At the World Tango Championships in Buenos Aires, 648 couples from 41 different countries competed for the World Cup in two categories: salon tango which has strict rules about the steps, and stage tango which allows a more liberal interpretation.
Manuela Rossi and Juan Malizia Gatti, a won the stage tango category. She said it was because of their traditional routine: “It was about highlighting the role of the man and the woman, the femininity and sensuality, the man and his solid posture, a very traditional tango choreography.”
Twin brothers Nicolas and German Filipeli, were the first same sex couple to reach the final in the stage category.
And Shirley Xu was the first Chinese finalist, dancing with Argentinian partner Jesús Taborda and coming third in the stage tango category. She started learning tango 5 years ago having previously trained as a ballroom dancer. She has now founded the Chinese Association of Argentine Tango in Beijing.
Shirley Xuanyi Xu says tango has become instinctive to her: “The music plays inside you. When you are dancing, your body and the music are one. Your body can feel the rhythm. Your mind is completely free. The music moves you. When you dance tango salon, you don’t need to think. You just feel the music – it becomes intuitive. It is amazing. I’m sure people might say, ‘What are you talking about, I don’t understand.’ But this is what I feel.”
Lorena González and Sebastián Acosta won the salon style competition.