How I Revel – 2017

postitleswirl

So many women write and speak to me with the same question: “How do I find pleasure in tango, when I’m getting less and less from men?”

They ask this question because where they live there are few advanced men, or becuase the men they like to dance with are not always available, or because the women themselves are improving and this means they are becoming more selective.

I have answered this question already in several ways: [1] I think we need to embrace the idea that we are Revels who give “the vital effect”* to our Marks, not consumers waiting to *be danced*. [2] We need to stop waiting for partners and start building them. [3] I think we need to talk with our partners and communities about women’s pleasure – see “The Pleasure Principle“. [4] I think we need to accept our strength and make the night our own.. .NOT by using the reverse cabeceo or asking men to dance!).

Also I think it might be helpful to tell my sisters how I dance as a Revel, now. It’s 2017.

  1. There is no magic way to make bad dancers good. (Also FYI: There is no way to make inattentive men treat you well by loving them enough.)
  2. I prefer to dance with soft-embrace beginners than with “experienced” guys with overconfident, aggressive embraces.
  3. I don’t dance with guys who lose their hip flexion (our steps will be uncoordinated unless I take on a level of compensation that will destroy any chance of pleasure).
  4. I use boring dances to practice technique.
  5. I keep a list of action items – technique points that I want to improve. I work on each one singlemindedly for about 3 weeks until it becomes a habit. I don’t try to make all needed repairs at once.
  6. I build partners.
  7. With dancers I like, I go for it. Every dance is precious. I don’t want to miss one cracking voleo or volcada.
  8. I’m active in seeking pleasure, but I don’t do this with adornos. I move my embrace in lots of little ways all the time to increase my pleasure, and I work with my whole body, stretching into every movement.
  9. I show him he can trust me, by giving really disciplined projection, and trying never to do anything unmarked.
  10. Under pressure, to “do my best” I give my full concentration to two basics: Arch and projection. I turn off completely my brain and I am totally focused on giving him a very strong sensation of arch and a smooth physical transfer of that strength into my projection.

 

*Thank you to Magdalena for suggesting the use of the vital effect to describe the emotional interaction and effects of tango dancing.

I want you to know that you are not alone…

embrace orig crop

… 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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Important Insights

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.

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