Here is the link to Part I, where I am also posting this as a comment for convenience...
Here are follow-up posts from Yura and Steve on the YahooGroupsTangoDJ forum...
From Yura, replying to Tom's post ::
I agree that DJ holds the energy on a milonga, and his/her role to manage energy and mood is important. But there are two points of view: point of view of a DJ and point of view of a dancers. Try to ask dancers at different milongas why they coming here. And count how often they will name the DJ... :) It seems to me that to many dancers (I think, most of a dancers) DJ is as jukebox -- and nothing more.
As Christopher wrote, there are different types of dancers with different priorities (I completely agree with all he wrote). The purpose of my post was to stress this: to dancers (not to all) DJ is not the most important factor for milonga. Most of the dancers, whom I interviewed, identified following important factors: location, place, time, other dancers (familiar). Very few people named DJ in the list.
It was very interesting result for me that I wanted to share and discuss with forum. Many thanks to all who shared the thoughts on the subject.
From Steve ::
I think place, time and other dancers matter a lot to most dancers, but the answers Yura received makes me wonder how much the quality varies across the djs in the community (Moscow?) that was polled. It also makes me wonder about the quality of the dancing.
There is a phenomenon where the dj can have a big impact on the quality of the dancing, but the dancers don't consciously realize the effect the dj is having. I've been to milongas where the djs stray too far away from music with a solid dance beat. The dancers don't dance very well with each other because the music isn't helping them with the connection. The navigation suffers because the lack of a solid dance beat has too many people disconnected from the music and moving at somewhat different times from each other.
What do the dancers think? They think they or their partners and most are having a bad night and that everyone is being rude about navigation. They don't necessarily associate the difficulties with the dj.
When I dj, I always watch to see how well the dancers are connected to the rhythm of the music and make adjustments to what I play.
In general, I've found it is the dancers who have been to Buenos Aires that are the most conscious and have the strongest opinions about the music that is played.
With best regards,