Tango Argentino > The tango connection

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Dr Tango, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. AnnaN

    AnnaN Member

    hi all, just brief message of thank everyone who responded so far. Thank you for being so generous with your time and willingness to share your experience as I am trying to figure out my tango drama!
  2. AnnaN

    AnnaN Member

    You are absolutely right about the uniqueness of all situations, experiences, etc.!

    Actually, I do break the embrace with all partners because i do not care much about them and because I do not want to convey interest in them. With this dance partner, though, I have no problem staying in the embrace because I love it. I like the embrace, I like hugs and caresses (my weak spot), and I am comfortable with him as a partner. What makes a lot of difference to me is that 1. he has a SO and 2. that he has a SO and he is still dancing like that with a random person like me. That's where it is complicated for me. But I suppose that's how this particular situation is unique... so, yes, at the end of the day, I have to figure out this mess.
  3. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    FWIW, neither my wife nor I have a problem with each other being in intimate embraces with others (including strangers) while dancing (or right after the dance for that matter), but that's us. I think it's a common thing with tango, but that doesn't mean it's right for you (although I suspect you'll get more comfortable with it, in time).

    I don't know the guy, or anything about his intentions, so I can't accurately say what they might be, but as they say, it takes two to tango.

  4. AnnaN

    AnnaN Member

    Yes, it does takes two to tango. Which is why this whole thing is bothering me. And you know there's the look/ the appearance of the intimate embrace and there's the actual intimate feeling combined with the intimate embrace. I've danced close embrace with many partners, and I do not know how it looks from outside, but I've never had a connection with them. So, such embraces do not worry me. Even if I remain after the song in an intimate embrace, if I do not feel it, I am ok with it. The experience I am talking about though is different--the feeling and the embrace were happening at the same time. Is that how it is for you and your when you dance with other partners? You dance in close embrace plus you really feel intimate with that person?

    May be I will get used to this, but it also makes me wonder, why should something so special become 'normal' as in "don't notice it anymore." Just thinking....
  5. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Think they are

    Piropero (piropo, piropear)
    and Chamuyero (chamuyo, chamuyar)
    AnnaN likes this.
  6. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Yes. To me, it is sort of an affectionate feeling, although it doesn't happen with everybody (at least not for me). It really only happens (again for me) with a follower that has the "surrender" thing down. The right song/tanda makes a big difference, as well.

    I heard different people use different ways to describe it: the tango "high", trance state, 10 minute date, etc. My wife says that it sort of a spiritual feeling for her. The reality is that when you come right down to it, there's no way to know if everyone who experiences "it", is actually experiencing the same exact feeling. I do know that "whatever it is" can be very enjoyable.

    It's a very strange hobby that makes you want to learn Spanish so you can go to Buenos Aires.

  7. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    I think when people who have more tango experience say that they don't notice it anymore we are not really talking about it not being special, but we talk about it firmly anchored in the context of the dance, and not related to anything that is related with "real" romance.

    I think the closest equivalent is people having crushes on professors when going to college first - there is suddenly this person who takes their ideas seriously, is willing to discuss them, has exciting ideas themselves, and so on - this is something that feels like it should be a really intimate thing, especially as people usullay only experience this kind of open exchange of "deep" ideas in the context of close relationships. (Now there are professors who actually date students, but this is not about that). A student can usually expect to have a deep, intimate conversation with their professor without any SO style emotional intimacy. So after being at university for a while people get accustomed to having these kinds of conversations, after lectures, in seminars, in their dorm rooms, in bars - wherever there are a bunch of students they will usually start inappropriatly deep conversations.

    Similar the physical intimacy of tango is something that exists only on the dancefloor, and in my opinion a lot of the seemingly archaic codices are all about making sure that thing stay on the dancefloor. The rituals protect us from forgetting that the milonga just the milonga.

    Sure there are some people who hijack the milonga to try get relationships, but the majority of people will work pretty hard on keeping these boundaries intact, and even people who have actual relationships will often not bring them on the dancfloor, and dance more or less the same with their spouse or SO as with other people, or even don't dance with their SO except for the traditional last and first tanda.

    Tango dancers who can't keep these boundaries don't last long. (well, with one exception - there is a special class of bottom feeders that specializes in serial dating beginners. But i think they have about as much to do with tango itself as going to the beach has to do with obsessivly collecting pictures of women in swimsuits - there are some situations where there are easier opportunities for bad behavior than others).

    If you are worried about his intentions my advice would be to relax - if he is not trying to take it off the dancefloor the whole thing is probably still in the green. This assessment would immediately change if you feel uncomfortable, or if he would not open the embrace if you want to.

