What is the Tango?
The tango is an intense and smoldering partner dance that will have you sweeping around the dance floor as if you were born on the back streets of Buenos Aires. River Oaks School of Dancing provides ballroom dance lessons in Houston for the tango.
Origins of the Tango
Originating in Spain, the tango eventually became popular in Argentina. This uplifting dance modified when it migrated throughout the slums of Buenos Aires, Argentina, which was a hub for African slaves. These African slaves brought forth their style of tangano from which the tango continued to develop.
In the 1850’s, Cuba was added to the mix when the habanera was introduced in Buenos Aires by sailors who traveled a commercial route between the two countries. A merging of the tango, tangano and habanera in the late 1800’s turned this dance into what was known as the milonga. milonga is roughly translated to mean many words and this dance was a combination of many words and steps.
In the 1900’s, the tango made its world entrance in major cities such as London, Paris and New York and many more via the 1920’s movie The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Rudolph Valentino showed off his dance skills when he performed the tango and mesmerized the audience.
Music of the Tango
Music for the tango has a distinct 4/4 pattern. Each for beats is strong and will guide you through the delightful tango style. The first beat has a heavier accent than the next three, but all are played with strength and distinction. You may find helpful reminders for the slow, slow, quick, quick, slow dance by repeating the letters T-A-N-G-O quietly in your mind.
Characteristics of the Tango
The beauty of the tango is accentuated by the tight, firm hold which increases each partner’s reaction time. Tango partners dance close and compact to move as a unit. The tango moves counterclockwise around the dance floor in a quick, progressive motion. Tango dancers typically do not rise and fall, as the body weight is transferred evenly from foot to foot as they move across the dance floor.
Beginning tango dancers usually remained in a closed dance position. This is a wonderful way to learn and master the style. As your ability and skill improve, the tango dance becomes more open.