Tango at Jivebeat

15 May 2017 - by Graham

Those of you that have been coming to Sevenoaks recently will have found that we have thrown a couple of introductory Argentine Tango classes in with our regular modern jive sessions, and I have to say that they have been really successful and loads of fun to do. Last week I swear there was more tango being danced in the freestyle part of the evening than there was LeRoc! So now we're trying to work out a way to get this into the schedule on a more permanent basis.

So how will we do that? Well firstly, let me give you a bit of background. Argentine Tango is usually danced to traditional Argentine music like this or this. Now these tracks are fine and a lot of people swear by them, but we tend to feel that it's about time that tango met the modern music world. Because of this, we tend to primarily dance it to current blues music or some of the slower chart tracks. This keeps the character of the dance intact, but makes it much more accessible to people who prefer their music to be something you can hum. We use blues, chart, and even prog tracks in our classes, so our beginners' first introduction to Argentine Tango was dancing to Skin (Rag & Bone Man), or Waitin' For The Light (Poppa Chubby). And this - to us - makes much more sense. I mean what sort of music are you likely to come across at a party or at a general dance? Francisco Canaro? Or any modern blues track or slow ballad? Tango should be accessible and relevant, and whilst I love putting on a freshly pressed suit and dancing to the older traditional tracks with the lights down low, I also love dancing the tango to whatever the DJ happens to be playing at the moment.

But how does this help us get tango into our normal schedule?

Well firstly it means that anything we teach in the tango class can be easily danced to much of the music that we play in the LeRoc freestyle part of the evening. Tango and LeRoc can co-exist on the same dance floor, and other than a bit of floorcraft to make sure the travelling tangoistas don't dance into the static LeRocers there is very little to stop us hosting both at the same time. The teaching part is a little more tricky though, as I can't teach tango during the freestyle as no-one would hear me, and I don't want to have a chunk of the evening where LeRoc can't be danced (that is the point of Jivebeat after all).

So for now we'll run occasional classes when they fit in without getting in the way of anything else, but we will work out a schedule that makes sense as soon as possible and get tango into the diary.

Posted by: Graham   Permalink: link   Keywords: Tango  Blues  

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