At Berkeley’s queer tango class, it takes 2 but it doesn’t matter who

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05/29/2022

On a recent Sunday afternoon at Finnish Hall, Mira Barakat, a tango instructor, demonstrated a connection exercise designed to help students be more responsive to their partner’s movements. “Leaders, hands in the air,” she said, starting the music on her laptop. It was time for the students to pair off and practice themselves. Though men have traditionally taken the role as leaders and women as followers in social dance, this was Abrazo Queer Tango, which means some women led, some men followed and a couple of students did both during the one-hour class. It still takes two to tango, but in a queer tango class, whichever role you choose will not be determined by your gender.

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