Tango Argentino > Isn't Tango appropriate for married men or women ?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by Green, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. Green

    Green New Member


    I'm a married man and have been taking classes about six months. My wife is not interested in dancing at all. We both took ballroom classes about a year ago, but she dropped after a couple of classes. Since then, I have been taking dance classes alone.

    Argentine tango is much more different from other couple dances because of the level of intimacy. My wife does not know I am taking AT classes. I really like to dance tango and I want to dance with other dancers as well as my wife.

    Are most of dancers here singles ? If you are married man or woman, does your spouse dance tango ? Do you go to the milonga together ? or alone ? If you are married man or woman and if your spouse does not dance tango, how can you manage your tango life? I just don't want to give up a new discovery.
  2. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    I know several couples where only one of them dance. Some of them are into AT as well. Sometimes, the non-dancing person comes to watch.

    In your case, I think it's funny that you are asking us for advice instead of asking your wife for advice. If I had to take a wild guess, I'd say that your marriage is in trouble :) Well, if it already wasn't, I suppose the evil in Tango is starting to work now ;)
    Lois Donnay likes this.
  3. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Hey there, Green! Good to see someone new on the AT forum.

    I'd echo what Quix mentioned--it worries me that you're asking us, here, instead of your wife. It really worries me that your wife doesn't even know you're taking AT lessons. In and of itself, I don't think you dancing AT without her is a big deal, but that you can't (won't?) tell her about it is a huge red flag. It makes me think that either she'd highly disapprove, or that you get more than a casual-yet-intense connection with your partners.

    For the record, I'm married. Quite happily, as it turns out. My husband doesn't dance--at all. (I also dance ballroom.) For him and me, it isn't an issue. He knows of the intimacy of the dance--I've told him, he's seen video of it. It's not an issue for us. I tell him about when I go out dancing (I always go alone to milongas and other dances), and I tell him about the evening. Pretty much everything, until his eyes start to glaze over.

    The way I see it, yes, AT is an incredibly intense connection between two people. It is very intimate, and very sensual, but without being sexual. Yes, I've gotten "dance crushes" on various people. But, for me, I know where my limits are. My husband trusts me completely, which is perhps the greatest gift he could give me. I will in no way throw that away--I love him too much. The simple fact is, at the end of the night, there's no one I would rather come home to than him. There's no one else i would want to snuggle up with at night. He's it for me, plain and simple. So, AT and other dancing isn't a problem.

    So...I think AT is perfectly appropriate for marrieds dancing with other people. But your SO has got to be supportive and comfortable with the idea, because they should come first.
  4. Green

    Green New Member

    Thank you for the replies and concerns.....

    I should have asked my wife when I had started to take AT classes, but I didn't know the level of intimacy at the beginning.

    I had taken some dance classes such as salsa and various ballroom dances before I came into the tango world. She knew it. Later I found that AT is very intimate dance when I watched people dancing in the milonga. They danced pretty differently than I had learned in the class.

    I am very open-minded about dancing. I don't mind if my wife is dancing AT with other people even in close-embrace style, but I'm not sure how she thinks. That's why I'm hesitant to talk to her and I've been taking AT classes for SIX months already. I may have to stop taking/dancing AT if she is not supportive. *sigh*

    BTW, what is the "dance crushes", Peaches ?
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Um...you need to talk with your wife...NOW.

    Yeah, it will suck. I'd image she'd be less happy with the fact that you've been doing this for 6 months without telling her than the intimacy of the embrace. But to not tell her is so much infinitely worse.

    From what you're saying, it sounds like your class is taught in open embrace but you're seeing close in milongas, yeah? It might help if you can ask your wife to go to a couple of classes and milongas just so she can understand it a bit. And, it never hurts for her to talk with other women to understand their perspective.

    Dance crushes have been discussed endlessly on DF--try doing a search for relevant threads. Basically, I've had a crush on every last one of my dance teachers--and some other dancers as well. I enjoy the feeling but ignore it (never act on it), and it goes away in a couple of weeks, and I just feel nice "warm fuzzy" feelings about they guy after that. I make sure the crushes stay harmless.
  6. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Do as married Argentines do: just remove your wedding ring when going to a milonga.
  7. Me

    Me New Member

    RE: Your personal issue.

    I will be blunt - You have made this a problem by keeping it a secret. Now I would imagine that yes, your wife who has no interest in dance and no understanding of Argentine Tango will be very hurt as her interpretation would be that you've been sneaking off and hanging all over other women.

    Keeping the above in mind, your question is no longer within the realm of dance, but within the realm of your private relationship with your wife. I doubt seriously there are many people here (if any) who can provide you a helpful answer.

    I am not a counselor, but it is my opinion that you need to talk with your wife. You should talk to her before somebody else does - Dance communities are infamous for their relentless gossip mills. Somebody WILL tell your wife, it is only a matter of when. Go to her first and initiate healthy communication.

    RE: Tango's appropriateness

    In a culture starved for physical contact, Americans are super hyper sensitive about any form of touch. Consequently, you have many couples enter studios who are extremely sensitive about their husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend dancing with another person.

