- Some milonga venues will be lost, never to return.
- Some organizers were truly harmed financially by the pandemic and will not want to face the risk again.
- Many teachers will have gone on to some other way to make their living. Being a teacher was already hard, but the pandemic had them take their talents elsewhere.
- Some dancers just cannot afford to go dance as they did before.
- New blood, that is, the new dancers who would have come to tango has stopped flowing for nearly a year. What does that do to a village when reproduction stops and the toddlers also died out? (Tango "toddlers" are the dancer who were one- and two-year-olds tanguer@s when the pandemic started.)
- And my biggest concern as a therapist mentioned above: Some dancers have been traumatized by this pandemic. The tragedy is abundant: Friends and family have died, even dancers you knew. Many dancers will be forever changed in the way they understand a hug from a stranger. The pool of people who will continue to hug may shrink. That, I fear will shrink a dance whose foundation is a musical hug.
Something else adds to my concern: A warm tango embrace was already rare in many communities. That should send off an alarm bell if you love tango. If indeed touch is the epicenter of tango's survival, then many communities may have already been in decline before the pandemic even started. Does the "close embrace" make many in your community uncomfortable? I have a frank suggestion for touch-avoidant dancers: Consider learning how to dance ballroom which is mostly a museum of dead dances. Do you have any friends going out to dance the Viennese Waltz, the Quick-Step lately? No? How about the Paso Doble? Museums have signs everywhere: "Don't Touch!"
Once it is safe again, just as it was after the 1918 pandemic, tango will live again as long as the embrace is warm and gladly given.
Note: This post completes 12 years of Tango-Therapist and the 418th post. Many have stayed with me that long. Thank you for your kind words and support. The research I have put into many posts has been a great education for me, and I hope for my readers.
--Mark Word, Thanksgiving Day 2020.