Two tango aficionados were asked what Tango means to them. Notice how differently each aficionado responded to the same questions / format. Each aficionado told the story of their Tango. Each Tango story was different.

Aficionado number one

Why did you chose to learn the tango / what or who inspired you The structure of the dance, the movements, the intensity, and the challenge to be synchronised with your partner makes this dance compelling to learn. My inspiration was watching Flavia & Vincent in Midnight Tango and Dance Til Dawn, truly magnificent.

How does it make you feel? Energy & passion of a couple lost in the world of dancing, in a smooth, rhythmic but aggressive way, fills me with ecstasy, a feeling so intense you want to be part of it.

What is special about it / what makes it different? This dance is special in a number of ways, the music alone transports you to the place of origin, and to a bar/club where people release themselves from the day to day drudgery of life.  The difference with this dance over any other is the ability to change your current state to one that is in a trance mesmerised by the performance.

Who are you when you are tango-ing Strong powerful, in control, leading my lady with precision, focus, passion.

When you put on your tango shoes My shoes are my armour, ready to do battle on the frontiers of a dance routine with intent, I am Vincent my hero.

Where are / what are your personal boundaries / won’t do that / go there’s in the tango routine I have no boundaries, I have no limits, I am prepared to push myself to the limit to embrace every move and every position. Take me to the edge, take me beyond my comfort zone, I am ready!!

and what else? When I visualise the routine, see the movements, hear the music, and smell the theatre I get flutters of excitement in anticipation of watching this incredible dance.

Aficionado number two

Ooh, what a challenge! Argentine Tango is an intense and provocative dance of loss, longing, passion, emotion. Often an ‘acting out’ of fiery, passionate relationships. Tango music is deep, melancholy, mirrors dancers’ movements. I was drawn to its intensity, drama, passion. Expression of these in a series of steps that are at the same time technically skilled and improvised. The relationship of the two dancers, their connection, trust. As any Tango exponent will tell you the way they are one person with 4 legs!  Tango is a way of being, of walking, of living.

Tango makes me feel fulfilled, expressive, unleashed, creative, daring, and gives me an outlet that is not part of the way I live my life day to day. It is also a release, and I find it hugely relaxing even though my feet might twinge and my muscles ache.  It is brilliant mindfulness for me.  Within the parameters of the dance one can be sensuous, inventive, engaged as if in a story.  You can create the story, you DO create the story, with your partner in the dance. The music envelopes, informs, embraces, dictates, mirrors, gets right in deep to your soul, the soul of the dance. 

My inspiration is my teacher. Watching expert Tango dancers; in Argentina I witnessed a couple practising in a square in Mendoza, it was exquisite and beautiful, like watching a love story. When I put on my Tango shoes, I step into a different me, a me allowed to try, to experiment, to express, to be unrestrained, to be totally involved with and taken up by the movements and the music and the connection with my partner. 

There is an etiquette in the dance, it sets the boundaries for you.  The great thing about Argentine Tango is that dancers go to Milongas. They dance with anyone and everyone or stick to one partner. Try new things, no-one is on show or embarrassed. There is an aura of trust and respect. I am still learning. So far have not had to set any particular boundaries, however the usual ones would apply if someone tried to be inappropriate in the dance.

Discovering Argentine Tango is one of the treasures of my life

Check out the following in Inspirations & YouTube `for more reflections on TANGO as a strategy for leadership: