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October 11, 2010


Styles again

While catching up on some blog feeds after a week and a half of internet-free life, I happened across TP’s post on styles in tango (more links in his comments to the post too). This reminded me of a question that I was asked a few times by followers during the Sydney Tango Salon festival: “What style do you dance?”

Now, while I have been greatly influenced in recent years by a number of teachers typically labelled as “salon”, I have also learnt a lot from other teachers of the “milonguero” style, in addition to the things that I have worked out myself. However if I was asked what style I dance now, my answer would be simply “social tango” (which incidentally is the original meaning of “tango de salon” which does not denote any particular style). Sure, I may adjust my arm position or hold slightly depending on someone’s height, build, my familiarity with the partner, the floor conditions, etc., etc., but fundamentally I will not change much in how I embrace, listen to the music, and respect the line of dance, etc.

Unless I am missing something here, does style really matter anyway? If we can find a good connection with another person, dance; if not, smile and look for another partner!

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  1. Mario Rinaldi
    Oct 17 2010

    yes, ‘social dance’ is the BIG distinction in Argentine Tango my opinion.
    ‘style’ comes into play as a marketing tool for ‘teachers’ who are mostly selling endless classes in stage performance dance techniques, most of which is useless on the social dance floor.

  2. Oct 17 2010

    Hi Mario,

    Thanks for the comment. I think labels are still useful to the extent that dancers intending to further their education can make better choices. Fortunately, over here people are either quite well informed of the requirements in social dancing, or the more responsible organisers can always be counted on to provide relevant information.

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