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The Tango Dance History The evocative sensuality and intimacy of the Tango, the language of romance

Tango embodies the language of seduction, an exhibitionist dance that teases you fearlessly and pleases you aesthetically in a very delectable way. The slightest of touches and caresses, the coming and going, the looks exchanged and the subtle glancing of body parts exude the intensity in the romance emanating from Tango partners. Tango is a dance where partners need to have tacit understanding of each other, to show the burning desire that lies within, that has to come out while they are dancing.

Tango holds many secrets. Its exact origin in unknown. Even the origin of its name is a real mystery. Whatever secrets this sensuous dance keeps deep in its core, the dance evolved from many influences, from African dances and rhythms, from Portuguese-Creole, from the dances popular in the brothels of Argentina and from dances such as habanera and milonga.

The authentic Tango that is closest to the style that was popular in Argentina and Uruguay has been declared in October 2009 by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Tango’s Complicated History

Historians believe that Tango is older than the dance itself and it was only in 1803 that it appeared in the dictionary Real Academia Española. Others believe that the dance originated in the West Indies, where a form of Tango was danced by the lowest of classes in society. They also postulate that the word “Tango” came from the African word “tangunya.” It could also come from the word “tángano,” which is the name of a game, as well as the word for the rock or a bone used when playing that particular game. It could also be derived from the Afro Portuguese-Creole phrase “tocá tambó” or “tocá Tango” as the two phrases meant, “to play the drum.” And in the Americas as well as in Africa, the place were slaves met was called “Tango,” a name that Buenos Aires would give to houses in the suburban areas where African slaves gathered to dance their pains and sorrows away.

True to its complicated and somehow secret beginnings, many believe that the Tango evolved from the “conventillos” or large houses where groups of compatriots, immigrants new to the city with no place to stay and Porteños who lack financial support would gather to cheer each other, finding comfort among people who have the same fortune as them. From there, Tango sprouted in the dancing houses, in the “conventillos,” in the horse caretaker shops and among the settlers along the Riachuelo River. However, the dance remained exclusive, with a closed code and its own language. The music, in 2/4 binary beat was composed by musicians without formal musical training such as Angel Villoldo, Rosendo Mendizábal and Eduardo Arolas.

Eventually, Tango began to lose its exclusivity as its popularity grew from the suburbs well into the city proper. Even males danced the Tango. By the 1880s several musical styles were woven into the initial fabric of Tango music, and it imbibed the “milonga” movements, the “candombé” rhythms from the Bantu region of Africa and the sentimental and emotional line of the “habanera.” Dances such as milonga, payadas, chotis, cuplé and Andalucian Tango also exerted influences in the development of the Tango music and dance.

Despite its relative popularity, it was not easy for Tango to be accepted by the rest of society. In Argentina, the dance was popular among the working and lower classes while diplomats and members of high society completely denounced it. The Vatican condemned Tango as an immoral dance. Christians in the United States initially condemned the dance as well. Only Paris welcomed the dance with open arms, as they deemed Tango to be very liberating and by 1911, Tango was the most preferred dance in the country.

The turning point of Tango came in the 1890s when a halt in the movement was introduced by the dancers. The male partner stood still while the female partner danced around him, which gave birth to the sensuous ocho movements. This involved the dancers touching each other’s face, partners embracing and the male dancer leading the female. This is the precursor of the Tango we know today.

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Types and Styles of Tango

As Tango continued to evolve, dancers created and invented styles and forms, depending on their orientation. While the differences were not highlighted when the dance was in its infancy, the differences in interpretation appeared when the dance began to be more widely popular. The huge variety of variations and styles of Tango attests to the depth and richness of this particular dance form, that rose from humble beginnings to later become one of the most popular and enduring type of dance that takes years of disciplined learning and practice to perfect.

Tango Criollo appeared around 1897 and was a favorite until 1910. Also called Creole Tango, a more lyrical Spanish Tango, this term was in general use so that it would stand apart from the Habanera. Afterwards derivatives of Tango Criollo began to emerge, given such names as Tango Canyengue, Tango Orillero and Tango Arrabalero – with subtle differences emanating from who were dancing the Tango and the region where the dance was performed. But Tango Criollo had a hand in the evolution of other forms of Latin American dances, such as the polka, habanera and waltz, which in turn gave rise to a more modern form of Tango, rather than the original Tango movements. Tango music at that time was played by Conjuntos, an ensemble that was made up of flute, violin and guitar, and occasionally with a harmonica, harp or clarinet. “Pianola” became part of the ensemble near the beginning of 1910. This form of Tango was sometimes performed by male dancers, with an “organito” or small organ as accompaniment, basically for them to practice their moves.

