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Category: Dance

History of the Tango

I think that tango dancers often suffer somethings of an inferiority complex, burdened as they are with the filmic image of a couple dancing an incredibly stylised dance. They both stirde down the hall joined arms outstreched, her with a rose between her teeth. Of course, the real dance is nothing like that bastardised form of ballroom tango. A new website – The History of Tango – 150 years of Tango Dance and Music History – makes a good job of laying out the history of this interesting dance.

Admittedly, it’s text-heavy and picture-light, but the words are worth reading.

Social v Competitive Dancing

The Times has published an article that reminds me why I find social dancing so enjoyable and competition dancing so utterly ridiculous.

Have You Met My Twirlfriend? (Only accessible in the UK, unless you have a subscription)

The article is asking if dancing could ever be a popular TV sport. It points out, quite rightly, that it seems peculiar that it isn’t given that the participants tend to be young, attractive and very, very fit. The answer to this conundrum is buried in the depths of the article:

“I don’t like the dresses to be too sexy, too open,” says one Russian participant. “That,” he says, pointing to one plunging neckline, “is vulgar. Too much.” Later, a teacher points to a girl sporting a perfectly attractive quantity of midriff and shakes her head: “Look at that belly — hanging out everywhere. She’s not going to make it.”

The competition circuit remains mired in ridiculous codes of dress and appearance that owe nothing to modern fashion and which detract from the sensuality of performance. Social dancing, on the other hand, has none of this, leaving people to look good and feel good as they enjoy the movement and music.

competitive dancing could make an excellent TV sport, and encourage our increasingly obese population to get up and shake their booty, but it needs to let go of pointless anachronisms first.