Our first group in 2014! Meeting at Poesia, a Bar Notable in San Telmo to talk about tango
With this blog post I show you ten of the Tango Adventure groups that have come together in Buenos Aires to learn tango and tango’s lessons for life and relationships.
These pictures don’t represent everyone either! There were more intrepid adventurers who came on their own — these are just the groups.
Since starting the Tango Adventure in 2014 I have worked with such great people on my teams and met such amazing women and men who have courageously joined us for a transformative travel experience through tango. I have watched many women’s (and men’s) faces light up with joy through dance and the profound revelations tango sparks. That was my own personal story — and it’s one I’m telling in my memoir. It’s been a joy to spread tango as a transformative path.
The Tango Adventure is without a doubt one of the best things I have done in my career (I don’t really see myself as having a career – more a series of creative projects). This project has had my heart.
We have one more group adventure scheduled for May 4-10 and then the group Tango Adventure will be on pause while I focus on my next book.
Meanwhile we will have the Solo Chica Tango Adventure which I will tell you more about soon … Solo Chica allows you to come for an immersion when it works for you and it’s without a doubt the best way to come to Buenos Aires for three, seven, or ten days to immerse yourself for a transformative tango experience – and to dance, dance, dance!
We have one spot open for the May adventure supergroup.
This group is going to be fantastic – we have a harpist, a single dad who has done development work in Brazil and Africa, a woman who married herself and is coming on her honeymoon, a Silicon Valley startup advisor, and an Australian writer.
If this unique learning international adventure is calling you go to this page to enter your email address. You’ll then get a questionnaire to fill out so we can learn more about you and see if this is a good fit for you.
If you can’t come those dates then check out the Solo Chica Tango Adventure which is a fabulous way to come to Buenos Aires for an authentic deep dive in the tango scene to rock your world – on the dates that work for you.
Let’s hang out from Kerry Lander in Melbourne, Australia, a writer and participant in the upcoming May 4-10 Tango Adventure
Love yourself first and foremost by married quirkytogether and original gangster Danielle Jatlow, now of Burlington, Vermont. Danielle was at the first Quirkyalone Day party in San Francisco back in 2003
Love by Marian Smith
Card by Sarah Lipuma, a climate change activist in New York. Words come from a song by Phoebe Blue of Phoebe Blue and the Make-Baleaves. Phoebe and Sarah are part of a quirkyalone/together crew on Staten Island, New York. Phoebe has been singing quirkyalone-together songs at concerts on February 14 for years! I got to meet Phoebe last year at a Quirkyalone Meetup in NYC and she’s awesome. She brought Sarah into quirkyalone/together.
Card by writer and artist Jenny Bitner of San Francisco, also an original gangster quirkyalone/together present at the first Quirkyalone Day party at Atlas Cafe in San Francisco, 2003
Wow, I feel blessed to have received these beautiful handdrawn cards and to be able to share them with you.
How are you celebrating Quirkyalone Day this year?
Here’s what I’m doing to celebrate.
Today is a workday that started with a great first session with a coaching client. We talked about expressing needs in relationships and preferences and boundaries in sexual intimacy–quirkyalone topics for sure. I shared the tools of Nonviolent Communication, a set of communication practices I have found to be transformative for myself and many clients.
After our call I did morning self-care practices for body and mind: a total-body deep stretch yoga video and my favorite calf- and foot-stretching video and the Milagrows practice of naming all the shit I am not grateful for–and saying I’m grateful for it. Later I plan to do a self-pleasure exercise too of pussy breathing in preparation for pussywalking! These are all self-care practices that make me feel more loose and limber throughout the day, physically, emotionally, creatively, and mentally. I might do them on any good self-care day. Quirkyalone Day is a chance to come back to all of them.
Later I will talk with more clients and hopefully fit in a bit of writing before I go to an appointment with my kinesiologist Maxi who is helping me to heal a hip injury (gluteal tendinopathy) I’ve had for 2.5 years. Working with Maxi on healing that injury–and doing the daily exercises that are most important according to the evidence–are definitely an act of quirkyalone self-love. I want to feel strong, free and fluid in my hips as I age. Later I will go out to dance tango, probably at De Querusa milonga. Perhaps there will be a tangasm or two on this Quirkyalone/Together Day 2019 if I am lucky.
