An important resource as timeless and classic as the Argentine tango itself
Read the Gotta Tango blog, HERE
About the Book and DVD
Gotta Tango is a superior instructional package for learning how to dance the authentic Argentine tango at a social level. Master teachers Alberto Paz and Valorie Hart take you on a journey through the rich culture, history, and music of Buenos Aires that inspired the romantic passion, alluring creativity, and natural elegance of the Argentine tango dance. You will learn the fundamentals and roles each partner plays in this exhilarating and intimate social dance.
The book describes, illustrates, and explains the fundamental concepts and techniques, while the DVD visually demonstrates real dance situations with a partner. This combination provides tango lessons that are infinitely more effective than a stand-alone book or video product—and will have you dancing with confidence in less time than you thought possible.
Each tango dancer has a unique way of expressing movements. Gotta Tango offers a logical, structured approach that will help you learn quickly how to move spontaneously with a partner and with the music. It provides the tools you will use every day as a tango dancer as you immerse yourself in the experience, pleasure, and addiction of dancing the Argentine tango.
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About the Authors
Alberto Paz and Valorie Hart combine their passion for and profound understanding of the tango with their unparalleled skill as teachers, their maturity as dancers, and their full time dedication and generosity to technical excellence regardless of favorite styles and musical preferences.
Their workshops involve moderate hard work. People are encouraged not to shy away from any workshop on account of a personal or someone else’s perception of your level of expertise. The experience of being in the hands of masters is complete and inspiring and worth everything you put into it.
The method they employ fosters progressive equalization in a genuinely caring environment intended to make the dancer feel welcome, relaxed and even smile, but also challenge him/her to build confidence in his/her ability to learn and progress, in each and every workshop.
Paz and Hart are the authors of the best seller book GOTTA TANGO, an important resource that offers a logical and structured approach to the art of tango improvisation.
Table of Contents
Part I: The Intrigue of the Tango
Chapter 1 The Everlasting Tango
Chapter 2 Tango and Nothing Else
Part II: How to Dance the Argentine Tango
Chapter 3 It Takes You to Tango
Chapter 4 To Hug or Not to Hug
Chapter 5 Getting Along in a Circle of Trust
Chapter 6 What Goes Around Comes Around
Chapter 7 A Sleight of Legs
Chapter 8 Tangled Up? Just Tango On
Part III: Doing Argentine Tango on Your Own
Chapter 9 Fancy Dancing on a Crowded Floor
Chapter 10 Beyond the Social Milie
GOTTA TANGO has been on the top 10 positions at Amazon Best Sellers List since its introduction 2007.
To celebrate this amazing success, we have released a Special Author's Edition
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I bought the book 'GOTTA TANGO' written by you. It's the book that better explains in geat detail everything that has to do with the art of Tango. I was impressed with the quality of the materials contained in this book. Congratulations. Keep up the good work that everyone enjoys reading all about your knowledge and experience of the tango.
Dear Alberto & Valorie,
I began Argentine Tango lessons at the Sondra Cameron Studio in New York City 21 months ago, and I am among the many whose life has been revolutionized by this art. Two weeks ago I purchased your book "Gotta Tango", and you have opened even more enjoyment and fascination.
In particular I like your website of Lyrics and English translation, with the classic recordings accessible with Quicktime. Wonderful. All the best.
Hi Alberto and Valorie. I am now well into chapter three of the book and in combination with the video, am now much better informed about the Tango. I now have a clearer picture and have learned more in the past four weeks than I ever did in the past two years of part-time workshops etc. I am so pleased with the results that I am recommending Gotta Tango to all my friends here in,Ireland. Thank you both for putting me right on track. I look forward to every milonga event with great gusto now. Best wishes and happy dancing.
(Q) I haven't bought your book but reading the reviews of your book you sent, I've become curious:
(A) Thank you very much for your interest.
(Q) Did you find that the lead-follow paradigm was limiting in some way that was reflected in the students?
