By Arthur Murray


The Tango is one of the most beautiful of all the dances. It is characterized by earthly and dramatic movements.



The Tango began in the West Indies and found its way to Argentina where it was stylized by the Gauchos. It became the rage in 1921 after the silent screen star Rudolph Valentino brought this romantic dance to millions in “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”. More recently, it has been danced in movies such as True Lies and Scent Of A Woman. Today, the Tango is considered the “dancer’s dance” and becomes favorite of all who learn it.



Tango music is usually written in 2/4 or 4/4 timing. The first teaching rhythm in tango is slow, slow, quick, quick, slow.



The hold in Tango is more compact than in other moving dances. The walk in Tango differs from walks in other dances in that is a staccato action obtained by delaying the follow through of the free leg and foot.


Teaching Elements:

  • Tango Basics                   Work on level progression
  • Dance Positions             Closed position for better lead and follow
  • Amalgamations              Linked patterns easily for smooth transitions
  • Control                             Learn to control momentum
  • Variety                              Build vocabulary of patterns of style, movement and adaptation
  • Footwork                          Develop foot coordination. Flares and Fans are exercises of balance in rotation
  • Compare/Contrast          Fox Trot, Argentine Tango, International Tango


Tango songs and artists include:

Hernando’s Hideaway – from “The Pajama Game”

Whatever Lola Wants – from “Damn Yankees”

La Cumparista – Julio Iglesias

Por Una Cabeza – from “Scent of a Woman”