Tango is not only a fascinating dance but also a fascinating philosophy, culture and lifestyle. The search of tango is the search of connection, love, fellowship, unity, harmony and beauty, i.e., an idealism that is not consistent with the dehumanizing reality of the modern world. The world divides us into individuals, but tango unites us into a team, community and species. In tango we are not individualists, feminists, nationalists, Democrats, Republicans, etc., but interconnected and interdependent members of the human family. Tango calls us to tear down the walls, to build bridges, and to regain humanity through affinity, altruism, cooperation, and accommodation. It is a dance that teaches the world to love.

March 29, 2017

Revealing Her Beauty in Tango

The fact that more women dance tango than men may have something to do with their beauty. I don't think it's an accident that the high percentage of women who dance tango have elegant figures. Tango is well known for its fitness effect. It gives women an opportunity to display their beauty. Women's relying on their chest to receive the lead helps them form a tall and straight posture. And women's highly developed aesthetic sense certainly contributes to the beauty of this dance.

Because in tango women dance around men, they need to swivel their hips in order to step around men, resulting in a twisted body posture (TBP) that highlights the flexibility of their body. TBP is different from contra-body movement (CBM) in that CBM is turning the right side of the body towards a left moving leg or turning the left side of the body towards a right moving leg, both are frequently used in dancing. But in tango the woman also has to dissociate her upper and lower body, that is, turning her upper body without turning her lower body, or turning her lower body without turning her upper body, or combine dissociation with CBM - turning her upper body in one direction while swiveling her lower body in the opposite direction, which projects even more the suppleness of her body.

TBP occurs in the following scenarios:

While keeping her torso connected to the man, she swivels her hips to the left and stretches her right leg forward to the right side of the man.

While keeping her torso connected to the man, she swivels her hips to the right and stretches her left leg forward to the left side of the man.

While keeping her torso connected to the man, she swivels her hips to the right and stretches her right leg backward to the right side of the man.

While keeping her torso connected to the man, she swivels her hips to the left and stretches her left leg backward to the left side of the man.

These scenarios occur in many tango steps such as front ocho, back ocho, ocho cortado, rock turn, walking on the side of the partner, molinete, zigzag, enrosque, planeo, boleo, gancho, back sacada, etc. TBP is the reason why women's feminine beauty can be fully displayed in tango.

This gives us a clue on how to make her look stunning in the dance. For example, we can display the suppleness, pliancy and grace of her body by using steps that involve TBP and hip rotation. We can make her step to our right and left, frequent the change of direction, alternate front and back ochos, increase turns, use zigzag to make her rotate her hips continuously, stepping more to the side in back ocho to make her twist her body more, have her move forward with the back ocho, or move backward with the front ocho, combine different steps to increase the variety of her pose, suspend her TBP with slow motion, or pause when she is in a twisted body position to highlight her softness and curves, etc.

Keep in mind that women's body is much more pliable than ours and can do amazing things if we know how to lead them. But beware not to overdo, as tenderness, comfort and soulfulness are equally important to women. In fact, feminine beauty is shown more in small movements than in big movements that in some cultures women are taught to walk in tiny steps. In ancient China, for example, women's feet were wrapped from a very young age to prevent them from growing bigger so that they had to walk in that way. Women's wearing high heels serves the same purpose. In other words, we can reveal women's beauty regardless of how small the steps are, because that beauty lies in their femininity, and perhaps more so in small movements. That is why milonga, which is danced in smaller steps than tango, is so good at displaying the feminine beauty of women.

Therefore, dancing tango is not doing big ochos and big turns endlessly, which is a common delusion in American tango. Rather, it is using a combination of conspicuous and inconspicuous movements, big and small steps, fast and slow motions, fluxing and suspension, pause and pose, etc., to express the music and feelings. The number one reason why women love tango, I believe, is their sentimentalism. Tango is a soulful dance and women are particularly emotional, susceptible to intimations and capable of expressing feelings. Tango gives women an opportunity to release and express themselves. Feminine beauty, therefore, lies more in a woman's psyche than in her appearance. Relaxing her, letting her resonate with music, stirring up her feelings, letting her let herself go, and bringing out her inner beauty are the leader's most challenging and rewarding test. (See The Conceptional Beauty of Tango.)


  1. Wow...nust found your blog....amazing stuff. Thank-you Paul

  2. Hmm… ich halte es für sehr fragwürdig, dass es mit der Schönheit von Frauen zu tun hat, dass sie mehr Tango tanzen als Männer. Ist es nicht vielmehr so, dass insbesondere heutzutage generell mehr Frauen Spaß am Tanzen haben als Männer? Hinzu kommt, dass es für Männer wesentlich schwerer ist und es länger dauert, den Tango zu erlernen als für Frauen. Um die Situation auf den Milongas, wo regelmäßig viel mehr Frauen sind als Männer, zu „entschärfen“, lassen sich nun seit geraumer Zeit viele Frauen zum Leader ausbilden. Aus meiner Sicht ist dies jedoch keine Lösung, denn die meisten Frauen möchten tatsächlich nicht mit einer Frau tanzen sondern mit einem Mann, was auch nur natürlich ist (auch wenn viele das nicht wahrhaben oder zugeben mögen).
    Die "Fitnesswirkung im Tango" scheint für die Männer auch kein Anreiz zu sein, denn es gibt nicht gerade wenig unfitte, übergewichtige Tänzer, die in den Anfängen des Tangos wohl eher keine Chance bei den Damen gehabt hätten…