How To Enjoy Tango Dancing For The First Time
It seems like the tango dance is everywhere right now across Buenos Aires, ranging from porteños, you can find dancing in many of the streets, to the theatres or local dance halls known as milongas where true diehards dance until the sun comes up.
If you ever visit Buenos Aires, it would be a mistake to fly out without having tried the national dance at least once.
On the other hand, the tango is much like anything else in life, because learning this dance takes patience, persistence, and practice.
We talked to one of the city’s tango dancers, who founded one of the milongas, to get his advice on being a good tango dancer.
What’s Involved In Becoming A Good Tango Dancer?
First of all, you really need to have a love for it. There’s just no other way around it.
If you don’t love dancing, then you’re not going to dance well. It shows, and you feel it.
More than that, you need to find your distinct form of dancing free of stereotypes. That’s a definite challenge for any artist.
Quite a few professional dancers are quite skilled in the musical and technical aspects, but they’re just mechanical out there.
Sometimes, one way of dancing is more in fashion than others, and a lot of dancers will try and drive themselves crazy trying to replicate it. However, I don’t consider them to be artists.
A true artist knows all the rules of the dance and will dominate all of them with their technique, and yet at the very same time, they will experiment to find their own individual way of doing this dance. Finally, it takes hard work with constant practice. That’s no different from anything else in life. Nothing in life is free, nor is it with tango.
What Advice Would You Offer Someone Trying To Learn The Tango For Their First Time?
Above all else, enjoy yourself. Don’t overthink it, and don’t let others influence you. It’s crucial to learn how to follow your instinct because it’s quite an intuitive dance.
You’re going to wind up frustrated and look like a total fool, but you also need to savour every step and moment. If you’re not, then there’s really no point in it at all. Work hard at doing this because tango is a great gift in life, so give it a chance.
Furthermore, look for a teacher who inspires you more than anything. If it’s someone that you like and motivates you, then that’s more important than someone who might be famous as a dancer.
The relationship between teacher and student is crucial. If you aren’t convinced, or you think the two of you aren’t entirely on the same page, then you should look for somebody else.
Be ready to give up on a teacher, but don’t give up on dancing. Put effort into finding the right teacher.
Is Previous Dance Experience Necessary To Learn the Tango?
Absolutely not. Some of the greatest tango dancers have only danced the tango all their lives.
Particular techniques that come from other dances are sometimes useful, but be careful, since they’re also can be counter-productive.
Tango has a language all its own, and the training will vary from one teacher to the next. Anyone who wants to can dance the tango, given how tango is the kind of dance which adapts to every different person doing it.
There’s no rigid structure of any kind. That’s the greatness of tango because it evolves, changes, and even adapts itself to anyone dancing it.
It also adapts to changes in people and the larger society. It has a logic and form of its own that often will have nothing to do with any other dances. If you can walk and embrace, then dancing the tango is something that you can do.
How Is Tango Dancing Different For Men And Women? Do They Have Roles That Are Very Different?
The two differing roles in tango are those of leader and follower, and both genders can take either.
It’s traditional for the man to be the leader and the woman to be the follower; however, this is changing, and that’s a good thing.
It’s opening things up for many new perspectives in tango dancing, and there really isn’t any modern distinction between women and men.
What Advice Do You Offer For Anyone Going To Their First Milonga?
If you ever feel uncomfortable in a milonga, then you’re not in the right one, so find others.
Try to make the most of your experience. It won’t matter if you don’t get the nerve to go dancing the first couple of times you go, but try to make sure that you watch the dancers that are active so you can learn how it all works.
When you do choose to go dancing, only do it with someone that makes you feel great.
One last piece of advice, when you make mistakes, laugh them off. When you crash into anyone, offer apologies and then keep dancing.
Give Tango dancing a try, we know you’ll love it