Words by Nneka Samuel
If any dance has earned the title of most sultry the world over, it’s the tango. With its sensual, elegant and passionate moves, tango entices more than just the eye. The alluring dance will be the center of attention on the streets of Old San Juan in the Puerto Rico Tango Festival come October 22. Fellow tangueros will unite for the 5 day event, led by maestros offering workshops in various historic venues. But you don’t have to be a festival participant in order to reap the rewards of the perfect milonga experience. Whether you’re a professional tanguero or are new to the game, read on for 5 reasons why the tango is good for your health.
Stress can be constant in the multi-tasking frenzy that is our modern lives. But thankfully, you can now add tango to your list of stress relievers. Various studies have shown that dancing the tango can not only alleviate stress but also symptoms of depression and other mood disorders like anxiety. According to a study by the University of New England in Australia, even tango music is proposed to generate positive emotions. Tango therapy has also been utilized to assist patients with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, improving motor skills and memory.
Posture and Balance
No more slouchy shoulders or droopy stances. An upright posture is essential to performing the perfect tango. Putting that stance into practice while dancing will not only make for a smoother, more beneficial experience on the dance floor, but off the dance floor as well. Tango can help minimize back, neck and shoulder pain. It just might have you standing a little taller and looking graceful no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
Most forms of cardiovascular exercise boost serotonin and release endorphins, but studies have also shown that dancing the tango can increase testosterone levels in men. That’s an instant recipe for a healthy, active love life.
Split second decisions, improvisation, concentration. All of this is required when doing the tango. These elements combine to keep both your body and your brain hard at work.
With tango being an improvisational dance, you become very aware of your movements. That awareness helps you to keep in tune with your partner. And whether you’re leading or being led, the skill and concentration needed to execute the dance, combined with the physical closeness and connectivity you share with your partner, can have you bringing sexy back. (And here you thought it was there all along.)
Photo Courtesy of Clarke’s Dance Studio