[Tango-L] women as leader

Trini y Sean (PATangoS) patangos at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 27 19:37:55 EST 2008

Hello Dyane,

There could be several reasons why you're meeting
resistance.  Others might be homophobic or insecure about
their own tango, but there's also the possibility that they
may think you still have a lot to work as a follower before
you can tackle the difficulty of leading.  Here, if women
are decent followers and they start leading, they get a lot
of support.  But, if a woman cannot follow well at all or
has no core strength, then people comment about how she
really needs to work more on her following.  Leading well
is not easy.

So if you learn to lead, then really learn it well.  Do
your basic steps until they are "perfect".  If you learn
how to lead well, you'll meet less and less resistance. 
And if you really want to learn well, then don't hog the
good women.  Learn to lead the novice women well.  The
skills learned in doing so will translate into your
following.  That will also win people over.

But your comments also suggest that you feel you need a
regular partner to dance better.  That's a myth.  If you
really want to learn to follow well, then take
responsibility for it.  There are lots of women without
regular partners who dance very well.  If you're in a
community with a lack of good leaders, you might want to
explore other practices such as Alexander Technique or
modern dance.  

A good follower can elevate the dance level of her partner.
 If you keep that as a goal when your dancing with
inexperienced partners, you'll be amazed at how much you
can learn all by yourself.  Good luck.

Trini de Pittsburgh

--- Dyane Auclair <auclairdy at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I have been following this list only recently so forgive
> me if this subject has been discussed previously.
> I have been dancing tango for about 3 years.
> Unfortunately I have not yet find a regular partner with
> whom I can really work hard at developing very good
> following skills, at developing a good connection, and at
> developing a good sense of musicality. Of course I had
> the "occasional beautiful tango experience" with some
> good leaders but there is no continuity. So as a new
> challenge I have decided to go back to basics and learn
> to become a LEADER while I am still searching for the
> right dancing partner.  
> Why do I feel so much resistence in my community? It
> seems that I receive lot of discouraging signals from
> other dancers (both men and women) and from teachers. Is
> it because most people believe that a good connection can
> only exist betwen a man and a woman and since tango is
> nothing without a good connection there is no point in
> putting any effort into that direction. Or is it simply
> because tangeros/tangeras love stereotypes? Is it
> threatening for other leaders? I sincerely believe that I
> will become a better follower because I will have a
> better understanding of the problems that the leader
> encounters. What about you: would you encourage me or
> discourage me?
> Dyane
> What are you waiting for? Join Lavalife FREE
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> Tango-L mailing list
> Tango-L at mit.edu
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PATangoS - Pittsburgh Argentine Tango Society
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