(A) Not only limiting but conveying the mistaken belief that tango can be learned as if it was the eleventh dance of the ballroom circuit. The organic essence of the Argentine tango is its improvisational nature. It can't be a lead and follow dance by virtue of the embrace where there is only one engine that moves the couple at once. We have to emphasize here that we're talking about improvisation, moving on the spur of the movement for whatever reasons dictated by the music, the mood and the conditions of the dance floor. When the man moves, the woman's upper body in his embrace comes with him NOW, not after she's figured out the 'lead' and decided on what to do to how 'follow.' In this authentic and traditional form of the Argentine tango, the woman is taught to carry her weight always on her forward leg, the one closer to the man at the beginning of every step. A 'follower' in turn carries her weight on her rear leg so she can have leverage to follow, i.e to energize her free leg to move (have you seen how many good 'followers' stick out their butts for that reason?).
(Q) Like anything else, lead-follow is a label and it can mean different things to different people and so I know how it COULD be limiting but at the same time I haven't seen it limit people in that way.
(A) Yes labels don't really mean anything. When people think that 'marcando' is the same as leading, they don't understand the dynamics of the embrace, the use of the points of contact, and the set of techniques available to improvise with anybody, anywhere. They're learning sets of steps (basic, fancy, tricky, cool, etc.) that leads to obsession with taking classes and more classes from a wide variety of step dispensers. In many cases the steps are used to dance to every possible kind of music but tango. Learning how to dance under a properly structured program sends people to the dance floor in a reasonable amount of time, and classes are no longer the obsession but the dance it is (think Buenos Aires if you can, where the great majority of regulars at the milongas have not taken a class in years).
(Q) I guess what I'm saying is that I use the lead-follow paradigm to communicate the same principles you communicate through your partnership paradigm and thus what I'm asking would be: what made you feel that the partnership paradigm is MORE useful?
(A) Our own personal experience and results. Over the last ten years we have sent to the dance floor, - Men who know how to embrace for a purpose rather than for fads. - Who know the trajectories available on a dance floor, and are capable of protecting their partners while dancing around the floor using the code to make their partners dance around them. - Men, who after learning how to dance enjoy their time dancing instead of taking class after class ad infinitum. But when they do take a class, they are fully trained to know how to take a class. - Women who understand the concept of always dancing with the axis closer to the man, so their bodies always have a 360 degrees range for rotation if needed. - Women who feel comfortable in their bodies and allow their bodies to go along in the embrace, with the support leg firmly on axis and the free leg free to decorate if they wish to do so while it travels to receive the weight change at the end of the 'step.'
TERRY - Compact, informative and fun, this integrated digital and print textbook should be "required reading" for all students of Argentine Tango. It is not another coffee-table Tango book. Myth-busters Paz and Hart concentrate the founding history, culture and traditions of the Tango in the initial chapters. They follow this with clear and concise explanations of all the core movements; the text integrates seamlessly with the DVD chapters. All material is representative of the essential elements of Tango covered in some of the most expensive and exclusive classes around the world. Unlike many other "master" teachers, this American-Argentine duo clarifies every term and movement with precision and elegance. Both novice and expert have much to learn from "Gotta Tango".
DUBRAVKO - After more than three years of being involved in tango and after having been around Valorie and Alberto many times, both in classes, lessons, and workshops as well as at a dinner table or just standing at the edge of dance floor BS-ing, or singing along with a tango karaoke, I was naturally drawn to their book Gotta Tango.
And I did what I was not supposed to do (they say to use the DVD as an accompaniment to the book - not alone or the other way around) - I put the DVD in the player and started going through the chapters. Good stuff, I said. But, something was missing. Then I said, well, perhaps I should follow the advice and turn to the book. So, this morning, I got up early, carefully prepared myself, made a good cup of coffee, lit incense, candles burning (it was still dark outside when I started) and set out to read the book on this perfect, rainy Thanksgiving morning. Well, let me tell you. I just finished the introduction and it transported me back into the magic of the magic called tango.
Now I can not wait to continue reading; although, I know that this is the book you do not read and read and read - you study, study, and study it. I have taken enough classes and lessons with Alberto and Valorie and plan to take more to know the depth and the breath of their knowledge as well as their ability and willingness to transfer that knowledge to those who really want to learn. And, as they say in the book (and that applies to their workshops and classes as well),
"We assume you are an adult, and we'll treat you that way. If you have come to disagree with us, you will do so. If you come with openness and listen to what we say, you will learn how to dance using the fundamentals of the Argentine tango."
If I appear to endorse "Gotta Tango," so be it, I plead guilty! And why not? If the thing is real and good, I will say so. At this point in my life I have learned, I hope, that every medal has (at least) two sides and I make the decision to which side to pay attention and which one(s) to ignore. I choose positive.
