The Best Tips to Start Dancing Tango
You cannot fail to fall in love with tango. It is one of those dances that just gets you in the mood with the sweet melodies or by watching the dance steps. Tango is not only a type of dance, but it is also a genre of music with its origins in Uruguay and Argentina, although it is an intricate blend of cultures from Europe, Africa and South America.
This classical type of dance, like many other dances, comes with a very rich history from the lower or working classes of Uruguay and Argentina. Since 2009, tango has been recognised by UNESCO as being of ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’.
It is common knowledge that a huge number of people are becoming interested in and participating in tango activities. Here is a summary of some of the dance’s most vital elements and some advice that you should know before you get started.
From the songs, to the clothing, to the shoes there are some essential elements for all budding tangoists to learn before getting started. But after you are through reading this article, you will be equipped with a good foundation in order for you to start working towards participating in this incredible dance.
How do you dress to start dancing tango?
One of the very important aspects when easing into the role of an authentic tango dancer is having the right attire. This includes the right shoes and the right clothes in order to practice the dance. Although this may seem like a superficial matter, the truth is that clothing is a key element when it comes to tango and it is responsible for placing us, contextualising us and at the same time allowing us to live tango in the most realistic way.
Additionally, within the clothing segment there is something else that stands out: women’s shoes. If you are considering joining this journey, ensure that you have the right pair of shoes to accompany you. We highly recommend that you go to a specialised store like Yuyo Brujo. These are experts who design very unique Argentine tango shoes for women. Designed in London, made in Spain, the shoes of this brand are crafted by hand, with high-quality materials and special attention to detail. They offer high and low heel options and gel-padded insoles.
Listen to a lot of tango music
Another very crucial point to learn tango is to spend a lot of time listening to the music – the music that will later accompany you in the dance. You don’t have to try and imitate the moves of a professional tango dancer from the word go, you only need to acquaint yourself with the music, learn how to differentiate the instruments and rhythms and allow the melody to flow within you.
The more you get to internalise the melodies and tango songs, the easier it will be for you to coordinate the movements with the beat. Furthermore, it will also be easier to imitate the dance steps and postures.
Take time to improve your posture
Tango is a very sensual type of dance and very artistic too. The importance of the dance lies in the minor details that make the dance original and different from any other dance in the world. That is probably why the first important step is to take time learning on how to improve your posture.
Both men and women play an important role in tango. They both have to learn how to correctly position themselves while making clean movements that give prominence to feeling and sensuality. For starters, you will find it very interesting to work on keeping your back straight and keeping the core firm, your head and chest up. Once you successfully manage to maintain this posture, you can now gradually add the dance steps to your routine.
The basic steps of tango
Like many other dances in the world, tango too has a series of basic steps that constitute the fundamentals that you have to learn if you later wish to introduce flourishes among other complex steps. Each person who forms a tango couple (usually a man who is responsible for guiding and a woman who is responsible for performing the most intricate pirouettes and steps) should be very concerned with learning their role with basic steps. This is to make sure that they do not mess up or cloud the dance with your partner.
For this, it is ideal to start by practising individually while reviewing the five important steps and always trying to maintain the posture with your back straight.
Choose a good couple of teachers
In most cases, as it is the case with many of the traditional dances, two teachers are ideally needed to teach tango. Having just one teacher constitutes one of the most common mistakes people make when learning to dance tango, since a class with only one teacher will always leave half the lesson unlearned.
If the dance teacher is a man, he will not be in a position to teach us what the movements of a woman are like, because he has never practised them before, and vice versa. Whether there are men or women, it is necessary to have both male and female teachers to help us learn how to move and how to learn the possible movements of our partners and the movements we must take to enable completion of the dance.