Dance Style Spotlight: Tango

What you’ve heard is true… It does take two to tango, so you might want to scope out a dance partner before you jump into this dance. Once you learn more about the tango, we have a feeling you’re going to want to try it ASAP—so don’t say we didn’t warn you.

tango lessons

If you’re looking for a new way to meet people or a fun way to lose weight, why not take up the tango? This dance is very popular in the U.S. for good reason—it has a rich history, and it’s a sensual dance for couples. So, if you’re looking to heat things up this summer, the tango is waiting for you.

What is the tango?

The tango is a couples dance that typically uses synchronized movements, marked rhythms and postures, and abrupt pauses. It is known to be very sensual and is often called “the Dancer’s Dance.”

History of the tango

Coming to life in the 1880s on the border of Argentina and Uruguay (so the story goes—some people say it originated in Spain), the tango began as a working class dance for women. Soon enough, because of its dramatic and exciting movements, it evolved into a couples dance, allowing men to lead and women to follow. The tango sprang to European and North American popularity when a man named Rudolph Valentino introduced the Latin style to New York in 1910. We also love the tango’s alleged history with gauchos.

tango lessons 1Why is it called the tango?

Because the dance has working class origins, the history of its name might sadden some people. In Africa and Argentina, the slaves’ meeting space was called tango. The people of Buenos Aires also prescribed that name to the houses in the suburbs in the early 19th century, because that’s where the Africans would meet to dance their realities away for a bit.

What is the difference between tango and Argentine tango?

Though the tango is one of the most popular dances in the world, there are still some discernments you should learn if you want to dance it. One of the most important things to understand is the difference between the tango and the Argentine tango. We teach both styles at Arthur Murray New Jersey, by the way.

The main distinction to be made between these two variations of the dance is in the shape and feel of the embrace between partners. In ballroom tango, couples dance to an 8-count basic, arching their upper bodies away from each other while keeping hip contact. They are in an offset frame. With Argentine tango, however, dance partners are in a much closer embrace, dancing cheek-to-cheek with less rigid form. The music greatly impacts Argentine tango, as the the movements correlate to the highlights in the music—this type of tango is often described as improvisational.

tango lessons 2Where to dance the tango

You can learn how to dance the tango at any of our AMNJ studios—check here to find the location closest to you. Don’t forget, you get your first dance lesson free! Once you know the tango and want to take your talents elsewhere, we recommend checking out a couple of these nightclubs in New Jersey that feature special tango dancing nights.

Which songs to dance the tango to

Looking to host your own tango dance party at home? We can’t blame you—sometimes, it’s just more fun to dance in your living room. For the ultimate tango dancing playlist, see these picks.

Wondering if the tango is right for you? Take this dance personality test to see if you should be dancing the tango. And, when you’re ready, don’t forget to get your first tango lesson free!







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