What is Argentine Tango?

There are many ways to answer this question. Here are a few approaches:

Argentine Tango is a partnered social dance, with the couple dancing embraced. Unlike "ballroom" style dances, which tend to be more structured, social tango is improvised, with every step being a spontaneous discovery in the moment, as the partners focus on their connections to each other and to the music.

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Danial Trenner once explained at a workshop here in Portland that while most dances are defined by specific step patterns and/or rhythm structures, Tango, though it is generally confined to "regular" rhythms, has an infinite variety of step patterns. The thing that defines the dance as "tango" is not the steps, but the "manner" or the "way" that the steps are danced. The "connection" mentioned above is not so much a result of anything in the dance as it is a requirement. In order to do a dance where every step is spontaneously improvised, both partners must be paying full attention to each other. This creates the connection that is by its nature very sensual, unlike anything else in the dance world.

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Read what Portland's world-famous Tango legend Alex Krebs has to say about it on his website.

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Vladimir Estrin of tangoAficionado.com has written a very nice piece on his homepage titled, "Tango is more than just a dance!" Do check it out.

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Susana Domingues in Vancouver, BC has a wonderful website with a great description of the history of tango to help you put it all into a historical context.

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Christine Denniston in the UK has an even more in-depth history of Argentine Tango on her incredible website documenting 150 years of tango history.

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Read what Portland tanguero Jay Rabe has to say about it on his website.

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