The Embrace


Tango offers diverse delights for various tastes and fascinating paradoxes for debate, but it is uncontroversial that the best and most essential of tango’s gifts is the experience of what we call “The Embrace”.

Those who have experienced a real sublime Argentine Tango embrace are both blessed and cursed. They are blessed know that it is possible to feel two bodies as if they are one, and to know that there is a way to physically manifest unconditional love.  They are cursed to yearn mightily for this precious experience, which they cannot make alone, neither by will nor skill.

Those who have never experienced this embrace are also cursed and blessed. They are cursed in that they cannot figure out what their teacher is so desperate to elicit or why they are less desired dancers than others who appear roughly equivalent. They are blessed in that they cannot miss what they have not savored, or cannot indeed imagine. They have never fallen from its grace.

I experienced it immediately when I began dancing in Los Angeles, and it was already familiar by my first trip to Buenos Aires. Living in New Zealand and Australia I starved, and my hunger drove me to try to understand it so I could teach it. After spending several years learning anatomy and biomechanics, I was ready to seize the next superlative exemplar who visited the Pacific. While all the local women swooned, I analyzed. He was unable to help me, offering only “I lead with my chest”. As he boarded his airplane, I went to work  experimenting on my private lesson students and within weeks was able to produce an embrace in every one of them that made me swoon. I am able to produce this effect in every student I work with. The first time they experience it, almost every one them shrieks aloud. Usually there’s an expletive, which I can most tamely translate as  “Oh! That’s Crack!” 

Although what I described was that the partners seemed to collaborate in supporting with our abdominal musculature a radiant golden egg approximately 25cm in length,  many of my students were averse to such hocus-pocus metaphor and abstraction. The students named our technique, describing it as an “Arch” created by our skeletons and supported by our muscles. The constant re-positioning of this arch throughout every step and movement approximated muscular-skeletal fusion. The mutual commitment to strive for it and not to leave it for an instant induced the emotions of rapturous attention to one another.

If you want this embrace, or more of it, please know that it can be taught and learned and you can be part of increasing its gracious presence in the world.

We have distilled tango technique to just five tools for perfect embrace, connection, and communication.

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Do you want to be a better dancer

but don’t feel you are getting what you need from your teachers?

Or do you get contradictory advice from different partners?

I got tired of hearing men tell me to be “natural”, “don’t do anything”, and “you’re floppy”, followed by “you’re stiff” …  So I studied biomechanics until I could teach perfect connection quickly.

We now have video solo practice courses that you can do at home to improve your knowledge, confidence, balance, and grace.

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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