I’m Mitra Martin and I love to dance with men. I love to dance with women too, but this is about men.
This is about men who have taken the time to go through the humbling and scary challenge of learning to dance Tango. And whose Tango gives me huge inspiration and a feeling of oneness that lasts for days.
(Some men confuse me. I am not sure if they are confusing me as a “strategy” or if they are just confused themselves. Probably both. The confusing men, I’ve decided it’s probably not worth it to think about them or dance with them too much.)
For a guy to learn to dance, I don’t know if you realize what a thing this is. I do, because I run a dance school and have seen lots of guys struggle with the process and fail and succeed and everything in between.
What it takes for a guy to learn to dance
- For a guy to learn to dance, they need to choose to persist in doing something that feels uncomfortable for a long time. They need to set aside anything in them that tells them that they need to already be impressive. They need to be cheerful with sucking.
- They need to be really curious about people, the people they dance with. Really attentive. Abnormally attentive and protective and caring. Absorbedly interested in their bodies, their moods, their patterns, their quirks.
- Some might need to expand themselves and their view of men, women, and life. They become deeply gentle, brave, chivalrous beings through feeling how great brave men and women create a dance. So they extend their comfort zone to dance with and learn from people in new ways, taking on the play of roles and allowing for new kinds of relationship to have space.
- They need to learn how to hold space for sexiness while staying focused on the needs of the moment. They need to sidestep being distracted or indulging in patterned sex thinking. I heard that can be hard for some men to do when they are holding a woman close to them.
I am so grateful and thankful for the men who have gone through this thousands hours effort to find what I feel as a truly unearthly surety and gentleness as they Tango.
I see them manifesting this loving kindness in their lives as well. Open to elaborate a sincere friendship with a woman, that also holds space for the deep mystery of Tango’s connection.
In this world I think it is a highly unlikely miracle that these men exist at all. I think and hope it will be less unlikely in the future. Women, maybe we can make it far less unlikelier now by saying out loud what such men bring to us.
To the great men of Tango:
You have helped me accept myself, my movement, my dancing. Your communicative friendship has helped me understand more about how men are and feel safer being myself around them. Your nonjudgmentalness has given me a chance to accept my errors and believe in my ability to grow. Your example of setting clear boundaries has helped me get better at knowing what I need and want at any given time. Your kindness and good manners helped me have fun at events, instead of leaving me in a confused limbo. Your seriousness about the substance of Tango - its music, its material - has inspired me to focus on that substance, too, instead of petty political dynamics and social domination. Your example inspires me to share your good works with my male students as they step into the world of social Tango with all its temptations. It may feel like a complex and confusing world, but I want them to know they have the power to make it a world of love, kindness, mutual consideration, creativity and friendship among equals.