How Musically do I Dance?

When I quit dancing figures (“steps”) and learned to improvise, I learned musicality bit-by-bit, as listed below.  You might see what you do already and what else you might want to learn.  (Tango “musicality” has to do with feeling the rhythms – your interpretation is your own). 

  1. Hearing the rhythm of the music, when listening to a tango.
  2. Walking on the beat – exactly (mostly step on beat 1 and 3)
  3. Hear the Quick-Quick-Slow rhythms, when they occur, and step accordingly (not every time, but enough to be synchronizing with the music.)
  4. Noticing the “rhythmic silences” and pausing (men) or playing (women). These occur when the string bass player stops, or sometimes it’s the piano. See:
  5. Hearing the legato and staccato phrases and using movements which match.
  6. Hearing the variations in loudness and interpreting them.
  7. Hearing the syncopations (note-displacement type) and dancing them.
  8. Being aware of the violin (especially) solos, and dancing in half-tempo.
  9. Noticing the bandoneon flurries, and dancing in double-time.
  10.  Hearing the periodic “oomph” on the downbeat in De Caro, Pugliese, Calo  (and others) and pushing off energetically.
  11.  Hearing the “Habanera” rhythms (mostly in Milonga) and moving in sync with them.
  12.  Syncopating on beat 5 or 6 or 5½ in Vals – aware of the significance of each.
  13.  Hearing the key changes between major and minor in the chord progression and moving accordingly.