Does the Tanturi Campos Effect exist? If so, is it confined to Tanturi or is it a generalized phenomenon? 

Have you ever wondered why dancing tango can feel so good? Why so many people are addicted to it and not necessarily know why? I myself have felt better dancing some great tandas after a bad or stressful day. I have always felt the healing power of a milonga where the energy flows and the people move in their warm embraces to the harmony, melody and rhythm of the great golden age tango orchestras. I wanted to know if there was a scientific basis to this global phenomenon that might explain the "feel good" effect of dancing tango at the level of the brain. So I wondered about a possible Tanturi Effect.

The healing power of music has long been recognized and goes as far as the ancient Greeks. Pythagoras recognized how people were moved by consonant sounds. Harmonic music was able to soothe people andcure ailments of the spirit, body and soul. In the Republic, Plato declared that rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul. Recently, the Mozart Effect gained world wide popularity as the scientific community examined the intelligence enhancing effect of Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major K.448. Some people have questioned whether the Mozart Effect truly exists and whether the effect is merely a mood modifying phenomenon common to other types of music. There is no doubt however, as evidenced by neuroscience, that music affects specific areas of the brain resulting in neuroendocrine and psychoimmunological changes with great potential benefits to human health at physical, mental as well asspiritual levels.

Research has shown that listening to music lowers the secretion of cortisol responsible for thestress response and improves mood. By affecting specific regions and pathways in the brain , some have even shown that music can act a  the cellular and molecular level facilitating neurogenesis (repair and regenerationof cerebral nerves) . Neuroplasticity or the ability of the brain to change itself has been linked to music as well. Listening to pleasurable , harmonicmusic evokes emotions which areaccompanied by physiologicalreactions which decrease the stressresponse such as decreased heart andrespiratory rates, blood pressure and diminution of hormone secretions involved in the stress response.  Chronic stress has been strongly associated with the development ofmany chronic diseases such as heart disease and hypertension, diabetes and cancer.

If you are wondering what all this has to do with Tanturi Campos, I would like to illustrate that it has a lot to do with it and even more. I have chosen Tanturi Campos as an example, not as a specific, as it was thought to be with the Mozart Sonata 448 ininfluencing the cognitive abilities of the brain. I would like to propose that Tanturi Campos is an example of a potent vaccine that has the power to protect from the chronic stress response that causes the many ailments of our society at the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual realms. Imagine the human stress response similar to a virus causing disease and Tanturi Campos, the vaccine against the virus. The Tanturi Campos effect, as I like to call it , has three powerful ingredients that makeup the vaccine.

Let’s imagine the following scenario: You had a stressful day at work or experienced some kind of daily conflict which caused your stress response to be activated , i.e. your heart rate is increased , your breathing is shallow and rapid , your cortisol levels are up causing your immune system to be vulnerable and that you feel you might be coming up with a bad cold. So you decide to attend a milonga and as you reach the venue , the DJ happens to be playing Una Emocion de Tanturi Campos . The beautifully melodic yet rhythmic music of Tanturi with the divine soothing voice of Enrique Campos suddenly eases your heart rate , decreases your blood pressure and you start to breathe better. You suddenly put your tango shoes on and make eye contact with a familiar face to catch the second song of the tanda. You meet on the edge of the dancefloor, approach and embrace . You start feeling the warm embrace and within 20 seconds, you release asurge of oxytocin . As your body moves harmonically, rhythmically and melodically in that warm hug you both created, you release further oxytocin which attach to the oxytocin receptorsin your amygdala (a part of the brainlimbic system strongly involved in theemotions) which in turn activatesneuronal pathways that in no time put a damper on the previously activated Hypothalamic _Pituitary_Adrenal Axis (the structures involved in the stress response ) thus resulting in ahomeostasis or balance of your whole being all the way to the level of your cells. This is what I call the Tanturi Campos Effect.

Perhaps , we can call it the Oxytocin Effect, the hormone released when a mother nurses the baby, the one responsible when you make love to your partner, the one released when you hug and pet your dog , when you hug others whom you trust such as your friends and members of your family or even strangers who you feel you can trust by intuition, the hormone released when you receive a massage , dance and when you pray.

