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.
With its emphasis on human connection and rich musicality, this distinctive system 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, age-related mental decline and more. Given its origins at a time of public duress, tango might just be the remedy to help us move past our own recent traumas.