Polly's Tango Talk

September 1, 2015

Ordering “Tango Quest” and “Tango and Life”

“Tango Quest” and “Tango and Life” are written for tango dancers of all experience levels and are available by contacting me at tangopolly@gmail.com. 

Each book is $20 + $5 Postage, or $35/Set, including postage, within 48 adjacent states.  Outside the 48, postage may vary. 10% Discount for orders of five copies of either or mix. Great gifts for all experience levels. New folks will receive a detailed overview about Argentine Tango and experienced folks will recognize themselves in many of the situations described. Reviews upon request.

Tango Quest: Introduction, description, explanation of basics, etiquette, social scene, and how they all fit together.

Tango and Life: Insight into social, interpersonal aspects of tango, how it affects us on and beyond the floor.

Each book is about 150 pages, single side print, approximately 5″ by 8″ coil bound. Lots of room for notes.

Easy reading but material can take a lifetime to absorb and incorporate. Written with 24 years experience, humor, learning, loving, living Argentine Tango. Both are designed as a reference to return to again and again with each stage/phase of learning. Each reading will inspired a different and deeper level of perception and understanding. I had a wonderful time writing them with deepest respect, dedication and affectionate irreverence.

Reader Comments

“Tango Quest” and “Tango and Life” are the best books I have read on tango. They are the smartest descriptions, especially those on relationships and communication.” Omar Romagnoli, Rosario, Argentina

Your writing is inspiring, evocative, descriptive, and captures the essence of tango. Being an author, I know how to recognize a person’s adeptness in the art of writing and you have it. Antón Gazenbeek, New York

 Your insightful observations of the tango world are funny, clever and poignant. Clay Nelson, Medford, OR

 You are a keen observer of all things tango. Those new to tango should read your books and those who know tango will recognize themselves in many of your descriptions.” Kent Merrill Honokaa, Hi

 You write with such wisdom but I am smiling the whole time! Thank you for sharing your insight, sensitivity and sensibility. Your books should be mandatory reading. Elizabeth English, Hood River, OR

 My wife and I had a ball reading your books. I enjoyed the style of each page being a “chapter” on a different segment of tango, but most of all I like your style and “take” on tango.” George Van Fleet, Eugene, OR

 You are a keen observer and very insightful about human nature as it plays out in Tango. Your books are a gift to the tango community. They are well crafted and really draw the reader in. It is hard book to put them down. Robert Good, Portland OR

 I can’t say enough positive about your books. You write so efficiently and eloquently. Paul Stangeland, Newport OR

 Difficult to put your books down. I wish I could have read them when I first got involved with tango. Lila Darwin,  Dallas, TX.

 I love your books because they come from experience–you don’t speculate, you have lived it! Robert St. James, Portland, OR

 Your books are charming, enlightening, amusing, and informative. Fred Lamb, Portland, OR


August 16, 2015


 Many doors can lead to tango, for example, watching a performance; being bribed or convinced into taking a class, or perhaps satisfying our curiosity. Beyond the first door, others lead to styles like salon, close embrace; and Nuevo, to name a few. Within each of those, doors lead to social dance, performing, teaching and more. Which door led you here?

An introductory path is typically led by our first teacher who we follow until we become interested in discovering what’s behind one or more of the other doors. Some students are enticed by the “Trick Door” while others are attracted by the “Basics Door.” Some enter the “My Way” door and attempt to learn by watching videos, taking drop-in classes or just attending milongas. Some follow multiple paths simultaneously, a daunting task with a high rate of burn-out.

In about 2002, a Portland venue opened that specialized in Nuevo style, and drew large numbers of the under thirty set. Some traditionalists became concerned that novices were not learning “true” tango. We felt they were being led down the path of turning standard moves inside out, creating unusual embrace positions, exploring unorthodox leg work and footwork, and all was being done to (gasp!) alternative music.

When examining my own path, I realized that “Fancy Footwork” led to my instant attraction. The flash and fire figures by Sonny Newman and Patty Leverett instantly changed my dance life, and shortly, my life-life. The more I thought about itthe more clear it became that no matter which entrance we arrive through, if tango resonates with us, we will continue opening doors and learning about what’s behind them. (Many who enter the “Alternative Door” move on to study traditional styles, while many who enter through “Basics” never move forward.

Let’s imagine standing in the center of a room surrounded by a circle of doors, each of which leads to a different aspect of tango. Our quest will lead us through a unique sequence of entering, exiting, and exploring the paths associated with various passageways.

I’ve learned that any door we enter and path we take when learning/living/loving tango can lead to all others; that no door is more correct, better, or more authentic than the others, and that there will always be more doors.

From my book “Tango Quest.”














































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