Tango isn’t war. If we feel more like we’re wrestling with our partners, then something’s wrong. Leaders, if it isn’t working, don’t force it. Use your bulging muscles for stuff like opening stubborn jars, helping your friends move that couch, and keeping your dog away from my ice cream.

Continue with the steps that do feel right, and remember that things tend to go more smoothly when you’re focused on making your partner look good.

Followers, although we may have to push back on a physically strong leader every once in awhile to maintain our axes, “use of force” shouldn’t be the default option, either. Let’s concentrate on where we’re being invited to move. Just go, instead of tensing up and holding back as we try in vain to analyze everything.

“Conflict” with our tango partners is inevitable. Sometimes it’s a small occasional mistake, sometimes we’ll know it’s our fault, sometimes we’ll know it’s the other person’s fault, and sometimes we just aren’t sure.

We need to do what we can to make the dance work, even if it’s just reverting to walking. And there’s nothing wrong with that. This isn’t the same as giving up. It’s about finding common ground, to figure out what works best, in this moment, for us and this particular partner. In tango, insisting that things only be done “our way,” whether we’re right or not, solves nothing.

wrestling beagles


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