How to dance the tango (in cat gifs) – Part One

Posted on: January 23, 2015 in: Tango, Programmes>2016-17 Season>ÉMIGRÉ

In advance of our next CLoSer concert and FREE tango taster, To and From Buenos Aires on 25 February, we thought we’d put together a quick and easy guide to dancing this spectacular art form. In our research, we found out that the steps you’re supposed to use can be compared to the sneaking or stalking action of a cat.  So, we thought, what better way to create this guide, than to get actual cats to show you how its done?! (or cat gifs, to be exact). We also got some inspiration from Classic FM’s ‘History of Classical Music in Cat Gifs’ whose hilarity we are eternally grateful for.

The first thing to remember about tango is that it is an earthly and passionate dance. The dance should be full of drama…



love  passion

and excitement.


As any expert will tell you, the essence of tango is not something you do, but something you feel. The music really has to flow through you in order to grasp the rhythm and sultry of the dance, so get listening! You can listen to our tango playlist on Spotify here!

cat piano

As you will hear in the music, the tango revolves around a slow, steady four-count beat.


The tango is centred around the relationship of a man and a woman. It really does take two to tango, because the dance isn’t just about the man leading and the woman following. Both partners have important things to contribute to the dance – like any good conversation. It’s about teamwork.

team work

It is an improvisational dance (in fact, it was the first improvisational ballroom dance danced in Europe). So before you start, don’t forget that you don’t have to keep exactly to the rules!

improv ..

All great tango dancers work on their walk before they begin the steps. So before we go on to the exact movements needed to dance the tango in the next blog of this series, get practicing that stalking, sneaking cat-like walk.

sneaky kitten

Click here to read Part Two.

CLOSER: To and From Buenos Aires 

Wednesday 25 February 2015, 7:30pm
FREE tango taster from 6:45pm 
Village Underground, Shoreditch
Tickets £15 or £5 for students (pre-register at available from Spitalfields Music Box Office or via phone on 020 7377 1362.