Ways That Women Help Women In Tango

“Strong women help other women.” - Brigitta Winkler
With Brigitta Winkler, who sets an inspiring standard for me as a strong, powerful, loving woman in tango

With Brigitta Winkler, who sets an inspiring standard for me as a strong, powerful, loving woman in tango

When I started learning Tango I was shy and really scared of everyone. And I didn’t think it was safe to talk with women about my relationships or feelings about men. I felt like I was competing with every other woman for a scarce resource - men.

Where I started learning to Tango, women danced only with men. Women followed, men led. Since I love dancing with men, and since I love following, I was happy and didn’t feel like I was missing anything.  

If I had had more real, true, mutually caring bonds with fellow Tango women earlier I probably would have been safer overall in my early vulnerable years, and made some better decisions. As a community builder today, I want to contribute to a culture that supports safe, strong, creative women and powerful sisterhood.

How my experience of tango sisterhood emerged

Slowly, through socializing and lots of creative projects with other women in the community,  I started to discover how much loving, caring attunement, hilarity and fun there can be in women's friendships. How worthy of trust these women were.

It was probably eight years of obsessive Tangoing before I ever danced with a woman. I remember hours of laughter, perplexity and joy with my first girl practice partner as we both helped each other learn to lead.

I sincerely hope that women in Tango find and support each other, commit to care for each other and to developing and strengthening the deep strong bonds that are the bedrock of connection, on and off the dance floor.

Here are some very supporting forms of women-to-women love we can extend to our tango sisters

  • Plan something together

Planning a little outing is a very wonderful way to begin to explore friendship and share great conversation! There are so many adorable cupcake spots, ice creameries, or happy-hours - all it takes is an idea and an invitation.  

  • Give a little gift

I used to freak out a little every time I'd go to a festival. Mostly it was because I was scared of what would happen with the boys. Once I decided to just focus on the women at the festival, and I actually brought little tiny gifts for each of the women I like who I knew would be there. I had a great time ! 

  • Open up, share and listen

Sharing has to start somewhere. If you want to create a trusting space, you can invite that by sharing about your own personal struggles - and triumphs - in the Tango world. Ask them how their Tango is going. It's very important to be sure your friends know when you want them to "keep it under your hat" - as one of my girlfriends says. 

  • Be there when times are tough

Just having those 1 or 2 or 3 or more friends who you can reach out to - call or text or chat - when things feel really hard...this is an immense gift. Treasure these friends, and be there for them when they need you too, being able to contribute to their lives is part of the gift. 

  • Help your girlfriends find the tandas they seek

This is how we become sisters in crime...by knowing who our Tango sisters looove to dance with and with exquisite subtlety helping those dances to happen. Exquisite. Subtlety. 

  • Practice together, dance together, perform together

It might go without saying but an awesome way to explore/deepen/cement/extend women friendships is through DANCING ! 

  • Commit to non-disposable friendships

Change is always happening, and Tango cycles of popularity are constantly cycling around. For me what feels great is to commit to non-disposable friendships. Friendships you keep investing positive energy and thought and time into, that you intend to cultivate and nourish through both of your lives. How many friendships do you have room for ?

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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.