As you can see celebrating Quirkyalone Day can be any act of self-care or enjoyment in your day, alone or together. It could be a massage, dancing naked to a sexy song in the mirror, or getting together with a friend or snuggling your quirkytogether partner. You can do any self-care practice that you like to do for yourself but have been neglecting doing.
How about you? How are you celebrating Quirkyalone Day in your everyday life this year? Let us know in the comments.
Maya and I had lunch in Buenos Aires and I filled in her on the history of pussywalking — how I discovered it myself on the way to a job interview in downtown San Francisco (that I subsequently nailed, rosy and glowing ;)!) and how I have been teaching it since 2014 in my Tango Adventure workshops and with my clients.
A number of you were kind enough to respond with your willingness to talk with Maya. She spoke with you about your experiences and uncovered a number of diverse benefits from pussywalking…from alleviating back pain to helping actors embody their stage presence…what a difference it makes to walk through life inhabiting our pussies!
Though loneliness has become something of a hot topic in the media, I wonder how many of us would feel comfortable to say it out loud to another friend or loved one, “I’m lonely.”
Many of us are reluctant to admit to others when we feel lonely.
I know from my own life and working with quirkyalone/quirkytogether people that loneliness has particular dimensions for people who have been selective in their choices and spent many years being single.
We don’t talk about the loneliness of that path all that much–for example the loneliness of staring down a weekend with no plans.
We wind up feeling even more lonely alone when we don’t see our experience reflected back to us or discussed.
Laura who has been following quirkyalone for 15 years and I first talked over Skype to discuss the focus of our conversation.
We settled on the theme the loneliness of single shame, or of believing something is wrong with you if you have been single for years or just longer than you want to be.
I highly recommend you listen in. Generally when I do conversations with others on single shame it’s healing for someone out there.
This conversation can help you prepare for those awkward moments on dates when someone asks you how long it’s been since your last relationship.
Even more I hope this intimate conversation can help you feel more at peace as you gradually rid yourself of those nagging “there’s something wrong with me” voices in your head.
I remember evading questions on dates when men would ask me, So how long has it been since your last relationship? I felt marked–like something was wrong with me–because I had been single for years.
I’ve since helped many clients who have coped with similar feelings of shame so I know quite well by now single shame can be quite a “thing.”
In our conversation, I talked about my own experience of working through single shame to the end point of owning my story as a discerning quirkyalone and about my experiences helping others along that journey.
The interview is called “From Single Shame to Owning Your Story as a Discerning Quirkyalone.”
Our interview will be aired Saturday, February 23, 2019.
Laura’s series TRANSFORMING LONELINESS: Follow Your Heart’s Longing into Connection, Belonging, and Love will be available FREE from February 19 – 26.
a self-marriage photo with my bridesmaids back in 2014
I married myself here in Buenos Aires in the Japanese Gardens as an act of self-love back in 2014. I wanted to marry the light and dark in me, the parts I like and the parts I don’t like as much. I can say though no marriage is ever completely smooth this self-marriage with myself has gone well. We are still together. Of course others have entered the relationship. Those who self-marry are generally bigamists who carry on relationships with others too!
I have been especially thrilled over the years when women who have come on the group Tango Adventure have also taken their trip to Buenos Aires as a chance to marry themselves or to celebrate their self-marriage with a honeymoon.
Two years ago I helped a coaching client marry herself by the Floralis Genérica sculpture, a giant metal flower that blooms daily in Buenos Aires. The sculpture was a gift to the city by the Argentine architect Eduardo Catalano. Catalano once said that the flower “is a synthesis of all the flowers and is both a hope that is reborn every day to open.” I couldn’t think of a more symbolically appropriate place to make vows to yourself every day to bloom anew.
