Thursday, February 25, 2010

Argentine vs Ballroom, an X-rated analogy

Disclaimer: I have never attempted to do any ballroom dancing nor have taken part in any pornographic films. The analogy is based merely on my own observations.

Unfortunately, the image that many people have with tango is that of 'ballroom tango'. A little less than a year ago, my tango mentor/teacher explained the 'feel good vs look good' dance paradigm. In that particular context, the paradigm was confined within Argentine tango, but in my view it also applies to the comparison of Argentine vs Ballroom (referred to as AT and BT from here onwards, respectively). From what I understand, BT originated by abandoning the Argentine roots to become a competition style dance, which necessarily made itself lean to the look good side of the spectrum. AT, on the other hand, is by nature a social dance, as opposed to competitive dance, so the focus is just having a good time.

In the X-rated context, BT is like a pornographic movie, because it is performed not for the pleasure itself but for viewing pleasure. Often, I suspect, performers have to fake it for the sake of looking good on the stage or on screen. Many things float different people's boats, so some women may prefer an uncomfortable embrace with little connection just to supposedly look graceful and elegant on stage, or may enjoy selling their dignity by appearing in pornographic films. On the other hand, AT is like the passion between a couple who truly love each other, and can give their partner great pleasure, whether on the dance floor or the bedroom, regardless of whether there's people watching or not (if sex in public is your thing, of course). There are AT performers, of course, but it's mostly for didactic purposes.

They say an image is worth a thousand words:

(Thanks to Alex for the awesome picture on the right of Julio Balmaceda and Corina de la Rosa, two incredible dancers. Check out Alex's blog: ... Original link to the picture )


  1. Hola Jaimito!

    Welcome to the world of tango blogs!

    Great analogy.

    BT=American style formulaic boring porn=fakery+scripted+moneyshots+barenakedlust

    AT=European indie film sex scenes=real+authentic++unscripted+barenakedhealthylove

    Also, no biggie, but I noticed the photo on the right of Julio y Corina is one of a photographer, I always try to credit the photographer (or link back to the source) when I can.

    Here is the original on Flickr.

    I'm looking forward to reading more uncensored stuff. I censor myself way too much these days.

    Take care.

  2. Oh yeah...thanks a bunch for the link on your blogroll...

  3. Oops, sorry. I'll make sure to give you credit for the photo. As for the link, El Ingeniero was the one who posted the links. I haven't read your blog, but I'll check it out now

  4. I think they do have tango competitions in BAs. There are two categories: salon tango and tango fantasia. I believe this is the same division you have made. For instance a led gancho looks so much better than a choreographed one!