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Argentine Tango is a dance of improvisation between a lead and a follow. There is no basic set pattern - only a set of guidelines setting it apart from other dances.

Frequently asked questions on Argentine Tango

What is Argentine Tango?

Argentine Tango is a silent conversation between a partnership that takes on a style and energy changing with every setting, mood, song and partner. It is a dance of improvisation of which there is no basic set pattern - only a set of guidelines or rules setting it apart from other dances.

Do I need to bring a partner?

No! However, bringing a partner would help to balance the number of leads to follows. Though we strongly encourage the rotation of leads with follows in our classes, exceptions can be made for partners who wish to remain together.
Those who rotate partners learn proper technique more quickly, were as partners who stay with each other for a long time tend to, sometimes unknowingly, compensate for each other’s mistakes and neither realizes it until they dance with others.

What should I wear to Class?

Shoes:

In Argentine Tango you need to be able to pivot on the floor. This means you want shoes with smooth leather or suede bottoms - not rubber! And please - do not wear your outside shoes on the dance floor or studio floor. Thanks.


Clothing:

Do not wear clothing that restricts your movement, such as tight jeans or long pencil skirts.

What is Argentine Tango Music?

Structure of Argentine Tango Music

Argentine Tango is danced on a '2/4' beat. This means to a dancer that in a '4/4' beat song that there are two distinct quarter notes (out of 4) per bar/measure. The first quarter note defines the strong beat while the third quarter-note (the second distinct quarter note) defines the weak beat. Stepping only on the first beat of every bar denotes a 'slow' pace, whereas stepping on both quarter notes denotes a 'quick-quick' pace. It is often that dancers will switch between these two paces to accommodate mood, style or certain movements into the dance. One may also find that Argentine Tango does not have a strict tempo as tempos may change during a song. It is also possible to dance Argentine Tango to contemporary and some non-Tango music.


Background of Argentine Tango Music

One historical account of Argentine Tango music is given by "TotalTango".

Where can I find Argentine Tango Music?

Sources for Argentine Tango Music

For all types of Argentine Tango music, from Pre-Golden Age to Nuevo & Neo- Tango music "TangoCD.com" allows a person to sample the songs of an album. It also offers the option of purchasing individual songs or the entire album.

Popular Argentine Tango Music for dancing to

"Mandragoratango.com - '70 of the Most Danced Tangos'"

What is Nuevo Tango?

Though there is no exact definition, Nuevo Tango is how Argentine Tango has evolved since the 1980's, whereas Traditional Argentine Tango typically refers to the styles of Argentine Tango before the 1980s.

Where Can I Dance Argentine Tango in Vancouver?

Terminology & Definitions

In Argentine Tango there are many sources for terminology; one source named "Very Tango" includes not only the terminology of moves, but also includes an audio clip for pronounciation and some video clips demonstrating an example of that move. Another website holding an elaborate list of Argentine Tango terminology is Tejas Tango.

Where did Argentine Tango come from?

Argentina was undergoing a mass of immigration (mostly poor men) from the late 1800s. It was this intermixing of European immigrants and Africans that resulted in a melting pot of dances and music and led to Argentine Tango. Though no one really knows where the word comes from, there is popular belief that the polka, waltz, mazurkas, the Habanera from Cuba, and the candombe from Africa were strong contributers to this dance. Being a risqué dance danced by the low class in bars and brothels, it was not respected nor accepted (particularily by the upper cass) until it was introduced to and became popular with Europians. Once it did, the dance thrived until 1955 when President Perón was ousted by a coup. Since Perón had used Tango artists for his political purposes and many were involved with his movement, the bans on meetings of more than three people was rigidly enforced - against Tango clubs especially. This greatly dimished the Argentine dance culture. It was only after the restoration of democracy in 1983, that Argentine Tango re-kindled and grew to what it is today.

Where can I find Argentine Tango in Argentina?