Tango allows us to explore our gender fantasies. We can dress up, posture and pose, flirt, and swagger, excel, surpass others, and glory.
Just like any game, tango can become addictive. We spend more time in the game than out of it, and the game takes over our consciousness even when we are doing other things. Activities and friendships that used to be important may fade.
We can confuse ourselves with our playful tango avatar.
We can fantasize the future of a romance that only kindles on the dancefloor.
Your tango avatar can make you strong. It can help you through the psychologically challenging experience of a milonga. You may find you can camouflage your tango avatar under your suit and bring some of your blasé confidence to that business meeting. You may wear your tango stilettos on a date, to remind yourself that you already have a lot of men, to keep this one in perspective.
But when that avatar is an arrogant man or a passive woman, we may suffer by cutting off parts of ourselves. We can also easily hurt others, who are not used to the game.
Remember that the personalities you interact with at a milonga are constructs designed to embolden, shelter, or disguise the people who inhabit them. But newcomers might be vulnerable and uncloaked.
In some video games, where there isn’t a lot of fine-grain control over your avatar, players don’t become identified with their avatar, they get to know their character as one does the hero of a film. In such a situation, players may feel they become friends with their avatar, rather than becoming their avatar. Since tango restricts our characters rather severely, this might be a good approach to take to our tango avatars. Become friends with your tango-avatar. Have a chat. Be sympathetic but remember that you’re a good deal more complex and worldly than s/he.
Like any game, there are ways tango can enhance our lives, and ways it can make us crazy. Like any other part of life, your tango will benefit from regular critical reflection. Evaluate your experience so you don’t fall into the grind, Make sure that you are making tango your own.