Tango isn’t the easiest dance to master. While the basics are simple enough to pick up and share a lot in common with other ballroom dance styles, the more daring moves and alternate styles can take much longer to perfect. Still, it can feel very rewarding when you bring those moves onto the dance floor and show everyone what you can do. To help you along your way, here are four tips that apply to every dancer and can make it much easier to put in your practice time.
Wear The Right Shoes
The right shoe can make a big impact on how you dance. Dancing is all about footwork, tango included, and it can be hard to be precise when you’re in a stiff pair of Oxford shoes or a narrow set of high heels that make it hard to balance. You don’t have to get a special set of tango shoes right away, but you should make sure your shoes are soft and flexible, slide a little, and have solid heels (whether they’re men’s or women’s).
Let The Music Guide You
Tango is a freeform dance that lets you switch from one move to another in just about any order you like. This means you have the freedom to change your routine whenever the mood hits you, at least while you’re leading. Take advantage of that and let the music guide your movements. Dancing of every sort is supposed to enhance the way you experience the music, so even if you can’t get a move just right you’ll always have more fun if you put the plan out of your mind and let the music guide your feet.
Tango is a popular dance style because the basic movements are simple: move one foot at a time and put your heel down first, just like you were walking normally. If your partner moves toward you, put your toe down first, which is also how you do it when you walk backwards. Don’t take big steps and don’t take small steps, just move naturally with your partner to the beat of the music and save your energy for the big moves.
Remember The Dancing Order
The reason dancers never run into each other on the dance floor is because they keep track of their surroundings and they keep moving in the same direction. For tango that means dancing counterclockwise from the center of the floor, with the more experienced dancers on the outside and the newer dancers making shorter circuits in the middle. Remember that you aren’t trying to overtake or pass anyone: the dancing pair in front of you should be the same at the beginning and end of every song.
Tango is a fun dance to pick up, and with a few basic tips and some weekly lessons you can enjoy the style for yourself. At Ultimate Tango, we’d love to introduce you to the joys of tango dancing. If you live in our area, be sure to sign up for a starting lesson today.