And oh, that is such sweet karma

In 1990 my vision for the fledgling Montreal tango community was founded on creating multi-faceted employment for professional dancers. This grandiose initiative worked very well for several years, until it was undermined by the very professionals within the organization that had been trained to dance, perform and teach tango. Danielle, Carol and Bobby went their own way. For Carol & Bobby there was immediate success because they were recognized Graffiti Tango company dancers who remained in Montreal. As time went on though, and until this day, they never returned my generous gestures to offer me a single opportunity in tango, such as the multitude I had offered them for so many years. But let’s be realistic, those two never envisioned community development and artist employment like I did. Carol & Bobby simply wanted a studio to make money for two people. Nothin’ wrong with that.

And that’s life. However, the truth is that those two were never able to regain the artistic recognition realized for them as members of Graffiti Tango. That’s karma. (The one big chance that Bobby had with “Ils dansent”, he blew itBIGTIME!) It didn’t take long until Carol & Bobby became simple social dance studio operators like a hundred million others on the planet – nothin’ special there folks, let’s rotate the Argentines in and out because we’ve appropiated their culture, ‘we have no creativity ourselfish’ and ‘we don’t mind seeing the money go out of the community’.

In my opinion this is (and was) a short-sighted approach to artistic and business development within the community. One of the reasons QC never became a country is because of self-serving individuals like these two, and many others like them in Montreal tango. Another is because the PQistes never made friends with separatist Anglos (like me) found on both sides of Canada, who would like nothing better than to stick the fornicating monarchy right up the federalist’s ass! But that’s another story.

This website/blog was created in 2013. It was created because someone was trying to alter the true history of Montreal tango.  I looked after my 1992-95 client Daniel Saindon and his hysteric aspersions with my first post. But there had already been long-time ‘alterations’ of this history published in previous years for which I never reacted or responded.

By 2013 Carol & Bobby had falsely marketed themselves as choreographers of Graffiti Tango for 15 years. See for yourself. Did I complain publicly? No. I politely asked them to correct their Internet-marketing mendacity, but they contemptuously ignored my professional requests with an indifference that was breathtakingly unconscionable. Only after being exposed as liars by the creation of this blog did they reluctantly alter their website. I know why they lied for so many years about being choreographers for Graffiti Tango, my work was quite good, but that doesn’t make their actions and attitudes against me any less insidious.

For years I brought a plethora of Quebec/Montreal citizens to new heights of truly interesting social accomplishments in their lives. And that was followed by years of them going along with the ‘Tangueria PQiste crowd’ treating me as some sort of (anglo) pariah!? Explain that please. Explain how a uni-lingual English-speaking person comes to Quebec, creates all sorts of employment and opportunities for all sorts of QC individuals in a super popular socio-cultural activity, launches the city into a cultural realm that it had not known previously, learns and then works in the language of the province, and yet somehow is the villain in all this. OUATE DE PHOQUE?! (This is a phonetic bi-lingual joke that = WAT DA FOOK?!)

Nope. I’m not ready to make nice.

Cuba 2016 - evil eye 2

“Here’s lookin’ at you kid.”

“C’est bon d’avoir ton point de vue sur cette époque. Comme le dit André, ça ramène de nombreux souvenirs. Par contre tu finis ton historique au moment ou les Ateliers tango et Grafitti tango entraient dans leurs plus belles années. Ce serait un vrai cadeau si tu continuais ce travail.” RB

The similarities of tango community actors like Andrea S, Corinne K, Marika L, Elias N, Paul M, Laura S, Gabriel G, Jean-Sébastien V, Geraldo S, Allyson B\M, etc., etc., ad nauseam, is that they permit themselves to appropriate a foreign culture for their own financial objectives and then expect to be treated as some kind of ‘dance’ expert too! Huh?! How does that work? Mine was a different perspective because of my verified dance background: “We (Graffiti Tango) had no pretensions of trying to represent Argentine/Buenos Aires tango culture in any way“.

Yeah, I’ve lived through all the various disgruntled, jealousies and petty aspersions of self-made ‘tango experts’, nationalist QC’ers and wacked out Latinos. Many years ago I decided to not participate in their precious tango “community”. Yet it seems they all think that their “community” is on an equal footing as it was when the freaking “anglo” was involved. Well, it’s not. So get over it. Your pettiness, jealousies, lack of honesty, lack of talent/creativity and lack of respect have demeaned your own community to the point where no one will ever repeat or equal my accomplishments. And oh, that is such sweet karma!  ;-)  LMFAO

Thirty years later I’m happy and still successful here in Montreal. I’m quite content with my professional, personal and social accomplishments, which keep adding up, far beyond the period of time covered by this blog. I’m also happy with my transition out of the social dance industry. As you can well imagine, a man of my various talents, generosity, and distinctive work ethics is much appreciated by many people… in other fields. It’s good, and very rewarding.

The Quebec slogan “je me souviens” became the underlying motif for this website without my specific intent. Dans le passé je me suis toujours distingué comme Montréalais, et non Québecois. Mais là, je crois qu’il faut que ça change. Vive le Québec !


The comments section is open to those with a real identity.


“Polissez la Saucisse” Thumbs Up!

A few years back I found this hilarious translation:

polissez la saucisse_resized

I swear, I pissed my panties laughing!

