Tango Lessons

 

    The Tango originated in Argentina in the latter part of the 19th century. The horsemen and cowboys (called Gauchos) that rode the Argentine plains sought relaxation in the evening after a hard day's labor in the lower end brothels of Buenos Aires. There developed both a style of music, that was haunting and suggestive, and a style of dance, a reflection of the interaction of the Gauchos and the prostitutes that sought their favor. Both the musical style and the dance were known as Tango. This early music and dance were highly sexual and therefore regarded as obscene. As the Tango was absorbed into broader society, it had to, of necessity, lose some of it's original offensiveness, but not it's basic sultry style.

    Tango spread to Europe and America, became fashionable, and enjoyed great popularity in the theatres and cabarets of the well to do, particularly because of it's risqué nature and origins. Tango music and musicians enjoyed great favor. Ballroom Tango has descended from the tango styles that resulted when Tango came to Europe and America. The dance was simplified, lost it's original abrasiveness and was adapted to the preferences of conventional ballroom dancers. These preferences included that Tango be danced to more "modern" music in 4/4 measure. In addition to using different music than the original Argentine tangos, modern Ballroom Tango has different steps and styling, with more grounded steps, dramatic staccato movements and the characteristic "head snaps." Nonetheless, the sexy flavor and flair of the original dance remains.