Argentine Tango is a partnered social dance and musical genre which originated at the end of the 19th century in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is in fact very different from the ballroom tango in its posture, embrace, vocabulary and intention of dancing – Argentine tango is an improvisational dance based on particular movements and step combinations which each dancer interprets in his/ her own way. It is not common to compete in Argentine Tango since it is primarily a social dance which combines leisure dancing with listening to beautiful rich tango music.
While there is always a leader and a follower in Argentine Tango this dance allows certain freedom of expression and space for creativity and even some innovation. The music can usually be interpreted in various ways and that adds to the pleasure of dancing as each person has they own unique musicality.
There is often some therapeutic element in tango dancing. Apart from offering an opportunity to have some physical exercise it helps develop good posture, balance, coordination, aerobic capacity; often helps improve self-esteem, confidence, social skills, leadership skills and partner connection as well as traits like patience, tolerance/loyalty, self-acceptance, persistence, respect for diversity of people, as well as intuition, sensitivity, sense of rhythm and playfulness.
The process of developing as an Argentine tango dancer is rewarding yet challenging. You can learn a lot about yourself and other people. Tango is also a group dance in some aspect as all the couples are expected to keep moving around the dance floor counter clockwise direction. This requires some navigation skills, you can find links on where to read more about this on our "Links for an Aspiring Dancer" page.
Argentine tango is a dance where adopting comfortable embrace and improving in partner connection are probably the most important aspects of enjoyable tango dancing. There is also the social aspect of belonging to a community, the emotional aspect of connecting with your dance partner while dancing to beautiful music in a nice ambience of a milonga (tango party), as well as spiritual aspect of connecting to the beauty of dance. With some experience and practice you may be lucky enough to reach that special state of tango dancing - the tango "high" - when it feel like a special meditation. Tango teaches youto live in the moment, appreciate what you have now, today, tonight, being ready to let go of your past and future, as each day is brings new experiences, small discoveries and you can be a co-creator of that joy.
Organizers of the Vancouver Tango Live Festival
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