Why Men Can't Dance

It’s not our fault!

Guys, the deck has been stacked against us. 

OK. Not all men. Maybe just me, and those of you with similiar backgrounds and upbringings: White, North American, marginal parenting, maybe a little religion sprinkled in, with a strong emphasis on sports and machismo and little on arts and of course none on dance except to diss it.  

All of which amounts to not only shaming or discouraging dance but a conflicted relationship with our bodies generally. 

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Deep Listening

To quote Carlos Gavito, which I do regularly : “We share the lead. I lead for part of the step and then my partner responds in her own time, in her own way. I wait and then I follow.” 

This style of call and response is very complex and requires not only refined technique and attention to the music but also an awareness of your partner’s positioning and responsiveness. … Intuitive is the world typically used to describe how the follow responds to the lead.

But there is another, even more fascinating style of communication that I am quite convinced happens in tango….I believe that good dancers communicate telepathically….

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Pepa Palazon and TangoSpace: Exploring Connection (guest blog)

Pepa: Tango is like life itself. If you observe the way you are dancing you can understand what is happening to you in life. When you feel you are disconnected to your partner, you just have to reconnect with yourself.  You disconnect from your partner when you are disconnected from yourself. So you need to go back to your axis, but not just your physical axis. You need to recover your emotional axis, to feel yourself.

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"Feeling and Sensitivity" Gavito pt.2

“Tango is about feeling and sensitivity, otherwise you are just doing gymnastics. You can do all the steps but it has to have the feeling and sensitivity of authentic tango.”

— Carlos Gavito

Feeling and sensitivity are complex concepts and require some arduous exploration. Nonetheless, if we want to tap the depths of the Tango, according to Gavito, it is a requirement.

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Dance of Romance Revisited.

At the bottom of the stately, brocade staircase was posted a picture of an attractive young woman seductively draped in a silky dress, clinging to her dashing partner. Tango lessons, Thursday evening, in the Moroccan room. We signed up immediately.

What was the lure? Did we envision ourselves transformed into the slinky, sexy couple on the brochure? Patricia and I rarely danced and our bodies were far beyond the slinky stage. Perhaps we were in the mood to do something impetuous and risque …

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Enough Blogging Already?

The Tango embodies the most intense confluence of pleasure, sensuality, physicality, and relational dynamics you are going to come across on the dance floor. Strangely, I come away from a night of dancing not with any feeling of romantic attachment, as one might expect, but rather the sense of having been awakened and nurtured at a soul level.

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Tell Your Face

A smile is worth a thousand glib assurances.

When I read a smile on my partner’s face I relax. I dance better. I trust that I and my partner are equally committed to a pleasant and pleasurable dance.

A smile displaces all the questions of adequacy or judgement: “Am I good enough? Does she want to dance with me? Does she trust my lead/ follow?”

Smiles have a very endearing secondary effect: they make you attractive. No face is so perfect that it is not enhanced by a smile or so disfigured that it is not also beautified by one.

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