A Tango Experience

Buenos Aries, Argentina


La Boca

La Boca

ARGENTINE TANGO evolved from the barrios; the streets of Argentina and Uruguay, where immigrants waited outside the whore houses, playing their music and singing their loss and yearning for their homeland. Men improvised and created steps by dancing with each other. This early dance was called a Milonga. A fast and energetic dance, with its roots in the rhythms of the African Condombe drums.

Bandoneon player in La Boca, Argentina

Bandoneon player in La Boca, Argentina

Many of these immigrants came from Africa or Europe bringing with them their music.  The German/Austrian instrument the piano accordion, later evolved to become the bandoneon and became the soul of tango. This unique instrument sounds like an accordion but without piano keys. Both sides have buttons to press and to achieve the breathing sound; they play the instrument with their legs. Composers use this instrument to express passion, sorrow and longing within tango. Here is an example of a tango song.

Tango song or poem.

Loves and kisses, friendships,

Rosy dreams and pretty faces,

There are plenty in this world, alas,

But I only have one mother,

And though I had forgotten her,

Life taught me in the end,

This is the love you return to.

But salon tango is danced socially in the dance halls which are often crowded with dancers, so the movements are contained and expressed mainly with dynamics and interplay of the feet.

Argentine Tango is based upon a walk, forward, back or sideways and with multiple permutations and changes in directions.Tango is an improvised dance form unlike that of normal traditional learnt sequences taught in ballroom studios.  Much later Argentine Tango made its way to Europe where it was introduced into the dance halls and became popular in Paris, accepted by the European elite and became a more refined form of dance, what is known today as Salon Tango.

Tango Returned to Buenos Aries and was made popular by Eva Peron and her friends, finally being accepted by Argentine’s elite society.

Many of you have probably seen Tango in movies or on TV with dancing with the stars.  These dances are artfully choreographed to create a specific feel or dynamic. We call this performance Tango and is also danced by guest teachers promoting their work, aiming to be spectacular. 

Art by Michael Falk

Art by Michael Falk

Danced in either an open embrace or a closed embrace, it is a dance of connection between two people, where two souls meet in the space between them, expressing the music, the rhythm and lyrical musical line.

The leader decides how he wishes to express the music and the follower waits to receive the subtle nuance for each movement and they take the step together, appearing to be moving as one.

Tango Noir  by Michael Falk

Tango Noir
by Michael Falk

Salon Tango teaches us to be present for each step and often appears as though little is happening, but it is in the silent communication between the two dancers and the feeling that occurs, that is important.

Argentine Tango is danced worldwide and the tango communities are open to include you where ever you travel. Milonga’s and practica’s are sourced online and very active sometimes in the smallest of cities or towns.  The world is your stage when dancing Argentine Tango.


Queensland has an active Tango community which includes Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and spreads to areas of Northern NSW. Byron Bay, Ballana and other towns around that area.

We gather together in Brisbane for various special occasions such as the Valentines Ball in February where guest teachers give lessons and perform at the Ball.

Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast & Byron Bay hold weekly events and practice sessions throughout the year with special events highlighting all gathering together. Go to the links page for more information. Guest teachers often visit from Argentina and conduct classes through the weekend.

Dancing Tango is available for everyone who has a desire and a passion to dance it. Based upon walking in various directions, it can be danced in a very simple way without difficult sequences or in a more complex way depending on your expertise. The connection between two people is the most important aspect of this dance and it is able to be achieved through simple movements. When this occurs, what is known as the “tango moment” becomes a very satisfying experience.

Tango is danced by all age groups and is not necessary to have a partner to learn this wonderful dance. At the “milongas” the more you work with different people, the better your Tango becomes.

I look forward to you joining me on the dance floor in the future and trust you will enjoy your tango experience.

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