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Dancing in Riverside hosts 3 Argentine Tango Group dance Classes every Tuesday at 8pm. One is a Beginning level class that is designed to take a true Beginner and show them the basic patterns and techniques to become an Intermediate level dancer. At the same time as the Beginning class we also have an Intermediate level Argentine Tango Group Class. This class focuses on the more advanced techniques to ensure comfort and confidence for both you and your partner! The Advanced Argentine Tango Lesson is the level that is for the expert Tango dancer. The Advanced Tango Lessons focus on the highest level s of technique and style that the Argentine Tango has to offer. See you this Tuesday night! Remember, you do not need a partner and you don’t have to wait for any 1 to 2 month long series to end before you can start. Just come into Dancing in Riverside on any day that you want to take a class. Group Classes are ONLY $5 per class and can be even less on one of our unlimited Group Class Memberships.
Argentine Tango is a beautifully passionate dance that originated in Argentina and Uruguay, especially in Buenos Aires. This dance combines elements from a vast diversity of sources, notably the folk dances and music of the Rio de la Plata region of South America, the African influence of freed slaves, and European influences of immigrants hailing from countries such as Italy, Spain, and Germany. Danced in the brothels of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Argentina, this initially scandalous dance soon evolved in style and social significance.
During the early-twentieth century, Argentine Tango moved from the brothel to the dancehall and the ballroom. The milonga, or Argentine Tango dance, developed its own intricate culture by the golden age of tango in the 1940s. Brian Dunn and Deborah Sclar note that the political changes in Argentina following World War I influenced the declining popularity of tango in Argentina.
Argentina’s tango scene in was revitalized in the 1980s “accompanying the return of democracy and social liberalization after the Falklands War of 1982-83” (Dunn and Sclar). Enthusiasm for Argentine Tango has spread worldwide, and there are many thriving tango communities across the United States and the world.
Unlike many ballroom dances that focus on step patterns, Argentine Tango is a connection-based dance that emphasizes the dynamic interpretation of the music by lead and follow rather than set counts and sequences. The dance is, in so many ways, an exercise in walking together so completely that the dancing couple seems to be a single body. Like American and International Tango, its line of dance is counterclockwise.
The dance frame preferred in Argentine Tango is also atypical. Although American and International Tango emphasize an upward and outward dancing frame, the aesthetic of Argentine Tango is inward and more relaxed, giving the dance its intimate feel. Dancers create an “A”-frame with their bodies by shifting their weight to the balls of their feet and leaning slightly into the connection, which may be chest to chest. Often, Argentine Tango is danced temple to temple in close embrace.
Movement in Argentine tango swings between fluidly slow and sharply rapid. Spins are not especially common in Argentine Tango; instead, pivots in moves such as the ocho in which the dancer traces figure eights on the floor feature heavily. Feet stay on the floor giving the dancers a grounded aesthetic, and long strides emphasize the A-frame of the dance.
There are a number of different styles of Argentine Tango, and these are typically divided into Tango, Vals, and Milonga. Tango includes a broad range of traditional moves, and leads and follows often play with pauses and styling. Vals, a relative of the Waltz, has a smoother feel and typically involves fewer pauses. Milonga is faster than the other two styles and emphasizes rhythm.
Feeling and responding to the music is essential in Argentine Tango. The music is soulful, often featuring violin, guitar, and the bandoneon, an accordion-like instrument. The speed of Argentine Tango music covers a broad range, though many songs fall between 28 and 32 measures per minute.
At milongas songs are played in sets of three to five called tandas with a break or cortina between tandas. Typcially, the songs in a tanda will be in the same style (Tango, Milonga, Vals), giving partners the opportunity to connect with each other and the music. Partners are expected to dance the entire tanda together.
In the 1980s, changes in music as electronica influences appeared were reflected in Argentine Tango music and dance aesthetics, termed Tango Neuvo. The compositions of Astor Piazzolla were particularly influential on this developing style. Nuevo is often danced with more distance between lead and follow to allow for a broader range of dance moves.