Argentine Tango: Tips for Beginners

So now you are ready for a deep dive into the world of Argentine Tango. It is not a simple set of movements to a tune: it is an atmosphere, history, traditions, and etiquette. In this article, you will find essentials of this beautiful dance that any beginner should know.

1. Where to begin learning?
Every Tango educational course starts from the Level 1 that serves as an introduction to the Tango and reveals the mystery of the dance as it is performed in Buenos Aires. You do not have to be an experienced dancer to start and succeed in learning. Level 1 gives you knowledge about the basic movements, postures, and connection with a dance partner.

2. When am I ready for the next level of education?
A good rule of a thumb is that usually student requires no more than three months to get through the beginner level. However, it is advisable to continue taking courses for beginners as it is a great way to deepen knowledge of the fundamentals and sharpen techniques and skills.

3. Is there a need for special shoes?
Beginners usually do not require special shoes but take into consideration that the best sole for tango footwear is made of:
• leather;
• suede;
• hard plastic.
Take into account that the shoes should be convenient to give you a possibility to turn easily on a ball of the foot. It means they should not stick to the floor; otherwise, you can traumatize yourself.
Women dance tango on heels (usually 1”- 4”), but you have to select the heel that is convenient to you. Of course, there are special dance shoes available in the specialized stores. So if you want to continue practicing in tango and attend the courses on the higher levels, then you can buy a pair of professional footwear.

4. What to wear for tango?
For class and práctica: it is preferable to wear clothes that don’t hinder movements. Women can wear streaming skirts or pants and men can choose jeans or loose pants. Shorts are not allowed for all.
For milonga: Women wear skirts with slits or clinging dresses with flared hems – actually any long dress that allows moving without impediment. Choice of men’s clothes stands upon the milonga: it has to be either a suit with a tie or slacks (jeans) with a shirt.

5. Is it necessary to search for a partner?
Usually, at dance classes, it is preferable to change partners, so there is no need to search for one. However, there are classes when it is a necessary option – these are advanced classes that polish your tango dance with a particular partner. So singles and couples can learn to dance on equal terms. More than that, it is a chance to find new interesting people who may become your friends in future.

6. What if I don’t want to change partners?
As you wish. Often couples choose this option and instructors simply do not ask them to change partners when the time comes for rotation. However, if you want to become a better dancer, rotation of partners is advised.

7. How to achieve better results?
As they say, practice makes perfect – the more you dance, the better. Attend classes and práctica consistently and when you are ready, participate in milongas (be prepared to become an observer for the most part on your first milongas – that is a great practice, too). Do not forget to listen to tango music, though not all tracks are appropriate for dancing, mind that.

8. What is a práctica?
A práctica is an informal event where dancers usually practice their tango skills – one may polish steps or figures and talk with a partner. Usually, tango schools hold prácticas once a week.

9. What is a milonga?
It is a formal event, dancers come there at its finest. Usually, 3-4 songs (such set is called tanda) intersperses with a cortina (set of non-tango music) when dancers have a possibility to communicate and find a new partner. Also, milonga is a name of a tango subclass. Tango schools hold milongas once a month.