Used by Permission and adapted from the Dance Vision International Dance Association - American Style Smooth Bronze Manual (MASB01) 2006. www.dancevision.com

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Ballroom Dance Info

Dance Goals

Ballroom & Social Dance


Tango arose from the slums and brothels of Buenos Aires in the 1800's as a blend of differing cultural rhythms and steps.  It was shunned by the respectable classes, just like Waltz, as too passionate and controversial.  Tango became the rage in the United States just before World War I, as danced by Vernon and Irene Castle.  Both Rudolph Valentino and Groucho Marx did their versions of the Tango in early films.

Dance Characteristics: 

Its close hold, low center of gravity, stealthy cat-like staccato feel is unmistakable, along with the highly recognizable musical style.

Musical Information:

Time Signature: 4/4 or 2/4
Tempo: 30 - 32 mpm (120 - 128 bpm)
Count: SSQQS and QQS QQS plus others
Beat Value: 2-2-1-1-2 and 1-1-2 1-1-2
Alternate TeachingCounts: SSQQS as 12-34-5-6-78, or Walk, Walk, Tango Close 


Forward and Promenade Walks: Heel
Backward Walks: Ball Heel

Drags:  Inside edge of Ball (for example, last step of a Tango Close)


Technical Tips:

Tango has no rise and fall or sway, and movement must be supported by your core muscle group.  Maintain the same height throughout the dance.  Walks generally curve to the left with CBM and CBMP, and the lifting of the foot slightly off the floor and then placing it in position.  Move forward quickly on the Slow and wait to create the staccato appearance.

Some of My Favorite Tango Songs:

1. "Hernando's Hideaway" by Nilla Pizzi on 16 Tanghi Cantati
2. "Santa Maria" by Prandi on Rimini Open 6 - Balls of Fire Ita
3. "La Cumparsita" by Goldstar on Goldstar Ballroom Tango

Bronze Syllabus Figures:

1a. Straight Basic 
b. Curving Basic
2a. Promenade Turning Left 
2b. Prom Turning Right
3a. Single Corte'
3b. Double Corte'
4. Progressive Rocks
5a. Open Fan
5b. Open Fan with Underarm Turn
6. Running Steps
7. Checked Promenade
8a. Reverse Turn 
8b. Reverse Turn with Outside Swivel
9. Right Side Fans
10. Contra Rocks
11. Continuous Left Rock Turn
12. Twist Turn to the Right
13. Check and Corte'
14. Promenade Pivot
15. Oversway 

Variations for Social Dancing:

Tango is unique so no other smooth dance figures are used as variations.