Publisher Description

Tango teachers loose track of what it is like to be a beginner. So as I learned I wrote down what I needed, beyond tango steps.The result covers getting started, teachers and classes, social traditions of the dance floor, dating and tango, coaching on style and movement, and short enrichment pieces....Some say tango is just walking, with attitude. This book will help you get the attitude.
Tango is rich in drama, poetry, and motion. But you already know this. What you need to know to get started is how far off is being able to dance real tango, and how do I get there?...The rule is that divorce leads to tango, not the other way around...Follows who give advice do not dance nearly as often as follows who give sympathy.
Tango is 50% musicality, 40% embrace, and 10% steps....Frustration comes before learning, but lots of frustration does not come before lots of learning.
If you do not have the posture and styling of tango to begin with, advanced moves won’t be tango, no matter what music is playing.
One of the advantages of tango is it gives women permission to dress outrageously in a safe environment....To summarize: Argentine-tango women dress like tramps, nuevo-tango women dress like bums. Men don’t really dress at all.
At some point you will be told that the only acceptable invitation to Tango is by the “the look. ”....At the other extreme, I have ended up dancing the bartender, as she came out from behind the bar when I looked at her to get a glass of wine.
Alignment is position. Posture is position plus attitude....Tango is improvisation, and improv makes mistakes. Mistakes that work are creative. Mistakes that don’t work just are.
Reconsider where you hang out between dances. And maybe wear a brighter color.Showing up is half the battle....It takes a lot of confidence to lead, and a confident lead is a smoother and more musical lead....It is easy, comfortable, and social to dance only the ones you know. But it is a mistake—both a social mistake and a mistake in how to live....Working at the male level requires that invitations be clear, simple, direct, and of sufficient duration to register and get a response....You want your social leads to be a clear, comforting, and considerate as your tango leads.
Tango teaches you to pay attention to your partner, to be sensitive to moods, to express yourself with touch, to cooperate and support—in short a host of things that make you a better partner, should you ever be foolish enough to give up tango and take up dating instead.
....He is abjectly at fault. Once is a mistake. It might be forgiven. Twice is a character flaw.
Tango is about unrequited love. Love that is fully and regularly requited does not have the same edge.
If you are not paying attention to your partner, and this goes for the women as well as the men, you are just dancing. You are not doing tango.
If you think about this too much, you will get all tippy and wonder how you can ever walk at all, without falling over....Basically, the cross is a kiss. It can be a punctuation mark. Or it can be sex. Decide which you want. But at least be able to choose.
You take up tango because of the flashy moves and passionate styling of show tango. You keep tango for a lifetime because of the small, sweet details of the close embrace....There will come a time in your tango career when at the end of a song you hold the embrace unmoving as long as polite society will let you. It will be the best part of a beautiful dance. But right now, don’t hold out for bliss. Just comfort.
If you can’t dance simply well, don’t dance fancy at all.
No code of honor is absolute. The secret is to know when it must apply, when it may apply, and when it is required that it be violated.
To dance enjoyably, you have to be clear between an intentional upsetting of alignment or balance, and a goof. You fix a goof. You follow a displacement.

Professional & Technical
August 4
William M Swan