How to Dance the Tango

The roots of the Tango can be traced to the brothels of Argentina.  The Tango’s sensual, expressive moves are easier to perform than most observers think.  One of the dynamic elements of the Tango is the expressive, interpretive character of the dance.  Each couples’ interpretation of the same music is different so each Tango is unique.

There are several different styles of Tango but all the styles are danced in either an open position with space between the partners or in a closed embrace where the partners are joined at the chest or at the hip.

The count of the tango is either 16 or 32 but with either count the Tango is performed to a repetitive style.  The female is held in the crook of the man’s arm with her head held back.  She rests her right hand on the man’s lower hip.  As the dancers maintain this position, they must connect with the music.  Many dance observers associate strong, showy head movements with the Tango.

Believe it or not, the Tango is one of the easiest dances to learn.  It is especially easy if learning with an experienced dancer.  The basic rhythm is slow-slow and the basic step is walk.  To spice up the dance add some flair and interpretative style.  If you like music, you will like the Tango.

To begin, the partners face each other.  The leader places the right hand on the partner’s lower back.  The left hand is extended out to the side with the arm bent and holding the partner’s right hand in a loose grip.  The partner places the left hand on the leader’s right shoulder.

On the first beat, the leader walks slowly forward with the left foot placing the heel down first.  The partner mirrors the moves throughout the dance.

On the second beat, the leader steps forward slowly with the right foot which moves past the left.  The step creates a slinking look and feel.

On the third beat, step forward with the left foot and quickly side the right foot to the right and shift the weight.

On the fourth beat, bring the left foot slowly to the right with the left leg slightly bent as the legs come together. The weight remains on the right side.

On the fifth beat, shift the weight to your left foot and do a right forward rock step.  While launching a half-turn clockwise, step forward quickly and shift the weight back to the left foot.  Step forward slowly with the right foot to complete the half turn.

Bring the feet together with the left foot next to the right and repeat beats three through seven.  Take it from there and enjoy the Tango!

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