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woman in orange dress against blue sky kicking up sand on beach

About the Artist

Juliet McMains is a filmmaker, dancer, educator, scholar, and choreographer who researches, writes, teaches, and makes art about social dances of the Americas. She is an avid social dancer and a professor in the Department of Dance at the University of Washington in Seattle. Read her bio at

woman in orange dress against blue sky kicking up sand on beach
Juliet McMains & Cristian Santesteban

Position Statement

I am a North American filmmaker and tango dancer who is both insider and outsider in tango. I have been dancing tango since 2006, teaching tango since 2009, and am an active member of local and international tango communities. However, I am an outsider to Argentine culture. I have traveled to Argentina six times since 2012, staying for periods ranging between three weeks and three months. I live in the United States with an Argentinian partner, and I speak passable Argentinian Spanish. I make great efforts to empathize with Argentinian experiences, but my own perspective will always be filtered through my American cultural upbringing and economic privilege. My relationship to tango is complicated. Tango is both my savior and my jailor. It is a salve that offers me community, sensual delight, artistic expression, emotional regulation, physical contact, and social meaning. It is also a bastion of the patriarchy and conservative social forces that push me into smaller and smaller boxes of gender, aesthetic, and social expression. The gaze of my camera and the click of my editing mouse are invariably influenced by this tension within me and my relentless search for a tango more in alignment with my feminist, progressive values.

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