This page exists because of the confusion between Argentine Tango as it's danced in Buenos Aires, Uruguay, and at milongas all over the world, and Argentine Tango (yes, the same name!) as a part of American Ballroom dancing. They're both called Argentine Tango...and yet they're very different and designed for very different audiences.
Cape Cod Tango focuses on true Argentine Tango dancing that is designed towards attending milongas -- a social event where tangueros and tangueras meet, mingle, and invite each other to dance in a fairly structured code. The lessons teach the importance of the Line of Dance (a constant circular motion around the dance floor), the connection between the leader and follower, form and technique, and the silent conversation that one has during a three or four song tanda. Little by little, the building blocks of a conversation are learned, and over time, this silent conversation becomes more complex. That is the sole focus of real Argentine Tango. Not what you see in television or the movies.
Real Argentine Tango is entirely improvisation, no regular partner required, and is done solely through the leader's subtle cues and the follower's intense focus on what those signals are. Milongueros are able to nod to a total stranger, melt into the dance floor, and dance for the very first time together without missing a beat or making a stumble. It's magical, intense, and for many, almost addicting, but at its core, it's just fancy walking, adorned at times, but walking and nothing more.
The easiest way to tell that you're NOT in a true Argentine Tango class is when the instructor begins by laying out a pattern of steps that you memorize with a required partner: first foot here, next foot there, 1, 2, 3, and so on...the leader and follower memorize the steps, and voila...you're dancing! There's nothing wrong with Ballroom (American/Salon) Tango, and it's lovely to watch and Dancing With The Stars is full of passionate tangos and wild moves. But they are two entirely different types of dance with very different goals. While those high kicks and fancy embellishments look nice on stage or at a wedding dance floor, they're impossible (even dangerous!) on a crowded milonga dance floor.
The ineffable magic of real Argentine Tango is that you can dance with a total stranger, someone you just met, someone you haven't even spoken to -- and if you've learned to lead and your partner's learned to follow (or vice versa!), it just works...and it looks so easy it's easy to forget that years of experience are needed before even simple things become possible.
Argentine Tango is for the patient. Come to the practicas and milongas to listen to the music and to socialize, and as your experience grows, little by little you'll find it easier to ask someone to dance. Eventually you'll find that you can confidently catch someone's eye, nod, and glide off into the line of dance in a silent conversation of your own.