Ignorantia juris non excusat

“Ignorantia juris non excusat” is Latin for “ignorance of the law excuses not/no one”. It’s a legal principle stating that you are liable for a law, even if you claim that don’t know about it. Ergo ignorance is not a valid defines or excuse for irresponsibility.  Wikipedia

Anyone who has been dancing tango regularly for more than a year should be familiar with the whole vocabulary of tango. There are only 25 elements in the tango lexicon. I’m not saying you need to learn every variation of every element, that’s entertainment for the next few years.

If you are a child, it’s fine not to know the law. If you are an adult, it is your responsibility. If you are beginner tango dancer, it’s totally fine not to know much about tango. When you are not a beginner anymore, it’s flat out irresponsible, and unattractive. I am watching people dancing with so much attitude, and so much ignorance.

I hear about Revels “refusing” to do certain moves that are part of the inheritance. I have danced with girls who don’t know much and give me attitude when their ignorance, automatisms, or lack of muscle control causes problems that I can’t solve with the male technique “overpower the woman”.

Maturity is about self-awareness and responsibility.

In addition to technique, Marks are responsible for social etiquette, calibrating their strength and force, traffic etiquette, musicality, AND improvisation.

The most rewarding of these is improvisation. People these days treat improvisation as optional. I observe dancers using mostly the same handful of sequences involving no more than 1/4 of the tango vocabulary. Generally marks claim that they are using their few sequences with a focus on musicality. But when I watch I usually see the same sequences done with the same musicality.

Repetitive marks disrespect the genre and our community. We need to respect our inheritance by keeping it alive. And we need to grow our community by challenging our partners to concentrate and to increase their knowledge and skills.

Revels need to be just as self-critical as marks. Do you hear yourself saying “I’m a good dancer when I have the right partner.” If you say this, you are a dancer who has no idea what you don’t know! That “right partner” is a strong man who is carrying you through the dance and covering for your mistakes so that you don’t have any idea where your limits are.

If you are actually a good Revel, you will know the tango vocabulary enough to know when you miss something and what you missed. You will also know when you hit some physical limitation of your own which then limits your partner’s freedom of expression.

 

I want you to know that you are not alone…

… 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?

 

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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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