91 – Tango

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.

Photo by Marko Zirdum on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Los Muertos Crew on Pexels.com

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?


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95 thoughts on “91 – Tango”

  1. Oh, you’ve lost me here. I associate this with failing to dance with any kind of skill on the odd occasions anyone tried to teach me (two left feet, you see 😉 ), and with dreadful programmes like Strictly Come Dancing which may or may not have reached your part of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret,
      That’s ok. It’s not for everyone. On the other hand, I also laughed because I recall you mentioning something similar on an earlier walk. Probably the one about Dance. Strictly Come Dancing is across the world, but possibly using a different title in each country. For us, it’s Dancing With The Stars.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, I remember your love for tango! Without knowing much, I’d say the second video is Argentine as it’s more sensual and slow. First one feels more ballroomy. 😉 Not a huge fan but I appreciate the dance nevertheless.
    Happy weekend, my friend. Yamas! 🍷

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m fascinated by the Argentine Tango, Frank… all those intertwining legs and flicks which emerge while everything else is completely still is mesmerising. That’s how I see it, and the music and the lighting helps.
    Can’t dance it myself, mind… although I do like a good foot tap every now and then!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve always enjoyed GOOD dancing…..the Tango is fascinating as it seems so “precise” and fluid. The Argentine is definitely more sensual – sort of teasing – but ANY Tango is beautiful in its own graceful way. I would be a heap on the floor in about 30 seconds if I tried it but I LOVE watching those who have the ability to make those moves so precise and “meaningful”……….Loved the videos.

    Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      Cheers to you enjoying good dancing – and for noticing the differences between the two systle. Both are beautiful – and both can be sensual and both are beautiful. Thanks for watching both videos … and all may need is a partner to lead you through the paces. 😉

      Like

  5. Good morning, Frank!
    I don’t think tango would be my first thought on a beach walk, but I am also not involved with dancing. 😀
    I didn’t realize there is Ballroom Tango and Argentine Tango, and that they are different dances.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Merril,
      Each day on the beach is different – and each day in the mind is different. The mind is fascinating, and who knows where it’s going to go. Yep – Ballroom and Argentine Tangos are not only different, but vastly different. However, sometimes the music can be either. Plus, it may also depend on what rhythms the dancers hear.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What fun post on ballroom dancing Frank. I can tell it’s near and dear to your heart and when couples connect on the dance floor, they truly meld. When I danced professionally in a dance group in S.F. I left and opened my fitness studio and one of my friends in our group went on to open The Metronom in S.f. and still in the field. I thought you might like to see what she’s up to these days https://www.teachballroomdancing.com/about/founder/ Dance like the beach is so good for the soul which you said so well. 💖🙏🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy,
      Glad you enjoyed this post. I believe you have told me your background before, but I appreciated the reminder. Cheers to your friend not only remaining in the field, but also to her commitment to training future teachers. I’ve encountered many teachers, and for sure – not all teacher are created equally. Dance is a broad term – Did you ever dance ballroom?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re so welcome Frank.. I think I may have but wasn’t sure of this part. She is brilliant and you are so right. No just bits for our dancing part but I wold love it, I know. It’s the time factor. so many dances to tango with but I can follow pretty well. 💖🌷

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim,
      Welcome to the sands of my beach and thanks for commenting … and thanks for your post relating to this walk. Oh wow – you want dance lessons for Christmas! What a great wish and I hope Santa comes through for you. It’s a lot of fun, but harder than one anticipates. Plus, and like anything else, the more one knows, the more they realize how much they don’t know. Glad you enjoyed these thoughts about Tango – and I invite you to visit this past walk about Dance. https://beachwalkreflections.wordpress.com/2021/04/24/66-dance/ Where are you located in the world?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am glad you enjoy and are good at ballroom dancing, Frank. I took lessons. I did ok with most, but Tango was a bridge too far. I hope you’re able to dance, or at least lightly step your way through the weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Tango just makes my heart sigh with deep appreciation for its passion, fire, and those quick, precise steps. It’s always been a dream to dance this particularly sensual dance, but alas while I inherited my mother’s beautiful legs, I inherited my father’s two left feet. Still I sit and watch such stunning movements and smile. Many thanks for sharing those wonderful videos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jo,
      Yep – my wife and I were on the same page about Tango early on and even had the dance removed from our sylabbus. Later, I recall our instructor suggesting Tango, my wife said OK, and I was confused. But the rest is history from there – not sure what caused the turning point. … but that’s my gain!

