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Tango Politics and Natural Friendships

Many people in many countries complain about tango politics and how the world would be a better place if everyone was simply a bit nicer to each other.

A more constructive approach to politics is to accept that politics is part of everyday life, and concentrate on growing the local scene and developing natural friendships, rather than waiting for the arrival of a happy happy joy joy world.

Every community of interest that has been around for a few years has politics, because people accumulate history with each other. Tango in Wellington has had politics for years. Salsa has had it for years, ballroom has had it for years, my sister's celtic music scene has had it for years. Politics are quite normal in communities of interest and the key is one's attitude toward reducing their harmful effects.

In the early days of tango, anywhere, the scene is small and everyone tries to get along to varying degrees. This is a bit difficult because we can't be natural friends with everyone, and people usually do not speak their minds in a small scene for the sake of peace and harmony . After a while people DO start speaking their minds and ructions occur, those 'friendships' are broken and people move on in search of more natural friendships. This is not to say that either group are 'bad people', they just aren't suited to spending much time with each other.

People don't want to get caught up in politics but they generally do. The only way to avoid it is by not engaging closely with people, by holding them at a distance and saying 'Sorry, not my problem." That's fine until you need their support or friendship and those same people are not there for you.

A better solution to tango politics is to work to grow the scene so that there are more natural friends for everyone. Welcome new people with open arms, help them to learn the dance, make them wonder why they would possibly stay home when they could go out and spend time with a wonderful group of people, instead.

You personally may not get on well with everyone that you welcome into the scene but if the scene is growing then there will always be opportunities to make new friends, and the negative effects of politics can be minimised.


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