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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Just follow the leader

Have your ever heard the expression: Ladies, all you need to do is follow the lead ?  In this day and age of gender equality you might perhaps sense that the woman's role in the dance is diminished through this terminology - such an inadequate descriptor of the woman's role in tango, which is quite different to the man's role, but no less significant.  (By the way, I do believe that the complementary [man-woman] roles in tango may be a major factor in the popularity of the dance.  Perhaps western society's political correctness and inclination towards gender neutrality may be nudging people to the traditional gender roles in tango, as described by Paul Yang.)

Probably not all women in tango will agree with me, but when the music calls, and I'm in the embrace of a dance partner whom I trust, I love being taken on a short but memorable journey courtesy of my partner.  He is the principal guide to the music, while I contribute to that tour in my response to him and to the music.  But for him to treat me to his personalised insider's tour, he needs to feel my appreciation of his efforts by relaxing in his embrace, and by being present just for him and the music.  A delightful quality of Golden Age tango music is that it is multi-layered, so, each tour guide will show me different highlights of his appreciation of the music and perhaps some hidden surprises.  How good is that?  Every tanda offers the potential for a new journey.  Why wouldn't I enjoy the woman's role?

I am curious to know what men feel about their role in the dance.


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