See the giant metal flower here:
Now I am excited again because a woman who is coming on the May 4-10 Group Tango Adventure has already married herself and she has chosen to make coming on the Tango Adventure her honeymoon. I asked her to send me her thoughts on why she was choosing to do her honeymoon with us in Buenos Aires and she wrote this:
Basically, my decision to marry myself in May 2016 was a gentle and gradual one. A honeymoon didn’t cross my mind at that time, but I did start thinking about how I would celebrate. In self-marriage, there isn’t an economic boost from family and friends in the same way as there often is with marriage to another person. So, this trip is the culmination of my ability to rally my own resources and dedicate myself to a long-term plan to bring myself pleasure and relief. It’s a buoying feeling to come through for myself, to make good on a long promise, and to acknowledge that committing to one’s own vitality is a serious act worthy of celebration and travel.
How beautiful is that? I love the last line about committing to one’s vitality as an act worthy of celebration.
If the idea of marrying yourself or doing your own honeymoon in Buenos Aires appeals to you, feel free to join us for that May 4-10 Tango Adventure, which is shaping up to be a great group of people. If you want to marry yourself then you will certainly have the support of two other women who have already married themselves. We also have the Solo Chica Tango Adventure for those of you keen for a honeymoon or self-wedding who can’t make those dates. You can pair Solo Chica or the Group Adventure with coaching and I will help you create your vows and your self-wedding.
Goofing around with Katrin and her beautiful artisanal tango and non-tango shoes
There’s something you all should really know. Right now is an excellent time to travel to Buenos Aires.
The currency devaluation of the peso has made everything from food to cabs to clothing to milonga entrances as much as 30% cheaper for those of us who have dollars or Euros.
A big devaluation of the Argentine peso happened in September 2018 and I didn’t scream it from the rooftops to you then because quite frankly I feel for my Argentine friends and all those who work in the local economy. It’s not easy when the purchasing power of your salary suddenly decreases by 30%.
However it’s certainly beneficial for you to know about this change if you’re thinking about visiting–and it’s also beneficial for my tango team to have more people coming to learn tango in Buenos Aires. When you come, you are supporting a local economy of people who live and breathe the passion of tango: teaching tango, organizing milongas, providing taxi dancing services to help you gain confidence on the dance floor, and selling artisanal shoes and clothing.
Now is really a great time for you to come to Argentina!
This Bloomberg story gives you an overview of how tempting Argentina has become to tourists. The Bloomberg story tells you about tourists flocking to Argentina for excellent cuts of steak and wine at great prices. The deals are also good for tango shoes, lessons, massages, and my favorite plant-based meals in Buenos Aires. From an economic perspective, it’s a great time to enjoy the many delights the city has to offer.
We will do the last group Tango Adventure for a while May 4-10, 2019 (sniff, sniff) so that’s another reason to seize the moment. If you have been thinking about joining us now is the time.
And if those dates don’t work for you, the Solo Chica Tango Adventure is here for you. I’ve been working like crazy with my team over the last two months to create an exciting new way for you to have a self-guided adventure in my Buenos Aires with specially created transformative tango programs and exclusive pricing for you as my readers.
For many people making changes gets harder once they are niched in careers and the place they live. Inertia sets in in adulthood. Are you as open to change now in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, or 70s as you were in your 20s?
To make a big change–a move, a career or job change, a relationship change (leaving a relationship, deciding you want one, or even committing to being OK with being single)–requires effort and moving through fear.
After talking with a client about the possibility of making a scary change (taking a job in another city), and reflecting on my own life (which has been full of leaps) it seems to me there is a key ingredient in the decision to move out of the comfort zone and risk trying something new.
You have to ask yourself what makes you excited/engaged enough about the possibility on the other side to get through the fear, work and pain of change. The why, really. The why that would make you feel good and even excited.
What gives you a tingly feeling in your body, or even a calm glow of happiness when you think about the possibilities on the other side of the change? You have to anchor into those feelings to move through the fear and stuckness that can set in in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond.
Decisions may take time so keep asking yourself if you can access that feeling of excitement or happy calm as you consider the leap. Fears may grow, circumstances may change, but keep checking, Is there a core of good feeling about the possibilities that lie around the curve?
