If you speak to a tango dancer, they will more often than not refer to tango as their ‘passion’ – as opposed to it being a hobby or sport they enjoy. So what is it that makes people feel so passionate about tango?

Having done some research, we can reveal our top 12 findings:

1. Tango is emotional – tango involves two individual dancers meeting and expressing (and revealing) themselves to each other through using only their bodies. It’s not something you just do; it’s something you feel. Every move is personalised to self-express, putting your emotions on show. Some people use tango as an emotional release as opposed to a light hearted dance, making tango craved and addictive.
2. Tango is a personal journey – by learning tango, dancers learn to inhabit their skin and get used to their body. You get to know: your limits, your style, your strengths and your weaknesses. You start to use your body in a different way to the way you’re used to, therefore learning more about your body. Becoming more in touch and in control of your body and having more self-awareness can change your life drastically – unlike other sport activities; the results aren’t just during the class or short term – the effects will be far reaching.
3. Tango releases endorphins – ever been addicted to chocolate? You’ve experienced a time when you haven’t been hungry and your body is telling you ‘no’, but you really want some anyway? This is because chocolate is not just yummy, eating it does in fact release endorphins/happy chemicals in your brain; lifting your mood. Exercise also does this. You subconsciously know that if you eat chocolate or exercise then you will feel better. Tango does this too.
4. Tango is an escape – most people suffer from stress, whether because of a demanding job, a lack of job, a complicated relationship, and so on. So, we all need a way to combat stress; a way to escape for a few hours every now and then. Tango is a brilliant way of achieving this. Because it requires the full attention of the dancers, it leaves no space for worries: dancing in time with the music, in sync with your partner, getting the steps right, avoiding obstacles – the list seems endless. Dancers leave feeling fully refreshed and ready to face the world.
5. Tango is infinite – the masters from Buenos Aires say that it takes a life time and a half to learn tango. This means that there is always something to perfect, to enhance, to explore. It’s a passion one can never outgrow.
6. Tango is music – dancing is a means of self-expression; having something to work with helps this. Dancing to a piece of music is what links the two dancers (so they understand each other); it also frees emotions. Dancers engage emotionally with the music playing to know what message they wish to communicate with their movements. Tango music is beautiful as well, often it is the tango music itself that gets people involved in learning to dance tango in the first place. Connecting physically and emotionally with music is the closest we can get to something so beautiful. It’s satisfying for some people, others crave more, making tango a passion.

Check back tomorrow for our final 6 findings!

Emma Langschied