Wow. Name Tags. Forgot about that. Good idea. Tango class in Aspen, Colorado. My original teacher, Heather Morrow.
I've always felt that in the realm of building tango communities, that understanding why people leave tango/communities, will give insight into how to better retain dancers - for both teachers and community "leadership".
To that end, I've compiled Clay and Beth Anne's survey into a pdf, complete with all of the comments (which is the gist, imho) and published on Scribd. You can read or download below.
For what it's worth, I don't think teachers nor communities do near enough to "capture" new dancers. The dancers that show up to take the "free intro" classes, or the dancers that "cold show" (I made that up) in regular month class series'. At the free intro classes, we don't even bother to get them to sign a page in a legal pad or on a clipboard - giving their name and email address for follow-up. At least here in Austin, Texas. Imaging following up with a community email (MailChimp) detailing all the activities, milongas, classes, different teachers, videos, resources, the community GoogleCalendar, the community website/portal.
There's a novel concept! A teacher doing a free intro class, but acknowledging that he/she may not be the "best" teacher for a particular student, and instead of only self-promoting, they promote the community at large and all of the other teachers, too. Or worse, doing essentially zero promotion of learning opportunities. Only giving someone a glossy postcard and calling that good just doesn't cut it, if you ask me.
"Rising seas float all boats" type shit. Or whatever. You get my drift. Or if you don't, the concept of a new competing milonga (potentially) bringing new dancers into the community. The concept of a new dancer coming into the community and trying all the teachers until they find the one that they learn from most effectively.
Here in Austin we have two "free intro" classes. Monday, and Tuesday nights, both followed by milongas. I would say each one averages 5 people. Sometimes 15-20, sometimes 2-3 or none, mostly 5 or 8. Let's say 5. Times x 2 nights x 50 weeks. That's 500 people per year coming through those classes. Cut that down to 200. Then we know that very few people "stick" to tango. "You don't choose tango, tango chooses you" as they say. So in a year, 10%? 5%? Go with 5%. 10 new people per year "sticking" and coming into the community. Say only 2 really stick for the long term.
2 out of 200? 5 out of 500?
1% "stickage" rate? Why so low? What is happening here? Are potential new dancers getting turned off/turned away?
I don't know that anyone from these classes has stuck around for the longer term.
We will never know, I suppose. Unless we endeavor to know.
Here's the link to Clay's Surveys: https://tangoclay.us/clays-surveys/
Why I Quit Tango Survey Co... by on Scribd
Why I Quit Tango Survey Complete Results + Comments :: Clay Nelson & Beth Anne https://tangoclay.us/clays-surveys/ 51 Pages Very useful (or at least illuminating) information on the subject of "why people quit tango", useful in that it might help provide insight into retaining more people in both classes and local tango communities. #WhyIQuitTango #tangocommunitybuilding #tangosocialstudies #socialstudies #socialdance #socialdancecommunitybuilding #sociology #quittingtango #quittango #claynelson #claynelsonsurveys #bethanne #tangosurveys #tangosurvey