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Leading Ladies

We frequently meet women who have become flight risks from tango because they have been dancing several years and want to improve, but are frustrated by the small number of men who wish to improve.

Similarly we meet many women who wish to dance more than they do, often waiting for 40 minutes to an hour at a 2-hour dance. This is not a case of 'learn to dance better' because many of them dance better than, for example, the Young Pretty Girls (YPGs) at the same dances who often are being danced off their feet.

We advise these women that their development as dancers and/or access to increased dancing time relies on them either learning to lead, or being prepared to follow those women who do. This is unwelcome news for most women who began tango expecting to dance with men, but it's the reality in a world where women are generally the majority at any milonga.

The men, by comparison, can afford to be complacent about their dance ability because they are always in demand, no matter where the milonga is in the world.

The outcome of this is a tango ecosystem which is limited by the number of available men, bolstered by the number of them who are community-minded enough to dance with a range of women. This number is increased as more women become leaders but is once again limited by how many women actually want to dance with them.

Taxi dancers provide some relief in this area (ahem) but the forseeable future is one where women embrace (ho ho!) dancing with women or they move on from tango scenes. To paraphrase Steve McQueen's comment about motor racing, "if you say that you want to dance, and you're not dancing, then you don't want to dance."


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