10 Points of Common Sense in the Tango World

We are a community. That means we can help take care of each other. Photo by Andrei Andreev

We are a community. That means we can help take care of each other. Photo by Andrei Andreev

We just want to remind you that while we work very hard at O2 to build a supportive and safe community - and we are proud of the community we have - we encourage you to use common sense as you explore your new Tango connections.

  1. Invest in new friendships before deciding to be alone with someone (walking to car, getting a ride, practicing, etc.). Make sure they are good, trustworthy friends through consistently respectful interactions in groups in a variety of contexts.
  2. Be nice. Don’t be unkind. You’re a member of a community now, which means that unkind, crude, or cruel behavior will be shared and known as we work to protect each other.
  3. Talking with each other to make sense of our personal experiences of interacting with others is an important activity that helps us make sense of the world. Celebrate and share the wonderful things you witness people doing. Spreading hearsay about others - information that is not part of your own personal experience -  is something that should only be undertaken with seriousness, introspection, and consideration.
  4. Just because someone can dance the Tango nicely doesn’t mean they are necessarily someone you want to be alone with. They need to earn your trust, like they would outside of Tango, say, if you met them in a bar.
  5. Just because you can dance the Tango nicely doesn’t mean you are someone that someone should want to be alone with. You need to earn their trust by being cool and together, responsible and sensitive, off the dance floor too.
  6. Drinking can interfere with great Tango. Drinking can make you more vulnerable. If you plan to drink, plan also to stay close to trusted friends throughout the evening.
  7. If someone or something feels “weird” or “off” - either in their dancing or in the way they interact - then do not spend time alone with them.
  8. Tango can be a beautiful way to connect with healthy sensuality and sexual energy, and to meet wonderful friends and partners you might explore the nuances of human relationship with. It can add an incredible dimension to a friendship, flirtation, or relationship. But just because you love someone doesn't mean it will always be easy to Tango with them!
  9. IMHO, the BEST dancers are the NICEST people. Respectful, trustworthy, passionate, caring, sensitive, kind, devoted, loving, consistent, persistent, committed, AND sexy. But, that doesn’t mean that just because you’ve had the nicest dance of YOUR life with someone that they are a saint.
  10. If you have problems, like alcoholism or depression, get help. There are resources out there for you. Get to an Alcoholics Anonymous or a low cost University-based counseling center. Google it. Now! Your healing is your responsibility, and you can do it.

Boundary-setting is not just an issue within Tango, but an issue within society at large. But, because Tango can open people up it might make us more trusting and vulnerable, so we think it’s our job to try and help keep you safe, as much as we can! Love, Oxygen

P.S., Although we hope we never need to, we do have the right to refuse anyone admittance to O2T classes, practicas or milongas.

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Mitra Martin

Mitra Martin is Program Director at the Oxygen Tango where her focus is developing an interconnected community learning experience, and facilitating conversation around excellence in Tango as a portal to personal and social transformation.