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How To Dance Tango

By: yasir wazir

Tango can be described as an “earthy” and “dramatic” ball room dance, with the walking movements being dominated. It is sometimes “slow,” and other times a bit “fast” and “sharp” dance.

Beginning of Tango:

Tango is one of the different types of ball room dance, which is considered to be the third couple dance in the dance history. It began to evolve somewhere at the beginning of twentieth century. Tango is believed to be danced in Paris, London and New York in 1907-1914, but the real origin came from Buenos Aires. Many people believe, that in the late 19th century, Buenos Aires was filled with immigrants from Europe and Africa, who slowly developed friendship among themselves. They found a way to reduce their sorrows by giving rise to a new style of music and dance, which was named “Tango.” The Historians also have an argument, that this name has come from the African drum beat tan---go, or from Latin word meaning” to touch.” 

Tango Dance Styles:

Tango can be danced in a variety of styles, with different types of music. The main Tango style will always have an “open embrace” and a “closed embrace.” In a close embrace, the couple is very close to each other, usually touching their shoulders and heads. While in an open embrace, the couple stands further apart to allow a wide range of movements. Tango styles geographically may range from Argentina style--American style---International style.

Argentine style:

The core of Argentinean style Tango is bandoneon, often accompanied by a band including guitar, piano, one or two violins, but never has a drum beat. In Buneon Aires a Tango dance style was popular for crowded dance floors in the early 1950s. It was called as a “Brownian motion” dance, being random and changed in many directions. Argentine Tango can vary from very open, leader and follower connecting at arm length, to very closed, in which the connection is chest-to- chest. 

American style:

American Tango has adopted the features of both Argentine and the International styles.Tango Mannita is a classic American Tango, built on four variations;(slow, quick, quick, slow).It is considered to be a medium tempo dance, with a beat of 2/4 or 4/4. American Tango uses more slow steps with quick contrasts.

International Style:

International Tango dance involves sharp snaps of the head from one position to the other and twists with big movements.

Besides these geographical Tango styles, we have a variety of other Tango dance styles as:

Salon-style Tango:

In this Tango style, the couple dances with an upright posture, can be either a close or an open embrace.

Milonguero-style Tango:

This is typically danced with a leaning position in which the dancer’s shoulders are normally joined. Most of the times, it is danced in a close embrace. The couple usually maintains a constant upper body contact.

Orillero-style Tango:

This is a Tango dance style, in which the dancers maintain a distance among each other to allow both dance partners to make steps outside the embrace. It can be danced in both, open and closed embrace.

Club-style Tango:

It is the fusion of both the salon and milonguero styles. It is usually danced in a closed embrace, but the female partner is allowed to make movements freely.

Tango Nuevo (New Tango):

It is a new style of Tango which emphasizes on the new moves and steps in Tango dance style. It is usually danced in an open and loose embrace, with an upright posture.

Fantasia (Show Tango):

It is a style of Tango usually danced in stage shows, with combination of different Tango dance styles.


It is a historical tango, danced in a close embrace, with bent knees.

Tango music and steps:

Tango is one of the ball room dances, which allows the dancers to simply translate the music into their physical motion.

Basic rhythmic patterns:

The Argentina Tango is danced with a standard meter of 2/4, creating “quick-quick” steps called the “corrida” or running steps. For learning Tango dance, there is 8-count basic pattern to be learned. This 8-count pattern is divided into four parts.

1. the Salida, (the exit) on beat 1, is the point of departure,
2. the parte caminada, on beats 2,3, and 4, (the walking part),
3. the trabada, on beat 5, which suggests joining together, or cross-step,
4.the natural resolucion, on beats 6,7 and 8, bringing the couple together to the entire set of steps.

By repetition of these basic 8-count stepsFree Web Content, you can learn Tango easily.

Courtesy: Articles Factory