There were distinct movements, albeit very limited, in the original version of the Tango Criollo. Movements included caminata cortada or clipped walking, walking to the side or refiloneo, walking or caminata, turning or vuelta, and corrida or carrerita, which means running. Other movements included the ocho para adelante or ocho from side step with crossed end and the backwards ocho or ocho para atrás. Breaks were part of the movements, with a corte or stop, a parada, which involved a partner stopping the other’s foot and the signature pose of Tango, the quebrada.

Tango from the outskirts of the city is the direct translation of Tango Orillero and Tango Arrabelero. The signature steps of Tango Orillero were the short, sharp steps that were given strong embellishments on the footwork. Large spaces were needed when dancing the Tango Orillero that it was forbidden to be performed in the smaller and often cramped indoor dance salons dedicated to Tango.

The lower classes in Buenos Aires also had their own version of Tango, the Tango Canyengue that was mostly danced in open spaces outdoors.

Before a more social version of Tango was introduced, Tango Liso, which translates to Plain Tango became a popular version, one that was simpler and lacking in complex figures and movements. For a time it became a very popular dance in the Tango dance halls in Argentina, before the advent of the Tango de Salon, which was also introduced around 1910. This version was more systematic and social. This was the style that reached Paris that same year, and was completely accepted by the rest of the world by 1913. By the 1940, the embellishments and other features of Tango Orillero were added into the Tango de Salon. Thus it became more expansive, and needed more floor space, to highlight the exaggerated movements of Tango Orillero.

Aside from the styles mentioned above, there are other styles that were developed based on the original. Tango Oriental is the one that is popular in Uruguay. Angola has their own version called Tango Camacupense. Finland has the Finnish Tango. There’s also the Tango Milonguero or the Tango Apilado, Tango Nuevo or New Tango, Fantasia or Show Tango, as well as the Ballroom Tango. Each of these is a variation that mixes several other dance steps and complex body figures and hands and foot movements.

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Tango in Modern Times

Essentially, Tango is classified into three types, described as Argentine Tango, American Tango and International Style Tango. The International Style and the American Style Tangos are breakaways from the traditional Tango version and classified as Ballroom Tango.

The Argentine Tango is otherwise called Tango Arrabalero. It originated from the gauchos of Buenos Aires. It stemmed from their attempts to imitate a Spanish dance. However, instead of using the open dance position, their version of the Tango incorporated the use of the closed ballroom position, giving the dance a more intimate feel. The dancers also interpreted the music spontaneously. While the dancers in Buenos Aires were less inhibited, those who wanted to dance the Tango outside of Argentina had to develop a tamer and more subdued version of the dance to gain acceptance and follow social conventions that existed during that time.

The American Tango is distinct from the Argentine Tango as it encompasses a structure that is related to the phrasing of its musical accompaniment. While most of the time the dancers execute the various moves in the closed position, there is still the freedom of expression that allows the dancers to exhibit different extravagant movements as they see fit. It is a take-off from the Argentine Tango that was popularized in 1921 by Rudolph Valentino. It was later standardized by an American ballroom instructor, Arthur Murray.

On the other hand, the International Tango distinguishes itself from the other two types with its highly disciplined and strictly structured form. This is the style that is accepted in dancesports events around the world. Throughout the performance, the dancers remain in the traditional closed position. They express the legato or the connected musical notes as well as the staccato or the detached notes, with smooth movements or with pauses that are appropriate to the music. It was conceived in Britain, after the success of the film “The Sunshine Girl” in 1912 and spread throughout Europe, especially in Paris. It was referred to as the English style, with its own standard technical codes for performances in competitions.

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Development of Tango Music

Alongside the evolution of Tango is the development of music to accompany the exotic dance. The first known composers of Tango music were Juan Peréz and Anselmo Rosendo Mendizabal. Juan Peréz composed Dame La Lata, which translates to Give Me My Tin. It alludes to the tin can that dance club clients give to the woman they choose to be their dance partner. The first known written structured Tango was composed by Anselmo Mendizabal in 1897. The composition from the pianist from Buenos Aires was entitled El Entrerriano.