I find in my own life and in the lives of my clients that once people start making changes it gets easier to make more because you realize everything is reversible. You can change again.
Believe me, I hate moving so I know it’s painful to box up your whole life, for example. But generally it’s worth it because every change is a chance to ask your heart and soul what it wants and what feels alive.
We valorize sticking with one thing for life but I do believe we need new challenges to stay fresh and engaged.
Since adults sometimes have trouble having fun and pleasure (especially adult women I have noticed have this problem) I have decided to create a new category for my blog, “The Point of Life is to Enjoy.” With these posts I plan to chronicle what’s fun in my life. I’ll post to encourage myself to seek out fun and pleasure while I encourage you to find it in your own life. Feel free to comment and tell me your fun.
She’s like the wind
There was no hesitation on my part when I saw the ad for an outdoor showing of Dirty Dancing in Buenos Aires. I clicked “going” and invited my Colombian friend Ale. I didn’t know if Ale had ever seen Dirty Dancing but we both dance tango and Dirty Dancing is the ultimate dance transformation movie so I wanted to share it with her. Dirty Dancing came out in 1987. I’m willing to guess that I saw it at least five times when I was a teenager and I’m pretty sure I saw it again at an adult slumber party. It is a classic and must be shared.
The event was Cine in the Garden at Congo Centro Cultural, a salon for music and a jungle garden for movies and other events like around the world in 80s music, or funk, or a jazz sextet. The place is, as they say in Spanish, preciosa, or divina. Modern chic interior that opened to a tropical garden with comfortable wooden benches and a waitress taking food and cocktail orders. I ordered a mojito!
Dirty Dancing surprised me by how much it stood the test of time. The movie is such a physical, sensual movie of awakening. It’s eternally pleasurable to watch Baby go from awkward to confident, playful and sexy when she puts lipstick on while practicing dancing outside by the staff quarters.
Now that I dance tango I see the dance teaching by Patrick Swayze’s character as spot on. His teachings about balance, the frame, and feeling the music as a heartbeat are all transformative lessons of dance.
“Too romantic,” Ale said, wrinkling her nose, but it was very funny. Sexy too. It’s fun to watch the hyper-romanticism of a 17-year-old. Baby is so courageous with her feelings. Inspiring! What if I was that bold with telling a man how I feel in my forties? It’s easy to get scared and guarded as we get older.
I don’t get the feeling that Baby and Johnny will get married but they changed each other’s lives for the better. A short relationship can be life-changing too. The movie’s got the romance, dance, youthful naivete, goofy characters, critique of classism and of sexism, of living without legal abortion. Dirty Dancing, I am prepared to argue, may be the most fun movie ever. Man Dirty Dancing really has it all.
I heartily recommend watching again especially with a big group of other women who cheer when Patrick Swayze says, “Nobody puts baby in the corner.”
Awakening the inner dancer in nature
Touching dance lesson scene
Do you want a big dose of fun and adventure in your life? Whether you come on your own or with a friend, fun is available to you. Check out the Sola Chica Tangasm. That’s my new way of helping you have an amazing transformative experience in Buenos Aires through tango.
“There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.”–Toni Morrison
I wrote this post for my American readers but it equally applies to Brazilians who have an important election coming up . . . and really all of you. Forgive the U.S. references if you are not from the U.S. but I also want to address my fellow American readers.
What we just experienced in the Dr. Christine Blasey Ford/Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings in the U.S. was enough to make any sentient/sensitive human being want to crawl into a hole for a very long time. That and the bad news any given day could flatten you.
In my coaching practice I have noticed the word “flat” has come up a number of times with a number of clients. Not all my clients have used the word but I also sense it myself. How could all this division, fear, and horrible-ness not affect us on a personal level? How much bad news to absorb? What to do in response? There is anger and what do you do with that anger?
When we feel overwhelmed we switch off our emotions to avoid being inundated. In the overwhelm there comes a numbness, a checking-out, a zoning-out as a kind of self-protection.
