Welcome to Beginning Argentine Tango at PCC!

The best way to maximize your learning and your enjoyment during this class? Review, practice, listen, and watch! See below for class summaries and playlists for practicing, listening, and watching. Enjoy!

Table of Contents

Class Summary: Week 1

Handouts:

Vocabulary:

  • Walking steps (forward, side, back)
  • Weight shifts
  • Pauses

Fundamentals:

  • Posture: Stand tall with your weight over the middle of your foot. Feet are together with your heels together and toes slightly apart.
  • Axis: Always have your weight over one foot or the other. The leg you’re standing on is your standing leg, and the leg that doesn’t carry any weight is your free leg, meaning that is relaxed under your hip. Your feet come together in between each step because your leg is relaxed, not because you are holding them together.
  • Connection/Embrace: Give slight forward compression where you contact your partner so that you can feel each other better. For an open embrace, the leader’s left hand holds the follower’s right hand with the leader’s palm facing towards the couple. The leader’s right hand is at the follower’s left shoulder blade; the follower’s left hand is relaxed but not pushing on the leader’s bicep.
  • Lead/Follow: The leader moves his own body. Because the leader and follower are connected with slight forward compression, both will move together. The movement should be led gradually rather than abruptly (what I called the pre-lead). Once the follower starts moving, the leader follows where the follower actually goes rather than where she “should” have gone so that they stay together.

Culture:

  • Line of dance: Argentine tango is danced counterclockwise around the room. Leaders should avoid back steps and lead in a way that avoids colliding with other couples.
  • Cabeceo: The nonverbal art of inviting and accepting dances. To invite, a leader makes eye contact and nods his head. To accept, the follower nods her head in return. To decline, the follower avoids eye contact.
  • Milonga: A place or event where Argentine tango is danced. Note: It is also the name of a musical genre and style of tango closely related to tango, which is also danced at tango events.

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Practice Playlist

Here is a playlist with all of the music I use in our weekly class. This music is perfect for practicing:

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Tango Music Playlist

Here is a playlist with other great tango music that you may enjoy listening to:

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Tango Dance Playlist

Here are some of the world’s best tango dancers doing what they do (for more, visit my Pinterest board):

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