JESSICA - I attended a book signing Sunday evening for Valorie Hart and Alberto Paz' new book "Gotta Tango" at the Garden District home of Barbara and Edwin Beckman in New Orleans. The hardy souls who braved the worst, wettest weather we have seen in New Orleans in quite a while were rewarded with readings by the authors, live tango music, played in piano rendition by Amassa Miller, the well known New Orleans musician, and a warm and friendly gathering of tango dancers and supporters from New Orleans and beyond.
Alberto read first from the foreword of the book, written by Acho Manzi, describing the historical circumstances that contributed to the establishment of tango in the 20th century. Notably, he writes, "Credit for this (e.g. global explosion) is often given to the most glamorous catalysts in the form of tango shows and tango movies. But a more grassroots influence exists in the form of a handful of protagonists who preserve and foster the tango for the love and respect of it. Two such persons come in the names of Alberto Paz..and Valorie Hart... Through their exploration, Alberto and Valorie have made the dance form something teachable by expanding on old ideas and codes that permeated the world of tango when they and others found it languishing for lack of interest and understanding."
Valorie then read from the acknowledgements..." What Katrina did to New Orleans and our four months in exile played a fundamental role in the way this book went through an epiphany of sorts...What a difference the year after Katrina made in our lives. We like to think that it happened to us for a reason - that after our four month tour, teaching with a passion and inspiration that we had not experienced before, we wrote a better book...." and from the introduction, "There is something so human about the Argentine tango that grabs a primal instinct for human connection, to hold and to be held. All over the world, people are dancing this dance of the people of Buenos Aires with a passion that has been compared to a healthy addiction."
In the blackened, wind swept evening, last night's attendees were held, and connected in a circle of light, with the love, and lovers of tango at its center.
RICHARD and DOROTHY - I've been perusing "Gotta Tango" and reading little excerpts from various places. It is a wonderful book filled with lots of wonderful little tips. Thank you and Valorie for all the love and work you put into this great book.
JOE - Got a question on the steps of the "Simple Salida". Alberto, starts and counts the first lateral step as ONE. After the resolution, he steps back with his right and repeats the salida. Shouldn't that back step be counted as ONE or EIGHT to complete the 8 count/measure of the pattern? Or just pretend that back step is a fake step.
ANSWER - The pattern you mention consists of two elements, the actual salida and the resolution, each consisting of four steps, and which could executed independently from each other. For the man, the simple salida starts with the opening to the man's left (1) and ends at the cruzada position (4).
The resolution starts with a forward step with the left leg (1) and ends with a back diagonal with the right (4).
When executed together, the resulting sequence fits on an 8 count measure, so the fist step may be counted as ONE, and the step counts as EIGHT.
The best way to understand the structure is to remember that the salida starts with the first step of La base, and the resolution ends with the last step of La base. Counting becomes irrelevant and allows you to phrase the the music as you wish.
CHRISTINE - Congratulations to the release of your book and thank you for sending it right away. So far I only had time to take a peak at your book and DVD. It looks excellent. The lessons are clear and well coordinated with the great looking DVD. Most anyone can grasp the basics of the dance from your thoughtfully put together history of tango and instructions. For those who have been dancing a while, it can serve as a valuable tool to look at from time to time and 'clean' up some acquired habits.
CHAS - I just checked out the new book by Paz & Hart from New Orleans. It looks very good to my neophyte eye. I think they would add something to the next festival and hope you can bring them in. The book is Gotta Tango and includes a DVD. It shows their beliefs and attitudes toward Argentine Tango. I think they are consistent with what you try to bring to the festival.
KAREN - Your book, "Gotta Tango," was delivered the other day and it looks wonderful! I look forward to enjoying its many aspects. Thank you for the sentiment inside ~ Good luck with its success!
MINNIE - THE BOOK just arrived in the post. We’re so excited and can hardly wait to watch the DVD and read the text. It surely will be very helpful to our development as tango dancers, the next best thing to having you around to teach and coach us regularly. If we weren’t just starting to get ready to go out to a milonga this evening I’d settle down with it right now. Oh, okay, maybe I’ll take just a little peek. We can be fashionably late.
PHILOMENA - Gotta Tango has arrived. I love it, although I haven't had the chance to study it yet. To me this beautiful book is already a classic, and lifelong teacher and companion for the rest of my tango journey.