In early 1900s, the first sound recordings of Tango music made an appearance, with the song El Choclo by Angel Villoldo. Recorded in 1905, this Tango music is one of the most enduring and is still used today. In 1912, Juan Maglio or Pacho made a Tango recording with him as the bandoneonista together with a guitar, violin and flute.

The development of Tango music was largely impacted by the dance itself. The Tango dance was the driving force for the creation of several Tango compositions. Most of the original lyrics of Tango songs were humorous, a subtle dig at society in general and everyday life in particular.

Pascual Contursi wrote the lyrics for an existing tune called Mi Noche Triste in 1915. Carlos Gardel, a folk singer from Buenos Aires recorded the song in 1917 and it became an instant hit and a huge success. Gardel is considered the King of Tango, with his beautiful baritone voice that puts forth all his emotions into his songs. In 1916 Roberto Firpo started the first Tango sextet with two violins, two bandoneónes, a double bass and a piano. He arranged a march written by Gerardo Mattos Rodriguez from Uruguay into a Tango, and the world heard for the first time the music that is closely identified with Tango – La Cumparsita. Pascual Contursi added the lyrics to a story of a lost love for the favorite Tango tune, with Gardel singing the recorded version.

Classically-trained musicians joined the Tango bandwagon around 1920, with the likes of violinist Julio de Caro, bandoneonista Pedro Laurenz, creating a new brand of Tango music that was slower, more elegant and complex, although their brand of music were less popular than the earlier songs.

The Golden Age of Tango, both music and dance were in the years 1935 until 1952 or 1955 for some. The orchestra usually plays the Tango music during those days, called the Orquesta Típica. But before orchestras or ensembles happened, the accompaniment to Tango dances was provided by trios, composed of a guitar, a flute and a bandoneón. In 1910 the trio was expanded into a sextet, using two bandoneónes, two violins, a double bass and a piano. After 1913, the double bass was replaced by the flute.

When 1935 rolled in Rodolfo Biagi, pianist and Juan D’Arienzo, violinist teamed up to form an orchestra. Their electric rhythm immediately caught the attention of dancers, as the faster beat was irresistible. Creativity became an important factor in Tango and the dance was starting to mature. Great orchestras begun to emerged, some of which include Carlos Di Sarlu, Alfrdo De Angelis, Lucio Demare, Osvaldo Pugliese, Anibal Troilo and Miguel Caló. Tango music and dance started to challenge each other to bring out their best achievements. In the late 1940s the music and the dance began to separate ways, as musicians focused on recordings, playing in concerts and doing radio shows. The coup in 1955 in Argentina and the ousting of Perón had major impact on Tango. Tango was discouraged, so too the importation of music from other countries.

Astor Piazzolla was born in Argentina. He grew up to be a brilliant bandoneonista when he lived in Buenos Aires. He studied classical composition in Paris and while Tango is in is blood, he felt constrained and decided to take elements from Tango, jazz and classical music to create Tango Nuevo in 1950. While it met resistance from the purists, it immediately caught the attention of the younger dancers who were not brought up in the authentic Tango tradition, liking the accessibility and the freer rhythms of the New Tango.

In Argentina, Tango had a resurgence in 1983 after the fall of the military junta. It was also helped by the popularity of the show called Tango Argentino and people who stopped dancing the Tango put on their dancing shoes, gowns and suits and started dancing the Tango with so much gusto once again.

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Dancing the Tango

Beginners wishing to learn to Tango need to memorize the basic steps of the dance, called the eight-count basic. Below is the explanation for these basic steps:

Step 1 The lead moves backward with the right foot while the follower moves forward with the left foot.

Step 2 The lead moves to the left side while the follower moves to the right side

Step 3 The lead moves to the outside right as the follower moves backward to the left

Step 4 The lead moves forward to the left while the follower moves backward to the right

Step 5 The lead keeps the feet together in a half step as the follower crosses left over right

Step 6 The lead moves forward to the left as the follower moves backward to the right

Step 7 The lead moves to the right side as the follower moves to the left side

Step 8 The lead closes his left foot to his right foot while the follower does the reverse, closing her right foot on her left foot.

Notes: Steps 1 to 3 or even Steps 1 to 5 are called salida. Steps 3 up to 5 are called the “walking the follower to execute the cross or cruzada while the last three steps or Steps 6 to 8 are called the resolución.

There are various moves and steps in tango, but it is important to master the 8-count basic, the posture, the hold and stance, the connection and the basic feet and leg movements.

