BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Argentines are embracing their partners and gliding at the world's largest annual tango festival and championship.
The two-week long offering of more than 500 free dance lessons, concerts and recitals began Tuesday evening August 14, in the capital of Buenos Aires.
It included a homage to Astor Piazzolla, Argentina's most popular player of the bandoneon, the concertina-like accordion that is synonymous with Tango.
Hundreds of professional dancers will compete in the championship and teach many the eight basic steps of the dance in the city where it was born. [25 photos total]

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1
A couple rehearses before competing at the Tango Dance World Cup 2012, salon category, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. From Aug. 14th to 28th Buenos Aires is hosting the Tango Buenos Aires Festival and Dance World Cup 2012. Dancers from 32 countries around the world are competing in the two categories of the championship: tango Salon, with 357 couples participating and tango stage with 134 couples. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
2
Argentine tango dance couple Guido Palacios and Florencia Castilla compete in the stage category at the Tango Dance World Cup 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012. The two-week long event offers hundreds of free dance lessons, concerts and recitals, as professional dancers compete in the championship and teach many the eight basic steps of the dance in the city where it was born. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
3
Argentine tango dance couple Jorge Carrizo and Valeria Romero compete in the stage category at the Tango Dance World Cup 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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A tango dance couple compete in the stage category at the Tango Dance World Cup 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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Chile's tango dance couple Felipe Villegas and Carolina Andrade compete in a stage category at the Tango Dance World Cup 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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Chile's tango dance couple Felipe Villegas and Carolina Andrade compete in a stage category at the Tango Dance World Cup 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
7
Colombian tango dance couple John Osorio and Diana Lopez compete in a stage category at the Tango Dance World Cup 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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Tango couple Sebastian Matias Bianchi, from Argentina, and Yuka Sato from Japan, compete in a stage category during the Tango Dance World Cup 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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A tango couple competes in a stage category at the Tango Dance World Cup 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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Tango dancers prepare backstage to compete in the stage category at the Tango Dance World Cup 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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Tango dancers prepare backstage to compete in the stage category at the Tango Dance World Cup 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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Participant Ramiro Perez sprays his hair before competing during the 2012 Tango Dance World Cup in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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A dancer combs his hair before a mirror before competing during the 2012 Tango Dance World Cup in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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Dancers get ready backstage before competing during the 2012 Tango Dance World Cup in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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A dancer is helped to dress backstage before competing during the 2012 Tango Dance World Cup in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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A dancer has her hair done backstage during the 2012 Tango Dance World Cup in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
17
Participants wait backstage before competing during the 2012 Tango Dance World Cup in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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Italy's dancers Eloina Martins, left, and Paolo Nelzi, second from left, among others, wait before competing during the 2012 Tango Dance World Cup in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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Couples compete during the 2012 Tango Dance World Cup in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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A couple competes during the Tango Dance World Cup 2012, salon category, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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A couple competes during the Tango Dance World Cup 2012, salon category, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. (AP / Natacha Pisarenko) #
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A couple dances during the opening day of the annual festival and championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012. (AP / Eduardo Di Baia) #
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Juan Carlos Copes, right, dances with his daughter Joanna during the opening day of the annual festival and championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012. (AP / Eduardo Di Baia) #
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Couples dance during the opening day of the annual festival and championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012. (AP / Eduardo Di Baia) #
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Aug. 15, 2012 - Buenos Aires, Argentina - A couple dances Tango during the inauguration of the World Buenos Aires Tango Festival. (ZUMA24.com / Leo La Valle) #

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