Argentine Tango School

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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

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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:

"The meaning of Tango", book by Christine Denniston

“The Meaning of Tango: the story of the Argentinean dance”, by Christine Denniston.

“The Meaning of Tango: the story of the Argentinean dance”

The Meaning of Tango- The Story of the Argentinian Dance, book cover.

by Christine Denniston.

“When I first fell in love with the Tango, I aimed to make myself as nice to dance with as possible so that good dancers would want to dance with me.”
“I was very fortunate to have encountered a group of people determined to understand how Tango was danced in Buenos Aires. To begin with, we took classes where we could and shared the little information we had. Often we found that the things different people told us about the Tango were contradictory and confusing. There was only one thing to do: go to Buenos Aires and find out how it was done.” (Quoted from the introduction)

More quotes:

“the length of time a person has been dancing may give little indication of how pleasant they will be to dance with – unless their experience of learning the dance has allowed them to learn at least part of what was learned by the people who danced in the prácticas and milongas of the Golden Age.”

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Evaristo Carriego, Argentine poet. Portrait.

“A Evaristo Carriego” by Osvaldo Pugliese y su Orquesta Típica, 1969.

Evaristo Carriego, Argentine poet. Portrait.

Evaristo Carriego

Argentine poet
(May 7, 1883 – October 13, 1912)

He was an important influence on the writing of tango lyrics, and in homage, the famous instrumental tango “A Evaristo Carriego” was written by Eduardo Rovira, and recorded by Orquesta Osvaldo Pugliese in 1969.

He is buried at the Cementerio de la Chacarita in Buenos Aires.

Evaristo Carriego was a poet for the outskirts of Buenos Aires

When his family moved to Buenos Aires, he lived on 84 (today 3784) Honduras Street in the neighborhood of Palermo. From a young age, he frequented the literary coteries in Buenos Aires, where Rubén Darío and Almafuerte were important names.

He wrote for different publications of that time, like “La Protesta”, “Papel y Tinta”, “Caras y Caretas”, and others. In them, he published his poems and short stories. He published his first book of poetry, “Misas herejes”, in 1908, and his remaining poetical oeuvre was released after his death under the title “La canción del barrio”. Continue reading at www.todotango.com…

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"Rebeldía", Argentine Tango music score

“Rebeldía” by Miguel Caló y su Orquesta Típica with Raúl Iriarte in vocals, 1947 (with English translation).

“Rebeldía” by Miguel Caló y su Orquesta Típica with Raúl Iriarte in vocals, 1947 (with English translation).

Music & lyrics: Roberto Nievas Blanco / Oscar Rubens.

English translation:

With red hands squeezing my heart,
stifling a muffled cry of rancor.
Rebel like water in front of the fire,
like the sea against the rocks, today I rebel.
With your tyrant love who knows no reason,
rebellious with my own heart.
I ask you to go, to leave me,
that you walk away at once; it will be better!

I know I’ll cry later
I will never forget you.
I know that every night without your laughter, without your voice,
How much I will miss your love!
But it’s better to lose you,
than continue being a puppet
just to see you.

No, please leave me!
Today my love rebelled.

Without asking you for anything, I gave you my heart
in exchange for crumbs of your love.
I spent my heart and fortune
delivered to the madness of loving you so much.
But it was useless; I received contempt, falsehood, and humiliation in exchange for so much love.
So that’s why I’m asking you to go,
that you walk away at once, it will be better!

More Argentine Tango lyrics

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We are happy to have a collaboration with the people from tangotunes.com from whom some of you may have heard, they do high-quality transfers from original tango shellacs.

It is the number 1 source for professional Tango DJs all over the world.

  • Now they started a new project that addresses the dancers and the website is https://en.mytango.online
    You will find two compilations at the beginning, one tango and one vals compilation in amazing quality.
    The price is 50€ each (for 32 songs each compilation) and now the good news!

If you enter the promo code 8343 when you register at this site you will get a 20% discount!

Thanks for supporting this project, you will find other useful information on the site, a great initiative.

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