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What Is a Tanda?

Find out what a tanda is from tango instructors Diego Blanco and Ana Padron in this Howcast Argentine tango dance video.


Q: So what is a tanda? A tan da is a set of three to four songs. Those three and four songs are usually, depending on the DJ of that night will be very well balanced in the sense that they're composers that have a little more, they're faster, or they're slower, or they take pauses longer. So this drives the mood of the entire milonga on how the dance floor moves. That's the job of the DJ, to set up those tandas, that set of four or three songs and keep on playing the right music so that the milonga can keep on dancing. So you wouldn't play always just slow music because the people would go to sleep, but also you wouldn't always play fast music because people would be super tired. To separate the tandas we have . . .

A: Cortinas. But also there are in the tandas, it's not always tango music we have different forms of music. We have tango which we normally use in four or three sets like Diego says, but there's also the dance, the milonga. Usually that's three songs that are faster. But we also have the tango waltz which is a typical waltz: one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three, or with a [??] and the original instruments of the tango. So to separate all this we have the Cortina. Cortina means curtain. And the curtain, the way you would differentiate that is by having a totally different song. You could have anything from hip-hop to jazz to foxtrot to the Beatles and that's how you would know. And that's when you escort your partner off. You could sit back and relax or try to find a new partner for the next set. Whatever it might be.

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