Beats

“Beats” are the pulses of tango music. Beats are generally present from the beginning to the end of a song. There is a milonguero saying that whatever (for example, adornos and fast steps) you are doing, it is OK as long as you are in sync with the beats.

For a beginner in tango dancing, it may not be easy to find the beats in tango music. The most important in developing this skill is to listen to tango music as much and often as possible.

Provided that this condition is met, one trick to improve the skill of dancing with beats is to develop the skill of making beats in your mind while listening to tango music. For example, “hearing” the beats from this song by Pugliese – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUSQtNHOgTI – can be difficult because there are silent moments as well as moments where beats are not emphasized. To dance in sync with the beats of this kind of a song, one has to develop an internal sense of beats which goes on in his/her mind independently of the presence or absense of the emphasis on the beats. This internal sense can be as simple as making tick sounds in one’s mind that go with the beats of a song. Whether the song is emphasizing the beats or not, the tick sound in one’s mind continues, at the speed of the beat of the song. Later, once the sense of tango beats has been internalized, this tick sound in one’s mind will not be needed.