My 2008 Top Tip - Independent Woman

7th January 2009

I un-intentionally forgot to mention probably the most crucial lesson I've learnt since beginning my dance journey this year (2008) - in particular, my Tango affair.

The Argentine Tango is apparantly 100% masculine, we keep getting told. The male (often they are) should lead the female - the woman has to take a passive role. It is one of those attributes that is pretty much straight forward to understand, not at all difficult, just like walking. I mean, how Easy! you think?

Perhaps, but Beyonce fans and such like, yes, you know who you are. You take care of everything in a 'man's world. At work you've so far had to work twice as hard to be 'accepted' and finally fi- in comfortably with your male counterpart. You feel no different, female and male, equal. We've arrived in the 21st century for Patricia's sake!

But wait. In the world of dance, it all changes (or reverses).

We have to clearly define roles and responsibilities.

It is not "taboo" or discrimination in dance to make this distinction between the sexes. There is the male who leads (usually) and the female who follows. And then for the more experienced dancers, I've come across women who don't mind being men and vice versa.

Yes, girl power is restored to those powerful women but only once they 'graduate' for it is incredibly hard to learn to lead - one has to be an experienced follower, or maybe not? The truth be known, just following, has been more difficult than I thought I'd find it. And I'm still having to repeat to myself "don't anticipate" as the dance is fuelled entirely by the intention and agression of the man. Anticipating his lead diminishes his role and I'm told this is far worse than the follower not knowing the step. Following is technique.

Powerful women, your main challenge is to let yourself be led. There is so much more to Tango than revealed by the naked eye for as much as it may seem sacrificial to 'let yourself be led' the result is quite the opposite.

You become that powerful woman again and all's well that end's well.

 - Betty Smith, 7th January 2009