Monthly Archives: September 2012

Milena Plebs

Occasionally I find something that simply must be passed on. I read this article by Milena Plebs and thought I simply must pass it on to my readers.

So after seeking permission, here it is in its entirety.

Tango and embrace…

What women want: In most cases, an embrace that provides good support is much more important to them than many complex steps. The magnetism generated between the two torsos is all that is needed for dancing. Women are focused on being a foil for the man. They are thankful when he is careful, and does not lead steps that require movements larger than the room that the couple has available at any given moment. They do not need the man to show them all the steps that he knows. For many of them, just to travel through the dance floor in an embrace is enough.

What men want: They celebrate being trusted and allowed to lead. They expect that the position of the woman’s arms will not block their lead and that, in spite of giving themselves to the embrace, women will not lose their axis; that when they do embellishments they will continue to be aware, and not take too much time. Since men have to handle an infinity of situations at the same time, above all they have to calculate the movements of those around them so as to flow with them and continue to advance.
By Milena Plebs

Copyright © El Tangauta 2007
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Milena Plebs is a world-renowned Tango teacher and choreographer. She set up the Tango x 2 Company together with Miguel Zotto. They are jointly responsible for the creation choreography and production, and both star in the shows.

As well as all her other talents she has written for El Tangauta La Revista del Tango since 2007.



Filed under Tango


A word that should be in the lexicon of English. Touchaphobia is a condition that blights the majority of the peoples of these isles. I have no idea why this should be but it is an indisputable fact.

When I attend dances there is a real reluctance to just get close. I see old married couples dancing as if they are frightened of catching some disease. Most of them have grandchildren, how they ever conceived is a mystery.

When I try to teach tango, I often find the women struggling to escape. To have someone so much in their space is an athema to them. They do this with their partners so to be this close to others is just too much.

To give an idea of what is expected I will often dance with the men. This gets a whole new reaction. A man being this close to another man, urgh!

As a child I barely touched my parents, we never kissed, we never embraced.

But you know it can be overcome, there is a cure. Tango eventually brings us all around.

Now I can hold a woman in my arms without any self consciousness. I can kiss strangers; I have even been known to kiss men when in Argentina.

The passion that comes with Tango, the love that comes from the Argentine people, will get to even the most touchaphobic in the end.

But to reach this nirvana we must dance close, pure milonguero style tango. It is no use pacing around the room with enough room to drive a bus between you. No good saying “I do Nuevo” and leading with your arms, and it will not do to step away to give your lady space to do an ocho. Once we dance in close hold, this is where we stay. You will get comfortable with it, we did, and if I can overcome touchaphobia anyone can.



Filed under Tango

September Break

With Viv not wanting to do the epic South America flights and the appalling weather we have been having, I have left any plans up in the air. I fully intended to take a cheap flight to Spain if the weather deteriorated again, but for now we were in flux.

I spent the first weekend at the Corwen walking festival, but the week-time just seemed to fly by. Of course there was dancing almost every night. Our Monday practica did not need to be cancelled and we had a few private classes during the week.

So the next weekend arrived at breakneck speed. Again we were away, we took the caravan down to Telford, staying at our favourite Severn Valley Gorge campsite.It was off to the Ludlow Food Festival Saturday. Cheese, Sausage, pies, all there for the tasting. Left me with no room for actual lunch. In the evening we lit the barbie and cremated some Pen-Y-Lan pork sausages outside the van. While I serenaded Viv with the out of tune broken guitar I bought for a tenner at the Sue Rider shop.

On Sunday we headed out towards Stafford, where Geoff and Pauline Hudson were holding their monthly milonga. The great thing about holidays is you can get out and explore places you don’t normally get to, so we made the most of it.

It was a great venue and everyone was friendly. We caught up with some old friends we have not seen for some time. The Stokies crowd were there, some from Shrewsbury, even Manchester. Makes me ashamed that I only travel when I am off.

Geoff had been cooking (I suspect Pauline was also involved) so we had some great food. Geoff did his DJ bit faultlessly and we left very happy. Geoff, Pauline, Nat Stoke bloke and Essy Joe all came out to wave us goodbye at the end. 

We had to get back of course, Tango Gresford was back on again Monday. Don’t stop the tango train.

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Filed under Tango