    If you are worried about your feelings my advice would be to be very, very cautious, and maybe stop dancing with him. Smudging the boundaries between "We created a great tango together" and "If we were along i would let him have his way with me" is really dangerous.


    P.S. To add to what opendoor said about the milongas in BA - there is a strong, strong culture of opening up the embrace and having long bits of small talk between songs - and also noticable is that they almost never talk about anything personal - not their names, not their job, not where they live - it is all about the weather, how crowded it is, how good the dancefloor is, about the dj, the orchestra, the tanda, other milongas. You need to know people for a long time - or from somewhere outside the milonga - to get anything more than completely exchangeable small talk. I think this too is part of how the rituals of the milonga protect us.
  8. AnnaN

    AnnaN Member

    So how often has that happened to you? And has it always been only an affectionate feeling? It makes sense if it is always like that because may be subconsciously you stop at affection, and don't go deeper since you have a wife. And do you have a different feeling when you dance with your wife? I feel like I am asking too many questions; please feel free to ignore them if you do not want to respond.

    I feel that this Argentine guy won't dance with me in the same way if his SO was around, which is a big problem for me.
  9. AnnaN

    AnnaN Member

    Gssh, thanks for your kind response!

    Your post reveals yet another unfamiliar vista for me re tango.

    Partly, it almost sounds to me like a formalized way of cheating. And now I doubt if I am cut out for tango, and I wonder how long I will last. The only thing that saves me is that I am actually not really that attracted to this guy. Actually if it was not for the dance, my attraction to him is zero.

    I have to say that a lot of people I meet at tango are looking for relationships. A lot! I've gotten a number of invitations for drinks, which, granted could be just that, but I am not so sure it's just an innocent drinks invitation. I do not pursue these because I am not interested in the guys, but if I liked how I danced with a guy, and I liked him too, I'd go out if I were invited for a drink. Plus, I've heard about many tango stories, involving people who meet at tango, date for a bit, then things don't work out, and they feel weird dancing with the same person, so they stop tango for awhile--may be 2-3 or more months and they come back to it again.

    I also see some couples who are exclusive. They would never dance with anyone else, and this makes sense to me. What's the point of experiencing tangasms or highs or whatever one calls them with a random person rather than with one's SO?!

    I am still processing what you wrote in your message esp. the part which I bolded. It seems to me that I should stick to approaching it in a very professional way, which I pretty much how I've approached it so far. However, so far I have not had this experience. And of course, the big question for me is--will he dance with me in the same way in front of his SO. If he does not, that it's a problem.

    And i also really appreciate your last paragraph--i needed ideas for small talk because i was getting bored with questions I always asked.

    Anyway, it just does not make enough sense to me... at least not yet... to dance a dance which makes me feel like that and dance it with someone other than my significant other.... I wish I could have a SO with whom this will be possible, and then I won't mind dancing with many strangers where nothing even remotely close is happening and where the only achievement is if I can follow and if he can lead.

    Still processing and grateful for what you shared!
  10. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    I personally don't think about it that way mainly because i don't think hugging as something that is cheating - but then i come from a family of huggers. I dance with women who could be my mother, or my daugther, and we share a good dance.

    I think that this is very similar to other cases where personal attention can get translated into romance/cheating. Thats why i brought up the teacher-student relationship. Or what is similar the therapist-client relationship - as far as i have heard they basically get warned from the start that clients will fall in love with them because sharing experiences and confidence is also intimate - and very few people think of going to therapy is a formalized way of cheating.

    And yes, a lot of people doing anything will look for relationships, and having a shared hobby is nice, but there is something almost everybody who has dated somebody they met while dancing has learned: on-the-dancefloor chemistry does in general not translate to off-the-dancefloor chemistry (and vice versa),
    And additionally one of the ingredients of these miraculous dances we are talking about is just pure luck and they are not repeatable. You can have predictably great dances with your SO, but you can't force the magic, and if you try it will be even farther away. And it can be quite frustrating to want to have these dances, and in the milonga to have them mostly with strangers and loose aquaintances, and seeing ones SO have them with strangers and loose aquaintances, and us both wishing we could make them happen with each other, and they only happen 1 out 100 times, and more often than not that 1 time we are not dancing with each other.

  11. jantango

    jantango Active Member

    I, too, came from a family that hugged and kissed. That's why I feel so comfortable living in Buenos Aires where hugging and kissing are a normal part of life. A tango friend in Wales posted recently that he was never hugged or kissed by his parents.

