:30 to 10:30-plus -- just over three hours.
- Should the evening start earlier? ... Start later?
- Go longer? ... Something else?
A 7:30 start time is just about right
A later start and/or longer
night would be better for me ...
I'm usually in bed by 7:30 -- any chance of "Tuesday Breakfast
I like to work on my tan while I dance, so daytimes are best.
Our current venue is roughly an equal distance from dancers in Ojai,
Santa Barbara and Thousand Oaks.
- Does a location like this work or does it seem "too
far away" for you?
- Should we try to move further north? ... Or south?
- Do you ever carpool to Tuesday Night with a friend? ...
If so, how often?
I don't mind driving a bit for tango
I never drive more than
10 minutes for tango ...
Location doesn't matter -- my friend does the driving ...
No car = no tango ...
Closer to the freeway would be nice ...
I have a boat, any tango on Anacapa Island?
With door-to-door limo service, Tuesdays could be anywhere ...
In our area, weekday social tango is most often held in a working
restaurant where we buy something and can push the tables back to
create a dance floor.
- Does a public venue like this appeal to you?
- Do you like being able to eat, drink, meet friends and socialize
during the evening?
- Are you comfortable supporting a restaurant that gives us time
& space to dance?
Yes, restaurant settings are good
No, I prefer to dance in less "public" spaces ...
I like a high end spot with nice decor, a good menu, and a bar
A modest restaurant is better for me ...
I never eat where I dance ...
I like to cook -- what about my house?
Since the beginning, Tuesday Night Tango has been a
mixing ground -- a meeting place for tango dancers of different levels,
styles, tastes, backgrounds.
- Does this "open-minded" approach appeal, or do you
prefer a more traditional / formal event?
- Do you like the chance to engage with a wider mix of people?
... Why or why not?
I like the Tuesday mix -- it's friendly
Tuesdays feel chaotic -- there should be more of a "common
I prefer dancers who share my own background & approach
I like dancing with everyone ...
Not my scene -- too many beginners on Tuesday ...
The Tuesday water feels deep & fast -- there are so many
good dancers ...
It's rare to find a perfect dance floor -- and size, shape &
surface can vary quite a bit from place to place.
- What kind of floors work (best) for you -- wood, tile, cement,
- Rectangular ... or any shape?
- What feels "too big" -- or "too small"?
- To help adjust to any surface / conditions, do you carry more
than one pair of shoes?
"Big enough floor" &
"relatively smooth" are key -- other details don't
I only dance on polished mahogany from Patagonia ...
I can adapt my tango to fit most situations ...
No worries -- I keep an extra dance floor in my wallet ...
Uh-oh, my other shoes are flip flops, swim fins, and roller
More than most events, Tuesday Night Tango has been
known to play a wide selection of music for dancing -- everything
from "Golden Age" classics to contemporary tango sounds.
- Does a range of music appeal to you?
- What kind of music most interests / energizes you?
- What is easy for you to dance to -- or hard?
- Do you like a DJ who can play requests? ... Tandas or no
I only want to dance to my favorite
I enjoy hearing things I've never heard before ...
As long as there's a beat, I'm good ...
If it's not "Golden Age," it's not tango ...
... What's a tanda?
From the outset, Tuesday Night Tango has been a hybrid
event -- a cross between a práctica and a milonga -- aimed
at welcoming beginners and experienced dancers alike.
- Does this format appeal to you? ... If so, what do you
like (most) about it?
- If not, what would you add or change to make it better?
- Do you use Tuesday Night Tango more for practice
/ learning, or more as a social dance event?
I like the práctica-milonga
mix -- let's keep it ...
I only go for the social dancing ...
I like the chance to get feedback & work on my tango ...
I wish Tuesday Nights offered something more -- like
workshops or a class ...
What I long for most is a stylish blend of tango, bingo, trapeze
Survey: A Few "Bigger Picture"
More about your own needs and interests as a dancer ....
Where do you see your own tango going in the
In what ways are you still growing, evolving, refining what you
Any topics / issues / ideas you would like to develop & explore?
... If so, how?
What's (still) hard for you? ... What comes more easily?
Your sense of the needs / interests in our Tango Community ....
What would most improve the dancing in our
Ponder Tango Dancing Situations where you had the most fun --
or Learning Situations where you made the most progress:
What insights from these experiences might enrich our Wider Tango
What else might add to our collective skills, pleasure, and enjoyment?
How can we as dancers help bring more of these ideas into play?
How can Tuesday Night Tango best respond
to these various needs and interests?
Go away? ... Stick around?
Expand the night? ... Narrow the focus?
Add (more) opportunities to study / learn?
Cater more to newer / beginning dancers? ... To experienced / advanced
dancers? ... To both / all dancers? ...
Or: "All is well: Let's keep things the way they are"
Outreach and Communication ...
The best ways to keep in touch with you about local tango dancing
- Personal relationships & invitations
- Email reminders & newsletters
- Online calendar listings (e.g., TangoMango)
- Social media (Facebook)
- News groups (SBTango on Yahoo)
- Word of mouth
- Something else ...?
What (other) key Tango questions or issues seem
to be missing -- or -- have been overlooked in this survey?
What other areas / ideas are important for our Community to investigate,
consider, know about, or address?
Survey: An Optional "Personal Profile"
How often do you come to Tuesday Night Tango?
Often / sometimes / rarely / used to
/ never been / want to / have conflicts ...
If you used to come on Tuesdays, but don't (much) any more -- why
did you give it up or stop?
Outgrew it / lost interest / not fun
/ bad event / got busy / got bored / got married / too dull / too
edgy / too hard / too expensive / too far away / quit tango / moved
away / moved to BsAs / something else ...?
What role do you dance? leader /
follower / both ...
How long have you been dancing tango? __________ months / years
Do you take any classes, workshops, or lessons? yes
... If so, how often? _______ per week /
month / year Local ...
How often do you go out to dance tango socially?
_________ days per week / month / year Local
... L.A./regional ... or beyond?
What aspect(s) of tango appeal to you the most? (check
any / all that apply):
- social dancing ...
- the music ...
- people + friends ...
- mastering something new / hard ...
- all the lovely feelings that come up ...
- all the snazzy steps + shapes we make
- close embrace ...
- open embrace ...
- "traditional" tango ...
- "nuevo" tango ...
- practicing ...
- performance ...
- competitions ...
- classroom learning ...
- health/exercise benefits ....
- anthropology/culture ...
- something else?
How often do you practice tango during the week?
_________ hours/week At
home, or at a práctica? Solo,
or with a partner?
* If you wanted to add more practice
to your tango, what would help you get there?
Okay: I've Completed
"The Survey" Now What ...?
Share your feedback with us:
- Drop off a hard copy in one of the buckets in Ojai / Ventura
/ Santa Barbara ...
- Pass it along to Stephen in person on a Monday or Tuesday ...
- Return your thoughts via
email ... or ...
- Print out & send back by snail mail -- look for details on
.pdf version of "The Survey"
Thank you for your thoughts, interest and participation ...