What Is Tango Dancing?

Tango dancing is shrouded in mystery and drama, but that didn’t stop it to be one of the most popular forms of ballroom dancing to date. In fact, it probably added fuel to the fire. There are few dances as interesting as the tango. After all, there are rumors that tango actually originated from the Argentine brothels where musicians entertained the men while they waited their turns.

This dance may have started out in the local communities, but it gradually evolved and became a strong cultural influence created by soulful musicians and artists. It’s not surprising that the more elite crowd soon caught the tango bug and tango dancing experienced new levels of fame.

The fortunes of tango reversed during certain periods of history (1920s Great Depression, 1950s economic recession), but it always bounced back in one way or another. Now, there are many movies that have showcased this beautiful form of art, further cementing its presence in the world of dance. Some of these popular movies include: The Last Tango in Paris, The World’s Greatest Lover, Never Say Never Again, Scent of A Woman, True Lies, Moulin Rouge, Take the Lead, and of course, Evita.

There is more than one kind of tango, the more popular one being Argentine tango and Ballroom tango. The steps and style differ in some ways but generally, tango is characterized by its dramatic movements and elegant gliding steps. Partners hold each other in a loose embrace and travel the dance floor quite a lot.

You will also notice that in tango dancing, the couple hold themselves in a straight and regal bearing. The straightness of the spine may seem to feel too rigid for some, but it actually makes the whole dance look more elegant and interesting. Occasionally, dramatic head snaps with smoldering looks are included in the choreography, but that depends also on the particular tango you are dancing.

Keep in mind that the imagery often associated with tango dancing is like a panther stalking its prey. The steps are alternately long and gliding, and short and sharp. Authentic tango is often performed with a small band (guitar, piano and violin). There is seldom any drum line heard in tango music, although for European tango, the snare drums are also sometimes used.

You can find a fantastic dance instructional DVD in the links located in this site. You may think that you are a hopeless and graceless klutz, but believe me– I have seen many people become transformed with consistent practice and excellent instructors. You might be surprised at how good you become after a few short weeks of taking these virtual lessons taught by professional dancers.

What makes tango dancing such a beautiful art to watch is that it is elegant, without being inaccessible. It was the immigrant minority groups that developed it and subsequently, you will find rich reserves of soul, passion and heart in the dance itself. Do yourself a favor and start learning the tango today. It is an experience you will not soon forget.


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