So you might readily agree that one could draw parallels between tango and sex. I go so far as to say there are parallels between tango and business and specifically that there are common characteristics between tango dancers and entrepreneurs. And it has nothing to do with sex.

Hear me out. For starters, is there any dance more complicated to learn than Argentine tango? Is there any business more challenging that an entrepreneurial venture?


There is no tango without a leader; there is no new business venture without an entrepreneur.

Improvisation and multi-tasking mastery

In tango, the leader must lead the dance, navigate the busy dance floor, and keep time with the music, all the while connecting with his follower. And Argentine tango is an entirely improvised dance. There is no blueprint to follow.  It is made up in the moment. The entrepreneur juggles planning, operations, finance/ accounting, marketing and human resources, to name a few. No one hands her a set plan to follow for any of this though successful entrepreneurs usually write their own plan and improvise as they come up against new things.

The art of attraction

The best tanguero offers the entire package: skill/ technique, a sharp appearance, grace and respect. The successful entrepreneur is always skilful, presents himself professionally and believes in his product or service. He ensures that customers, employees and investors want to dance with him…and preferably repeatedly.

Finely tuned Intuition/ instinct

The seasoned tanguera dances like she has eyes in the back of her head. She can sense her next move even before it’s invited and yet she knows not to step until she feels the lead. She trusts her partner and herself. The best entrepreneurs are so in tune with their vision, their stakeholders and their business climate, they can feel in their bones what they should do and when to do it. And they know that even if their interpretation is off, they will learn from it for next time.

Responsibility/ Partnership

You’ve oft heard “it takes two to tango”. Well, it truly does. And whether you know it or not, both partners must maintain their own axis (balance) at all times. Both partners are creators in the dance just as the entrepreneur is the creator of his destiny. “Off axis” moves require a supportive partner. The astute entrepreneur knows when he is off axis and has fostered partners to lean on during those times. In fact, the true entrepreneur will intentionally take himself off axis to explore areas for growth!

And finally PASSION

Did you think I would forget? Without it, the tango is not worth dancing; in business, no passion means the shop doors might as well close because no one will want to walk through them. So if you are a passionless tango dancer or business entrepreneur…dear me… either find your passion or get a job and learn the waltz!

P.S. For fun, check out this enterprising dance school in the UK that is bringing tango to businesses.



  1. Arlene on April 8, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Interesting blogpost. I am always intrigued about the various ways Tango is presented and promoted.

    I would have never associated it with being an entrepreneur. Maybe because we don’t have that many great leaders over here. 🙂

    • lisablog52 on April 8, 2009 at 12:30 pm

      Hi Arlene
      Sometimes I think I am making a stretch but I really love tango and always look for ways to make sense of it! How did you come across my post? Just curious.

  2. tanyablog on April 8, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Ah…the poor, maligned waltz. Yes, yes…left turn, right turn, whisk. And repeat. Nope…not for me either. Though, as you know, I’m a singer not a dancer…I do so heartily agree that passion is the crux of all great endeavours.

    Thanks for your fantastic take on the dance of entrepreneurship.

  3. Henry Finkelstein on April 17, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Hey Lisa,

    As a tanguero and the entrepreneur behind, I couldn’t agree more. Great post!


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