Ared rose between the teeth of an Argentine tango dancer is one of the most, if not the most iconic image associated with tango – yet mention it to any dancer and they’ll instantly laugh out loud and say, “yes, and in Paris, everyone’s walking around with a baguette under the arm and a beret on the head!” So how on Earth did this stereotype form when it doesn’t appear to be based on anything? This bugs many of us, so we decided to delve a bit deeper.


Rudolph Valentino?

The internet has an agglomeration of intellectual and frankly ridiculous answers to any question, so after sifting through some responses of: “having thorns in their mouth makes sure that they don’t want to kiss during the dance” and “where else would she put the rose whilst she was dancing?”, we finally stumbled upon some more likely answers. So, we aren’t sure this is the definite reason, but it could well be.

It was said that the first memorable appearance of the red rose in tango was in the 1920s, when Rudolph Valentino starred in a range of films and became famous for featuring it in his most recognised dances. Blood and Sand, released in 1924, starring Valentino as a bullfighter has a dance scene during which the lady involved puts a rose in her mouth. The dance what actually a Flamenco dance though. So why do we see it in tango?


See you soon on the dancefloor,
Nathalie and Emma

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