Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The search for 'entrega'

There is a theory that a follower can give herself up entirely to the dance and find a complete connection with her partner. This state is sometimes called ‘entrega’ and means to surrender. Some followers dislike this term as they feel it is describing a situation where you lose all self control and allow the leader to take over. I was interested to read however, that this term comes from the verb ‘entregarse’ a reflexive verb which means not to surrender but to 'choose' to surrender yourself, a subtle but key difference.

For a follower to do this though, she must have trust in her partner. She must believe he will lead her through the dance safely and that she will allow herself to feel the music through him. Trust however, can’t just be expected.

I was dancing with someone not so long ago and he kept leading me into backwards linear boleos. They kept jarring with me. Just as I was relaxing, he’d throw in another. Eventually, I told him that I didn’t like boleos (and especially linear ones) as I was always afraid that I’d kick someone. ‘Relax’, he told me. ‘Trust me’.

I thought this was quite presumptuous. This guy dances well but I’ve not danced with him that much. To assume that I would give him my utter trust after one tango was incorrect. Perhaps I’m too uptight and serious or could this be what distinguishes a good tanguero from a dancer.

There is an interesting piece on 'entrega' on the Tango and Chaos site. It mentions there the trinity that makes up entrega: Man, Woman, Music. All parts have to be equal and this makes perfect sense to me.

Therefore asking me for my trust like a stick of gum is never going to work.


  1. I have pretty strong feelings about entrega myself, and I have been in that nearly identical situation - where a leader just says, "trust me". Dude, if you have to ask me to do it, you haven't earned it.

    And linear back boleos? Ack!!

    I *try* to trust first - but that's usually after I've watched a dancer for awhile or asked other followers about him. If I haven't had the chance to see him dance, if he's totally new to me, it just isn't safe for me to trust on sight (and then get whipped around like a marionette or something). At that point, he has to earn it - of course, I have to earn it too.

  2. I think it is our duty as followers not to follow things like this. Come on girls, if we refuse to do them leaders will stop leading them, and we'll all dance with less fear.