The way the man holds the woman while dancing the Tango might have slight variations as the set of dancers employ new techniques, the form is still the same. The male still holds the lady in the crook of his arm while she holds her head back. Her right hand is placed on the lower hip of the man. She’s in this resting position almost throughout the dance, while she is led by the male in a curving pattern across the dance floor. The Tango music is repetitive and uses 16 or 32 counts.

The dance hold is modified in Tango. It is more compact than the regular closed position of ballroom holds. The partners stand slightly offset and farther from each other. This causes the right arm of the male dancer to be wrapped further around the back of the female dancer, with the fingers of his right hand laid on her spine. Her left forearm hooks underneath his elbow and upper arm with her wrist placed directly under his arm with her palm facing inward. The man’s left hand and the woman’s right hand would be joined in an upper hand clasp. This should be at the eye level of the woman. Their elbows could be held higher than normal to create a more acute angle.

Connection between the partners is very crucial in Tango. This also holds true towards the music and the audience. It is the aim of each Tango dancer to achieve the right connection with the partner, the music, the rhythm, ambience and the style, fitting each element so closely together to create a sensual and beautiful connection. The lead must develop a very suave or smooth and chic style.

Rise and fall action is not present in Tango. However there is a contra body movement when dancing the Tango. You must remember that forward walks traditionally curve to the left. The left foot forward walk is taken with the contra body movement (of the shoulder) while the right foot forward walk leads with the right side. The backward walk also curve slightly to the left so right foot backward walk is taken with the contra body movement (of the hip) while the left foot backward walk leads with the left side.

Footwork in Tango involved picking the feet up and placing them on the floor rather than using a gliding motion that keeps the feet in constant contact with the dance floor. The actions of the feet are highly pronounced. When doing forward walks the heel is the first to touch the floor before the whole foot goes flat. The reverse is employed when doing the backward walk, as the toe should be the first part to touch the floor, lowering the heel when the body moves. You have to make sure that the toe of the forward foot must leave the floor as soon as you move your body. When doing chasses and side steps, the whole foot or the ball of the foot is used to execute the action.

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Dancing the Tango

With the complexity integral to this beautiful dance from Argentina, Tango has a list of terms that should be known by a Tango enthusiast.

Abrazo Embrace. There is an open embrace where no body contact is
involved. The close embrace require the upper bodies of the
partners to move closely together, or in some case, literally

Adelante Partners should dance or move forward.

Adorno Embellishment or creative movement; also called firulete

Aguja (needle) A man’s adorno, where one foot is vertical with the toe on
the floor while executing a pivot.

Al costado To the side, requiring partners to move sideways

Amague A fake, where the dancers move in one direction only to change their direction at the last minute

Apilado Piled on or leaning; dancers lean on each other when they are
off their axis (same as carpa or tent and inclinado or inclined)

Arranque Start; the leader creates a momentum by pausing and leading the follower to the side

Arrastre Dragging, swift sweeping of the female’s foot (same as barrida and llevada)

Arrependita Repentant; steps that allow the dancers to avoid collision

Atrás Backward; dancing or moving in a backward direction

Balanceo Rocking; same as cadenzia or rhythm where the lead executes a series of forward and left steps so as to change direction, also meant to avoid collision. It is also a subtle shifting to weight by both dancers to synchronize their rhythm and ensure that they start on the correct foot.

Baldosa Floor tile, but in Tango it means a sequence to steps to create a square (same as a cuadrado or square).

Básico Basic 8-count Tango pattern

Bicicleta Bicycle; a foot movement executed by the lead in a circular pattern

Bien parado Well stood; an elegant posture

Bloque Block, wherein the leader blocks the motion of the follower’s feet

Boleo Whip; the follower’s or woman’s ocho changes direction swiftly creating a whip action of her leg

Brazon Arm

Cabeceo Invitation

Cabeza Head

Cadena Chain; a figure for turning where the lead steps outside on the right or the left in crossed feet position, and leading the follower in a change of direction so that the follower remains in front of the lead as he executes a turn

Caida Fall; a move where the lead steps backward and crosses his free leg in front of his supporting leg without transferring weight. The follower moves to the outside position and crosses her free leg behind her supporting leg. Again, she should not transfer her weight.

Calesita Carousel or merry-go-round. Here the lead makes sure that the follower is upright on her axis. He dances around the female while she turns on her supporting leg while her free leg is held in the cuatro position.

