Most people are fully aware that dancing offers many benefits in terms of both physical and mental well-being and all different forms of dance have dedicated followers but when it comes to theatrical flamboyance, soulful music and sheer passion, nothing really comes close to the tango.
The tango belongs to the group of dances often referred to as Latin or Latin-American dance and it is said to have originated in the 1880s where the River Plata forms the border between Uruguay and Argentina. Like most Latin dance, it began as the street dance of poor people and it has its roots in music from various parts of the world brought to the area by the immigrant population. The tango soon spread to the rest of the world sweeping through Europe in the early 20th century.
Types of the Tango
The tango is now a worldwide phenomenon and the original dance form has now diversified into many different versions of the dance but each remains undeniably the tango. The Argentine tango, or tango Argentina, is perhaps the purest and best-known version and in competitive dance, there are many specific requirements which vary from country to country but the tango is really for all with no one being excluded from joining in the fun. The length of the steps and closeness of the embrace are all negotiable as are many of the movements. There are even versions of the dance which disregard the conventional male and female roles.
Learning to Tango
Learning the tango does require a great deal of dedication and practice and a good instructor will prove invaluable but even the practice can be great fun. It is a great way of meeting people and becoming socially involved. There are plenty of Tango Lessons in and around London aimed at all levels. It is a good idea to make sure to select a course suitable for your experience otherwise it isn’t going to be as much fun. If you haven’t done it before make sure you start with a basics course or even consider a few private lessons to quickly build up your confidence. You can also find some good videos on youtube to help you learn the basic steps or develop intermediate skills.
Benefits of ‘Doing the Tango’
The health benefits of the tango have been well documented and improvements are likely to be seen in terms of strength and mobility as well as mental health benefits such as reducing stress and depression. Those simply looking to follow an exercise regime may be tempted to simply sign up to their local Zumba class but although many Zumba steps are undeniably Latin in origin, they are simply not put together in the same way as in proper dance and only a full dance routine gives such a feeling of well-being and achievement. The other great thing is that it takes two to tango and this is a great way to strengthen bonds. Tango protagonists have even suggested that dancing the tango is possibly the greatest fun that two adults can have standing up! So whatever future hopes or aspirations a novice dancer may have, the tango should always feature highly on any “dances to learn” list. There are certainly none of the stuffy formalities found in some dances and the emphasis is predominantly on having fun. It seems that we all have a latent Latin-American spirit. Perhaps it is time for it to be released!