Tango communities--communities that hug--will certainly lose some dancers forever and have a smaller pool of rospective dancers.
The Dark Side, then, is a true threat to tango communities as it so vulnerable for viability now.It is true that a certain kind of tango may continue; I call it "Wax Museum Tango." You already are aware of the Wax Museum of Dance museum piece, taught with other ballroom dances which live in the Wax Museum of Dance, or the so-called ballroom dance. Although I have enjoyed ballroom dance, it really is not so much a social dance but for the show--expensive gowns and lessons which only the rich can afford.
You also have seen Wax Museum Tango exists already in the ballroom repertoire. It's a generalized rhythm taken from a few authentic but not beloved tangos. The ballroom tango tempo is prescribed in a narrow spectrum between 120-128 beats per minute. (I am not kidding.) Men and women often look in opposite directions as they march machine-like across the floor. He is passionate and tough on his woman and she is a bordello-like temptress. Great fun. Argentine tango is different, but also easily could join the other museum pieces if the "Dark Elements" of AT continues to eat away and this and that tango community in the world. Surely you know of some communities--sometimes large cities whose tango communities wither and die. That's how it happens. One or more of the below elements sealed the coffin of that community. For a large city near where I live, it was #5 as the major factor, but all were there.
1. Dark Side Element: Over-defining what dance is.
Source: Teachers and students who focus on multiple standardized moves and perfect presentation. In a few words: Cookbook dance.
Competition brings with it choreography (literally "written out dance") that requires mostly group-think. Sure ballet is beautiful but does it have people dancing out of joy for the music? Maybe in the streets? Or dance halls? It is an elitist dance that damages the body. How many old ballet dancers do you find out there? Communities that have teachers who focus on social dance and being unique in one's body create communities that will last.
2. Dark Side Element: Lack of shared etiquette among social dancers.
Solution: Well, you cannot easily fix what I have seen in a now-dead community--a teacher who comes over to a potential partner, puts out both of his hands with his feet inches from her feet, expecting that she is delighted to dance with him. Then he breaks a very important etiquette rule: He teaches her at the milonga. Since he has many women who he thinks need his services, he drops her off at her seat after a few dances and repeats this behavior. Etiquette worked very well in the tango community to make the community grow and remain lively. Don't try to fix etiquette. It is not broken, only misunderstood or trivialized by some.
3. Dark Side Element: Creation of unisex sanitized dance.
4. Dark Side Element: Poorly trained DJ's.
Source: Milonga organizers who do not give clear guidance with all DJ's. (In other words, it is your party, not theirs!
Solution: Whenever I played professionally as a musician, someone in charge wanted to know our repertoire, and make it clear that he or she wanted people to dance. If the band was too loud, the organizer would be the first to complain. Organizers wanted the dance floor not to get too rowdy. I remember one rowdy crowd at which there was a guy who threatened to get his gun in his car. The organizer ordered us to play "a bunch of slow songs." And so we did. It was like a tranquilizer for the crowd.
5. Dark Side Element: Lack of coordination and civility among organizers.
Solution: Well, try getting a group of volunteers. Start with a milongas-only calendar, as I did in 2008 in Austin. Large cities around where I live have this problem of a lack of coordination, too much competition, and straight out incivility. Meanwhile, my smaller town has avoided this pretty successfully. This Dark Element has destroyed tango in spite of huge populations.