    So, you have to judge the 'appropriateness' from person to person. Some people find tango too intimate. I don't. Fortunately, my boyfriend adores Argentine tango. We have the best of both worlds - we can go to milongas together and enjoy the beauty of sharing a moment of dancing together, and gain true pleasure and enjoyment from watching the other dance with somebody else. (How else am I to watch him pull off those super sexy enrosques? My eyes are slammed shut half the time!)
  8. newbie

    newbie Well-Known Member

    Old milongueros from Bs-As go at milongas without telling their wives, so secrecy is one part of authentic tango. If you tell your wife now, you'll have to stop tango now. If she finds out herself in one year, you'll have to stop tango in one year. Don't tell her.
  9. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    where the large lady stumbles and falls on top of you.
  10. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    I don't believe tango encourages infidelity and I don't take any notice of whether my partners are single or not when I dance with them. The physical proximity just takes getting used to, so get used to it.

    I would imagine that some secret pleasures are more enjoyable eg eating chocolate.

    I don't think morality or trust are something follow universal rules so you have to find out what is okay for you and your relationship and ignore what other people tell you. I don't think your marriage is in jeapordy any more than you do.
  11. Green

    Green New Member

    As newbie indicated, if I tell my wife NOW, highly likely today will be my last day of tango life.

    I don't think it can be life-long secrecy. But I just want to give her some time to understand dancing AT before I tell her. I bought some performance DVDs and instructional DVDs. I watched them in the living room alone while she is at home and sometimes I asked her to watch them together and asked her how would she like it.

    I don't think I have to tell her every lessons I am taking. I'm taking other dance classes and taking tennis and golf lessons, too. AT is just one of them.

    However, going to the milongas may be different story...
  12. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I don't think she necessarily needs to know about every single thing in your life, but if you're feeling uncomfortable with AT, then there's something significant there.

    And, I don't necessarily think that if you tell her it will be the end of AT dancing for you. A lot depends on how you phrase it. Someone else said it--can't remember who--but I think the biggest issue isn't that you're dancing AT in particular (or even dancing without her), but that you've been keeping it a secret.
  13. Green

    Green New Member

    Pretty good advice, thanks Me.

    There are some possible scenarios from best (1) to worst (6)

    1. tell her now and she joins AT classes with me and dancing together.
    2. tell her now and she allows me to continue taking classes and dancing, but she is not willing to learn/dance AT.
    3. do not tell her and somehow she knows it, but I'm allowed to continue taking classes and dancing.
    4. tell her now and I have to quit AT right now.
    5. do not tell her and somehow she knows it and I quit AT.
    6. do not tell her, somebody tell her and I quit AT and our marriage will be in jeopardy.
  14. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

    If it were me I would take her along, show her that you can dance and tell her that you want to dance AT WITH HER rather than anyone else.
    Bitemarx and SwingingAlong like this.
  15. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hey green. If you fear your marriage may be in jeopardy then hey. I'd say bite the bullet and tell her something and soon. You know your wife better than any of us possibly could. So, if you think her potential reaction is cause for concern, it probably is. :? Putting it off can only make it worse, IMHO.

    If you tell her soon, then you can always tell her exactly what you told us -- that you love the tango, but had no idea, up front, about close embrace. There's nothing sexual about it, but you'd feel better with her knowing what the classes involve. No harm; no foul.

    Can you imagine her reaction if you keep taking the classes and she somehow finds out (as wives generally do lol) a year or two or three down the line? Then what plausible explanation can you possibly give her? You'll look guilty as heck, even though you haven't done anything wrong. If she's anything like me, her first reaction will be, "If there's nothing sexual about this close embrace stuff, then why in the HECK did you feel the need to keep it secret?"

    In your shoes, though, I would probably try to find a way to phrase my telling her so that I wasn't offering her the option of my quitting. If she wants you to quit, make her be the one who says it first.

    My $0.02. :cool:
  16. Green

    Green New Member

    I'm thinking of one feasible option, which is that I stop taking classes temporarily and resume some months later with her permission. :)
  17. SalsaManiac

    SalsaManiac New Member

    Wow, this is so much like the Japanese version of "Shall We Dance?" ...

  18. Adam1976

    Adam1976 New Member

    If you have marriage problems maybe you could visit marriage therapist.

    When you dance with a partner you are close and the dance is very suggestive, but it is not personal…Close is what the music inspire you to become. The embrace looks personal, but what we are actually embracing is the music.
    Carlos Gavito ​
    Lois Donnay likes this.
  19. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    I thought the exact same thing when I read the OP...
    Have you seen the movie, Green? The scenario goes like this:

    do not tell her and somehow she knows you are hiding something and suspects you are having an affair.
  20. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Although I don't know your situation entirely, I highly recommend being truthful with your wife.

    Do you know why your wife dropped taking lessons?

    The SO dances AT and ballroom. We met this way. Very romantic story, but I'll save it for another thread. We go to social dances, both ballroom and milongas, and we dance with various people.

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