Lightness is really just what happens when you are perfectly balanced and perfectly connected. We are heavy when we aren’t supporting ourselves, and instead lean on the leader or when we are disconnected.

It’s also possible to be too light and independent, because then we’re disconnected. We can be balanced but moving in the wrong direction and that makes us hard to move and thereby heavy.

So what are balance and good connection? Marks talk about these things as if they’re innate, but really they’re skills that you can master with just a little practice.

You need practice in body awareness (recognizing where your bones are and which muscles are active) and you need practice in body control (using the right muscles to support and move yourself).

There are three things you need to understand to have great balance and connection while you’re dancing (and the rest of the time).

1. The focus of attention for these skills is the base leg which is organized in an arc from your heel to your rib cage.

2. Connection is nothing more than keeping this arc pointing at your partner. Together your arcs form an arch of connection.

3. Your embrace must always remain taut. Do this by keeping your shoulders in external rotation and extending your elbows slightly (contract the triceps).

How to do it:


  • Make sure that your foot (and leg) is always slightly in external rotation relative to your hips whenever it is bearing any weight at all. The muscles of your leg cannot work well when it’s internally rotated. 
  • Maintain hip flexion at all times.
  • Keep the rib cage of the base leg over the knuckle of the big toe of the base leg.

Practice by yourself taking every kind of tango step (fast, slow, short, long, forceful, gentle) and finding your arc immediately and smoothly afterward. Avoid tension in the free leg as this can actually throw you off balance!

While dancing you will need to find this position in conditions of changing force, embrace, and dynamic.  Ask your partner to dance very slowly so that you can both concentrate on finding your arc after every move.



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.

Order from our Digital School. Or enter your email below to preview the course:



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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