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Tango Prohibido Delaware Argentine Tango

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  • Ask for: Abby Millager
    71 Willow Creek Ln
    Newark, Delaware 19711
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 Argentine Tango: The Human Connection We Need Right Now

 

The exact origins of tango are uncertain. In the late 1800s, the dance and music developed together in the social cauldrons of port cities Montevideo, Uruguay and Buenos Aires, Argentina. There, fortune-seeking immigrants from all over Europe rubbed shoulders with native South Americans, Spanish settlers, sailors from places like Cuba, and African former slaves. Most of the people flooding into these cities were men, so competition for women was fierce. It was in this desperate environment that the tango was born as a salve for loneliness and a vehicle for nostalgia.

 

When tango hit Europe, it caused a sensation. Eventually, in the early 1920s it was standardized and sanitized for American and European ballroom exhibitions and competitions. For the past hundred years, these versions of tango developed separately and bear little resemblance to Argentine tango or its music, which went on to be refined in the salons of Argentina.

 

One key difference is that rather than focusing outward toward an audience, Argentine tango dancers concentrate on their partners and on the music. Dancers are free to follow the bass line, the melody line, or any of the instruments, pausing whenever they wish. There is no set footwork pattern — the dance is entirely improvised based on certain principles. Once learned, the system is very powerful and allows dancers extreme freedom to dance however they like, to any music.

 

With its intense human connection and emphasis on musicality, this distinctive style of dance is both beautiful and habit-forming. Furthermore, as an exercise for the mind and the body, Argentine tango has been proven to provide physical and mental health benefits for depression, Parkinson’s, PTSD, and age-related mental decline. Given its origins in a time of public stress, Argentine tango could be just the remedy we need to move past our own recent traumas.

 

 

About Us

 

Abby Millager and André Baarsma have been Argentine tango partners for 12 years. We have trained hard, attending classes and milongas and working intensively with materials collected from numerous multi-day seminars with Argentine tango masters from all over the world.

 

We believe strongly in the traditions of the dance and its culture. At the same time, one of the great strengths of this dance is its adaptability and we enjoy experimenting with all kinds of music. In fact, we’re pretty sure that challenging ourselves musically improves our dancing skills. (We’ve even been complimented on our awesome “bachata.”)

 

As instructors, we are very technique-oriented. This is by necessity: without the correct technique, this dance simply does not work. Our primary goal is to give you the basic tools to enjoy an Argentine tango social dance (aka milonga). This means we are actually teaching three tango-related dances: salon tango, tango vals, and milonga. (Yes, confusingly, milonga means a tango social dance but is also the name of another dance.) Note that stage tango is an advanced form based on the same fundamentals as salon tango. Ultimately, we hope you will be able to understand how tango works well enough to learn more on your own.

 


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