Partners

postitleswirl

The deepest desire of human beings is not to be alone. Whatever our individual pathways toward or around this issue, tango has given us a way to experience partnership. I believe that it is this aspect of tango which is most compelling. Despite the thrills of sensuality, tenderness, attention, celebrity, and musicality, it is the experience of our favorite Argentine Tango partners that touches us most profoundly.  

If you are a woman, you yearn for nights of joy that you haven’t seen for a long time, because as you’ve improved there are fewer and fewer dancers who can meet you as a partner. 

If you’re a man you feel limited by most dancers’ skills. You feel good about giving them pleasure, but you don’t feel free in your dance, and you don’t feel you are growing.

If you have a partner, you often experience frustration, and also fear of losing them. They seem irreplaceable, and yet sometimes they don’t satisfy you.

It’s obvious that the quality of your tango life and its improvement depends primarily on the quantity and quality of partners available to you.

I have worked professionally with more than 19 partners. I have nearly died three times when I lost my partner, the person at that time who was the only dancer in the world for me. I have become a man, and tried to accept a storyline in which I would never again perform as a Revel. I have worked alone. I have gone to many, many, milongas and not danced because there was not one person in the room who kindled my desire enough to attract my eyes. (And left feeling sure that I was a confused, stuck-up, self-destructive bitch.) 

In 2017 I had two superlative artistic partners, three trainees with whom I experience rapture and delight every time we dance, and a small handful of milonga friends who are the icing on the cake. When I go to a milonga, if there’s anyone there who really inspires me I almost always get to dance with them, and I only use the cabeceo.

I got here by making a fundamental shift in my understanding of tango. I used go to the milonga as a consumer, looking for attractive commodities – men who would dance me well, and often going home disappointed in the inventory. Now I think of tango partners not as something to consume, but something to create. I build relationships with people and I focus my attention on people who are available for collaboration. It means I’m not interested in men who I see doing the same, highly controlled, dance –no matter how technically good– with every woman.  And I’m not interested in Marking women who are not totally committed to using their bodies – no matter how good they look.

Those are my preferences. Yours will be different, but the point is that if you think about creating partnerships, rather than finding the right partners, you will use very different criteria and you will engage a different process. There are too few superlative partners to WAIT for. We need to BUILD them.

practicecourselogo

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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Books

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