[Tango-L] On dancing to non-tango music

Lois Donnay donnay at donnay.net
Sat Feb 2 14:55:18 EST 2008

I want to pass along something else my Ragtime-obsessed student has shared
with me - ragtime is now typically played much faster than it was intended.
Scott Joplin repeatedly reminded the orchestras "Not too fast". On his sheet
music he would write: "Ragtime should never be played too fast". When played
at the proper tempo, Canyengue or tango would be the appropriate dance, not


> Interesting.
> Here we would normally dance quickstep to ragtime/hot jazz, or partner
> charleston, or balboa, or a fast lindy hop.  Open embrace tango partner
> floorwork integrates well with lindy hop.  Balboa has exactly the same
> embrace as close embrace tango, would be interesting to integrate some
> tango step (perhaps back ochos) into balboa, but the footwork is VERY
> fast.
> Mary Menz wrote:
>> Dancing milonga to either a one-step or two-step ragtime piece can be
>> a lot of fun.  I have found that an increasing number of tangueros
>> are showing up at ragtime festivals and using their tango moves to
>> much of the music.
>> Mary
>> Modesto, CA
>> >>> I have a student who is a pianist, and his specialty is Ragtime. He
>> >>> has been
>>> researching the connections between tango and ragtime, and has found a
>>> bit
>>> of La Cumparsita in a Scott Joplin piece. Joplin wrote this piece after
>>> he
>>> took a Florida vacation at the same time as a tango composer was
>>> residing
>>> there, and that's the only clue to the connection.  He also has a
>>> ragtime
>>> piece with words that refer to how the tango dancers get even closer
>>> when
>>> Ragtime is played.
>>> He and his partner like dancing Canyengue to ragtime, and he would love
>>> to
>>> have any other justification for dancing tango steps to Ragtime music.
>>> Lois Donnay
>>> Minneapolis, MN

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