I want to learn a tango fusion

3rd December 2008

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You get to tango to Springsteen, what more do you want?

A Moving target

By their nature, fusions are new and evolving. This means that their focus can shift and not always intentionally.

A teacher may well have started out with the intention of accomplishing x and several years later begins to realise that in fact they're now teaching y. This can be annoying if you still want them to be teaching x!

On the other hand if you've also changed direction and are heading in the same direction this can be remarkably convenient.

Learning curve

Although this is going to depend on what the fusion is trying to achieve, most likely it'll take longer to learn than MJ, but it'll be faster than Tango.

It'll also probably be significantly cheaper. You can tango or MJ pretty much 7 nights a week, do an inordinate number of workshops, freestyles and weekenders. This simply isn't going to be the case with any of the current fusions.


You're going to need follows who know it, and somewhere that plays suitable music on a regular basis.

The hard part of fusions is avoiding jarring transitions between MJ and AT. It's noticeable that a lot of people who've danced them for several years will usually either dance MJ with a few fusion moves thrown in, or will dance pure AT.

You're not going to learn a lot of AT technique and you'll probably skip the basics and go straight to the "advanced" tango; which can be a bit confusing if you decide to take up tango later on.

Text speak

Have U red txt msgs b4 m8? (Have you read text messages before mate?) It makes perfect sense to people who use it regularly. It's amazingly irritating to people who don't.

The one huge drawback of fusions is if you try to dance them at somewhere other than where the fusion is danced.

How jarring it feels to the other person depends mainly on how much the fusion has adapted the grammar / vocabulary of the two dances and how intuitive it is to understand the first time. Bear in mind the fusion may also have a bias. The vocabulary may be clearer to an MJer than a Tangoista or vice versa. Or you may simply confuse both of them equally.

A dead end

I once came up with a brilliant plan. Surely if you can master enough technique, you'll be able to lead ochos etc on a follower who doesn't know them.

It was a good plan. I liked it a lot.

Unfortunately having talked to a number of technicians further along the road than I, it doesn't work. By the time you've reached that level it's no longer enjoyable trying to use that level of technique on someone who doesn't know it. A lot of the advanced leading technique requires a corresponding advanced response from the follower.

Now this isn't to say that a leader who's highly skilled in technique can't enjoy dancing with someone who isn't. (It appears to help considerably if she's young, attractive and not wearing an awful lot...) But they're much more likely to stick with simpler moves and use a much coarser technique.


To be honest geography is probably going to settle this for you. Very few people are teaching fusions and they're fairly spread out.

Who's doing it currently

There are also some suggestions on the links page, here.

Recommended reading

 - Christopher O'Shea, 3rd December 2008