Argentine Tango is a dance far less dramatic than TV or cinema made us believe. It’s a dance with an immense level of connection between the two dancers, most of which is invisible from the outside.
For some people, there is great joy in dancing Tango outside the role imposed by their gender. This means that there are women who like to lead, men who like to follow, men and women who like dancing with partners of the same gender in either role, and also people who do not define themselves neither as male or female, but who still want to dance tango with others.
In open-role tango, the participants are maybe seeking to practice the role they wouldn’t dance according to the imposed gender conventions, or simply to experience the sensations that this role can offer.
In queer tango, often the dancers are looking for a space protected from sexist prejudice, related to gender expression or sexual orientation. Queer tango offers discrimination-free spaces, privileged spaces for queer public (gays, lesbiens, trans, bi, queer, gender fluid, and more), which offers the adequate frame for dancing with partners of the gender they feel attracted to (but not only!).
Anyway, the two movements of queer and open-role tango are friends: people of one scene are often part of the other.
None of these definitions are official or fixed. So overall, it’s always the best idea to simply dance the way you want, without worrying much about definitions.
The goal of our initiative is to gather the people that want to dance Argentine Tango while leaving behind the conventional frame “man = leading – woman = following” – especially in Geneva and its surroundings in France and Swiss Romandy.
We believe that only and simply two people are required to dance tango, regardless of their gender: one leads, the other follows. We want to create spaces to dance in non-conventional schemes (but not only). For example:
– A couple formed by two men.
– A couple formed by two women.
– A man-woman couple lead by the woman.
As you can see, there are many possibilities.
In our spaces, there will be NO notion of “man’s role” or “woman’s role”, but we’ll talk about “leader and follower”. Everyone can invite anyone. No-one needs to know both roles. But they can learn them.
Our goal is to organise practicas/classes/milongas according to these principles. There is only one fundamental rule: the respect for others, their gender and their sexual orientation.
We wish to establish a space where each encounter is valued by the degree of connection, adaptability and embrace given to the other – regardless of their gender and orientation, and of their technical level. Thus, beginners, even in both roles, are more than welcome.
Last but not least, we can’t and we don’t intend to replace professional tango teachers in Geneva and surroundings. We keep good relationships with them and we readily point out channels for learning from zero with more experienced teachers.
That said… see you soon, and let’s dance together! =)
Header image adapted from a photo by Flickr user Ragtimer1, www.flickr.com/photos/25419948@N07/3287721207 (CC BY-NC 2.0)