Tango Styles

Tango Styles

Seven styles of Tango are taught in Vancouver, as well as milonga and valz. This City’s diversity in everything: coffee shops, dancing, dining, philosophies, car models, and languages; is bewildering. A person could not taste them all in a millennium.

American and International styles of tango are both taught at ballroom dancing studios. Both are very structured both as to music and movement. In many ways not unlike fox-trot or quicksteps. For a listing of studios see www.VancouveRRR.ca / dancing / studios. www.DanceVision.com offers dvd’s. Several examples on www.Youtube.com. Specify either American or International style.

In Argentine tango one sees the words: Nuevo, Alternativa, Milonguero, Canuenga, Tango Niso, and other Argentine-Spanish words. R U Konfoozed? Most Nuevos are. There is a simple solution, learn one style at a time using a variety of available means. Start by discussing approaches with others at our events.

Most styles of Argentine are very fluid. The music pauses and accelerates seemingly according to the musicians’ whim. It is difficult for an uninformed observer to see how the two partners are communicating. But the intermittent symmetry and coordinated asymmetry of their movements, the beauty of the dance, clearly shows that each understands the other. Most venues where these are danced, and instructors, are included in www.AllVancouverTango.com The visuals are from milongas and practicas in our Region. There are a few more.

Frank is currently trying to learn one style which is in the middle ground. It is danced to the fluid music of Argentine, and with the intermittent pauses, but with simpler timing. It can be danced in either a close embrace typical of Argentine, or in a more open stance typical of ballroom. Similarly to ballroom, there is a syllabus with bronze, silver, and gold levels.

This simplifies learning because a person can attend classes, go to a weekly practica (only watch at a milonga), take private lessons, watch you tube or watch a dvd at home, practice with a partner or a small group such as this; all with the one style. I’ve heard it given different names: Show, Salon, Social. Let’s just call it Cote style.

There are many online examples. The Basico, an 8 step pattern, which forms the basis of many others is viewable at www.YouTube.com Multi examples of El Basico. “How to do the Tango 8-step Basic Argentine Tango” by Howcast.com is really good for detailed footwork and lead/follow. Also. “Argentine Tango basic El Basico” “Argentine Tango Boot Camp” is good. If a gent new to tango can dance this smoothly, sensing the music, with good posture and lead,that’s a good first step.

www.DanceVision.com offer dvd’s as well as the option of buying single figures for unlimited viewing on line. “DVIDA Bronze Argentine Tango Syllabus” the 2004 version with Christy Cote is $C40 for on line viewing only. One figure which is widel,y used, very pretty, includes the crossada and the nearly universally used ochos, and is easily learned, is Ochos Para Adelante – forward ochos, figure 4 in the 2004 dvd. Figure 15 is an 8 minute demonstration of the full bronze syllabus, well worth a loonie to watch as often as one wishes. The new dvd plus online viewing is C$80. fob Vancouver.

At our events we’ll play music suitable for any of the styles, emphasizing Argentine over American, international, valz, or milonga. Perhaps half the music will not be tango. To welcome people who dance other styles we’ll include location dances like rhumba, cha-cha-cha, slow jive, and west coast swing.

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