Among Tango dancers, there are those who have played instruments, have gone to university to major or minor in music, and/or are music aficionados. While some have proven to have excellent beat perception, we have been continually amazed by Tango music’s ability to make one “deaf”.
All that we have observed, read, and heard (not to mention, using a little plain old “common” sense) have led us to understand that ignoring the “compas” (ie, the beat) while dancing Argentine Tango is absolutely unacceptable. The music, in Tango, is king… and within the music, the “compas” is king.
While in Buenos Aires, whenever the late Osvaldo Zotto’s name came up, the following comment almost always followed: “muy sordo” (very deaf). Did he feel the music and move within the music? Sure. But he had an ability to miss/avoid the beat like no other well-known dancer we have ever seen.
There’s no doubt that Tango music is very complex and oftentimes the beat is very elusive. For those of you who have difficulty finding the beat, maybe this will be helpful. However, if this doesn’t help, maybe you have an actual case of beat deafness.