Argentine Tango is a dance of grace and complexity
that moves with changing rhythms and intensity. The original passionate
dance derived from the heart of Buenos Aires.
For social Tango the dance moves around the floor in an anti-clockwise
direction. Depending on the amount of space available Tango can be
stepped out to move around a large floor area or adapted to dance
in a small crowded space.
The music changes from slow to fast throughout one song and has a
distinctive sound due to the type of instruments commonly used such
as the bandoneon, violin, double bass and piano.
A lot of the core movements in tango come from walking and isolating
the shoulders from the hips to maintain a strong connection with your
partner as you dance. While Tango is based on some simple concepts
and steps, it also has a hidden complexity that continues to challenge
Tango encompasses a wide range of tango styles that have developed
over the years along with the music and culture of Buenos Aires.
If you can walk you can learn to Tango
Yes Argentine Tango in its most simplistic form is simply improvised
walking to music with a person in front of you. The leader (normally
the man) guiding the follower (the woman) around the dance floor using
his body to silently communicate with his partner where to move at
every given step.
What makes Argentine
Tango so different from other partner dances?
Because Tango is improvised it is a very organic, creative dance.
The leader plays a kind of chess game as he navigates his partner
round the dance floor. The follower waiting just long enough at
each step to read from the leaders body intention where to move
next - direction, speed, size of step. With her free leg (the one
she is not standing on) the follower can also play with adornments
(decorations with her feet) while not interrupting the lead.
Adding to the exciting spontaneous nature of
the dance, Tango music commonly changes tempo throughout a song,
with dancers choosing how to interpret the music, even pausing.
As a result of such a creative dance there
are many different styles of Tango and many different techniques
(although some more aesthetically pleasing than others).
Tango is great for
the mind as well as the body
When observing tango it can be hard to spot all of this "gymnastics
of the mind" going on. With practise tango dancers build up
their "muscle memory" so that slow and fast transitions
between movements become very instinctive and seamless as dance
couples learn to move smoothly as one unit around the floor.
It is never too late
to take your first Argentine Tango class
One of the great things about learning Tango is there is no age
barrier. Tango is danced around the world by a wide range of people
from all kinds of backgrounds and professions.
Tango is also a fun social way to meet people.
The dance parallels life's big lessons in relationships with partner
connection and clear body communication at the core of unlocking
the secrets to becoming a confident Tango dancer.
other Latin dances Salsa has its roots in Cuba. The popular usage
of the word "salsa" for danceable Latin music began in
1933 when Cuban song composer Ignacio Piñeiro wrote the song
Échale Salsita. He conceived the idea after tasting food
which lacked the Cuban spices. It was a protest against tasteless
food. Salsa is danced to eight-beat music, with dancers moving on
three beats, pausing (or taping) for one beat, dancing for three
beats, and pausing (or taping for one beat). Salsa is incredibly
popular throughout Latin America and around the world.
During the time that the slave trade flourished in West Africa,
natives used specific rhythms to speak to their gods. The rhythms
came to the New World in the holds of the slave ships and in some
cases the rhythms helped to keep the prisoner's hopes alive and
kept them alive to the end of the journey. When the slaves were
forced to adopt the Christian religion, they continued to call their
own gods by using the drum rhythms. Most people who dance to Latin
music today are not even aware that they are dancing to what started
as religious music. In Cuba, many of these rhythms are still being
used for religious purposes.