Out the Other Side

I am (finally) writing a [non-fiction] book about tango.

Have you ever wrote about something so awful you had to close your eyes while typing?

I feel I’m doing what I need to be doing.

There’s a schedule. But this book wants to be written and it keeps pushing, keeping me working. It’s ahead of the schedule.

I knew addiction would be a theme.

Just in case you doubt this term is truly relevant to tango, check it.

I finally take a break and go to a milonga (where else would I go?) I’m in the back room of Milonga Popular. I drink good wine and argue with myself. But it’s such a special experience – they explore their bodies, they open themselves, they are vulnerable, they make something beautiful.

Heroin is a beautiful experience too. So is red wine.

That doesn’t make them not addictive. That doesn’t make the addiction not destructive.

Today, I googled “heroin addiction”.  From Drugrehab.com I learned that heroin “changes the way the brain operates” causing “cravings, impaired reasoning, and withdrawal.” Ok, well that was the condition I was in in 2010.

I also learned that the meaning of addiction is that “the drug becomes the center of their lives” and that “things they used to cherish lose importance.” Oops.

When I don’t know where else to go besides a milonga at night, I am like an addict who “can’t see a way to escape.”

Like heroin, tango can provide “short-term relief from stress, anxiety, or depression” but the body adapts, and then the addict is no longer feeling high, but feeling “trapped”.

In 2006 I met the man who I believe was my soulmate. In 2010 my addiction blinded me to him.

My experience at the time was that I wanted to be “respected as a dancer” and he didn’t give me that, for whatever reasons.

He did love and respect and desire me as a person.

Unfortunately, the way this planet seems to work is that you get what you ask for.

Now I am respected as a dancer.

And I am alone with my soul, and everything else.

Now I yearn to be known and loved for my personhood, for my intelligence, creativity, and style.

And what did I do when my addiction destroyed the most important and valuable thing in my life?  Spent the next 9 years shooting up.

And destroyed almost everything else of value that I had built in my life. I lost (or, threw away)my house, my career, my car.

I called it glamour, I called it entrepreneurship, I called it “art”.  I said that tango was keeping me alive. I took horrible risks. I endured bad situations. I withstood betrayal after betrayal by this thing for which I had sacrificed everything I had.

For what?

The hope of another hit. Failure of imagination.


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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