Argentine tango has been thrilling dancers for more than 100 years. Tango is loved by dancers and audiences for its beauty, passion, drama and excitement. The tango has the power to pull two strangers together into one, to dance out their desires...to be great lovers and heroes, if only for a moment. It's the world of subtle metaphors that captures the melancholy heart.
Undoubtedly, tango holds a privileged position in the social dancing world. While, basically, it is known as a dance and a music which can be sung, tango also contains a particular language (lunfardo), certain usages and customs, and even a characteristic philosophy identifying tango people.
Argentine tango is an improvisational dance based on the four building blocks of walking, turning, stopping and embellishments. The dance is like a puzzle that gets put together differently each time. Women and men bring their own styles and embellishments to the dance which contribute significantly to the excitement and unpredictability of the experience. Even though dancers follow certain conventions, they never quite know how someone will construct a dance, add an embellishment or interpret the music.
The surprises possible within the dance are what make the dance so addicting. It really does take two to tango, because the dance isn't just about the man leading and the woman following. Both partners have important things to contribute'like all good conversations.
When you're a beginning tango student, attending a class is the best way to get your bearings in the dance. Learning to dance tango is a wonderful commitment you make for yourself and consistency is as important to achieving this goal as it is for all others in your life.
A good tango class should introduce you to the following elements of tango: walking, turning, stopping, navigation, musicality and some embellishments. Tango is a dance based on walking so you must practice this essential element. The good news is that you already know how to walk, you just need to practice taking a partner with you. After you've "walked your miles" you'll learn how to turn, how to stop momentarily on the floor, how to navigate a crowded floor, how to listen to and learn the various types of tango music and how to add your own signature to the dance in the form of embellishments. Because tango is an improvisational dance, you should also be exposed to that aspect of the dance as well.
Tango is a dance you create on the fly with another person. It isn't about memorized steps that go together the same way every time. This is one of the most beautiful aspects of tango and is the one that makes the dance endlessly interesting.