All About Tango

 By Pedro Figari (pedrofigari.com) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Pedro Figari (pedrofigari.com) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

If you are looking for a romantic date night idea, taking your partner out dancing is a popular activity, with the Tango being the most intimate of dances. Whether you meet your partner through exclusive matchmaking or the “old-fashioned” way, it is important to keep your dates interesting and engaging. Going out to dance the Tango is a great way to meet new people, and taking Tango lessons as a couple can be an intimate way to spend an evening with your partner.

The Tango is a distinctive dance that is performed to Tango music, and it was founded in the working class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Years later, the dance found its way into Montevideo, Uruguay before spreading to other parts of the world. The dance derives from the Argentine candombe and milonga, but it is also said to contain elements of the African community found in Buenos Aires.

The Tango is a distinctive dance that is performed to Tango music, and it was founded in the working class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Years later, the dance found its way into Montevideo, Uruguay before spreading to other parts of the world. The dance derives from the Argentine candombe and milonga, but it is also said to contain elements of the African community found in Buenos Aires.

Dancing the Tango

 By carlos luque (originally posted to Arte & Fotografía as TANGO) [CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

By carlos luque (originally posted to Arte & Fotografía as TANGO) [CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

If you are interested in learning the Tango, it is important to note that there are various styles of this historic dance. These variations developed in different regions of Argentina and other places throughout the world. Cultural elements like the clothing that was in fashion or the space available in a venue influenced the dance. The Tango can be performed with an open embrace or a close embrace, with the close embrace being most utilized, especially in the Argentine and American Tango.

When performing the Tango, steps are typically gliding, but they can vary depending on the character, speed, and timing, and they don’t follow a set rhythm. Variations in steps can occur frequently throughout a single dance. This allows the dancers to vary the way that they dance at any moment in order to match their mood and the music

Dancers who perform the Tango need to learn a variety of common steps:

  • Barrida: A move where a dancer’s foot drags or sweeps their partner’s foot.
  • Gancho: The most iconic and famous of Tango moves, the gancho is when a dancer’s leg wraps around the leg of their partner.
  • Ocho: This classic Tango moves involves drawing a figure eight on the floor.
  • Giro: A turn in which one dancer walks in a circle around their partner.
  • Parada: Meaning “stopped,” this move occurs when the lead places his foot against his partner’s foot, essentially stopping her.

There are many other moves involved with the dance, and as your skill level increases, you can add more complicated techniques to your Tango.

The Tango and Dating

 By Rick Phillips from Arlington, VA, USA (tango (13)) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Rick Phillips from Arlington, VA, USA (tango (13)) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Even if you’ve never danced before, the process of learning the Tango can put you on the path toward more successful dating experiences. Dance is a physical activity and a great form of exercise, so the physical benefits that you achieve along with your increased confidence level will increase your attraction factor to the opposite sex. Both women and men who exercise regularly report having better self-esteem, and they also felt more desirable and had greater energy levels. Best of all, a great dancer is very sexy; just think of Patrick Swayze in “Dirty Dancing” and Jennifer Beals in “Flash Dance” if you need some inspiration. By getting yourself in better shape through dance, you are likely to have a more successful elite matchmaking experience.

If shyness has been a problem for you in your past dating experiences, the Tango and other forms of dance can be extremely helpful in overcoming this obstacle of meeting new people. The romantic nature of this dance and the etiquette used to perform it is a great forum for becoming comfortable with new acquaintances. The Tango is a flirtatious dance by design, so you can get comfortable with the object of your affection through its intimate moves without consequence.

While dancing is a great activity for dating and finding love, the Tango can also be used to spice up an existing relationship. The Tango is a conversation between two partners that involves touch, body language, eye contact, and rhythmic movement. It is a partnership in which a bond is formed, and you can develop a connection with your partner by being aware of his or her movements and emotions.

The Tango in Pop Culture

 By U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Betsi Currence. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Betsi Currence. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The popularity of a romantic Tango has led the dance to be featured in numerous films. One of the most notable movies was the 2002 production of “Assassination Tango”, starring Robert Duvall, Luciana Pedraza, and Ruben Plades. The storyline revolves around John J., a hit man played by Duvall, who is sent to Argentina to kill a General. When the job is delayed, John begins spending his time with a beautiful dancer who teaches him about the country’s sensual and intimate world of the Tango. While the chemistry between the couple ignited onscreen as they danced, these emotions also translated into real life, as Duvall and Pedraza are now happily married. This should say something important about the power of the Tango in the world of love and dating.

Several other popular movies have also utilized the Tango in order to invoke romance between characters. The 2004 film “Shall We Dance” depicted Richard Gere as a married, workaholic who felt trapped in his dull life until he began taking dance lessons from an instructor played by Jennifer Lopez. While the film is mostly about ballroom dancing, one of the most memorable scenes was when Gere and Lopez danced an intimate Tango. Likewise, the 2002 production of “Frida” shows Salma Hayek dancing Tango with the character played by Ashley Judd, and the sensual scene eventually leads to the two characters having a love affair.