Cambio Change; in this step the lead executes that change by pivoting
with his feet going in the same direction as the follower does a molinete or windmill move, wherein she dances using a forward and backward ocho while dancing around the man in a side-back-side-forward motion. It is also called a Cambio de Frente or Change of Front.

Caminada Walk; steps to move forward

Caminado Valseado Carried walk; sequence of steps that is part of the 8-count basic wherein the lead steps forward to the right then to the left and continues until he crosses the follower.

Caminar To walk; same as the natural steps taken when walking, keeping the balance on the foot that is placed forward. The step places the ball of the foot on the floor first before the heel.

Cangrejo Crab; steps where the lead advances while almost turned sideways to the follower.

Caricia Caress; this step involves the stroking of the partner’s body using the leg or part of the shoe.

Castigada Seduction; an embellishment wherein the follower caresses her supporting leg using her free leg.

Chiche Delicate ornament; this is done by the free foot tapping small beats in time with the music

Cintura Waist

Colgada Hanging; fast turns executed by the follower wherein she could play with her axis or be completely taken off her axis

Contrapaso Contra step; A step involving locking the foot behind the other.

Corrida Run; partners take short steps in double time so they look like running with their bodies moving at the same rate

Corrida Garabito Covered run; the couple takes alternate steps between each other

Corte Cut; sudden change in direction executed by the couple holding for several beats in a back and forth movement that leads to double time.

Contrapaso Backstep; done just like a rabona (play hookey) where a series of steps is done with the free foot placed across the supporting leg in a cruzada (cross) and done again on every beat. This is almost always done by the follower.

Cruzada Cross; created when a dancer’s step leads to a free foot getting crossed in the front or the back of the supporting foot. This is done by the follower most of the time. It is the same as the trabada or connection.

Cuatro Four; this is an embellishment wherein the follower flicks one of lower leg in a backward motion while keeping her knees close together. The figure created looks like the number four when seen from the side.

Cucharita Spoon; usually done in forward ocho when the follower’s foot is lifted in a scooping motion, creating a flick of her leg

Cuerpo Body

Cunita Crib; a back and forth rocking motion to mark the time or wait for the right time to change direction. This is the same as the hamaca or hammock.

Dedo Finger

Derecha Right side of the dance or body

Derecho Upright; stand upright

Despacio Slowly; slowing of dance or music

Desplazamiento Displacement; executed in the same way as the sacada (take out). It is a move where the leader places his own foot or his leg against his partner’s leg and transferring his weight on that leg while moving into the space of where her leg used to be, thus displacing her free leg

Dibujo Sketch; another embellishment where the dancer draws circles on the floor with the free leg, used as a pause or as part of a movement, in much the same way as the rulo or circle.

Doble Tiempo Double time; as the name suggests it is when the Tango is done two times the beat of the music

Eje Axis; the physical axis of each dancer

Elevada Elevated; popular style in the 1900s where the dancers are on their toes as Tango was danced outdoors in the dirt or on cobblestone. Current trend allow the dancers to caress the smooth and polished floor

Embutido Inlaid work; a step that makes the foot swing behind the other foot

Enganche Hook; a step that is the same as gancho (also called hook) where a dancer hooks one leg around the leg of a partner

Enroscar Corkscrew; the man turns on his supporting leg while his other leg is held behind or hooked on his supporting leg. This move is usually done while the follower executes a molinete.

Entrada Entrance; a step to put the lead’s leg between the legs of the follower without causing her to shift her weight or even move.

Entregar Surrender; when the follower surrenders fully to the lead

Espalda back of dancer

Espejo Mirror; the partners mirror each other’s steps

Fanfarrón Fanfare, also called chiche. An embellishment that makes the dancer tap the foot in time to the music.

Freno Brake; a stop or break on a step

Garcha Screw-up or bad luck when a bad step causes a collision

Giro Turn; executed with the follower stepping around the pivoting lead

Golpecito Tap; a basic embellishment wherein the free foot of the dancer taps the floor once or twice as a pause or part of a step. Variations of the tap include fanfaron, golpeto, picado, punto and zapatato.

Golpeo Strike; a step just like the punto or point. It is an embellishment done by tapping the toe of a free foot, done once or twice by either the lead or the follower during a step. It could also be done several times during a pause.

Golpeteo Drumming; another embellishment by the foot executed by tapping the floor using the heel or the ball of the foot

Intrusión Intrusion; done by briefly placing a free foot between the legs of the partner for a quick kick.

