OUT to Dance offers Latin ballroom and tango dance classes at West
Roxbury School of Dance:
Ballroom tango is the most foolproof, easy to learn style of tango. This is the style of tango you'll dance when you're out dancing at an event where the dj plays a variety of music. This style of tango is learner-friendly, and it's handy to know, since there are many current pop tunes that are great for dancing ballroom tango. Argentine tango is very different, with irregular tempos and specific music, and requires a genuine investment of months and years to learn to do it well.
Ballroom tango, divided in recent decades into
the "International" (English) and "American" styles, has descended from the tango styles that developed when
the tango first became popular and went from Argentina to Europe and America. The dance was
simplified, adapted to the preferences of dancers, and incorporated
into the repertoire used in International Ballroom dance competitions.
English Tango was first codified in October 1922, when it was
proposed that it should only be danced to modern tunes, ideally
at 30 bars per minute (i.e. 120 beats per minute - assuming a
Subsequently the English Tango evolved mainly into a style used
in competitive dancesport, not in social settings, while the American
Tango evolved as an unjudged social dance with an emphasis on
leading and following skills. This has led to some principal distinctions
in basic technique and style. Nevertheless there are a few competitions
held in the American style, and of course mutual borrowing of
technique and dance patterns happens all the time.
At OUT to Dance we offer the social ballroom style tango known
as "American", the style most widely danced at social
dance events, not the style used in dance competition.
History of Tango
The dance originated in lower-class districts of Buenos Aires,
during the late 19th century. The music derived from the fusion
of music from Europe, the South American Milonga, and African
rhythms. The word Tango seems to have first been used in connection
with the dance in the 1890s. Initially it was just one of the
many dances, but it soon became popular throughout society, as
theatres and street barrel organs spread it from the suburbs to
the working-class slums, which were packed with hundreds of thousands
of European immigrants.
Tango postcard, c. 1919: In the early years of the twentieth
century, dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires travelled to
Europe, and the first European tango craze took place in Paris,
soon followed by London, Berlin, and other capitals. Towards the
end of 1913 it hit New York in the USA, and Finland.
In Argentina, the onset in 1929 of the Great Depression, and
restrictions introduced after the overthrow of the Hipólito
Yrigoyen government in 1930 caused Tango to decline. Its fortunes
were reversed as tango again became widely fashionable and a matter
of national pride under the government of Juan Perón. Tango
declined again in the 1950s with economic depression and as the
military dictatorships banned public gatherings, followed by the
popularity of Rock and Roll. The dance lived on in smaller venues
until its revival in the 1980s following the opening in Paris
of the show Tango Argentino and the Broadway musical Forever Tango.
"I had more fun in your tango class than I
ever thought imaginable. Wow, your class is deeply addictive,
and after trying unsuccessfully with other instructors, you finally
got me confident and dancing. Thank you, Liz!."
Julia P., Newton, MA
When joining our tango dance classes or private dance lessons,
note that our OUT to Dance studio locations, West Roxbury and Roslindale, MA,
are within twenty minutes of downtown Boston, Dorchester, Jamaica
Plain, Hyde Park, Brighton, Allston, Brookline, Newton, Chestnut
Hill, Dedham, Norwood, Needham, Westwood, Milton and Quincy; and
within 25 to 35 minutes of Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Wellesley,
Natick, Waltham, Braintree, Brockton, Stoughton, Canton, Foxboro,
Weymouth and surrounding towns. We are also less than an hour from Providence, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.