The tango is a dramatic, passionate progressive dance which is danced to staccato, marching tango music. The music of the tango is reminiscent of the dance's origins in Buenos Aires and its roots in Argentine tango, combined with its European cultural influence. Tango is typically danced to a speed of 30-32 measures (90-96 beats) per minute.
Tango has a 4/4 time signature, which is common among all the ballroom and Latin dances with the exception of waltz. The tango would be counted as "1, 2, 3, 4", "1, 2, 3, 4" with a steady rhythm, similar to marching. When learning the tango, it is common to count the music in "slows" (2 beats) and "quicks" (1 beat), which makes it easier to put the patterns of the dance to the music. You might therefore count a pattern as "Slow, Quick, Quick" instead of "1, 2, 3, 4". This adds rhythmic variation to the dance, as not all steps will take up the same amount of time.
Tango is a popular dance at ballroom dance socials, ballroom dance competitions, and performances such as Dancing with the Stars. The romance and drama of the tango make it a special dance to learn, especially for a date night. A tango could be a unique, romantic dance for a wedding as well. Tango music may have originated in Buenos Aires, but modern songs can also be great for dancing tango.
When selecting a song to dance tango, finding music in a 4/4 time signature shouldn't be a challenge, as this is the most common time signature for songs. However, some songs are more suited to the character of the tango than others. The most distinguishing character of tango music is the marching rhythm with drumrolls.
To give one example of songs that are (and are not) appropriate for dancing the tango: the original version of the "Game of Thrones" theme song may sound suitably dramatic for the tango, but it has a 3/4 time signature, making it appropriate for a Viennese waltz but not a tango. It also lacks the characteristic staccato march and drumrolls of traditional tango music.
However, an artist named DJ Ice has reimagined the "Game of Thrones" theme song as a traditional-sounding tango with a 4/4 time signature, making this version perfect for dancing the tango at an event or during your practice. If you play both the original version and this version of the song, you may be able to hear the difference between the timing as well as the other musical differences. If you can't hear the differences yet, don't worry! Counting music is a surprisingly difficult skill, but our professional dance instructors can help teach you this skill and other nuances of musicality in person during your private lessons or group classes.
In the meantime, we've listed 10 of our favorite songs for dancing the tango below! All of these songs already have the correct time signature, speed, and character to dance the tango. We've assembled songs from different genres to show the versatility of the tango. If you have any more questions about the tango and what songs it can be danced to, please contact us at email@example.com - we're happy to help!
10 Songs You Can Tango To
"Libertango" - Astor Piazzolla
"Asi Se Baila El Tango" - Veronica Verdier
"Blue Tango" - Leroy Anderson
"Por Una Cabeza" - The Tango Project
"Tango 65" - Empress Orchestra
"Never Never Never" - Bodane
"Roxanne's Tango" - DJ Maksy
"You'll Never Tango" - John Powell
"Hernando's Hideaway" - Archie Bleyer
"Objection" - Vio Friedmann
Want more tango? DJ Ice Dancesport Music is known for remixing popular songs for ballroom and Latin dance. We have included his playlist for tango below. All of these songs should be relatively easy to count and have consistent timing, as they were designed especially for tango. (Click the icon in the top right corner of this video to open the full playlist.)
Click here to learn more about the tango, and how you can learn this dance at Areté Dance Center!
If you have any questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (408) 824-0074. Enjoy your dancing!