Getting Started in Argentine Tango

Posted by Passionata Dance on May 17, 2011

By Derek Vuong

Argentine Tango is one of the world most passionate and sexy dances. It also is clouded and surrounded in a culture of mystery, mystique and enigma. So how can someone learn to dance something that everyone percieves as difficult and hard to master. The first thing you must do is to be willing to do is to accept tango as part of your life, this will pave the way for the whole tango experience and journey. Tango is a represnetation of the dancer and the interpretations vary in forms.

Some people are adverse to learning sometihng because of it's difficulty and mystery, this is the first challange that separates the novice from an eager intermediate. So make the decision and take the conscious responsibility of learning the tango. The subconcious understanding will follow. The stages of learning are as follows:

1. Conscious incompetence.
2. Concious competence.
3. Subconscious incompetance.
4. Subconcious competence.

First of all, learn to listen to the music. Tango music may sound dated and even like haunted house music reflecting a time that doesn't exist anymore. But once you can find the beauty in the instruments you can find the soul of the music. musicality interpretation is one of the most important foundations of tango and getting aquainted with this will have numerous benefits once you reach the higher levels of understanding.

Secondly, Start to learn the walking. The tango walk is a particular stylised walk resembling the elegance of a walking stalking cat through obstacles. If you start walking to the music this is the begining stages of understanding the mechanics of the whole dance and how it comes together. Moving with sharp movements in the staccato music and sliding into the softness of the mellow tones. Sitting your walk on top of the music will show you have congruent movements.

Thirdly, You must interpret the breaks and phrasing of the music as sentences in poetry. The closest thing to describing tango is using movement as poetry. Stop when the music stops, move when the music compels you to move for each step. If you miss a beat in walking just stay until you are ready for the next beat. The beat and compas of the tango is the rhythm that tells you when to move and how to move. Tango music has a soul and a heartbeat. If this is hard to undertsnad at first, interpret the soul as the voice of the smooth textures of the bandeneon, and the heartbeat as the forced staccato beats embedded within the melody. This is sometimes called the yumba, because it sounds like it a shove from behind. Each step should be like a matching blade to the music like a counductors baton elegantly slicing through the into the air showing the viewer/ audience the way to move.

Lastly, Dancing with a partner, you will get used to each person as you dance with them, there should be a natural movement and intention behind every movement communicated across.

This article is just a primer and the tango gets way more complex through the interpretation of the dancer. By following the ettiquette of the tango it allows you to discover yourself through your own undestanding of learning the process. Everyones journey will be different and each student will come across conflicting philosophies to correct methods. The beauty of the tango is there are thousands of tangos but only one Tango. Hopefully you will take on your personal journey of tango and express your passion to others.

Please visit us at Passionata Dance if you liked this article.




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