Tango Dancing in Argentina
If you hear music playing, a crowd of people gathering around, and a little cheering going on, you can bet it’s a street corner tango dance! In Argentina, you can’t visit without seeing the tango somewhere a long the way! These people have got the moves! You’ll find it happening on the street corners, in the subways, and in restaurants. It’s as if the local’s emotions are expressed in dance!
We knew when we were visiting Argentina, that we would have to splurge and see a professional tango performance. A fancy dinner hall, beautiful women in extravagant dresses, and young peppy men waiting to get their feet a tappin’ sounded like too much fun to miss!
Professional Tango Show
There are so many places to choose from to see a live performance so it’s hard to know who is best. We chose a beautiful venue in Buenos Aires called Esquina Carlos Gardel. We purchased the tickets online at TangoTix.com for a professional tango performance that included dinner.
The dinner was delicious and we made friends with the others sharing our table with us. It was a really fancy night out. It was the perfect way to get a glimpse of the tango culture and music! The women had tons of makeup with gorgeous hair. They looked too beautiful to imagine they would be dancing their heart out! I can’t imagine trying to dance that fast in heels that big! It’s a lot of exercise not to mention not falling off those heels. They sure knew their way around the dance floor!
Buenos Aires is a beautiful city with tons to explore! We learned a lot about the culture in Argentina really quick when we tried to go purchase some bus tickets in the afternoon. The office was closed and said they didn’t open again until 4pm. We thought it was so weird!This is their schedule.
The customs for the work week are to work from around 7am-12 with a “siesta” from 12-4pm and finish work from 4pm-8pm. It seems like a very odd schedule to have such a big gap of time during the middle of the day but because it stays light outside for so long, the day seems like it is just ending at 8pm. Or for Argentinian’s, the night is just beginning!
The Tango Dance-Off
The tango is a very sociable dance so most often what we would refer to as a “dance-off’, occurs after working hours almost every night of the week! Friends or just groups of people will join in a dance and start the tango! A common place is in the subway train stations underground because the music has a nice echo. It seems like the locals could dance the night away every night! As a tourist, make your way down to the subways to catch some of this local entertainment.
The Argentine tango is very different from other types of tango around the world especially in the way they embrace. Where most tangos keep a distance within the dance embrace, these dancers are very close. It’s often considered a “sexual” dance because the dancers are so close together. Often the man will pick up the woman and carry her or dip her very low during parts of the dance. The sharp dance moves in tune with the music makes you feel like something big is going to happen!
Tango – the Heart of Cultural Argentina
The best part about the Tango in Argentina, is the role it plays in the culture. It holds a strong cultural tie to the people who live there. Some countries have a tradition that loses it’s place with the people due to modernizing or tourism. Argentina is still just as passionate about the Tango as they were years ago. Visiting a country that has a strong link to a cultural tradition is one of the highlights of traveling! It feels so genuine!
It seems both the young and the old play a very active role in the tango. The elderly are highly respected in the dance and the young people are encouraged to put their heart into it. The music is a lot slower and the dance reflects an adorable love story with two old people dancing around. The upbeat music streams for the young folks is very attracting and their dance is almost like a mating dance. It leaves the audience curious and interested to know the story of the dancers!
Take a Tango Lesson
If you are visiting Argentina and want to learn the tango, one of the best ways is to take a lesson. Often the hotel or hostel you stay in will offer a lesson for free in the evening. If not, there are fliers everywhere advertising lessons that go more in depth. There are free lessons as well as paid lessons depending on how much you want to learn. Learning from a local is a great way to get some new moves and even ask questions about the history of Tango in Argentina.
The Tango is not something to miss when in Argentina! Whether you visit a professional performance or scout the streets for some local improv tango, you won’t be disappointed! It is a fun and engaging dance that draws a crowd every time. You could see why as a local Argentine you would feel proud of your heritage that has such a deep cultural root intertwined in the country!