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Friday, December 14, 2012

It takes 2

...to tango.  It's been a couple weeks since I've started my Argentine tango lessons, and I've noticed a couple things.  Before I start, I want to caveat that everything here is of my opinion, and so may not reflect "facts" - just simply how I perceive the art.

First off, I probably picked the hardest social dance with which to start off.  Unlike other dance forms, such as foxtrot, waltz, cha-cha-cha, ballroom tango, etc., there are no set patterns in Argentine tango that the dancers can wash, rinse, and repeat.  There are rules / conventions (e.g.,  line of dance on the floor is counterclockwise) and specific figures (e.g., ochos), but the actual dance itself leaves a lot to interpretation by the leader.  Ultimately, it's the music and up to the leader's style, personality, mood, spontaneity, and so on, to piece together the various potential elements into a dance.

Since the Argentine tango is driven largely by improvisation, it necessitates the leader and follower to embrace chest-to-chest.  This enables the leader to "communicate" with the follower - every movement of his chest signals to the follower which way to go next.  More so than any other dance, Argentine tango requires both partners to be attuned to each other, otherwise, they'll just look funny.

Me trying to coordinate my various limbs is as awkward as awkward gets.  But, like the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. 


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