I have been involved in Argentine Tango for a number of years and I do appreciate every aspect of Argentine Tango. For me, one of the most important aspects of this endeavor is our community and the social aspects of the dance. It is the people that make the community and each member contributes in quite different ways. I enjoy meeting people and getting to know them as individuals, facilitated through the dance of Argentine Tango. The members of the community are as varied as they styles of the dance, professors, scientists, business owners, therapists, and students, all sharing the same love of tango. The varied backgrounds, the vast age differences (in the broad aspect) even as we are different we all work hard in our pursuit of Argentine Tango. We need to remember this!
It is the basic LOVE of tango, followed by our individual dedication to understanding the dance, which unites us.
Independently appreciating what Argentine Tango means to us and how this century old expression reaches each one of us in a slightly different way.
We build strength in what we have in common, not by emphasizing our differences.
A consistent theme of conversation surrounding tango events is the state of our community; it usually involves discussing what is “wrong or who is to blame”, not what is right with the world!
I have been a part of these conversations far too many times and in the long run, those conversations have contributed nothing constructive. I have contemplated the state of the community many, many times, with many different people, I have been a friend and an “enemy” with the same people and still progress is slow. In my examining our community and my involvement, I have come to this conclusion
I can only be responsible for myself and my own actions.
With this discovery I have created my “Declaration of Cooperation” for Argentine Tango and the St. Louis Community. Please feel free to examine my statement. Comment on my thoughts or join me in your own declaration.
I want the world to understand that in St. Louis we have a strong, friendly, supportive community. Our shortfalls are very few and our conflicts generally insignificant. Like any family, we cannot agree on everything, therefore we should emphasize our commonality, The Love of Argentine Tango
I am proud to be a member of The Argentine Tango Community and the St. Louis Argentine Tango Community.
Michael J. Flanagan
Argentine Tango Community
St. Louis, Missouri
Argentine Tango Community Declaration of Cooperation St. Louis, Missouri
Let it be known that I am an active member of the Argentine Tango Community in St. Louis, Missouri. I enjoy and respect all things tango and I will do my best to promote Argentine Tango, continuing education, positive discussions and respectful relationships in our community.
My pursuit of tango is an individual activity in a community environment.
I pledge to respect each member of this community understanding that our individual efforts and focus may be motivated by different goals.
I will do my best to support the community while respecting my right to work toward my individual goals.
I will do my best to dance with as many individuals as possible while attending social events. If I am the event organizer, I will focus on the individuals who are spending more time on the sideline than on the dance floor. I will make sure that those who wish to dance have the opportunity. I will do my best to respect the line of dance and the other dancers on the floor.
I will do my best to respect all types of music and styles of tango.
I will do my best to respect every tango event as each event is designed to promote tango and build friendships
I will do my best to support new events to help the event establish its own following
I will do my best to promote our community to other cities. When asked about our community, I will keep my comments positive and will make an effort to discourage negative comments and observations.
I will do my best to do my best to welcome new faces and to ensure they enjoy the event and meet new people.
I will do my best to keep my opinion to myself, while respecting my right to have a differing opinion.
I will do my best to be direct and respectful in addressing a conflict with other members of our community. I will not rely on rumor or third party comments concerning specific events. I will make the effort to get information directly from the parties involved.
In a word, “RESPECT”, very simple, yet very crucial in building any relationship. I will do my best to respect each member of our community while trying to establish new friendships as we together build our tango community.
These are my thoughts and I have decided to present my thoughts on how build a strong, well-respected community to the general population. I believe if as individuals we pledge our support publicly and work hard to live this pledge one day at a time, we will continue to create a Tango community well respected by other communities.
This is not a recipe to eliminate conflicts and differences of opinions, however, it is the way to handle these conflicts and diffuse the expansion of conflicts. I will do my best to not to create negative comments and I will do my best to discourage negative conversations.
I am one individual that promises to do my best to follow this Argentine Tango Community Declaration of Cooperation.
Michael J. Flanagan,
St. Louis, Missouri