Tango: Connecting multiple intelligences through one shared language

Tango is a non-verbal language of communication that combines linguistic and kinesthetic intelligence; an expressive, eloquent process involving an invitation, followed by a response, to consummate movement.

Tango: Connecting multiple intelligences through one shared language

It is commonly assumed that dancers are predominantly artistic individuals, creatives, and those who thrive in a setting that allows for self-expression. However, Tango is multifaceted and has a polymorphic nature; you can dance with sensuous togetherness in close proximity, with austere elegance, or at faster tempos to a staccato rhythm.

Tango is structured, with regular rhythms, but it is also improvised and every step has an air of spontaneity. Therefore, it will intrigue you no matter how your brain is wired. Praised for enhancing physical, social, and emotional wellbeing too, Tango is popular with a range of individuals; pragmatists and abstract thinkers, and those with both artistic and technical perspectives and abilities.

At Ultimate Tango, the students, a multitude of very different people, unite under their shared love for the language of dance. Though there are many more, we can clearly distinguish four types of ‘intelligences’ that are vital to dance Tango and the types of people that possess those qualities.

Musical intelligence

Playing an instrument, painting, and dancing... They all focus on creative and holistic thinking which is why Tango attracts creatives, people with musical rhythm, and those who play a musical instrument, among other characteristics.

The human factor of Tango is about connecting to your inner self and your partner. However, you must also connect to the dance itself with your whole being, which happens through the understanding of the musical imagery: the energy, rhythm, and melody. How you experience the music is translated through to the embrace with your partner which is a complex mix of musical, physical, and emotional elements.

Technical & logical intelligence

A disproportionate number of our students are professional engineers, IT specialists, Software or Web developers, mathematicians, and professors. They possess technical, logical, and kinesthetic intelligence.

>>The last form of mathematical thinking in dance involves Spatial intelligence as well as numbers. It involves making judgments about rotation and velocity, predicting where one’s partner will end up, and putting one’s own body in the correct place at the correct time.<<
Joan Walton

At Stanford University, in a Social Dance class, 52% of the students majored in Engineering or related sciences.This is not unexpected as there is a long-established relationship between music and mathematics, dating back to Pythagoras (569-475 BC).

However, this does explain why analytical, logical, and mathematical minds are drawn to the inherent logic, geometry, and structure of dance. They are also challenged by Tango’s unpredictable possibilities;

the footwork is changeable, quick, and contains patterns that are not immediately apparent while the Ronda involves making constant judgments about rotation, velocity and the distance between other couples. You have to respect the rules, like the basic laws of mathematics.

Intrapersonal intelligence

Learning Tango isn’t dissimilar to studying a new language or playing a new instrument; it is an unhurried experience and invites you to engage in a deeply personal journey of artistic expression and self-discovery.

Tango exposes the way you see, feel, and present yourself. As you develop your technique, your posture, style, and proficiency change too. Learning to love yourself and being confident enough to show your real self is why Tango is sometimes referred to as the meditation of movement - the body falls into a subconscious flow.

Introverts can tune out background noise and connect one-on-one with a special someone. For those with highly stressful, demanding and sedentary jobs, it offers a chance to be expressive, and relax in a physically active way.

Many find a meditative state through the combination of the musical or drumming ostinato, repetitive steps and movement, and unpredictable spinning which has a calming effect and results in altered states of consciousness - the Tango Trance, or in other words, a break from reality.

Interpersonal intelligence

How you relate to yourself is closely linked to how you relate to others too. Every embrace is unique and affected by your individual personality and the way you relate to yourself and your surroundings. Embraces fit a certain style, body, attitude and temperament, and they reflect your mental state too.

The Embrace offers a sensitive place where you make yourself vulnerable to your partner, whether leading or following. You share intense emotions with your partner who can sense everything you are feeling. It is not just attraction but spiritual intimacy. This interest in body awareness and power dynamics is for the psychologically minded; dance therapists and body psychotherapists.

Extraverts enjoy the social aspect of Tango as they have the chance to be flamboyant and flashy at Milongas. Introverts can also find it easier to communicate with the opposite sex in the safety of a socially familiar setting and rule-based environment where interactions are easier.


No matter what interests you have or what kind of person you are, Tango can open up a range of opportunities for you; to meet new people, look deeply inward and develop a new skill. It may seem elitist on the outside, but it is an inclusive dance that connects a variety of personalities and professionals from all over the world. If you are interested in learning to dance, or picking up where you left off, please get in touch today!