Tango with a Twist












Tango is a dance of the heart and what makes it beat is the connection between two people, regardless of their gender preference. 

It can be flirtatious, fun, nostalgic, raunchy, surprisingly poignant and as delicate as a butterfly’s wings.

You never know where it's going to lead you because tango is based on a vocabulary of steps that are danced freestyle and that's what’s makes it exciting and at times so intense! 

Unlike the salsa or the merengue, the success of a well-executed tango relies on an extremely focused connection between the dancers’ upper bodies rather than any hip-grinding action.

The jaw-dropping legwork that first-class tango dancers execute is directly linked to the leader’s chest as these subtle movements give the follower the cues he or she needs to respond to. The better the connection, the more intuitively a pair of dancers will interact & play with each other.

Each dancer has their own style and every dance is different so the challenge for a beginner is to learn to tune into their partner’s energy and to flow with the outcome, whatever that may be! “Becoming one” with your partner is the holy grail of tango and many students fall by the wayside on their search for it. 

In traditional tango, the man always leads and the woman dutifully follows but things are changing and many women are now learning to lead.

Learning to mix and match roles means that a woman’s chances of getting a dance are doubled because a woman who can lead is a woman who doesn’t have to wait to be asked for a dance…

The advent of “queer tango” where two people of the same sex dance together has also opened up new possibilities within the dance such as the concept of exchanging the lead. This creates a lovely dialogue and sense of flow as the dancers swap roles at times imperceptibly over the course of a song.

There are now queer tango festivals in Germany, San Francisco, Sweden and Buenos Aires and other cities are planning to join them soon.

Three other factors are central to this wonderful dance: The walk, the embrace and the music.

Anyone who can walk to a beat without bobbing up and down has the potential to dance the tango.

The embrace falls into two categories: close and open. The close embrace is used in traditional tango and gives the dance its romantic intimate reputation as the follower leans up right against the leader creating the impression that they are desperately in love.

The open embrace has become popular with the development of the more recent “Nuevo tango” style of dancing and allows the couple to make bigger, flashier leg movements because there is more space between them. The Nuevo style has developed in tandem with Nuevo tango music, best exemplified by the famous Argentine composer & performer, Astor Piazzolla.

Good dancers move seamlessly between the open and close embrace, creating their own unique conversation without words.

Hard to master but fascinating to learn, this tango whispers seductively of possibility and offers you a magic carpet to fly away on for at least the length of a song or two.  

As Queer Tango teacher, Mariana Docampo Falcon says, “Tango cannot change the world but it can change you, and you can change the world”











contact:   dominiquepile@hotmail.com


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