How To Create A Partner: Ten Ideas

Sixth Article in It Takes One to Tango Series

“I’d like to, but I don’t have a partner.”

I have heard this sentence so many times and I would like to tell everyone the following:

“If you don’t have a partner, create a partner.” 

Here are some things you can do in Tango to create a partner:

  1. Learn the other role. Now you have twice as many potential partners.
  2. Buy some sticks and practice with them, at home or at practica. Imagining a partner is the first step to creating them.
  3. Help a beginner- or anyone you think is “not as good as you” in Tango. Practice with them. Put some real good quality energy into it - try to understand them, help them, visualize them improving. Now you have a partner.
  4. Invent a project that requires two people for it to be accomplished. For instance, let’s say you want to reconstruct 30 seconds of a performance you like on YouTube. Or, you want to take a particular workshop with someone. It is far easier to find a partner when you have a specific thing you want that partner to do with you.
  5. Talk to people who have partners and ask them how they established their partnership and what specific things they do to sustain its creative momentum.  
  6. Whose dancing do you admire? Ask them what kind of music they like, and which videos they watch. Then listen to that music, and watch those videos. Studying Tango in detail gets you closer to the wavelength of people who work regularly with partners.
  7. Practice on your own! This creates a powerful intention.
  8. Try to find TWO or three partners instead of just one partner. Paradoxically, this might make it easier to find a partner.
  9. Spend time socially in groups eating and drinking before or after Tango events. It is easier to find out who will be a synchronous partner, when you know them in a variety of contexts. Stick around til the end of the Practica, and join the group of people going out to eat, or say, “Hey, anyone want to go grab a bite with me?”
  10. Be around as much as possible. Just being around allows people to learn about each other, and ideas for creative partnership to develop.  

There is so much love and creativity out there, and so many people who want to be part of exploring it together with you. Let's get over our little shynesses and get into the real problems and adventures of creating together. Love, Mitra


Fifth Article in It Takes One to Tango Series

by Mitra Martin

A dancer friend of mine once taught me about phrase endings in Tango.

He and I aren’t friends anymore.


I am terrified of endings. I know that whatever the ending, I will terrorize myself with guilt that it was my fault. That I didn’t find the potential in the situation.

How can we go fearlessly into that end? I think learning this will be part of my life’s work. There is something about the end that is beautiful. A shape...a little stretch, almost is it a pose? A salute, sincerely-felt gratitude. An extra squeezing-out of life. A sudden gap, a shock, a shakeup followed by an arena of mental space.


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One Possible Reason Why You’re Not Dancing As Much As You Want

Fourth Article in It Takes One to Tango Series

by Mitra Martin

Did you ever throw your bicycle at someone because you were mad they didn’t dance with you?
I did.

There was a time in my life when I was one frustrated Tango girl. I thought I was better than I was. Way better. (Still do, haha.)

I would go to festivals and have these amazing, unearthly, peak-experiences which made me think I was a rockstar. And it felt so unjust that weekend after weekend, the nice leaders in my own community would look past my eyes.

Once I had a friend who needed a place to stay, so we offered him the couch for a few days. A nice dancer friend. And so that weekend, we went out to the milonga together. Man, did I want to dance. I was all ready to dance. I was so excited to dance. My body wanted to dance, my mind wanted to dance, my soul wanted to dance. Everything felt like dance.

But, I didn’t dance. I just sat there. Like, the whole damn night.

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How To Practice a Tango Movement Sequence With Just Two Legs

Third Article in It Takes One To Tango Series

by Mitra Martin

So! Here we are! It is our pre-appointed Personal Practice Time, we are wearing our Tango clothes and we have just rocked out to our favorite dance music! Now, as one person with just two legs, two arms and one heart, how on earth are you going to practice actual Tango dance?

Well, actually you are now in a perfect position to practice vocabulary and technique with an extremely good-natured, infinitely patient partner whose dancing is technically perfect and who is also 100% invisible.

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What to Do When you Practice On Your Own, And a Pep-Talk

Second Article in It Takes One To Tango Series

by Mitra Martin

Now that you have carved out the time and space for your solo Tango practice, what will you do with it? Here are four things I like to do when I practice. The number one excuse for being lame at Tango that people use to hide from the intensity of this dance is “I don’t have a partner.” This is so boring to hear that I don’t want to hear it anymore, and that’s partly why I’m writing this blog.

I’m here to tell you that nobody “HAS” a partner. You CREATE a partner, by BEING a partner. By IMAGINING situations that require partnering. By DOING things on your own that are interesting to other people, who maybe become now-and-again partners and share a part of the journey with you. And the first step in doing that is learning how to engage the dance on your own.

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