    The dance is unique in its embrace. The music is deep. Put a man and a woman together and something profound occurs. We feel something inside ourselves.
  12. AnnaN

    AnnaN Member

    You see, I came also from a family of huggers and kissers. My relatives and the whole clan kiss on the mouth!!! Ok, I do not do this and they think I am squeamish, but you get my point. I do not have a problem with close embrace at all.

    It was just that some embraces are mechanical and cold, and the one I am talking about was VERY different! So it really matters to me what _kind_ of embrace it is. Some are ok, others cold or indifferent, with still others the only thing I can say is, "Well, I can follow this leader well and did not trip too often or I do not have to strain myself to guess what he wants me to do." But the embrace I am talking about was really different; it felt relaxing, trusting, seductive, etc.
  13. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    It's hard to describe the combination of feelings that have occurred for me. I'd say that affection is the strongest (or most clearly identifiable feeling). It can be very strong, though. Unfortunately, I've had much better "connection" when dancing with some other people, than I have with my wife (not that she's bad or anything), and I'm pretty sure the same is true for her.

    It's a hard thing to try to explain why it really clicks with someone, and not with someone else.
  14. AnnaN

    AnnaN Member

    It's really good that the feelings you experience gravitate toward affection not beyond it. And it is just realistic not to expect he magic to exist only between two people. There are, though, those kinds of couples who dance only together. I doubt all of these couples experience the magic all the time.

    I was skimming through much older posts last night on this forum trying to find more about the embrace and especially about other forumites' attitudes and experiences with it, and I saw other people who have shared that they felt sexual energy, but not in a sleazy way. (As I mentioned earlier, my experience came from just the embrace, the partner caressing my back throughout the whole tanda, and not breaking the embrace between the songs of the tanda. There was the feeling of comfort, protected space, and feeling at home. So there was no inappropriateness... And that's how i want to feel with a significant other, if I had one...)

    So this morning I was wondering---does this dance magic work both ways? Is it possible that I really loved it, and he just experienced it as an ok dance? Just curious.... I am not sure what to make of it if that's the case, but I am just wondering.
  15. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    This I find quite odd, so I 'm glad you mentioned it again. I know some guys will drop their hand, and very purposely reposition it. They do this repeatedly, and as a side bar, maybe someone can explain that to me.
    The caressing? I missed that in my training (in other words I don't remember anyone addressing this as something that the man should do)
    I've had women try to 'get me to be less tense' and massage my back/shoulders while we were dancing, and I found it pretty annoying. I feel that I am dancing, not geting a massage.

    Yes, of course. I've had many wonderful and memorable dances over the years. What I think, though, is, "Wow, that was a great dance/tanda." It's funny, though, that I am reluctant to attempt to recreate that magic, because so often I've found that it is not repeatable for whatever reason.

    With lots of practice, it becomes easier to keep tango or other dance moments as a separate part of your life, I think.
  16. AnnaN

    AnnaN Member

    The caressing of the back I think is idiosyncratic gesture. To me it felt like an emphasis on the embrace; like I could feel the embrace better. Plus I do love being caressed, so that's one of the reasons it worked for me. However, if not done properly, the caress could be not only distracting but unpleasant. So it's the whole package: the musicality of the steps, the embrace, the partner, etc.

    I wanted to clarify my question about whether the magic works both ways. I am wondering if both partners like the same dance equally or there is a discrepancy in how much one partner likes vs the other. In other words, I see two possible scenarios: a. both partners enjoy the same dance equally; b. only one of the partners finds the dance amazing, the other finds it just ok.

    I feel like both scenarios are a possibility although it's disappointing for the partner who really loved the dance if the other partner just found it to be ok.
  17. Gssh

    Gssh Well-Known Member

    In my experience - the magic usually does not work both ways - sorry. I have been told by followers that they had magic dances when i didn't even find the dance ok, and i have had amazing dances where after the tanda was over it became quite clear that she did not have as much fun. Though in general i think that when one of the partners has an amazing dance the other one has at least a good one. At the very least it is nice to share a dance with somebody who is enjoying themselves, kinda like it is nice to cook and share a favourite dish with a SO, even when i don't care all that much about that dish myself.

  18. AnnaN

    AnnaN Member

    Well, I am not surprised :). And one could make the analogy not just with eating, but other activities which I won't mention... ;)
  19. dchester

    dchester Moderator Staff Member

    Sometimes, but not always.
  20. Mladenac

    Mladenac Well-Known Member


    It seems that you are still dancing with him. :p

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