Thanks to Endre for this recent comment on my previous post on tango in London: 'Our community in Budapest somehow has the same symptoms you've just described. Related to the beginner leader drop out I use a simple but effective approach. It helped me and it helped some of my friends being desperate.' Thanks, and welcome, Endre! Good to hear from you. I'll try and add your blog to my Tango blog list, but I've had problems with that recently.
He links his comment to a post on a tango blog, Endretango, I hadn't noticed before. Endretango's native language may be Hungarian, but the blog is available in English, French and Spanish, and the English version is excellent. He advocates making a dance with an unknown partner a necessary part of every milonga evening. I already do this as much as I can, and I think many of us do it, but I've never thought of writing about it here, so thanks for putting it into words! I don't make it a rule, but I like to do it, of course. & why not, when you see the ladies standing waiting hopefully for a dance? I've had great dances and made new friends like that. After all, one of the great things about tango is that you can have an amazing dance with someone you've not met before.
(I should have made it clear in my post on London tango that I don't go to all the milongas, so when I said I didn't notice less experienced guys turning up, I was referring to a limited number of milongas. I hope those guys are are out there and busy on other floors.)
Endretango has a link to El Tango y sus Invitados, Tango and Guests, a site I'd visited before but never explored. It's difficult to navigate and I can find it only in Spanish, but it has links to a huge resource of music, including the collected recordings of Pedro Laurenz (it seems there are more early recordings than those available on the two usual CDs), Miguel Caló, Fresedo, Di Sarli, D'Agostino, Tanturi and D'Arienzo (a massive 998 tracks apparently) and many others. Working out how to use it isn't easy, and the downloads are in a compressed .RAR format, which might need another software download to decompress, but there's a lot of music at the end of it all, in .mp3 format at between three and four Mbs per track, which is reasonable. Having said that, we may well already have and know the tracks we really want to listen and dance to. The late tracks of Caló with a bouncy electric bass, and of Fresedo in stereo, are more like curiosities, but I've found excellent tracks from the earlier period that I wasn't aware of. (There again, that's probably an indication of my limits!) But when you hear one of those tandas that sound familiar but you can't place, you might find it easier to identify it as, say, Fresedo, but slightly earlier or later than the usual tracks.
The downloads include a discography for some of the artists, so it is a really useful archive.
But I'm not sure I'll know what to do with 998 tracks of D'Arienzo! That's about two days non-stop listening...