When a man begins learning tango, his first few (or several) months include a mystical mix of:
What he thinks he led. What he actually led. What his partner thinks he led. What she thinks he should have led. What he wishes he’d led. What she thinks he thinks he led.
On the way to becoming a leader who women swoon over, a man passes through multiple stages of learning and development. The first phase, aka, confusion, keeps some men ensconced for a very long time, and for good reason…their partner acts like she doesn’t have a clue what to do next. He’s told that in order for her to take a step, he must transmit silent information to her through his axis. (He is completely unaware that he has an axis, let alone what to do with it.) And he’s told that it’s up to him to decide when, where, and with what intensity he wishes his follower to move. This revelation causes some men to hyperventilate and others to take up bowling.
His Riddle of the Sphinx…What walks on two legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon and stumbles around on four legs in the evening? (Who among us needs the answer?)
In due time, (longer than longed for) a man learns which side of his body will move which side of his partner’s body, and, most importantly, that if he “invites” her to take a step with the foot she’s standing on, her instinct to remain upright will soundly trump her desire to “follow” along with her desire to dance with the dufus anytime in the foreseeable future.
Some leaders assume that the more “stuff” they do, the more that women will want to dance with them. This results in their falling into the Abyss of Endless Tricks, making their partner feel like she’s a rag doll, counting the seconds till the music ends. Leaders who linger in the Land of Basics “get it” that showy stuff is not a guaranteed path to bliss. In fact, the “trick trap” can stall the learning process for eons, in tango time.
Great connection can make the difference between “a tanda in tandem” and “a great tanda she’ll remember even if she doesn’t remember your-name.” When all is well…well, actually better than well, women sometimes drift into a blissful, altered state of consciousness. (It may take her the entire cortina to see straight or breathe normally again.)
Safe navigation involves a lot more than not running in to people. Rules of the Floor are similar to Rules of the Road, with common sense being the predominant guiding factor. Undesirables who raise the blood pressure of Desirables include road hogs, speeders, slow pokes, lane changers, and nitwits who back up without looking.
A key difference between so-so-tango and bingo-bongo-bango-tango is musicality. A woman can float for a very long time on the memory of a skillfully led rhythmic interpretation. Leaders who leave their partners wanting more follow the music even closer than their followers follow them.
Intimacy involves a delicious connection on multiple levels and can be achieved with one’s significant (or insignificant) other. However, impropriety, real or imagined, can lead to ultimatums and the perpetrator being forced to return to the dating pool. Maintaining decorum (or not) can determine where one catches one’s zzz’s.
Challenges: Just when we think we’ve accomplished something, another challenge (or dozens) pop up. Anyone who says they’ve had an easy time learning this dance, are delusional, deep in denial, seriously disturbed or some combination. No one walks away unscathed. Of course, we get stronger as we meet and conquer each challenge, or at least make progress in that direction.