Why Tango?

Ok, I'm the most horridly unfaithful and fickle dancer, flitting from one dance style to another and professing love for one while secretly holding another one dear to my heart...but I absolutely adore Argentine Tango (actually I like any type of dancing)...what is it about AT that gets your pulse pumping?

What feelings does it invoke in you that other dances don't seem to be able to?


Active Member
After thinking about it for months, I've finally got my "round tuit" ((c) Pacion :lol:) and had my first AT lesson!

The reason I got interested in the first place was a comment about it I read on a salsa forum somewhere that, unlike salsa, which had the concept of a basic step to do in the absence of any lead, every step had to be led in AT. That sounded so intriguing, I became curious. I watched that BBC tango clip over and over and wondered how on earth it worked.

Now that I've done my first lesson and I'm beginning to understand it a little, I find it absolutely fascniating. Dancing it, what you as a follower are doing is relinquish any control over the dance and submit yourself totally to the lead (you may well disagree, but as a newbie coming from salsa that's how I felt), but it doesn't seem that way when you watch others. The way it works is so subtle, and it's such a beautiful dance.

I wouldn't say I'm in love with the dance yet (the forward lean posture felt so weird my whole upper body was stiff after an hour... I've got to learn to relax in that position before I can start enjoying it), but I'm definitely going back.


New Member
i love to watch it.. and also Milonga :D

i dont dance it.. yet.. but i plan to someday .. when i meet the love of my life.. i hope.. this is the only one i will ATango with.. for some reason i just cant imagine dancing it except with the one i love.. strange huh? yet thats how i feel..

so i guess in so many words.. The ATango as a dance, is the dance of love to me.. or more so of devotion :)
I haven't yet had time to take up AT--maybe because I'm working full-time during the day and doing shows nonstop at night and taking care of my dog and trying to find time for general dance lessons. But I do love what I know of American-style tango. Like bolero it's a very dramatic dance, so much about display.

There was a thread a while back about the origins of tango, and a series of articles linked about the sexual ideology of tango. I thought then and I still think that what's so attractive about the sexuality of tango is that it is so non-ideological, so self-consciously theatrical that both partners are aware that they're playing roles--which makes it so much easier to loosen up and give yourself to the dance.

Tango allows you to explore the bottom-line human passions, love, hate, envy, jealousy, desire, loss. Great, great dance.


New Member
I think the reason I adore AT is because it is so intense and passionate. Salsa (which I haven't danced much) or swing dances like Modern Jive are wonderfully exuberent and you can enjoy a great connection with your partner but they are mainly "arm led" and so the connection is to some extent at "arms length" and you can play a role. Tango is led and followed from the heart - the connection between partners is contained in that small intimate space between them and can be incredibly powerful. There are no "moves", every step or pause forms part of the conversation between the dancers in the context of the music. You can take time to feel the music and the mood and sense your partner's emotions and those elements blend into the dance. Fantastic!

I find that dancing AT grounds and centres me. It is so simple, subtle and demanding - you each have to be totally in your own balance and yet totally connected to dance well (I can't achieve either of those things but I'll happily spend the rest of my life working on it). Do you remember that line from American Pie - "and teach me to dance real slow"? That is so difficult - you can't leap into the next move to cover your mistakes!

I love Modern Jive, get enormous pleasure from it and am a much better jive dancer than a Tango dancer. Blues is fun and I enjoy confusing partners when I dance Salsa. But AT is a passion.

As my teacher, Fernando, says - "AT is a dance of the heart; there is no emotion that can't be expressed through Tango. So, take off whatever mask you are wearing and dance".


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