The Tango

Tango is more than a ballroom dance from South America, it is the most intimate of dances since the partners face each other, with eye contact. Tango represents seduction – the sexual dynamic of a relationship or progress of a love affair. There is both grace and passion in this dance. The music can be playful or somber – because love has its light and dark moments. Tango tells the story of love: of two individuals becoming one, or a couple parting after an affair.

The Tango Paradox

While Tango looks simple, it is really a complicated dance that requires sure footwork, balance and perfect communication between partners. Arthur Murray began teaching dance in 1912. The Tango begins with a frame between the partners – the frame demands a relaxed, but perfect posture. Good posture is the foundation of the Tango – it supports the leg movements, glides and pivots that form the dance.

Many Arthur Murray teachers have been professional dancers or ballroom dance competitors. We’ve learned the Tango at a high level, and show students how to perform the basic moves. We demonstrate how each step flows into the next, how to change rhythm, and most importantly how to support the partner. Yes, one partner leads and the other follows, but leader and follower must harmonize. Since Arthur Murray’s instructors have danced as students and professionals, we know how to help students become better dancer.

The History Of The Tango

Tango began in the mid-19th Century in Argentina. Immigrants came to work or live in Buenos Aires, and those who returned home brought the Tango with them. By the early 20th Century, the Tango had become popular in North America and Europe.

Since the Tango was a far more sexual dance than the Waltz, it received a great deal of criticism from the establishment. Ministers and the Vatican agreed that Tango was an immoral and disgusting dance, which probably made it even more popular. Doctors all over the world proclaimed that Tango caused cardiac disease and mental illness. Tango lovers ignored the warnings and signed up for lessons. Arthur Murray was one of the first Americans to give Tango lessons.

Golden Age Of Tango Lessons

The Argentine Tango reached its zenith from 1935 to 1955. In those days, parents taught their teenage children how to do the Tango. Mothers would teach their daughters, and fathers taught their sons. Once parents felt their child had mastered the Tango, they were allowed to attend Tango socials. Being a good dancer was the best way to meet the best partners, and perhaps a future husband or wife.

In 1955, Juan Peron was overthrown by the Argentinian army. He had supported and encouraged the Tango, so his successors banned the Tango, making it difficult to do the dance in clubs or dance halls. The Junta encouraged Rock and Roll, finding it far less subversive than the Tango. Arthur Murray and other dance studios helped keep the Tango alive from 1955 until 1973.

Although times have changed, Arthur Murray Dance Studios use many traditional Tango lessons. Like the home lessons in Argentina, students learn the Tango at a comfortable pace. They can take individual or group lessons, then attend dance socials on the weekends to practice their dancing. It’s just like Argentina in the 1930s and 40s where students rehearsed in their home, then attended parties to perfect their dancing.

The Arthur Murray Method

Since Tango is a dance of love, it should be taught in a supportive manner. Students will find such a positive environment at Arthur Murray Dance Studios. Instructors need excellent communication skills. If an instructor can’t make lessons enjoyable, then you will not find them teaching at Arthur Murray.

The lessons are structured around increasing skills. A beginner will take a basic dance course, then go on to the Bronze levels of their chosen dance. There are also classes for couples who want to learn a dance for a wedding reception. Professional dancers can get coaching for competitions. In other words, Arthur Murray Studios accommodate all ranges of dancers, from beginners to professionals. 

Why take Tango lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studios? Because the new dancer will receive the best training. Dance is a discipline as well as an art form.People learn more about their bodies, and gain confidence when they learn and master a dance, such as the Tango. They will understand how their body moves, and how to move in unity with a partner. Movement builds poise and confidence.

Tango shares a long history with Arthur Murray. He studied dance with Vernon and Irene Castle, then began giving dance lessons in 1912. His genius was in knowing how to adapt professional choreography so a novice dancer could learn it. Today, his studios have followed his principles, making people skills the essential part of their teaching program.

We welcome you to take an introductory Tango Course at Arthur Murray Dance Studios. By learning how to frame a dance, students become dancers. At weekly dance socials, they meet other dancers, refine their skills and build more of a social life. Beginners can build a social circle, while more experienced dancers can build a career. Book at a lesson at one of our Southern California studios today!


Long Beach

Costa Mesa


Lake Forest




Solana Beach

San Diego

Rancho Bernardo