Author's Introduction
Welcome to DanceTutor.com’s class on Argentine tango, a dance that is fast growing in cities throughout the world-- Buenos Aires, New York, Montreal, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Montreal, Berlin, Paris, Tokyo, Istanbul, and other cities too numerous to name.

Argentine tango music and dance are distinctively rich with varied rhythms, melodies, and tempos, giving dancers opportunities to be serious and dramatic, relaxed and meditative, animated and playful, and everything in between, sometimes all in the same song.

It is distinctive of Argentine tango that many of the leads are initiated by contact between the leader's and the follower's feet, ankles, calves and thighs as well as movement in the upper torso. The dance itself emphasizes a close connection between partners that allows them to move to the music as one unit and create dynamic interplays with each other.

This class is geared toward getting you, the student, to dance tango even after the first lesson. It further helps you develop a sense of balance and connection with your partner and to the music that will keep you dancing for a long time.

There are three types of Argentine tango rhythms: tango, waltz, and milonga. Level 1 and 2 tutorials use the most common of the three rhythms, the tango rhythm. However, most figures can be used in all of the rhythms, so the student who learns the tango figures of these tutorials will have a working head start with both milonga and tango waltz.

There are some important points to remember as you progress:

  • First, Argentine tango involves leading and following. The leader initiates the movements while the follower maintains her connection with the leader in order to complete the movements with him.

  • Second, many people consider Argentine tango difficult to learn, at least compared to other dances. This is true. Argentine Tango requires you to develop good balance and sophisticated leading and following techniques. While these skills may take time to develop, they are also aspects of Argentine tango that make it very enjoyable to dance.

    Exercises for improving balance, connection, leading, and following are included at the end of each class. Don’t wait until you’ve gotten to the end to start doing the exercises. Skip to the end, learn the exercises, and practice them as you go through the material. You might be surprised by how quickly they help you to improve your dancing.

  • Finally, Argentine tango is a progressive dance, which means a couple does not stay in one spot on the dance floor, but travels around it. The dancers move counter-clockwise around the floor, following what is called the “line of dance.” This progressive dancing might not be clear in the videos because each one is only a few seconds in length. However, the first time you go to a milonga (which refers to an Argentine tango party as well as to a stlye of dance and music), you will see the beauty of dancers moving around the floor in the line of dance and, if you stay with this, you will be ready to join them.

--Jackie Stahl