Tango Teddy

by David & Anne Ellsworth

Invite your youngest students to the dance floor with "Tango Teddy," a primary movement tune kids can sing and dance to with their favorite stuffed friend. Tangos are dances from Argentina and are traditionally performed by a couple on the dance floor. For our song, the couple is a student and their teddy bear. Cute, right? Though we've chosen a teddy bear, it can be any toy your kids (and you) like to hold and snuggle.

The tune begins with a type of concertina (similar to an accordion) used specifically for the tango called a bandoneon. Latin percussion, bass, piano, and solo violin add to the distinct tango flavor. The third time around, the high trumpets add to the excitement of the dance. (Note: We so enjoyed the improvisation of our solo violinist, Davis Brooks, that we created a special extended violin solo mix of this tune and put it on our web site for you to download and enjoy. See details on page 75 for accessing.)

The verses of the song suggest some directions the kids can follow. The focus of this part is meant to be singing, with students holding their bears for all to see. If you wish to use a few simple steps here, that's fine. But the real action happens at bar 19 when the tune goes to the major key. Choose one or a few couples to dance while the others cheer them on, or let everyone dance as you prefer. If you're interested in seeing some authentic tango dancing to imitate or just share, you can easily look online for examples.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.