Overcoming obedience


Obedience is a reasonable state for a follower to take on. Much about tango suggests that this is what leaders want.

But, as you are no doubt discovering, tango is very complicated.

The first reason to overcome obedience as a follower is that you will never be good enough. There will always be leaders who want more than you can give, and you will always want to be a better dancer. Best to start now finding pleasure in the dancer you already are.

The second reason is that while leaders do want obedience, it’s far from enough. As you develop your skills for perfect listening and alacritous response, there are other skills to develop simultaneously.

As easily as you can feel a leader’s distraction, he can feel your fear and smallness. Not sexy. Not sensuous.

For your own sake, and as a gift to your leader: <strong>enjoy your body</strong>. Stretch into every movement and feel good. (N.B. stretching ≠ doing unled adornos and pivots. It means elongating your body into the moment. Wherever you are, fill the space a little more by gently stretching from your oblique muscles out through all four limbs and your neck.

You might develop a tango <strong>avatar </strong>to help manifest a bold, sweet, sexy personality. Tango is your chance to develop and enjoy yourself in ways you haven’t yet…

If that seems a bit overwhelming, you might develop a personality to match particular moves. There’s no right and wrong about this, you can make up your own. I’ll share mine just to give you some ideas:

  • Passé, front voleo: Regal shoulders and head. (Queen, not princess.)
  • Crosses (and milonga): Crisp and sharp-tongued, my grandmother in her 1940s trim sassy elegance.
  • Front steps: Blasé.
  • Calecita: I’m a ballerina! I’m a ballerina!
  • Rebote: Groovy hips.
  • Back voleo: Strong, flexible, beautiful yogi.  (I could stay here all day.)
  • Gancho: Post-sexual revolution. I don’t have to pretend I don’t like it anymore.
  • Volcada: Flying on theatrical wires.
  • Colgada: I’m an athlete, solid muscle and total control.

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