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History of Tango

Tango's history is one of the most fascinating of all the social dances. Originating in Spain or Morocco, the Tango was introduced to the New World by Spanish settlers, eventually returning to Spain with Black and Creole influences.

In the early 19th Century, the Tango was a solo dance performed by a woman. The Adualisian Tango was later done by one or two couples walking together using castanets... and was considered immoral.

The dance we recognize today as Ballroom Tango originated in the "Barria de Las Ranas", a Buenos Aires ghetto. Originally it was called "Baile con corte" (dance with a rest.)
Tango oral history has it that Argentina's gauchos, wearing chaps that had hardened from the foam and sweat of their horse's body, generally were forced to walk with knees flexed. They would go to crowded nightclubs and ask the local girls to dance. Since the gaucho hadn't showered, the lady would dance in the crook of the man's right arm holding her head back. Her right hand was held low on his left hip, close to his pocket looking for a payment for dancing with him! (The man danced in a curving fashion because the floor was small and littered with round tables, which he danced around and between.)

Tango - Page 2
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