The Argentine Tango has its roots in Buenos Aires towards the end of the 19th century, and was developed from a variety of dances with influences from Spain and Uruguay. Len Goodman tells us that the dance should remind us of the gauchos coming off the pampas meeting up with the ladies of the night. It should be powerful, expressive and passionate.
The hold in the Argentine Tango differs from the Tango ballroom hold and is called the abrazo (or, in English, the embrace), and can be either open where the woman is held at arms length from the man, or closed where the upper bodies are in complete contact. The dance is led through the upper body while it is expressed through the intricate movements of the legs and feet.
The basic step, la caminata (the walk), is where the weight is gradually transferred over one leg leaving the other free for other movements and gestures, such as Sacadas (displacement), where one of the dancers feet or legs is displaced by their partner. Ochos (eights) are basic walks, either forward or backward, with a pivot in between the two steps so that the dancers make a figure of eight. The Ganchos (hooks), are where the couples legs are flicked up and hook together.
The judges in Strictly Come Dancing will be looking for fire and passion with the chemistry between the couple being essential, along with both tight hold, loose hold and fast pivots.
|Number of dances||27||12||15|
|Highest score||40||39||Rachel & Vincent (Series 6)||40||Jason & Kristina (Series 9)
Harry & Aliona (Series 9)
|Lowest score||26||28||Tina & Jared (Series 8)||26||Colin & Kristina (Series 10)
Michael & Natalie (Series 10)
|Number of 10s||27||10||17|
*As at the end of series 10 excluding Christmas Specials.
The best of Strictly
In the semi-final of series nine, Jason Donovan and Kristina Rihanoff gave a dramatic and intense routine danced to "Assassin's Tango", earning a standing ovation from Alesha, Bruno dubbing it "Daath by Kristina" and Craig suggesting Jason should "put that woman on an assault charge". The judges felt it was perfect and gave the pair the perfect four 10s. One week later in the final, Harry Judd and Aliona Vilana reprised their routine for the final at Blackpool as the choice for their favourite dance, one which initially Len had complained didn't have enough passion. Harry gave it his all as his last dance on the series, and was rewarded with another perfect 40.
Mark Ramprakash & Karen Hardy in Series 4 semi-final gave an electrifying performance of the Argentine Tango, danced to bond theme 'Goldeneye' and receiving 39 points from the judges, with Len Goodman saying it was the first dance of that night to deserve a place in the final.
Interestingly, the male celebrities seem to score better than the females, especially when it comes to the number of 10s awarded by the judges, with the men notching up and impress seventeen 10s compared to just eight 10s from the women.
The worst of Strictly
In series eight, the dance was changed from being a semi-final only dance, to being included in the normal rotation of dances, and it was danced much earlier in the series. This meant that the couples had less dance training and experience under their belt and the standard of the performance lowered. It was in series eight when Tina & Jared danced their Argentine Tango and while the judges didn't slate it, it wasn't up to the same level of dance we've come to expect to see in this dance, and they received 28 points.