      Like

  9. The Tango is an incredibly visual dance! It is truly an occasion of poetry in motion. I used to love to watch my parents dance, never the tango, they were so in sync it was like watching one person move.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      Oh yes – very visual – and then combine that to fitting music -an intense explosion! I’m on who believes the music has great influence on the dance because it establishes the setting, tone, and mood. I recall you previously mentioning your joy in watching your parents dance. Cheers to them for sharing their joy!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. LOVE Tango!
    I’d say the first video is Ballroom, and the second Argentine.
    Thank you for including my Tango Gown and a single red rose for Holly (very Tango in my mind) in your shout outs!
    Take care, Frank! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eilene,
      Thanks for the kind words. Glad you enjoyed this & cheers to your confidence in managing waltz. (Yep – a future walk) 🙂 … Of the ballroom dances, Tango is the most difficult of the dances to have a first-time dance with a partner. … and that’s regardless of the partner’s experience level. Then again, sometimes that even works!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Kudos to you two for not just ballroom dancing but doing the tango as well! We took some ballroom dancing lessons once but I can’t say they were a huge success and unless we were going to be dancing regularly, there was no point on continuing. But we did give it a shot. 😉

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Ahhh Frank! I knew it was a question of time before Tango became a theme.
    And such a lovely theme it is. I shall always love Pacino’s turn around the dance floor.
    As for your two videos, I shall take the second one, please. Argentine is so very sensuous. Plus, I just hate the way the women hold their upper bodies in ballroom. I get sore watching their unnatural (to me) pose!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dale,
      You know me well – and I’m sure you won’t be surprised when other dance themes appear. The Pacino scene and line are classics. The holds of the two are so difference – and as a ballroom guy, I struggle with what little Argentine I’ve done. One thing for sure though, connection is of paramount importance in both. Thanks for watching the videos! … and the first is my ringtone.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, indeed. I would not be surprised to read about other themes 😉
        And yes, you mentioned the first was your ringtone.
        Now I have to rewatch (for the umpteenth time) that Pacino Tango.

        Like

  13. Wow! This is amazing, Frank? Ha ha, I mean: this is amazing Frank. I could FEEL the tango coming forth in your words. You were dancing as you wrote this! My friend used to dance the tango and she loved it…I do not know why she stopped. But you have made me feel what comes through in watching this. Truly an amazing piece of writing because I could feel the dance coming through and in between the words.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m not much of a ballroom dancer, but I love to watch others who perform well! And the tango is such a dramatic and sensual dance, it’s hard not to be caught up in the drama when that gorgeous music begins! I do find it interesting that you didn’t at first take to it. It must have been a nice surprise when you realized it was indeed a favorite. I hadn’t thought about how much dancing has been “quieted” over the last 18 months or so. For those who practice and perform regularly this must have been a very unwelcome hiatus!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra,
      Cheers to your joy for watching dance and the drama and sensuality that Tango delivers. I have no idea what clicked for me to enjoy it – but I’m glad that it did. COVID has slapped the dance industry. It was shut down for a long time, then eased back with restrictions. Some dancers have yet to return, while others (like us) are dancing less. Instructors couldn’t teach and the decisions of their students affect their income. Some studios have closed while others are hanging on. Such a crazy world.

