T – Timing
- One of the most important aspects to a great Tango is developing your timing. Tango is known for its strong beats and rhythm. In order to achieve this, you want to have your feet land strongly on the floor and precisely on the beat. It is one of the few smooth dances where you pick your foot up off the floor from step to step in order to achieve its strong, dramatic look.
A – Animation
- Now, this is where it gets funny. Tango is known for the “face.” You know the one, where people look like they aren’t enjoying themselves and are ticked off? Well, how you emote through your facial expressions can make or break a dance. Imagine being in an intense passionate Tango moment and having a goofy Swing smile on your face. It wouldn’t match the moment, would it? It’s important that you develop your animation of the dance to match the movement, music, and step. Tango is a great dance to develop your expression. A lot of people ask me if it’s okay to smile during this dance. I would say a closed-mouth smirk is fine.
N – Neez (Ok, it’s spelled “knees” but you get the idea).
- The use of your knees in Tango is extremely important. However, if you don’t execute this correctly you can look like you’re in a permanent squat. In order to give your movement power you must flex your knees forward (not down) to create a compression of energy that you release to create a strong step.
G – Gancho
- The Ballroom Tango has a blend of many styles of Tango. That is what makes it so much fun to learn. It has a blend of Standard Tango, Argentine Tango, and even Paso Doble. The Gancho leg actions are a huge part of the Argentine Tango and are a necessary element to incorporate into a well-rounded Ballroom Tango. If you are unsure what I’m talking about, this is where you see quick flicking leg actions from the knee down. It looks like a cat fight between the dancer’s legs. This could be done in-between either of your partner’s legs or by hooking across your own leg. The cool part about the Gancho is that you can add this to your dancing independent of your partner.
O – Outrageous
- Of all of the dances, Tango is definitely the most Outrageous! In Tango you are allowed to be really dramatic without being considered “high maintenance!” You can come out of your comfort zone and develop the actor or actress within you. Through Tango you will learn how to be passionate, romantic, and fierce on the dance floor. If you can act out a proper Tango, all of the other dances will be much easier for you to portray.
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