[Tango-L] women as leader

Victor Bennetts Victor_Bennetts at infosys.com
Wed Feb 27 20:46:11 EST 2008

There will always be a special dynamic between the male/leader and female/follower that is central to tango. I think this has been discussed previously and I think Sergio did a great post on the respective roles in the dance and how the follow is basically feminine and the lead is masculine, but I don't want to open up that can of worms again.

That relationship between man and woman in the dance is special because it is in the same category as a man holding a door open for a woman or giving up his seat on a bus for a woman, a beautiful and gracious gesture from a different, arguably more civilised age. But there were also a lot of other negative aspects to women's role in society at that time, which happily we don't need to replicate to enjoy tango today.

Given the way tango is taught now there is no reason why women should not become competent leaders and in my experience there are many very good women leaders. In fact, in many cases, women who lead can actually look better on the floor than the majority of male leaders dancing. They are often going to be more in touch with what feels nice for a follower and not be sidetracked by all the other distractions that we poor simple men have, like a mistaken belief that women love overly complex showy dances jam packed full of difficult steps.

The female leaders in BsAs are just amazing and people like Susana Miller, Cecilia Gonzales, Elina Rodin, Gabriella Elias, for instance, can lead as well as any man anywhere in the world based on what I have seen. I for one am quite happy that there are plenty of competent female leaders around. I really like it when female teachers lead me as they can then give me some practical feedback about the subtle things that are not so apparent outside the embrace that make a big difference to the experience of the follower. It is also very nice at a milonga to see a woman leading well, even better if they are leading an experienced leader!

Victor Bennetts

Keith> but not many women have the masculine qualities necessary to play the role of the >man and, without those qualities, IMHO, any Tango you dance as man will just be a >parody of Tango.

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