Tango, once perfected, has to be one of the most beautiful things in this world – we think! When both partners move as one with the music, the intimacy and power of tango is captivating – both to be a part of and to watch. So how do tango dancers pull off such a levelled, grounded and intense performance? It all starts with tango posture.
1. To achieve this desired tango posture, you must first stand with your feet together, completely closed. If you have done ballet before and think you already have the perfect posture, still have a read, because it’s more different than it is similar to tango. So if your feet are turned out, close them so that they’re parallel and the inner sides of your feet are touching. This is the neutral stance in tango.
2. Unlike ballet, tango isn’t about being as light and lifted as possible. It’s actually the complete opposite: it’s not about fighting gravity, it’s about using it, and to that intent, we use two opposite forces to develop a grounded posture. On one hand, try to feel heavier than you usually are. Push your shoulders down without rounding them to ground yourself. Attempt to give your weight to the floor in order to feel a connection with it and to gain total control over your body. At the same time, stretch out your abdominal core muscles (that’s in the stomach area for those of you who instantly just glazed over reading that). Elongate your neck as well so that you feel as tall but as grounded as humanly possible. As a result, you should feel a downward force from your shoulder blades and an upward force from your core muscles.
3. Next, remember that your weight should always be on one leg, so release one leg from holding your weight. You should be able to lift this leg without moving. Keep both your feet closed and try to look as if your weight is still centred even though it in fact isn’t. To check if you’re doing this correctly, practice exchanging your weight from one leg to the other. There should be very little movement from the upper half of your body, and any movement from your legs should be minimal.
If you want to try our Argentine tango classes, you can have a look at our schedule and teaching methodology.
See you soon on the dancefloor
Nathalie and Emma