Archive for the ‘Observations’ Category


One of the persistent mysteries of the tango scene, to me (as a leader) is the whole deal with the lady’s shoes with high heels. I can get how they love them (I know someone who came back from Buenos Aires with 13 pairs). It’s just hard to envision what it must be like to wear them for hours at a time and be comfortable in them. Even walking just a few minutes must be very difficult. It must be a woman thing I will never “get.”


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Quantum tango

A successful tango dancer I know happens to work in some kind of physics; I’m not sure which. But I observed to him yesterday at practica that just as the various models of physics have been discarded and rebuilt from the ground up over the centuries — say, Galileo and Ptolemy are no longer regnant; Einstein will be replaced by string theory, etc. – so my tango seems to be at a place where it needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. He immediately grasped the metaphor and said that this has happened about five times or so with him.

So I’m on the right track, at least with my conceptual understanding; if not in my decisions. It really does come to perfection of form in balance, walking, timing, the most fundamental elements are are “a -toms” – the “un – cuttable” parts that are the basic building blocks of the tango universe.

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Here I found someone attempting to classify diverse types of tangueros and tangueras. Enjoy.

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In response to my last post about the “evolved etiquette” of tango, I am chided by a favored follow and challenged about some of my ideas.

Thus I have considered some things more carefully.

I think what I was trying to express was something more and less than what I did.

There are follows whom I gladly and happily lead with whom I have such repoire that the “glance” — whoever initiates it — suffices and is understood in all its range of expression. Regardless of who initiates it. Thus a verbal request would fall in the same emotional “range.”

So, what troubled me on the day of my observation? It was that I had allowed myself to be cajoled into dancing with someone in a way that I did not wish to. In that respect it was like a tiny breach of my integrity and the “wall” of disattachment that is ironically a component of a good connection. And so my comment about the evolved “rule” was really more a self-centered observation of the value of that protocol for hiding one’s self from one’s self — a sure way to corrupt one’s dance. See, the issue was my will; not who initiated the interaction. It’s good that the “rules” are the way they are. And it’s good to have the freedom to disobey the “rules” as long you take responsibility.

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Close(t) embrace

A little over a week ago I had a kind of “tune up” class in close embrace. I have found that combining some of these lessons along with habits picked up in Buenos Aires that this has improved my close embrace technique; a weak spot for me.

Last night I allowed a follow to cajole me into dancing. I should not have. The evolved protocol thrives for a reason.

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Just as each dance, and each dancer, is different, so is each milonga. Each of these entities are such because of their unique experiences, traditions, personal issues, etc. And this is part of the natural order and evolution of things.

Rule of thumb: If I can comfortably wear a black T-shirt to the milonga, then I will probably fit in. It might be so – a more experienced person might say with some authority — that the stuffier the dress code the more “nose in the air” they might be said to be.

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Following ..

I read long ago the account of a man who had sailed solo round the world – Robin Graham, at the time the youngest to have done this. When he returned to his home port he had a profound epiphany of how the world was round. He knew this, of course, as a navigator. But the experience of doing this communicated the notion to him on a different level.

A private session with S. yesterday in following technique was like a jolting cup of coffee in like regard in reinforcing why one does, and does not do, certain things. Simple and profound. All leaders should learn to follow well. Those old school milongueros had the right idea back in the day.

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