Conformity and power

Duro y Vio, 2007

When I started dancing tango I thought “finally, a place to wear fabulous clothes and shoes!” I dressed like a doll, and wore the most fabulous shoes I could find, 15cm heels with 3cm platforms covered in glitter.

Everybody knew me for my shoes.

I could hear the word “shoes” whispered as I went around the dance floor and when I took a break from dancing, some lug would often take this opportunity to approach and inform me that “you can’t dance in those shoes.” I took on a deadpan and responded “I just danced 4 tandas in them.”

I made a terrible mistake. After 4 years in those shoes, during which I received a really undue amount of admiration for a beginner dancer, I bought proper tango shoes for my first trip to Buenos Aires. I didn’t wear them all the time when there, because I was still more comfortable in my platforms, but this began the slide to conformity.

Some Porteño, in a rare fit of engagement with reality and honesty with foreigners, took me aside. I remember his digging grip on my arm as he told me urgently “Don’t conform. You’ll lose everything.”

“It takes 3 weeks”, he went on, “until the girls change how they dress”. (At the time this meant slinky loose poly-stretch yoga clothes and hippy earrings.) They put the elegant, glamorous clothes back in the suitcase. And then they all looked alike.

“Your style is your power. When you give it up, you lose yourself.”


Style Guides

UltraVioleta tango clothing for men and women is coming soon! International shopping for the most elegant and sexy tango clothes is about to happen right here.

In the interim, I recommending a few designers and shops that I love, and curating their collections just for you.



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.

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