Improve your social competence by learning how to dance Argentine Tango

Improve your social competence by learning how to dance Argentine Tango

If you don´t know anything about Argentine Tango apart of the tons of clichés which many people have in their minds, you really might ask yourself “What the heck is that guy talking about?”

Just give me a minute and I will explain.

Maybe you know Argentine Tango only from movies where obscure figures on dim lighted dance floors do strange movements, chewing wagon loads of roses. Maybe you made up your judgement about Argentine Tango having seen ballroom dance competitions, frozen smiles, rigid moves, heads twisting unnaturally with every movement…

Could be you went to an  Argentine Tango Show, spectacular, technically brillant sensual and maybe most impressive.

Argentine Tango can be spectacular. Yet you can also improve your social competence by learning how to dance Argentine Tango

Argentine Tango can be spectacular. Yet you can also improve your social competence by learning how to dance Argentine Tango

Yet, what has all this to do with social competence?

To answer this questions we have to go back to the origins of Argentine Tango.

Argentine Tango or maybe better Tango from the Rio de la Plata, started in Buenos Aires and Montevideo at the end of the 19th century. Immigrants from all over the world came to the Rio della Plata hoping for a better live. At the same time native Argentineans from the countryside came to Buenos Aires and Montevideo as well. They had lost their jobs on the big haciendas, the kingdom size cattle farms, and were trying to find work in the big cities. As both groups competed for jobs, housing and often mere survival tensions were inevitable. On the other hand the clash of the cultures was the cradle of one of the most successful music styles and dances, the  Argentine Tango.

Argentine Tango in its beginning was (and still is) a social dance, at that time danced mainly by the ordinary people, craftsmen, workers, small merchants…

Argentine Tango was danced a little differently in the different quarters but in order to dance together all the dancers had to agree upon one common code.

One crucial part of this code, which is still valid among real good Argentine Tango dancers, was the respect for each other.

Argentine Tango is a social dance. Real Argentine Tango dancers respect each other on the dance floor.

Argentine Tango is a social dance. Real Argentine Tango dancers respect each other on the dance floor.

Though of course there have been always more and less talented dancers, the most important thing among milongueros (the Argentine name for Tango dancers) was by no means showing off, demonstrating what a hell of a dancer somebody was.

More important by far was to dance Argentine Tango together in harmony in the “ronda” the round of all the dancers. No one would intentionally dare to disturb the dance of the others, let alone kicking or pushing them. If you wanted to be a great dancer you had to find strategies to dance better while remaining in the harmony of the “ronda”.

Argentine Tango dancers had to develop the mindset to move on with the flow of the music, in harmony with everybody else, instead of fighting each other for every little patch of the dance floor.  Given the fact that dancing Argentine Tango was not simply a pastime but a complete lifestyle this meant in consequence that they developed strong social competence. One aspect we certainly can learn from.

In this article I can not go more into detail. Yet I have to say that I myself experienced that the mindset I have developed dancing Argentine Tango helps me a lot, be it in business or everyday life. I strongly recommend you to give it a try. Find out how  to improve your social competence by learning how to dance real Argentine Tango.

Improve your ability to make right decisions quickly by learning how to dance Argentine Tango.

Argentine Tango is fun. Yet Argentine Tango also can help you to improve your personality. Read more about Argentine Tango and self improvement.

How to improve your ability to make right decisions quickly by learning how to dance Argentine Tango

About Wolfgang Sandt

Mostly nice, patient, humorous, ecoconscious, good tango dancer and tango teacher
This entry was posted in My Tango lessons and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Improve your social competence by learning how to dance Argentine Tango

  1. zentango says:

    well written article !

  2. rogaia says:

    Hello Martin,
    I read the article you are referring to and have to say that it is not very helpful if you really want to learn how to dance.
    To participate in one free lesson might give you a glimpse of what a particular dance can be but doesn´t make you a dancer unless you are a natural born dancing genius. I don´t think it´s not ethical but it doesn´t help you much in the end.
    Taking advice from a friend may be helpful if your friend knows already how to dance and it is happening all the time among dancers. Yet how did your friend learn how to dance? By learning from a friend? And this friend, again learning from a friend? And so on…
    This can work only in places with a consistent culture of dancing of one or several dances. Even then, as the example of Argentine Tango shows (and this is also my own personal experience as dancer and dance instructor), there are at least sometimes lessons necessary if you want to become a better dancer.

    Learning by YouTube videos is no realistic option. Watching a video it is hard enough to understand what dancers are exactly doing and HOW they do it if you know the dance they are performing. It is almost impossible to analyze it if you have no clue about a dance.
    You can buy an instructional video but than again you pay for the lessons given there.
    Learning from a video alone however has not the benefit of having an experienced teacher who is correcting you properly. Very often (not to say all the time which would be more realistic)your self perception is different from your realistic dancing abilities.
    Please understand me right. I don´t say it is impossible to learn on your own but unless you are among the happy few who have the natural genius, plus a profound understanding of the mechanics of your body plus the will to challenge yourself permanently it is much harder and definitely more time consuming.
    You write (…If you really want to learn how to dance, then the only thing you should invest into it is your time…)
    You have surely noticed that I don´t agree with this. I´d rather say: If you really want to learn to dance you should look for a dance instructor who teaches you the basics well (and I am not talking about the so called basic step at least if you want to learn Argentine Tango) and corrects you regularly, if your time is of any value to yourself.
    You will learn much faster this way.
    It is of course very important to practice a lot on the dance floor and it doesn´t make sense to go for tons of new “figures” unless you can move nicely in harmony with the music, your partner and the other dancers.
    But rather sooner than later you will notice If you “really want to learn how to dance” you will need a good instructor.

  3. Martin White says:

    Hey and thank you for this article!

    There are indeed many different ways of learning how to dance, but my question is: why pay for them? If you really want to learn how to dance, then the only thing you should invest into it is your time.

    I honestly recommend you to think about this matter for a bit to come to your own opinion. I also add an article, which talks about the easy ways how to learn dancing for free in the 21 Century.

    Seriously, read this here: http://fr.ee/article/how-to-get-free-dance-lessons

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