The Castles Demonstrate the Tango for the Washington Times on February 15, 1915

The Castles demonstrated the tango for the Washington Times Home Edition on Monday, February 15, 1915.

The Washington times., February 15, 1915, HOME EDITION, Page 8, Image 8

The Washington times., February 15, 1915, HOME EDITION, Page 8, Image 8

Vernon Castle is of the opinion that the tango was an “old Gypsy dance” that arrived in Argentina by way of Spain, rather than a native dance of Argentina.  He notes that, since the dance was adopted by Paris several years earlier, its “too sensuous character was gradually toned down,” from something “obscene” to a dance “polished and extremely fascinating.”  Mr. Castle stresses that the Argentine tango, while difficult, is “not shocking.”  Apparently, 160 steps were rumored to exist.  Mr. Castle thinks 6 are more than sufficient.

According to Mr. Castle: “The most important thing about the tango is its tempo.  You must, before you can dance at all, understand and appreciate the music, and the best way to do this is to walk … in time to it. … This walking to tango time is not as easy as it may seem; it should be practiced frequently…”

The Castles demonstrate four steps: the Cortez, Scissors, El Charron, and the Ring.

The article was provided by Chronicling America.  The featured image is a still from the Castles’ book, Modern Dancing, available at the Library of Congress.

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