On the lack of dynamic in United States tango

Some friends and I were having a conversation on tango the other day and the subject drifted toward the manner of dance here in the states, in particular, what seems to be a common tendency among highly skilled dancers and professionals. To specify, I'm fairly certain it was in reference to many who dance in the style generally referred to or understood as "neo" or "nuevo," which quite frankly seems to comprise many of the well known professionals. Anyway, my friend was saying how she finds that most people she has danced with in this style who are from this country have a curious lack of dynamic compared to people from Europe or Argentina. By "dynamic," we mean the manner in which energy is shared between partners; the give and take of force. For example, how the leader can mark a propulsion in the follower and then use the energy from her subsequent inertia to power his own movement. (This can also work the other way, where the follower uses the leader's energy.)

One thought that we had regarding this tendency has to do with what is perceived as "advanced" technique in this country. That is, when beginners dance there is a tendency to muscle the lead and follow in a manner that is rough and inelegant. So perhaps among more experienced dancers here, the reaction against that "amateurishness" is to move away from muscularity as much as possible, the result being on the other extreme, where the lead/follow become so much of a subtle suggestion that it is almost non-existent, and there is very little actually felt in the exchange. It is this lack of feeling that my friend finds unsatisfying. If I understood her correctly, she feels it's as if each dancer is expected to bear responsibility for their own energy without tapping into or feeding the others', and that makes her feel separated from her partner.

Perhaps it has something to do with an exaggerated sense of diplomacy. Inherent in the give and take of energy is a kind of aggressive / submissive implication that maybe some people aren't comfortable with. So instead they utilize a very p.c. approach where it is encouraged that neither partner encroach on the others' self-sufficiency, at least to the degree to which it is possible to be unobtrusive. I think this may stem from our cultural ideal of individuality and self-reliance. And also, perhaps a heightened sensitivity to the notion of equality of the sexes and a subsequent aversion to well-defined "masculine" and "feminine" roles. And that aversion also seems to imply an aversion to the emotional character of the dance, the desire between man and woman (or between same sexes for those with that inclination), which results in a dance that may certainly be expressive and beautiful, but emotionally inert. But perhaps this is a line of thought that is veering off on a tangent from the topic of this post.

Anyway, I'd be curious to hear from others on this.