Strictly Not Tango

Written by Mike (Editor) on . Posted in Whats up


For fans of the TV programme, one of the most popular dances is Argentine Tango. However, according to one expert, the Tango featured is a choreography of movements that is most definitely not the real Argentine Tango.

Leonardo Acosta of the London Argentine Tango School, says,

“as a native Argentinian from Buenos Aires who has danced and taught the social Tango for over 45 years, the general public have been confused about the true nature of Argentine Tango. It is both a social dance and an art form  – improvised being the keyword and this improvisation, uses the tools and the technique of the Tango walk. 

Without wishing to offend anyone, the Argentine Tango is not, nor ever has been, part of the traditional Ballroom world and should not be treated as such.” 

Leo is not alone in his concern about the way that Argentine Tango is viewed in the media. There was outrage and derision on social media from the Tango community during the recent series, when one of the contestants was given the music of ‘Zorba the Greek’ to dance Argentine Tango to.

Leo went on to say,

“the Argentine Tango is a dance that is danced in a social context and is an improvisation between 2 people. This popular art form does not contain lifts or jumps. The Tango that is widely seen on TV or the stage is a skilful choreography where the dancers know exactly what step is coming next. It is a routine that is rehearsed. 

Spectacular choreography makes good TV entertainment and it is good that ‘Strictly’ has drawn the general public’s attention to Argentine Tango. However, in the authentic Tango, it is a conversation between 2 people that is equally skilful because it is improvised using lead and follow techniques. If you enjoy watching the beautiful routines on TV, imagine how much more amazing it is to dance with someone like that when it’s all created in the moment”. 

Leo is one of the founders of the London Argentine Tango School and has been teaching Argentine Tango in the UK since his arrival 14 years ago. During this time he has taught hundreds of people the authentic Tango and is the first UK professional Argentine Tango Teacher to have defined and written his own methodology, which he uses to train his students and his own Teachers.

For anyone interested in learning the real Argentine Tango, Leo holds weekly classes in Weybridge, Kingston and Balham, please see the web site for details.

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Comments (1)

  • Mike


    Many tango dancers will agree with you, Leo and Tracey. SCD has become a bit like the Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue game where the panel sing a song to the tune of another, except it’s dancing a dance to the music of another dance.

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