Oxytocin has also been labeled as the hormone of morality, empathy and trust. A study published in The Journal ofPsychosomatic Medicine examined theeffects of partner support on restingoxytocin, cortisol, norepinephrine and blood pressure before and after warm partner contact and found that lack of intimate contact is associated with greater sympathetic system activation which is linked to greater risk of cardiovascular disease. The OxytocinSystem (OT) operates in all mammalian species. Recent advances in the study of affiliation inmammals suggests that the OT system, which is uniquely responsive to the social environment , operates inparallel with known stress response systems both to bring about “calm and connection” effects in response to positive social cues, and inhibits sympathetic andhypothalamic_pituitary_adrenal (HPA)activity after stress.

So does the Tanturi Effects exist? I believe it absolutely does and operates through its three major ingredients: music , embrace and dance. So don’t missout on this potent vaccine that has absolutely no adverse side effects. As we say at Tango Soul: "Embrace and walk to the music". And I shall add to this mantra: "Keep Calm and Release Oxytocin".

Gérard Derminasyan

Montreal  QC - 2016


Demystifying the “Connection”


If you have started taking argentine tango lessons, I’m sure you’ve come across the word at least once and probably even several times. People sometimes tend to use it A LOT and they make it sound like it’s the coolest secret ingredient that everyone is after.  Yet no one knows how to explain it. YEAH. I remember thinking what are they talking about? And if you can’t explain it then how can you know what it is? So here are a few tips that might help you simplify the meaning of connection and shed a little bit of light on something that feels incredible when achieved but is quite simple in theory.


Connection with what?

In tango you general should develop two types of connection, one with the floor and one with your partner. Everybody has a slightly different opinion on this and I have myself heard several “maestros” and “teachers” contradict each other (some say it’s all in the upper body and that you should forget about the feet; others say it’s all in the floor and that you should build from the bottom up). If not all roads lead to Rome, many do, and so let’s not get stuck arguing on the road, just pick one and we can all meet at the end and share a tanda. What I’ve discovered is that every good dancer has the two: connection with the partner and the floor. Whether they will admit to one or the other is another story. I myself believe that mastering both is the key to “great connection” and when achieved, it leads to a great moment in the dance (that thing no one can explain ;)


How to achieve connection with the floor and why it’s so important

If you’ve gone to Buenos Aires, you might have gotten your first wake-up call (even after dancing a few years or more), you don’t know how to walk. RIGHT. It’s a tough realization but those that manage to put their ego aside (and dreams of becoming teachers this year) have a chance of starting to learn the basics once and for all. Usually the first time around, there’s just too much to learn so by returning to the basics of the walk that you can start to develop your musicality and fix your technique, which will always use tuning. If you are moving forward, you’re not moving backwards. The bottom line is, if you don’t master the walk you will never master the music which is the ultimate goal; to dance, TOGETHER, TO THE MUSIC. The solution? Working on your walk alone to the music. Yes, this means you will have to work on all the orchestras one at a time, one day at a time. I’m sure you’re thinking “that’s a lot of work.” The good news is you have your whole life ahead of you and have the privilege to learn an art form that has much depth and will never get you bored.


How to achieve connection with your partner

Once you have connection with the floor and you are aligned properly, putting this into an embrace should not to be too difficult. Usually problems arise when the two dancers are not on the same page and not enough work has been done individually.


Don’t confuse connection with proximity

I remember my first few tango classes VERY well. I was taught to lean on my partner on a full chest connection. Though I am not very inhibited, all my sense were telling me there was something wrong with this. But I just wanted to learn so badly! We didn’t have Youtube back then and I wanted to achieve that “connection” that I saw at the milonga. That’s exactly the problem at first. We all want it so badly and it’s so hard to discern what’s actually right from wrong. A few years later, after relearning to walk (it took me a full year to get rid of my bad habits and achieve taking four steps without falling on my face,) I understood that more connection has actually nothing to do with more weight or pressure. That in fact, they don’t work together at all. This would explain why we can dance in an open or closed embrace.

Expressions like “real close embrace”

I’ve only heard this expression come out of foreigner’s mouths. Enough said. Case closed.


Remember not to confuse simple with easy. I’ve been working at my walk and embrace for over ten years now and I’m still learning every day. Achieving something simple is not easy and often takes longer than we might have expected. My mom always told me it took a minimum of ten years to form an artist, if he can stay humble long enough. All great things come with a price and that’s what makes them great. Find the joy in the work, never stop asking questions and enjoy the journey!

Faye AKA Muñeca Brava

Toronto - 2016

Please reload

Featured Posts

Spring 2 Tango 2020

February 18, 2020

Please reload

Recent Posts

February 18, 2020

February 26, 2019

February 26, 2019

Please reload

Please reload

Search By Tags