I notice more people complaining that they are watching too much Netflix at night. Escape. This is not true for everyone I talk to but I also feel it in the air–the moment has a powerful demotivating quality. I find myself fending off numbness when scrolling through my Facebook feed. I felt the flatness encroach. The flatness is that feeling of defeat. That feeling of why bother?
I also hear about people activating. Friends are volunteering who have never volunteered before. People are canvassing – going door to door – for local candidates who never canvassed before.
The best way I know for how to spring out of flatness is to connect with others and get into action taking a stand for something you believe in. Whether that’s registering to vote, volunteering, or doing your own good work for the world, whatever that may be.
Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher who powerfully yelled at Jeff Flake as he was standing in the elevator shows us how individuals matter. Those women should be remembered in this history books. When they yelled at Jeff Flake, “Look at me when I’m talking to you” they were demanding that he SEE us. They likely moved him to vote for an investigation of sexual assault charges against Kavanaugh.
Even if that investigation didn’t turn out to be as deep as it should have been the image of a sexual assault survivor screaming to a senator saying “Look at me, don’t look away!” was powerful. That image will be one I’ll remember for a long time.
Ana and Maria reminded us that individuals really can make a difference.
For my male readers. I have talked to a number of men about #metoo. These are men who I consider quirky, sensitive, and supportive of women. They too were more immediately worried about being falsely accused of sexual assault than of our culture normalizing the abuse and harassment of women. I invite you all, ladies and gentlemen, and especially the men, to watch this brilliant talk by Trevor Noah. He cops to secretly feeling worried about being accused for something he didn’t do and about why it’s important to stay focused on the larger story unfolding here.
post-pussywalking in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. See the glow?!
Pussywalking isn’t about sex per se. It’s about the vitality and power of letting our sexual energy flow through our bodies.
In August while I was in Rhode Island I taught pussywalking at Elizabeth Robinson’s outdoor dance workshop in South Kingstown, Rhode Island to a group of women and one brave man (who talked about his cockwalking!). Yes there is cockwalking too. We’ll get to that later.
Teaching pussywalking in Rhode Island (where I grew up) was a powerful experience because of the area’s history. Puritan theologian Roger Williams founded Rhode Island in 1636 as a haven for religious liberty.
Rhode Island began as a state of tolerance — and it’s long been a haven for artsy, quirky types. But I can tell you as a daughter of Rhode Island I always felt uncomfortable talking about sex when I was growing up. Even the word is more uncomfortable to say.
Modesty encroaches in places with Puritanical histories. Is the energy baked in the walls of the New England architecture? Is it the legacy of the Salem witch trials? I really don’t know but all I know is I feel more careful about how I dress, what I talk about, and what I say when I go home to Rhode Island.
Keeping up my healthy level of sexual expression takes more energy in New England than say, in the Bay Area or Buenos Aires.
The women at the workshop told me they feel the shutdown too. One young mother joked that her children love twerking. She does too! She loves to dance, and why not twerk with the kids? Her husband was not comfortable with her twerking with the children! Raising kids with healthy ideas about sexuality is a whole other topic . . . but really, where’s the harm in a little twerking?
So we all had a LOT of fun pussywalking together.
Every time I teach pussywalking live and in person we discover something new together. This time we all noticed the mischievous smiles of the women as they walked.
I help you stay true to yourself with books, coaching and travel adventures.
Plus I like to invent stuff like "quirkyalone" and "pussywalking."
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Sasha Cagen is the author of the cult favorite Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics and To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us. Her work as a writer, coach and movement-builder has been featured everywhere from NPR and the New York Times to CNN and Vogue.
In her well-loved newsletter going to thousands who identify with "quirkyalone," Sasha is the voice for people who don't want to settle--in any area of life.
In her coaching practice, Sasha helps smart, successful women (and men) get clear on their goals and achieve them while always helping her clients focus on core issues such as self-worth.
Through her Tango Adventures, she helps people go deep in the authentic tango scene of Buenos Aires while using tango as a mirror and a metaphor to help each person discover what tango has to teach them.