      Like

  15. The tango is a beautiful dance, almost ballet like. I took ballroom dancing lessons as a child, and I love that kind of dance. I am guessing the ballroom version is the first video. Now, if only I could walk the beach every day…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jennie,
      Glad that this brought back some childhood memories for you – and thanks for sharing. Yes – the ballroom was the first video. Interesting that the two styles are so different. Unfortunately, I can’t watch the beach every day. I’m in Ohio, but spend a good amount on the Gulf coast – which is where these walks are drafted. I invite you to read the first beach walk. https://beachwalkreflections.wordpress.com/2020/10/20/1-introducing/

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, WOW. Where up river? As a child, Cincinnati had the only zoo close to Huntington, so we would go every few years. The wild boar pit is one of my popular ‘Jennie Stories’ at school. Hey, I didn’t loose my leg. As teenagers, we loved crossing the river into Ohio to get beer… oh, that’s a good story. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  16. Aahhhh … The Tango is powerful dance. It’s one I can never tire of watching dancers perform.
    However, it needs to be danced with someone who has a learned it properly and knows how to lead.
    I had a teacher I danced the Tango with . I LOVED his lead but he spoiled me. I never found another Tango
    dancer who could live up to his expertise. I thought I’d leave you with my favorite dance:
    Thanks for posting fantastic Tango videos and images.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Yes, I’ve tried ever type of dance including the Argentine Tango. Well, the one type of dance I wasn’t very good at, nor did I want to master it, was Hip-Hop street dances. I learned my ballroom dances in Manhattan at various dance studios. All specializing in different types of dance. They’re gritty tough places to learn. No whimps or fussing about feet hurting. At the time – My mantra: Pain is good, Pain is perfection, Pain creates a dancer. Great post … Isadora 😎

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m pleased you found it to be WOW, aFrank. That’s my Derek. I could watch him dance for hours. He has the best lines. He leads like he’s helping a child across the street. I’ll admit he’s pretty good-looking too. I’m glad he’s a judge now. His critiques are outstanding. I’m not happy with the show. It seems a bit contrived. I read in the paper that it is fixed to bring in more of an audience. I’m afraid I agree. I’m with Len – Ballroom should be ballroom. Thanks

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Derek is exceptional. I think he was a teen when he started on DWTS. Speaking of the show, oh yes – the show under Tara’s direction is trying to broaden its audience – hence the people on the current cast. On the other hand, I get it … but fixed? I’m not sure because involving the public delivers goofy results. Just look at government as Exhibit A. Oh, we love Len!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Morning chuckle, aFrank. Thanks … yes, when the public is involved in votes anything can happen. 😳 I’m addicted to dancing so I’ll accept whatever the show wants to do while enjoying the creativity they all bring to the dance floor. Actually, I think Len is a hoot. He looks serious but I’ll bet he’s got a big funny bone in him. Thanks for the dialog. Have a wonderful Friday and weekend …. Isadora 😎
            ps: also like the way he pronounces “Cha Cha Cha” 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  17. Well, I’m not much of a dancer, but as a musician, I can certainly appreciate this art form. Wow, these two versions of Tango sure are different! Thank you for explaining this, Frank (not that I’d ever be able to walk, much less dance, in those fabulous heels, ha!)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Yikes, I am very behind…

    Before the pandemic struck, we went to a concert by our local symphony (Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra…the oldest orchestra still playing in Michigan!), and it was all about The Tango, complete with dancers. It was magnificent! Most were of the Argentinian type.
    I have no idea how those ladies can do that kind of dancing on those high heels, I can’t even stand in them, let alone walk or dance. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Many years ago, one of hubby’s cousins was trying to convince her husband to take Tango lessons with her as their marriage was getting a little dull…In trying to get him to comply, she noted her cousin (my husband) would do it for me if I asked…Interesting dynamic since she later declared that was the beginning of the end for them as a couple…
    I’ve no doubt Tango’s ability to put pizzazz in anyone’s marriage, but of course, it ‘takes two to Tango”
    HA! Couldn’t resist.

    Liked by 1 person

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