Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.
I like to walk on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
Ballroom dance is part of our routine at home. Our time is different at the beach, but on days when dance is our activity of choice at home, I think of dance and my friends in the dance community.
Today, the sea is a bit angry, which reminds me of Tango. I wasn’t involved with ballroom dance when I watched A Scent of a Woman in the theater, but the Tango scene is an easy one to remember. Al Pacino’s line brings a smile – “The Tango is the easiest dance. If you make a mistake and get tangled up, you just Tango on.”
I think back to my first exposure to each dance. Tango steps to a beat of slow-slow-quick-quick-slow with each slow being 2 counts – each quick being one. The same rhythm leads to thinking T-A-NGO. Slow-slow-quick-quick-slow.
I also remember Tango being my least favorite of the six main ballroom dances. I can’t recall why, but there must have been a point when I turned a corner and realized it is one of my favorites – but that took time.
Tango music is distinct with a well-defined beat that matches the basic steps. The music rhythms accentuate the beats of slow-slow-quick-quick-slow. Yet, the music is also what identifies whether the Tango is ballroom or Argentine. Different sounds and rhythms for different dances.
For now, I think the ballroom variety. The edgy steady beat – a song that is my phone’s ringtone. A defined sound identifies my phone with a sound that I know as Tango and nothing else.
A sound of power and intensity. A sound of sensuality, lust, and passion. These are sounds that the sea can also give to me, but not in the same way as Tango music.
I associate Tango as the dance of the smelly gaucho with the local lady who turns away from him because of his odor – but now I know tango is much more than that.
Tango – when danced properly, the bodies in close contact – touching thighs on thighs. In most cases, it’s just a dance. Once a person learns, dancing in contact makes lead-and-follow easier. Other times, it’s more than a dance. It’s an event – a moment in time – possibly even a time not to be forgotten.
Tango – the sharp and fiery rhythms of the music calls for matching steps and patterns. Dancers move fast, then slow – sometimes emphasizing the fast, other times the slow. Fans, flicks, lunges, swivels, twists, snaps, and turns with promenades, throw-outs, and poses embedded into the rhythms.
Tango – the dance of desire. A dance igniting a fire where the dancers feel the burn. Bodies melt as their hearts beat as one to the music’s rhythm.
Tango – slow and fast, fire and ice, passion and anger, hatred and desire, Venus and Mars, drama and love.
Tango strikes like a lightning bolt. She notices his strength – he notices her spell. He is the seducer, and she is the seductress. Their hearts are pounding because Tango captures their hearts and brings them together as one.
Two can get lost in a moment of Tango – a moment that seems to stop time as both succumb to emotions – emotions creating a rise to an emphatic climax. I love Tango.
Ballroom Tango and Argentine Tango are different dances, not variations of the same dance. The dancer’s alignments to each other are different. The holds are different. The basic steps and patterns are different – as is the overall timing. Sometimes the music is interchangeable, but generally not.
Whereas Ballroom Tango is dynamic, dramatic, edgy, staccato, sharp, and strong, Argentine Tango is personal, interpretive, intricate, sensual, intimate, smooth, and saucy.
Instead of the ballroom’s energetic music with the defined beat, Argentine’s music transports you to the stone streets in the old city section of Buenos Aires. The music reminds you of African and Latin rhythms fused into one with a haunting concertina and violin joining to complete the sound. The music and the dancers draw you in – touch your soul, and then you are hooked.
Ballroom Tango and Argentine Tango: both dances are about connection, communication, chemistry, emotions, and sensuality. One is the fire; the other the ice. One is the roaring flames; the other the hot, glowing embers. One is the waves thundering ashore; the other is the smoothness of a flowing river. Both use music to set the tone and mood for dancers to explore while delivering different passions. Listen to each below to notice their similarities and differences.
Given the heat that both Argentine and Ballroom Tango can provide, I am fortunate to be walking by the water with a refreshing breeze to keep me cool. Just another reason to say I like walking on the beach, which is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
Note: 2 videos – Can you identify the Argentine Tango and the Ballroom Tango?
See what other bloggers have posted about Tango
- Tango (a poem)
- Surprise Tango in Paris (essay and images)
- It Takes Two to Tango (short essay with video)
- Passion Quote (image with quote involving Tango)
- A Long-Stemmed Rose for Holly (a designers Tango dress and more)
Next Post: Details – Wednesday 17th November @ 1 AM (Eastern US)