Argentine Tango School

Marcelo Solis dancing Argentine Tango with Mimi - Chrome background

Mastering the Art of Argentine Tango: A Roadmap to Dance Excellence

Mastering the Art of Argentine Tango: A Roadmap to Dance Excellence

Marcelo Solis dancing Argentine Tango with Mimi at our beginner class.

Building Your Tango Foundation: The Power of Solo Practice and Musicality

Regular practice incorporating walking, weight changes, pauses, pivots, turns, “paradas” (stops), “calecitas” (merry-go-rounds), and embellishments serves as the cornerstone of your dancing freedom.

The best part? You can enhance these crucial elements without a partner by your side.

But that’s not all. Argentine Tango demands solo dedication in various aspects.

Musicality, for instance, plays a pivotal role in your tango journey.

To hone your musicality, immerse yourself in active listening to Tango music, delving into the intricacies of what you hear.

This newfound understanding will elevate your dancing to new heights.

The forthcoming tips are universally applicable, whether you’re engaged in solo practice or dancing alongside your partner:

1- Enhance Your Walking Skills:

Unlock the Potential in Your Walking Technique Initiate your practice sessions focusing on walking.

Explore four different walking speeds: regular, fast, slow, and very slow.

Begin by mastering the slow pace, allocating 4 counts for each step.

Next, dedicate time to practicing at a regular pace, aligning your steps with each downbeat of the music.

To work on fast-walking skills, engage in what’s commonly referred to as the “corrida.”

This involves walking to a rapid rhythm following a quick-quick-slow pattern or a down-up-down sequence.

Tango invites you to transform your walk – and, by extension, your entire life – into a masterpiece of artistry.

More walking exercises…

2- Change Of Weight:

A ‘change of weight’ is essentially a nuanced form of walking. It takes place in one spot without any physical displacement.

When you begin your dance, consider incorporating at least one change of weight to infuse elegance into your movements. However, avoid excessive changes, as moderation is key.

Here, you’ll discover a selection of exercises aimed at refining and enhancing your ability to execute seamless changes of weight:


Approach these changes with a composed demeanor. When dancing with your partner, your execution of this element should convey a soothing and serene presence to them.

More change of weight exercises…

3- Pauses:

Pauses rank among the paramount components of Tango.

While honing your techniques, actively seek instances where you can incorporate pauses.

For instance, consider incorporating a pause during a salida to the side, also known as a “salida in 2,” as a prime example.

You can make a pause in position 3:

After change of direction:

4- Pivots:

To refine your pivot technique, you can commence with bar exercises.

In the absence of a bar, utilize a chair, preferably one with a high backrest, to assist in practicing forward and backward ochos. Place your hands on the back of the chair for support.

Afterward, push your limits by practicing ochos without relying on the bar or chair for support.

Work on forward and backward ochos with both displacements and without any displacement during your practice sessions.

5- Mastering the Art of Tango Turns: A Guide to Five Essential Techniques

One of the most effective methods for enhancing your turning abilities in Argentine Tango is through chair exercises. These exercises provide an excellent platform for refining your technique and balance, making them valuable to your practice routine. Incorporating chair exercises into your training regimen can significantly improve your turns and elevate your overall dance performance.

Chair exercises offer a controlled environment where you can focus on the precise mechanics of turning. They allow you to work on your posture, balance, and footwork, which is essential for executing smooth and graceful turns in Tango. The support provided by the chair also ensures that you can practice safely and confidently, gradually building your skills.

Find a sturdy chair with a high backrest to get started with chair exercises for turns. Position it in an open space with ample room to move around. Here are some essential exercises you can incorporate:

And exercises involving the 1-2-3 structure of the turns:

Ensure that you practice all exercises in both clockwise and counterclockwise turning directions.

Engage in chair exercises but without the use of an actual chair.

Another element frequently incorporated into turns is the “rulo.”

And “enrosques” movements:

6- Exploring the Technique of “Paradas” (stops):

Developing control over both your own inertia and your partner’s is a crucial skill in Argentine Tango.

A valuable practice method is to challenge yourself to halt your movement at any point within the first five elements previously mentioned.

A classic illustration of stops is the “sanguchito” or “mordida” move:

7- Unlocking the Elegance of the “Calecita” in Argentine Tango

In this element, the follower must align her axis over one of her feet, enabling the leader to maintain a continuous pivot in one direction.

See an example:

8- Elevating Your Tango with Exquisite Embellishments:

A solid foundation in your dance forms the basis for its beauty.

Think of embellishments as a natural expression of your well-honed technique rather than mere add-ons or flashy movements.

It’s crucial to understand that no matter how many embellishments you incorporate into your dance, if your foundational walk is lacking, it will detract from the overall appeal.

Embellishments should seamlessly emerge from the groundwork you’ve laid in your dance practice. They are not isolated tricks but rather an integral part of your dance vocabulary, enhancing the elegance and expression of your movements. So, focus on building a strong foundation first, and let embellishments naturally enrich your dance as an organic extension of your skills.

Here are a few instances of embellishments, starting with “Cepillo” (brush):

“Rulos” (circles):

“Cross and go”:

9- The Art of Musicality:

Elevating your musicality involves actively immersing yourself in the world of Argentine Tango music.

Listen to Tango music now!

Osvaldo Pugliese, Argentine Tango orchestra.

Important Considerations to Keep in Mind:

Embrace regular and mindful practice.

Ensure it fills you with joy. By prioritizing your own enjoyment during practice, you cultivate generosity in sharing this joy with your dance partners and fellow dancers on the milonga and class floors.

Furthermore:

Dancing shouldn’t be daunting – It’s a journey of joy, creativity, and self-discovery.

