Tango music and dance ability


Well-Known Member
I found a really fascinating (and LONG LOL) post on tango-L. A gentleman wrote in and said that, as a new, immature tango dancer, he chose certain music. But later, as he grew in his ability to feel and dance rhythmically, his taste in music changed. Hmm. Let me see if I can cut out a short but pertinent excerpt.

Tango-L poster said:
In my experience, I found years ago that I was drawn to the more dramatic and lyrical tango music. I loved to dance to the music of "Cabarute", or the Hugo Diaz (bandoneonist) trio and of course the haunting and beautiful harmonica of Hugo Diaz (the harmonica player). In those days I would just hate it when they played those "old and scratchy" songs of the Golden Era of tango. I really found it much more pleasurable to dance to my preferred alternatives.

The reason was simple in my case, I just had not learned to dance tango in a rhythmic way. I did not know how to interpret D'Arienzo's"el flete" or D'Agostino's "palais de glace" or Rodriguez's "el encopao". It's extremely difficult to dance to those songs if you don't know how. It was much easier for me to do the things that I had been taught to the more forgiving (and equally beautiful) songs of the modern orchestras or even to some Pugliese.

What do you think of this idea? Does the tango music one enjoys really mature as one learns to tango?


Well-Known Member
Do your tastes in music change over time? Mine do.

Whether that can be described as maturing of music appreciation as dance ability improves is another question. I don't think the two can be linked as conclusively. I can tell you now as an new AT dancer that I like some music and don't like others. I know what the music is asking me to do to express it, even though I am not sufficiently competent a dancer to do it. Will improved dance ability perhaps result in great insight into the music and subsequent change in muisc taste. Probably for some.


Well-Known Member
I would agree with Sagitta, music tastes change with time, yet not necessarily with skills. There are many tango songs that I like to hear and would like to dance, but they're beyond my level. For instance El Puntazo by d'Arienzo (too quick), Sentimientos by Linetzky (too slow), Tanguera (no beat), and many more.
Definitely! It may not be the same with everybody, but I know with me I always start slow, get used to the type of music I'm dancing and stick to a familiar beat/familiar tunes until I'm confident with the basic moves.

Eventually, I'll get hooked and go out and buy lots of variations of the music and try to dance to faster songs/slower songs/different permutations of the same song. At this stage, I'll probably attempt some sort of improvisation (usually with little luck!), but I guess it has a lot to do with confidence.

When I first stared salsa in LA-style, I'd never had dared dabble in cumbia or bachata, whereas after a few weeks/months/years (depending on each person) I'd at least try it.

Similarly, with AT, there was a time I wasn't comfortable or confident enough to trying a milonga or a vals when somebody asked me, until I was familiar with the music in my base style.

That said, you should still give anything a try.


Well-Known Member
I'm the opposite. I plunge head first and struggle away with all 3. You think I'm going to sit out and watch people having all the fun!! No way! :wink: :)
Nooooooooooooooooo. I didn't say that, Sagitta!!!

I'll dance to elevator music and will NEVER say no to a dance, but, as far as getting advanced music goes, I always try, in private, to get my body and mind used to different styles slowly so that I don't make a fool of myself in public!


Well-Known Member
Well some tango music I like straight away and other stuff grows on me and other songs I find dreary.

I think when you hear the music played live then it can change yor perception and of course different orchestras will have different arrangments, Like I must have a dozen recordings of Libertango, and Milonga Des Amis.

Dance Ads