The Tango Effect

By Kate Swindlehurst

Parkinson’s and the healing power of dance

Tuesday, 27 October 2020




         [Photo: John Connatty]

Well I didn't expect The Tango Effect to break any sales records or to be vying for top ten status alongside Michelle Obama and David  Walliams. But the sales figures for the six months since publication are certainly disappointing - a Covid casualty I'm sure, at least in part, although I could probably have tried harder to promote the book online. So a huge thank you once again to the People Dancing Dance for Parkinson's Partnership for featuring on their website audio recordings I made during lockdown of extracts from the book; you can listen to all six episodes here.  And a very big thank you to Issa Perillo in Chicago for a full page spread recommending The Tango Effect in the latest GO! Tango P. D. newsletter. GO! Tango is a programme which uses the elements of tango to combat the effects of Parkinson's and I'm delighted to read that there are now two online classes with two more in the pipeline. So next Monday I'm planning to check out the Fundamentals class which focuses on the 'three pillars' of breathing, postural assessment and movement initiation - full details in the GO! Tango newsletter.

Anyway, I'm thinking now might be a good time for a concerted push to spread the word about the healing potential of Argentine tango and also to boost sales. If you'd like to help, the book is available to order from all good bookshops and it would be great to create a bit of a buzz around orders, particularly in the weeks before Christmas as Strictly returns to our screens. It might make a nice stocking filler for a devotee or a would-be dancer, especially as opportunities for actual dancing continue to be limited? 

Or, if you are a part of a reading group or belong to a local branch of Parkinsons UK, it might be worth trying to persuade your local library to get hold of a set of copies for loan. Failing that, I can supply books at a discount for members who don't already have a copy. Whilst  author visits can't happen at present, I'd be happy to join a Zoom meeting  or a virtual Q&A. And finally, a reminder that a review can help to raise the profile - very many thanks to Maria at Tanguera Travels for this one.

Dancers with or without Parkinson's internationally are desperately missing the benefits of access to an active tango community but, as in the wider world, there is some reluctance just to revert to the same old routines and a sense that the lockdown has created an opportunity for reflection and reevaluation. In September a group of tango afficionados, Awaken Tango, hosted a virtual 'Tango Gamechanger Summit', stemming originally from a survey on the difficulties arising from the Covid pandemic. The meeting began with the stated purpose of a radical 'reimagining' of our relationship with tango. I found the whole hour and a quarter fascinating, at times troubling but ultimately inspiring and affirming. The tango community worldwide has a strong sense of the potential for change which can be found  in what is so much more than just a dance: for a  heart-warming example, go to 50 minutes into the recording. 

Back to project page
Share on social

Top rewards

£14.99  + shipping
92 pledges


First edition hardback, plus the e-book
Buy now
65 pledges


The e-book edition
Buy now