Abracadabra

postitleswirl

love taking tango classes!

I have an excellent memory for certain things (not numbers), and I find long sequences especially pleasurable to memorize. It’s funny when my male partners are annoyed by this.

The sequences themselves are often delightful enough to enjoy repeating 100 times or even more.

It’s fun to see how quickly and with how few words I can solve any technical problems my Mark is having with the sequence. If I can keep the corrections extremely brief and mechanical, I can do it without hurting his ego (and he will stop hurting my body).

I also love circus and magic shows!

My very favorite is the Guangzhou Acrobatic Troupe’s “Swan of the Orient”, with the Swan Lake pas-de-deux re-imagined and performed by Wu Zhengdan and her husband, Wei Baohua.

I also really like the show Empire, by Spiegelworld, especially the skate couple, Denis Petaov and Mariia Beseimbetova, because Trust is Hot.

And the feather-show, which I saw performed by my friend, Memet Bilgin (who is also a tango dancer)… The video starts 10 minutes in to the act. He starts with just one stick…

Someone once described my dancing as “acrobatic”. It happened that I had spent the whole day failing to hoist myself onto a trapeze, and I took this comment as an insult to acrobats. Tango dancers do train a bit and stretch and so forth, but what we do is really not in the same league as circus performers. But some circus numbers, like the feather-sticks one, is a trick, which can be taught to reasonably agile and focused people.

Like tango dancers, magicians don’t have to be in extraordinary physical condition. They can rely on the tricks of the trade.

Pretense of Ease

After you practice something a whole bunch of times, you can make it look easy and show off. This makes your audience impressed with you.

Ooh and Aah

If you can do some kinda extreme cool stuff, the audience will think you are really fantastic and they will praise you and recommend your show.

Funny

If you can be funny while doing stuff that’s easy for you, and kinda cool, the audience will think you are totally adorable, even if you are making fun of other people (or the audience).

Don’t tell your secrets

“The secret of an Illusion should never be revealed.” The Magicians’ Code is never to tell the real secrets. You can show people stuff, or even pretend to teach them, but this is just part of the entertainment.

Nonsense words

As part of the drama of a performance, magicians use nonsense words. This gives the audience the impression that magic is within everyone’s reach, if only they can grasp the deep meaning of the magic words.

“Push the floor…  compression …  traction … easy!”

Profound

If you say some stuff in a way that seems profound while doing stuff that’s easy for you, and kinda cool, the audience will think you are even more than a magician, even if they can’t remember what you said or figure out what it means in practice.

“When you dance tango, go together, not alone.”

tom-magician-londonThe magician’s code also says that if someone asks to be your student, you have an obligation to teach them honestly and accurately.

I’ve spent the last few days pondering how exactly education is different from a magic show. I’m trying to remember chemistry and calculus. Well, there’s homework. Very clearly defined homework. I left class extremely clear about what I understood and what I didn’t and what I needed to figure out before the next class. And I was definitely a lot more focused on my work than how great my teacher was. In fact, I didn’t like them so much when I was in the classroom. But I did have some really great teachers. What made them great was their deep understanding of what they were teaching, and of human development, and their very considered pedagogy so they knew how to get me to the next level. And the very fact that being able to get the students to the next level was what they took pride in.

I want you to know that you are not alone…

embrace orig crop

… neither in your dreams for tango nor in your frustrations.

My deepest desire is the same as all my students and friends … those who have yet to start dancing and those who dance a lot.

It’s partnership.

One thing I’ve learned on this quest, we need to:

Stop Waiting for Partners, and start Building them.

I’ve written a 10-step Action Plan.

Are you ready to find the Partners you want?

 

Apertures

Newest

All the Blog Posts EVER

Posts by Email

Frustrated?

Themes

SEARCH the Blog

The Berlin Interviews

Guides

More Guides...

2020 TangoForge

6-19.February Wellington NZ
7-9 February Bruges Neo Tango

…DISTANCE…

See you at

Reflect and Train

and

Exercises from Maui

Apertures

Newest

All the Blog Posts EVER

Posts by Email

Frustrated?

Themes

SEARCH the Blog

The Berlin Interviews

Guides

More Guides...

Apertures

Newest

All the Blog Posts EVER

Posts by Email

Frustrated?

Themes

SEARCH the Blog

The Berlin Interviews

Guides

More Guides...

Apertures

Newest

All the Blog Posts EVER

Posts by Email

Frustrated?

Themes

SEARCH the Blog

The Berlin Interviews

Guides

More Guides...

Apertures

Newest

All the Blog Posts EVER

Posts by Email

Frustrated?

Themes

SEARCH the Blog

The Berlin Interviews

Guides

More Guides...

Themes

Important Insights

Books

Power is the courage, confidence, and competence to make things happen. I want to create in a way that’s incomparable and define my own compensation package. You too?

Syntax of Power is a raw, potent, and spare revelation of how I got to where I am and how I take on the struggle every day.

This book is not about tango, it’s about everything else.

It’s about stepping into the darkness of change, learning how to take care of yourself, and making things happen.

Dyv stands for Duro y Vio. We were inspired by a 2007 conference at Harvard University about tango as a transnational culture. Also we wanted to create something that would help people to imagine a queerer tango. We forbid ourselves to use the word ‘passion’ and instead tried to articulate the experience more precisely.

Argentine Tango is more than an elaborate and difficult dance, it is an international culture of intimacy, desire, and dignity. No mere romance or memoir, the intricately woven stories evoke tango’s true mysteries … the elation, the frustration, the compulsion…

We published the book in 2009. Dancers asked “how did you know what I was feeling?”

Silences in history. Silences by code. Silences of fear. You already know that Tango’s silences can be sublime and they can be devastating.

What I do in my blog is use myself as a lens – sometimes a microscope, sometimes a telescope. I try to be as honest with myself and you as words concede. Then I try to find a deeper meaning and imagine a pathway for us.

A blog post can be a fragment, a wisp of inspiration, an outline for thinking. A book must complete and reconcile it all. Now I drag the social scientist to the scene to enumerate the facts of the case, the mystery which brought both stardom and tragedy to my life.

We didn’t start online education in March of 2020. We started in 2014. Learn more about our Digital School