Dancing is your time for amusement, self-expression, and relaxation, a chance to socialize and unwind in a friendly environment. To dance with a sense of freedom and confidence, you’ll need to embrace a challenge greater than Tango itself – the journey of classes and practice sessions.

Moreover:

Prioritize self-care for peak performance in your dancing.

    1. Incorporate stretching and regular exercise into your routine.
    2. Cultivate healthy eating habits and ensure adequate sleep for enhanced dance performance.

To Summarize:

Dancing Argentine Tango offers a path to not only organize your life but also to empower yourself and discover meaningful life goals.

Ultimately, it’s a journey towards making life more beautiful.

Learn to dance Argentine Tango

Continue learning Argentine Tango:

More articles about Argentine Tango

Marcelo Solis answers what is Argentine Tango. He is an expert.

How to dance Argentine Tango?

An introduction to the most important details

Find the answer

Anibal Troilo and his orchestra | Argentine Tango music to learn to dance

Argentine Tango music

Music to learn to dance

Listen and dance!

History of Argentine Tango: El Cachafaz and Carmencita Calderon at Tango (Movie 1933)

History of Argentine Tango

Tango is a culture

Learn more about Tango

Argentine Tango dancing by Marcelo Solis and Mimi at Yountville, California

Enhance Your Tango Dancing Skills with These Effective Exercises

Enhance Your Tango Dancing Skills with These Effective Exercises

Becoming a skilled Tango dancer takes dedication and practice. Try these video exercises to refine your technique and elevate your performance:

Mastering Weight Transfers:

Learn the art of seamless weight shifts for graceful movements.

Perfecting the Tango Walk:

Transform your walk into a captivating Tango experience.

The Basic Box Pattern:

Explore foundational choreographic patterns for a solid dance base.

Mastering Movement Techniques:

Refine your dance skills by focusing on the subtleties of Tango movements.

Mastering Pivots:

Elevate your Tango expertise by honing your pivoting skills.

Enhancing Body Awareness:

Cultivate a deeper understanding of your body’s motion for a more fluid dance experience.

Constant improvements

Being a good dancer requires you to manage your time to maintain an active and aware relationship with your body.

Bar and Chair Exercises:

Engage in effective exercises tailored for enhancing your tango prowess.

Molinete

Learn essential techniques for executing flawless turns in Argentine Tango.

Expand your body’s potential and improve your tango skills by incorporating these exercises into your routine.

With dedication and perseverance, you’ll elevate your Tango prowess and become a better dancer.

See all video lessons

Learn more about Argentine Tango:

Argentine Tango class by Marcelo Solis assisted by Mimi on salida basica

How to dance Argentine Tango: salida básica

How to dance Argentine Tango: salida básica

The leader walks to join the follower and offers his left hand.
The follower takes it with her right hand and embraces the leader placing her left hand on the leader’s back, and the leader completes the embrace with his right arm.
Change weight.
For the leader:
One: step backward with your right.
Two: step to the side with your left and place your feet together.
Three: forward with your right, stepping outside your partner.
Four: left forward.
Five: feet together.
Six: forward with your left.
Seven: side step with your right.
Eight: feet together.
 
For the follower:
One: step forward with your left.
Two: step to the side with your right, and place your feet close together.
Three: backward with your left.
Four: right backward.
Five: cross your left foot in front of your right foot.
Six: backward with your right.
Seven: side step with your left.
Eight: feet together.
 
Again:
For the leader:
One: step backward with your right.
Two: step to the side with your left and place your feet together.
Three: forward with your right, stepping outside your partner.
Four: left forward.
Five: feet together.
Six, seven, and eight can be count as “tan-go-close”
 
For the follower:
One: step forward with your left.
Two: step to the side with your right, and place your feet close together.
Three: backward with your left.
Four: right backward.
Five: cross your left foot in front of your right foot.
Tan-Go-Close.
 
Maintain a close embrace during the whole sequence.
Arms maintain their shape while remaining elastic.
Walk smoothly and precisely.
Argentine Tango is an improvisational dance. However, elements like this one are useful in your learning process.

Ver esta clase en español

See more video lessons:

See all video lessons

Argentine Tango exercise follower's basic cross by Mimi

How to dance Argentine Tango exercise 2: follower’s basic cross

How to dance Argentine Tango exercise 2: follower’s basic cross

Let’s practice the basic cross, in which your left leg crosses in front of your right leg when walking backward.
 
Although leaders and followers can make crosses in Argentine Tango, we focus here on the follower’s cross.
 
This position appears for the first time in the close embrace partner’s dances in the Argentine Tango’s choreography.
I like to imagine the first milongueros making this move never seen before, with an air of innovation and defiance.

Ver esta clase en español

More resources to learn to dance Argentine Tango:

See all video lessons

Marcelo Solis teaching how to walk in Argentine Tango class.

How to dance Argentine Tango exercise 1: change of weight and walking

How to dance Argentine Tango exercise 1: change of weight and walking

Shift your weight from one foot to the other, making sure to align your body’s axis, that is, the vertical line that organizes your body so that you have a good balance on that foot.
 
Walk trying to gradually put your foot on the floor while moving your axis between both feet, until letting your axis be completely aligned on one foot, and thus begin the same process again.
 
My intention is to be sure about where I put my foot before I commit my full body weight on that foot, moving carefully and, at the same time, free enough to accept risks and safe enough to choose certain risky situations to be able to play with my movements, making my dance in this way pleasant and interesting at the same time, like a happy, deep, and witty chat with my dance partner.
 
We can add a “tap” between steps so that we have to develop our sensitivity in relation to the alignment of our axis on each foot alternately.
 
We can also do a “tap” between each weight change.
Walking slower helps us better control the gradual shift of our weight from one foot to the other.

Ver esta clase en español

See more video lessons:

See all video lessons