This is a comment to a posting at Angelina's Tango Blog
I have been regularly leading since 2004 and the last years I have been following a tanda only once every other month. I belong to the first wave of female leaders here in Nordic and it was some rough in the beginning. It is accepted now and the younger ones seems not mind so much who is leading if s/he is providing a good tanda. ;)
There has only been one more negative incident about my leading. One of my male tango friends started to criticize my leading posture calling it ugly; my following posture he find ok and in some occasions even beautiful. I was quite devastated until I understood that he was deeply hurt by the fact that his favorite follower preferred dances with me. So if you choose to lead be prepared ;)
Actually you do not need so much strength in leading and the more experienced the follower is the softer the lead must be (otherwise she gets mad....) I lead even men and after I got better technique and contact with the floor it is OK too. With better technique I started to move more powerfully, I knew where I was going to without any doubt - I think this is the quality many have in mind when talking about strength. But as a leader you need to have a more focused attitude than women usually have and that has taken long time for me to develop. (But when I got there - I am sure that it also gave me a higher salary at my office!)
Big boobs at eye level are a problem for me as well as they are for every short leader - you can't see anything. The short man is happy and I try to handle the situation. It has actually happened only once - she was sitting and when she stood up I became aware of the problem. I offered an open abrazo but she was used to dance in a close embrace so it was a unstable dance but we made the tanda!
I grew up in a culture with very little physical contact and for me it took several years to become fully comfortable with another woman as dance partner. I danced the first years nuevo so open embrace was the appropriate hold and later on I became comfortable with the close one as well.
If you like to test check if cannyengue hold would be an alternative! We use a variation of it for every kind of music. As you can see we are not performers but we dance when we have possibility to do so!
And one more thing! There has been men in queue to participate to the courses my partner and I are teaching at! ;)
For questions you find my email address in the profile section or you can comment here. I would love to hear from you!