Vals Porteño

tango tango history Jun 17, 2022

by Cosima Diaz Campos

Playing with the rhythm of vals & tango is of course one of the pilars of this seminar that we are teaching this weekend: Vals y Tango Seminar. Take a look at the schedule above to se the most common rhythmical variations in vals.

The Tango Vals has the distinct waltz beat of ¾ time. The dancer may choose which beats to dance to, create a different feel to the rhythm, to match the mood of the song, of the dancer. This is just another improvisational variation in tango vals, which is already improvisational in its nature. 

Danced A Tiempo we step on the first strong beat of each bar, the one. We can dance an acceleration to the second or the third quarter beat, or to both. Vals music does not invite us to slow down and dance pauses like Tango music, and of course there are exceptions. Some valses slow down in the middle of the piece.
In the Argentine Vals all the steps that can be used in tango can be danced to the vals rhythm. There is not one basic step, and no special repertoire is required. Turns are much loved in vals dancing, such as media lunas and giros, cunitas and changes or directions such as alteraciones and c
adenas. Combinations of sacadas are also very popular in vals. Caminatas and corridas to the vals rhythm are very popular and elegant, and can be danced in many variations, in crossed system or parallel system. Also combinations of small steps in the parallel system that are wellknown from milonga, can be used in tango and vals rhythm.

The Waltz dance originates from the German peasants, from the 13th century. Their folk dance was distinct from the other court dances that were popular at that time. The Waltz was filled with rolls, glides and turns, and became very popular. By the end of 16th century the Waltz was loved in Vienna.

Also in South America the Waltz became popular. Examples are the Peruvian Vals - vals criollob- and the Argentine Vals, Vals Porteño (see videos below). 

During its long history, the three rhythm waltz was danced in many styles and variations. Beside ballroom and tango, also many other dance genres dance to the three-quarter rhythm music, such as tapdance, folk dance, jazz, hip hop, line dance, classical ballet, modern dance, etc. 

Here are some of popular waltz dances from all over the world: 

  • Peruvian Vals
  • Argentine Vals
  • Scandinavian Waltz
  • Mexican Waltz
  • Valse Musette
  • French Valse Boston
  • Cajun Waltz
  • Viennese Waltz
  • English Waltz
  • America Waltz

Argentine Vals improvisation 

Peruvian Vals dance 

La Volta

Here is a video of La Volta, a dance that was popular in the Renaissance period, also to a three-quarter beat music (see videos below).