Friday, August 01, 2008

Tango Therapy

My parents are not from this country. When I was a kid, they would often relay the experiences they had growing up in Argentina to me. Like many children whose parents came from another country, the influence of the homeland looms large. Argentinean culture is as familiar to me as is the culture of the United States. An aspect of Argentinean culture that has always interested me is tango. There is nothing more readily associated internationally with Argentina, well perhaps football, than tango. The thought of learning to dance tango has always been personally daunting. The movements involved are very complicated. Participants are required to execute many intricate steps while maintaining a fluidity and cohesiveness. When done well the end result is sublime. Now, however, there is another benefit to learning the dance apart from the pursuit of radiant artistry. Empirical evidence actually demonstrates that dancing tango can improve one’s memory and alleviate depression. Individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease have also shown an improvement in their functionality as a result of consistent practice. If you have it in mind to be able to dance tango well you had better get started sooner rather than later. Those who have devoted their lives in trying to master tango are fond of saying that it takes a lifetime and a half to dance it well. The Austin Public Library has several resources available to get you started.


PRI’s The World

Shall We Dance?

Tango Therapy May Aid Parkinson's

Tango in Austin:

Austin Tango Calendar

Esquina Tango


Tango : creation of a cultural icon

Long after midnight at the Niño Bien : a Yanqui's missteps in Argentina

Tango : the art history of love

Tango : discusión y clave


Tango! : the dance, the song, the story

Video Instruction:

The tango fundamentals. volume 1 [videorecording] : basic elements

The tango fundamentals. volume 2 [videorecording] : basic caminadas

Tango fundamentals. volume 3 [videorecording] : basic giros

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