Phonetics and translations… what fun! Polish Sausage as a noun, and then in French they use the verb form – in the (polite) imperative – polissez! la saucisse – polish the sausage – (phonetically in English it sounds like pawlish) If I were still on the scene teaching tango I would take it upon myself to ‘police’ what I view as an aberrant (& abhorrent ;-) physical deformation found pretty well everywhere in Argentine tango these days. This is the only partnered social dance where this deformation occurs with such ‘enthusiasm’. Gawd, it’s almost a virus; a pandemic! ;-)  As it is, I just amuse myselfish with the above phrase when I see pictures of Montreal tango teachers extending their ‘sausages’ in public in such a provocative manner as this. Check the look on Bobby’s face when a girl grabs his seasoned sausage! woot !!  ;-)

Originally I thought I could limit the backlash from this post to a few of the men teaching in Montreal (i.e. those pictured above, and a couple others). But no, as it turns out, I’m in deep shit. Here in Montreal, the protagonists presenting their perky pickles for polishing, by their potently passionate practitioners of digital-rub are extensive. Yep. After researching all of the boyz presently teaching tango in Montreal, I can confirm that there are only (four) three men in town that do not proffer their erectile digits for public postulation. These (four) three are: Paul Montpetit, Geraldo Sanchez, Clémont Lafond and Bernard Caron. Chez Coco_Thumbs Up

So congratulations to those (four) three gentlemen; it may not mean much to some, but to me this is a mark of sophistication in your embrace and (overall) poise in your dancing. Bravo!

I think I know where this pettish peter portrayal began: ‘the Coke Brothers’. The so-called fathers of neo-tango (Gustavo, Chicho, Fabian). Nowadays, those guys are more like atrophied grandfathers, wasted shadows of their former selves – check out their latest YouTube vids at recent events. (Aside: for decades people attempting to guess my age would miss by at least ten years. When asked what was my secret I told them “moderate abuse of recreational substances”. A word to the wise bro’, a bit late as it may be. ;-)

So this prodigious digit presentation is now world-wide. Even one of my favourite dancers is culpable in its propagation. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… Sebastian Arce.


So it’s not just the boyz in Montreal. Clearly this peculiar pecker parade is simply a conspicuous ‘nuance’ that has little to do with marketing success. So be it. Hey, it’s just one of the first things I notice in a photo, improvisation or choreography; but that’s me (a freaking ballet dancer fer gawd sake).

Recently Endré Szeghalmi posted a short blog about the leader’s left arm in tango; she entitled it “The Dangerous Embrace“. In the blog she publishes a “good 4” photo where the man’s weathercock is in the wind, presumably assessing his evening’s portentous possibilities. In the article Endré mostly talks about comfort for the woman, and differentiates between show and salon tango dancers. She does not address the obvious… like, who teaches this shit?! And, is this ‘dumb-thumb’ craze the result of people’s downward gaze, endlessly fascinated by the fornicating figures they’re performing with their feet and legs, while neglecting the finer points of connection?!! You tell me.

Speaking of teaching, Andrea Shepherd recently wrote in her “Twenty tango lessons: Part Two: It’s all about that embrace” she writes: “On a technical level… what I tell my students these days: Use your hands more and your arms less.”

Yikes! Wat da fook is she talkin’ about? I don’t like this at all, because I’m certain she has beginner dancers that think ‘how do I make my hands more active? …after all, it was the first thing she mentioned’. (Andrea goes on to describe how she teaches the embrace. Disclaimer: it’s hard for me to read her blogs, she’s such a suburban wine-Mom (whine-Mom too) and kaka karen, cancel culture creature.)

For me, a teaching principle that I employed to auto-correct (i.e. improve & evolve) my own methods of teaching social dance came from Albert Einstein who speculated: “I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” The initial elements and examples, both verbal and visual, that are given to beginning social dance students are exceptionally important.

Ernesto Carmona provided GT with a wonderful imagery that we gratefully passed on to our apprentice teachers and students. It is this: imagine that you are holding a tray of food (while standing); we all know how to walk and turn as needed in any direction while holding our tray, without spilling the contents. The forearms are raised to 90 degrees at waist-level and extend directly in front of the body. Holding our tray in this position requires a minimum of muscle tension to maintain. To squeeze the tray serves no purpose, neither does moving the elbows behind the torso.

To allow one hand to flay to the side that deforms the original support position makes the tray fall. This was our imagery for initial arm placement in tango (and it provides the basis for the dissociation of upper body and lower body that occurs as we advance into molinetes). Holding this tray position for the first time, we would ask our students to turn and face their partner and move until they were standing toe-to-toe in front of them. We would then exclaim “Ça fit!” (It fits!) Because it does. There were only minor adjustments and explanations of where and how to place the (four) hands for a comfortable, elegant position.

This ‘tray imagery’ allowed us a relaxed and purposeful initial embrace for arms, hands and upper body. Over time of course we advanced from there to get to the close embrace, but the ‘tray’ foundation is always viable and reinforced.

Here’s an article by two long-time tango proponents Valerie Hart and Alberto Paz that speaks to the new wave of female, or follower arm positions: “The Weird Hold

In my blog here, I’ve mostly limited my remarks to the presenters of this dirty digit phenomenon. It’s fairly evident in the photos provided that a leader’s lack of full awareness of his embrace “stands out like a sore thumb“. But in many other photo/video examples of tango couples there are countless followers who are effectively ‘grooming’ these projected ‘phalli’. It takes two to tango, as the saying goes; so ladies, when you “feel it” (your tango) make sure it encompasses the whole experience (visceral, emotional, mental & physical) and that you’re not made to succumb to an unintended symbolic pleasuring of a singular digital extremity. Cheers!



DS & JB 1996

There’s one special perpetrator of this aberration in Montreal. His clients/friends on FB even comment ‘there’s that thumb!’ Here’s a montage of Jean-Sébastien Viard’s ‘crimes against palm-manity’. ;-)