Izquierda Left side of the body

Junta Close; the essence of the elegant Tango moves when the ankles and knees of the dances pass by each other caressingly close when executing each step.

Latigazo Whipping; the action the leg makes when executing a boleo

Lento Slow; Tango music or dance with a slow beat

Llevada Carrying; the step executed by the lead when moving to the next step by using his foot or his thigh to carry the leg of the follower

Lustrada Polish; an embellishment done by the follower by lifting her free leg and caressing part of the leg or foot of the lead in a downward and/or upward motion

Marcar Mark; means to lead

Media Luna Half-moon is a half turn the lead creates with a back, side and forward movement in the shape of a crescent; also called media vuelta or half turn

Mordida Bite; means holding the partner’s foot between your own feet; also called Sándwiche, Sánduche or Sánguche, all of which means sandwich

Ocho Eight; the basic turn in Tango when the dancer turns one way then reverses the action, causing the torso to be disassociated with the rest of the body. A forward ocho is called ocho defrente while a backward ocho is called ocho para atrás.

Ocho Cortado Cut eight; done when a turn is broken and reversed, with the leader displacing the space of the follower and he spins the follower who does a cruzada. It is not exactly an ocho but more of a milonete.

Palanca Lever; done during Show Tango when the leader helps the follower or levers her during lifts and jumps

Parada Stop, a complete stop while going in any direction

Pareja Couple; partners in Tango

Pasada Passing over; done by the lead with his foot while the follower moves forward, passing over his foot and allows the follower to create an adorno

Patada Kick; usually done by the follower between or during steps

Pausa Pause; the couple holds their position for several beats; also called titubeo or hesitation

Pecho Chest of dancer

Picado Chop; an embellishment created by flicking the heel upward while stepping forward or during a turn or ocho

Pie Foot

Pierna Leg

Pinta Appearance; the overall grooming and appearance of a dancer

Planeo Pivot; a forward step taken by the lead to do a pivot and traces his foot on the floor while the follower dances around him

Postura Posture

Práctica Practice

Quebrada Break; a corte variation, also a sudden turn in direction of the dancers created by holding the follower for some time and bending her by the waist on double-time back and forth motion.

Resolución Resolution, the final three steps in the basic eight pattern

Ritmo Rhythm of the music

Salida Beginning or the first steps taken to start the dance

Saltito Small hop; a Tango step that’s done by a lead or the follower

Seguidilla Merry dance; the execution of small steps in quick succession

Seguir To follow; the ultimate art form in Tango with the partner following the lead

Sentada Sit; an embellishment where the follower appears to mount the supporting leg of the lead, usually done at the dance’s finale

Sube y Baja Raise and lower; steps borrowed from milonga where the lead and his partner dance first forward with their chest facing each other, then turning backwards with their chest away from each other.

Tijera Scissors; the free leg is crossed in front of the supporting leg to be used when executing the succeeding step

Traspié Trip, stumble; syncopated sequence of steps, when the dancers step between beats

Volcada Apsize; the leader makes the follower lean forward, changing her axis and appear to fall. He catches her while sweeping one of her legs when she is off her axis

Zapatazo Stamp of the foot; shoes are tapped together in an embellishment

Zarandeo Shaking; dancers swing back and forth or pivot in place

As a dance form and as a music form, Tango has influenced a lot of things. Most of its elements are included in sport activities such as figure skating, synchronized swimming and gymnastics. Sporting goods manufacturer Adidas designed a ball the company named Tango for the 1978 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Argentina. It was renamed Tango Malagá when used during the 1982 FIFA World Cup held in Spain and during the UEFA European Football Championships in France and West Germany in 1984 and 1988, respectively.

Several films used Argentine Tango as the main subject, such as the film “The Tango Bar” with Raúl Juliá, “The Tango Lesson” with Pablo Verón and Sally Potter and “Adiós Buenos Aires.” Tango dancing was also a feature in many movies, including such movies as “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” with Rudolph Valentino, “Last Tango in Paris” with Marlon Brando, “Scent of a Woman” with Al Pacino, “Evita” with Antonio Banderas and Madonna, and “Shall We Dance: with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez. Medical research done in Rio de la Plata showed that people suffering from Parkinson’s disease showed marked improvements in keeping their balance when taught to dance the Tango.

So what do you say? Vamos a bailar el tango?

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