After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Friday, June 04, 2010


I give to you and you give to me...true love, true love.

The more love you give away, the more you get; the more you give of yourself in tango, the more you get in return from your partner, the music and the dance. This is not to say that we should give our dance to anyone who asks; we need to choose wisely--quality over quantity--but once committed, we should not hesitate to give our all.

Which tango partner would you prefer--a giver or a taker? Do you want to dance with someone who is stingy? If it's, What's in it for me? instead of a mutual gift, chances are it won't be sublime for anyone. (Sallycat wrote a great post on The Gift in tango.)

I've noticed that folks who have generous natures and are generous of spirit, usually are generous with their time, money, help, possessions, and love. (And they have lots of "takers" as friends.)

Folks who are stingy with their money tell a lot about themselves, and are most likely also tight with everything else. Do we want friends and lovers who always avoid the check, or accept invitations without reciprocation, or are after what the other person can do for them in a relationship? Do we want stingy tango partners?

Selfish people usually have more and bigger stuff; the generous often accumulate less material things. Perhaps, though, one gets way more out of life by sharing what they have with others.

The stingy folks don't get it.

When we give, we get. It's that simple. In tango and in life. We usually get out as much as we put in, and often even more. The source is eternal, we will never run out, our love and our tango will continue to grow and fill our spirit and those of others we give it to. When we are givers we automatically become receivers. Maybe we don't finish the race with the most toys and the biggest hotels, but we finish "first" by having lived lives that matter in the community of souls we live in.

The old milonguero way is to give the woman a good experience, and when she's relaxed and happy, she in turn gives back to him. He feels like a better person and like more of a man. It works out great because it does take two to make one tango! Otherwise it's just two separate people dancing for themselves, and/or the audience, which is so not Tango.

As Ruben says, (and sometimes it sounds a bit macho when I translate in class), the woman gives her body to the man so he can make beautiful music with it, and then they are both happy.


Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Cherie,

A truly beautiful post. That's the way to LIVE. Thank you.


Nancy said...

And because Ruben is such a gentleman and cherishes his partners, it is easy to entregarnos to him. And because you, Cherie, are such a loving and generous person, you have friends all over the world.


* the verification word is guitta!

Mark Word said...

Cherie -- thanks for this post. It deals with life via the milonga. Being a giver can turn a person sour; so balance is important in life and on the dance floor. I love the quote from Rubén. As a musician, I felt this poem coming on, that she is the cello and I am expressing myself through her as an instrument, but I was shy about expressing this feeling because of the obvious objectification of the woman. I feel less shy now. Finally, thank for your comment on my blog. I re-wrote the post because of your gentle rebuke.

Elizabeth said...

Nice post Cherie, Often women tell me they are unhappy in tango because they are not getting what they need out of it. I have asked gently if they might think about what they can give, just to turn the thought around. I don't agree with Mark that "being a giver can turn a person sour". Not if they are really opening their heart. Of course, it is good to have boundaries, since not everyone is ready for receiving? It's a good subject and important for tango, and for life. E

tangocherie said...

Thanks, everyone, for your thoughtful comments!

Elizabeth, I don't agree either with Mark that "Being a giver can turn a person sour."
But being a taker can make one bitter over time: is that all there is?

Generous giving can sure make you a better and more sought after tango dancer, as well as a better and happier person.