Tango and Work Life Project

Picture courtesy of www.morguefile.com .
Tango dancers:

I'm working on an article that I very much need your help with. After speaking with several dancers online and in person, I've started noticing some trends that I'd like to investigate further. Mostly I want to know if and how dancing tango has changed your professional life or your previous professional life if you've retired (other than being tired from all those late night milongas. lol)

For example, has learning and dancing tango changed the way you see your profession?
      - the way you treat your coworkers?
      - the skills you use in your job?
      - the skills you value in others?
Do your coworkers say that you've changed? If so, in what way?
Have you changed jobs or professions because of the impact tango has had on you?
If you're a hiring manager, do you think a tango dancing candidate would bring any particular strengths to a job? Any weaknesses?

Please let me know your thoughts on how tango has affected you professionally (if at all.)

Any thoughts you have to share would be so appreciated. (You can email me at infinitetango(at)gmail.com if you prefer to leave me feedback that way. Thank you so much for your help - and many happy tandas! 


happyseaurchin said...

how interesting :)

i have just finishing writing a book with a friend
and we mapped the process of leading-following
to writing-reading
which made for a very interesting book

i use tango throughout the book
since it is a common experience between wendy and i
though the subject matter covers way more than tango

i will invite wendy to your blog
and i am sure she would love to share her experience
as would i

be well!

Anonymous said...

I gave up my job -- and I had a very stable and well-paid one, too -- to be able to live in Buenos Aires. Now I work online so I can be geographically flexible and earn approximately a quarter what I did before (it's true that life in Argentina is cheaper, but still...)

wlobatto said...

Well this is an interesting question indeed, but complicated. Tango has certainly changed me insofar as it has offered the opportunity to play at expressing hidden parts of my self - follower, dancer, sensual woman, and becoming closer to these parts of myself has rounded me, or expanded my awareness...

However, I think you are asking more about the impact of tango on our relational life, and in particular our relationships at work. I'm not sure whether I would say it's changed me. I have been dancing tango long enough that I hope I'd have just grown up a bit anyway.

Would I give a job to a tango dancer? I'm not sure about that either! I think there are as many kinds of tango dancer as there are of people. Some men grab you in an iron embrace and move you round regardless of who you are. I wouldn't want one like that in my team! But one who aproaches with sensitivity, mutuality and musicality - who is able to share presence within the dance - now I could always do with more people like that in work and life both!

I do like your question, and what particularly interests me is how the experience of dancing tango can change us. I think it can and it does change the possiblity of how we can be together - it sensitizes us to the various ways in which we can coordinate joint action (which incidentally is the subject matter of david's book referred to above). And if that sounds a bit dry, if we are lucky to enjoy some beautiful dances which awaken us to who can be and what we can accomplish with each other, then that's as good as life gets!

Best of luck with the project.

Tango Therapist said...

Mari... this is a great project idea. I hope it grows into something big!

I am experiencing such magical things as a trauma therapist at work that I think that my work is transforming my tango just as much as tango transforms me as a professional. Souls are changed in therapy and souls are changed in tango.

But more to your question: I find myself imagining how a co-worker would be as a tanguero or tanguera. I do not invite them into this private world of my milongas, but I imagine how they would be and how it would transform them.

At my old job, my boss and I did not get along. She was a ballroom dancer. My boss said that I should incorporate dancing at my going away party. I laughed at first, but then decided to do exactly that!

I had a friend teach salsa and we did a tango "demo." My boss lingered after everyone had left, and she and a few others saw us dance tango. My boss said we should dance salsa, but I talked her into a tango. She danced it very well with me, and lots of hurt between us melted away. It was very profound. So yes, tango has influenced my professional life. -- Mark