Tango Swings and Roundabouts: Is it me or is it him?

A few nights ago, after a long drive through snow and ice, I arrived at the milonga rather tense and a bit worried about the equally long drive back in the early hours of the following morning. So perhaps I was a bit preoccupied and less relaxed than I might otherwise have been. Anyway, after a warm drink to thaw me out and quite a long wait until my first dance, I found I couldn’t – dance that is. At least that’s what my partner told me. We’ve danced before and enjoyed it. This time he asked me very politely if I would mind if he led me a bit more forcefully as I just wasn’t following properly or doing what he wanted me to do. I had noticed that the communication wasn’t working as well as it could and should have (we’d danced together before), so just agreed to being led with a bit more ‘force’. The more forceful lead was far more comfortable (present). So did he lead more forcefully or with more intention? Or was it that I followed more actively having been pulled up? Our subsequent dances were better and he said I did exactly what he intended, but I still felt something wasn’t quite right. I felt it with a subsequent partner later on, so didn’t dance for a while after that as I thought I was too distracted and had somehow lost it. Perhaps it was me. Then, later on I danced with one of the local tango teachers and then with someone else I’ve danced with a few times. Everything was fine and really enjoyable. So looking back on my first dances of the evening, was it me or was it him? I guess I’ll never know.

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2 Comments on “Tango Swings and Roundabouts: Is it me or is it him?”

  1. jantango Says:

    Every woman has had that experience at one time or another with a regular partner. We don’t have to figure out, “was it me or as it him?” It doesn’t matter. One tango moment shouldn’t feel the same as another. We feel different each day, with each partner, with each orchestra, so naturally we dance differently. Sometimes we may be distracted or in another place while dancing. It takes being in the moment to be in touch with the feeling of tango.

    I suspect that he wanted to pass the problem on to you, but it was his responsibility to create the dance. Asking your permission to give a more forceful lead was his way of asking you to surrender and let him take charge of the dance. I find nothing wrong with that. But a change in the physical lead isn’t enough. It has to come from within so the energy is transmitted from him to you. He had to make more than a physical adjustment in his embrace.

  2. tangobob Says:

    I have often asked this same question “was it me or was it her” and in the end I think, some days, some people do not gel. It is as simple as that for me. There are dancers, good ones, who I do not enjoy dancing with. There are some awful ones who I do enjoy dancing with.
    A lot comes down to the way we are taught here, we invite the woman. Dance with a true milonguero and you will be in no doubt that you are going where he wants.
    In the end though, I agree with Janis, it does not matter, next dance, next dancer, will be a whole different experience. That is the beauty of tango.


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