Scores for all Argentine Tango performances:
|Emma & Darren||Santa Maria||Week 11||9||9||9||9||36|
|Matt & Lilia||I've Seen That Face Before||Week 11||7||7||8||8||30|
|Mark & Karen||Goldeneye||Week 11||9||10||10||10||39|
|Matt & Flavia||La Yumba||Week 11||8||9||9||9||35|
|Alesha & Matthew||I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You||Week 11||9||9||10||10||38|
|Gethin & Camilla||The World Is Not Enough||Week 11||9||9||9||9||36|
|Lisa & Brendan||Infiltrado||Week 13||8||8||10||9||35|
|Rachel & Vincent||When Doves Cry||Week 13||9||10||10||10||39|
|Tom & Camilla||Por una cabeza||Week 13||8||8||9||9||34|
|Ali & Brian||Pa Bailar||Week 13||8||8||9||8||9||42|
|Chris & Ola||Bust Your Windows||Week 13||8||8||9||9||8||42|
|Ricky & Natalie||Verano Porteno||Week 13||9||10||10||10||10||49|
|Tina & Jared||Beautiful Monster||Week 5||6||8||7||7||28|
|Matt & Aliona||Bat Out Of Hell||Week 5||8||8||9||9||34|
|Kara & Artem||Los Vino||Week 7||9||9||10||10||38|
|Patsy & Robin||They||Week 9||7||8||8||7||30|
|Scott & Natalie||Época||Week 11||8||8||8||9||33|
|Harry & Aliona||Asi se Baila el Tango||Week 7||9||-||8||10||10||37|
|Anita & Robin||Cirque de Soleil Tango||Week 7||7||-||9||8||9||33|
|Chelsee & Pasha||Una Música Brutal||Week 9||8||-||9||9||9||35|
|Holly & Artem||Por Una Cabeza||Week 11||9||-||9||9||9||36|
|Jason & Kristina||Assassin's Tango||Week 11||10||-||10||10||10||40|
|Harry & Aliona||Asi se Baila el Tango||Week 12||10||-||10||10||10||40|
|Colin & Kristina||Goldeneye||Week 3||7||7||6||6||26|
|Michael & Natalie||Bust Your Windows||Week 8||6||7||7||6||26|
|Nicky & Karen||Skyfall||Week 9||7||8||7||8||30|
|Dani & Vincent||Libertango||Week 11||9||9||10||10||38|
All dances from highest scoring to lowest scoring
|Jason & Kristina||Assassin's Tango||Series 9, Week 11||40|
|Harry & Aliona||Asi se Baila el Tango||Series 9, Week 12||40|
|Ricky & Natalie||Verano Porteno||Series 7, Week 13||39.2 (49)|
|Mark & Karen||Goldeneye||Series 4, Week 11||39|
|Rachel & Vincent||When Doves Cry||Series 6, Week 13||39|
|Alesha & Matthew||I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You||Series 5, Week 11||38|
|Kara & Artem||Los Vino||Series 8, Week 7||38|
|Dani & Vincent||Libertango||Series 10, Week 11||38|
|Harry & Aliona||Asi se Baila el Tango||Series 9, Week 7||37|
|Emma & Darren||Santa Maria||Series 4, Week 11||36|
|Gethin & Camilla||The World Is Not Enough||Series 5, Week 11||36|
|Holly & Artem||Por Una Cabeza||Series 9, Week 11||36|
|Matt & Flavia||La Yumba||Series 5, Week 11||35|
|Lisa & Brendan||Infiltrado||Series 6, Week 13||35|
|Chelsee & Pasha||Una Música Brutal||Series 9, Week 9||35|
|Tom & Camilla||Por una cabeza||Series 6, Week 13||34|
|Matt & Aliona||Bat Out Of Hell||Series 8, Week 5||34|
|Ali & Brian||Pa Bailar||Series 7, Week 13||33.6 (42)|
|Chris & Ola||Bust Your Windows||Series 7, Week 13||33.6 (42)|
|Scott & Natalie||Época||Series 8, Week 11||33|
|Anita & Robin||Cirque de Soleil Tango||Series 9, Week 7||33|
|Matt & Lilia||I've Seen That Face Before||Series 4, Week 11||30|
|Patsy & Robin||They||Series 8, Week 9||30|
|Nicky & Karen||Skyfall||Series 10, Week 9||30|
|Tina & Jared||Beautiful Monster||Series 8, Week 5||28|
|Colin & Kristina||Goldeneye||Series 10, Week 3||26|
|Michael & Natalie||Bust Your Windows||Series 10, Week 8||26|
*The score for any dances marked by five judges have been adjusted down to allow for fair comparison, so the score in this column is the adjusted score followed by the actual score in brackets.
The iconic routine from Mark & Karen in series 4 (and remember, the phone lines closed years ago, so don't phone as your vote won't be counted!):
Ricky & Natalie's Argentine Tango from series 7:
How about Rachel & Vincent in series 6:
And a great routine from Lisa & Brendan in series 6: