Leo & Tracey teach Canyengue, Milonguero, Tango Salon and Moderno' styles of Tango. Within these styles there are the rhythms of, Tango, Vals, Foxtrot & Milonga.
The Canyengue was a 'cocky' style born in the orilla, (close to the harbour in Buenos Aires). This style and the Orillero style was developed from the knife fighting common at this time. The dancers studied the technique of balance and speed in the rhythm of the music, and the reaction, to control the transfer of weight. From this idea of balance, transfer of weight and rotational movement, the men in Buenos Aires created a dance where the men and women could have a conversation with their bodies. For the immigrants, it was a way to compensate for the fact that they were isolated. The contact they had when dancing replaced the affection they were missing being far away from their country and relatives.
The milonguero had this name because the places where you danced were called, 'milongas', which is still applicable today. The milonguero is also the philosophy of men and women who live in the world of Tango. The milonguero is where all the knowledge of tango originates. This tradition never died in Argentina and in the 90's they were able to revive the tradition of Tango after the country had been through a period of political and economic crisis. The milonguero is the ultimate aristocracy of Tango. From the popularity of this style, the idea of Tango transcended to Europe where it evolved into another style called Tango Salon.
What had been seen before as a socially in-acceptable dance became seen as exciting and exotic by the rich upper classes. The Tango Salon style became more expansive and more elegant. Although it could still be danced in the close embrace, the lines of the movement were accentuated. Tango Salon became synonymous with walking and circular movements such as 'giros' became popular. The Tango became seen as a sophisticated, elegant dance. The nature of Tango also changed as well. In the milonguero style, there had been a lot of fighting as the society where Tango was danced was very competitive.
From the 1960s until the 80s Argentina suffered under a dictatorship and bad economy which resulted in political and economic crisis. The Tango became restricted during this period and practically disappeared. Rock n Roll and Jazz replaced the Tango for many people. However, in a few radio stations and the old records of the Golden era, the Tango survived because it was in the memory of the culture of the people.
In the 80s, with the revival of democracy in the country, a few people, started to meet to listen to the music of Tango. The old milongueros, like Gerardo Portalea and the show 'Tango Argentino', seduced the upper and lower classes once again and the Tango was revived making Tango become fashionable again. In this period, the old milongueros, were seen by the young people like a fountain of knowledge where they could learn. This old generation of Tango such as Pepito Avellaneda, Gavito, Tete Rusconi etc became celebrities. The Tango was victorious again despite the difficulties it had faced. Composers like Osvaldo Pugliese, Anibal Trolio, Juan D'Arienzo became an inspiration for the new generation of musicians too like Astor Piazzolla. With this generation who had the influences of rock and roll, jazz and the new Tango, the Tango of the Nuevo style or 90s was born. This new Tango took the knowledge of the old milongueros and pushed it to its limits.
The Nuevo Tango became the new social fashion for a while but because it was largely influenced by younger people it focused more on movements, dynamic and skills and lost the drama and intimacy of the beauty of the close embrace. Tango became more of a 'show off' dance demonstrating skills rather than what it had been, which was a partner dance. This is not to say it was not important in the development of Tango but Tango filtered the most important of the different styles, integrated them and survived.