Eugenia’s Crystal


I have always admired Eugenia Parrilla for the freedom, self-expression, and delight in her dance. She is revered as a revel, but she doesn’t have this passive/obedient demeanor. It was a great honor to learn from her in October, 2016. I realized that she was doing something with her head, which is different than other dancers, and I worked to understand and ask questions about this point. The two things I learned were shatteringly powerful.

  1. When you are facing the “open side” of the embrace, looking toward your own right hand, you are opening your body in that direction, and moving your head in that direction. (We all naturally do this.) But when we are facing the closed side of the embrace, we keep our head facing the Mark’s head, and this constrains our whole body. Whenever you are facing the closed side of the embrace, allow your eyes/head/chest to move a little more to your left. Obviously you will do be able to move MORE in open embrace, but it makes a huge difference in close embrace too. Notice how it affects the comfort of your hips when you step back onto your left leg.
  2. Eugenia says to “take the space” with your gaze. She says she always finds something to look at. This is why her head moves so naturally instead of dancing like a robot-doll in trance to the hair on the man’s chest, as the rest of the tango dancers do. She says when she pivots she “takes the whole room” with her gaze. This is super-un-passive and really fun. (Detail: She doesn’t always look away from her man. When she is looking toward him she changes what she is looking at as she moves. His hand, his elbow, his shirt collar, his neck, his belt…)

Feel how these very small changes affect your whole body, and notice how they inspire your marker to be more free, because you are more independent (emotionally and physically).


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.

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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.

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