When I was invited to judge a ballroom dance competition in Buenos Aires, I learned how popular the Argentine Tango was throughout the city. People were literally dancing in the streets!
This dance style is found all over the world. In all my travels for dance, I was always able to find tango classes or tango going on in the clubs. Even though tango is all over the world, the Argentine Tango has kept its original style.
Tango is a social dance that originated at the end of the 19th century in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. Many immigrants brought their cultural history, music and dance with them and this melting pot created what is known as the Argentine Tango.
It most likely took place in African-Argentine dance venues where the native born and the poor danced – in bars, dance halls and brothels.
Eventually, everyone found out about the tango and it became popular very quickly. The tango spread around the world throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The dance started to appear in movies and this dance style was used in numerous Broadway shows.
It became so sophisticated that soon it became its own show – “Forever Tango.” This show and others sparked new interest in the dance. Tango dancing and teaching spread throughout Europe and the United States and popularity has been growing ever since.
Tango looks very sensual and connected with the partner, yet it requires so much control and balance for each dancer. This is one of the few dances where the partners’ connection is tight in the upper body and not as much in the lower body. This allows the legs to move freely so leg combinations can be executed easily – like leg hooks, twists and speed.
The music is demanding in this dance style. The man has to follow the music carefully as the music dictates the routine.
Although the dance is flirtatious, the costumes are more sophisticated than they are provocative. These costumes will highlight the female and the leg movements. The men tend to dress more simply.
Tango is more fun than competitive. Lots of emotion and chemistry with your partner is involved and sometimes a little challenging to learn.
However, once you learn the tango, you will love it.
Find out for yourself how passionate and inspiring the tango can be and make it your next ballroom dance to learn.
Sandro Virag is a partner and instructor at Fred Astaire Dance Studios of Hilton Head, located in Bluffton at Seaquins Ballroom. www.fredastairehiltonhead.com