One thing I love about tango is the diversity of its participants. Through this dance I have met people from all over the world: Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, Siberia, France, Morocco, Argentina, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, Liberia and many more places. Sometimes I feel as if I have met a person from every country on the planet.
It is important that we treat everyone as individuals but it is easy to see similar character traits in people from the same culture. Here is what I've found:
Only the Argentines love tango more than the Russians. Both countries are hard places to live and both peoples love hard with bear hugs and painful kisses that come at you so fast they bruise your cheeks.
I have never met people more sensitive than those from Germany or Japan. Both cultures are big on etiquette and procedures so make sure you are mindful of these things when you are dancing with them.
No one will love you more than the Irish or the Italians. They are great lovers so don’t fight them when they are giving it out, just take it and be glad.
You will not find a more understanding person to dance with than someone from Indonesia. I don’t know what’s going on in that country but whatever it is we should be teaching it here.
No one speaks more passionately than the French.
And finally, you will not meet a person more polite than someone from Charleston, South Carolina.
The nice thing about tango is that it takes you beyond the stereotype, beyond our biases and preconceived notions. Through the embrace we discover the individual stripped of the filters we use to view them from afar. As we move to the music as one person, we can escape all our prejudices and see someone as if for the first time.
It is here that we get to view the person we are dancing with for what she or he really is: a person; one who has feelings, who is passionionate; a creature that is capable of love and therefore special in the universe.