Like helping a babe first wading into the pool, this author gently grasps your arms and pulls you into the culture of tango dancing. Dance communities often have their own culture, quirks and peculiarities and Swan does a fantastic job of describing many kinds of social aspects (like the cabeceo), plus variations a dancer could encounter. This book is a bit like a tourist guide to dancing tango, to know how to fit in at different locations and how to look for partners.
There are no illustrations about steps and moves, but Swan describes them so well and so physically, you’ll feel like you’re already doing the moves with a phantom partner. Tango, as he is careful to repeat, is less about learning steps, and more about tuning into your partner’s body language and creating a beautiful partnership. This book also gives a great emotional introduction to dance, like the connection partners feel and the way to avoid hurt feelings at dances. This isn’t strictly an instruction manual. It’s a social guide, introduction and “lead” (if I may use a tango term) to this spectacular form of dance.
I highly recommend it if you’re considering taking a class; I also found it great for research purposes, since I’m curious about dance. While it is about sex and culture, the book could be secondarily categorized as a handbook or personal guide.
(review of free book)