I stumbled across Pa’ bailar while searching for a modern tango. It is PERFECT! I especially love it for classroom use because the lyrics are clean–it’s about a girl that sees a guy on the street, they make eye contact, and she can’t stop thinking about him! She can’t explain it, but she just wants to dance with him! (I’ll choose to believe that she really means dance when she says dance!)
If you are trying to expose your students to the expression “(no) sé”, this is the song for you! There are about a million repetitions of it throughout the lyrics.
INTRODUCING THE SONG
I introduced Pa’ bailar at the beginning of my Gauchos unit. It serves as a hook that activates background knowledge about Argentina and piques interest in learning more about this country and its people!
Here’s what I said:
«Argentina es un país* (country) en Sudamérica. Es un país grande. Las personas de Argentina hablan español. Es el país más grande en Sudamérica que habla español (Brasil es el país más grande, pero las personas de Brasil hablan portugués). La capital de Argentina se llama Buenos Aires.
Argentina es famosa por un estilo de música que se llama el tango. El tango es originalmente de «Río de la plata» en Argentina, pero se hizo* (became) famoso en Buenos Aires, la capital de Argentina. El tango tiene influencias de la cultura africana y de la cultura europea. Tradicionalmente, dos personas bailan el tango. Ahora, hay muchas formas modernas del tango, como el tango electrónico y el tango alternativo. Vamos a escuchar un tango electrónico que se llama «Pa’ bailar».»
LISTENING TO THE SONG
For this song, I chose to do a jumbled lyrics activity. I printed out this copy of the lyrics (Pa’ bailar jumbled lyrics) for my students (one per pair), and asked students to cut apart the lines. (One partner cut it in half, and then each partner was only responsible for chopping apart half of the lines, so it went pretty quickly.) I then asked students to spread out the lyrics in front of them and place them in logical groups. Some of the lines are exactly the same, so those groups are obvious, but others start with the same phrase or end with the same phrase. By having the students group the lines, they were practicing critical thinking skills, reading extra reps of the structures, and familiarizing themselves with the lyrics so that they could better and more quickly match what they would hear to what they had read.
There are many videos out there for this song, but please be careful which ones you choose to show your students. Many of them are inappropriate to be shown at school, and since there are so many options, you have no excuse 😉
OPTION 1: SONG WITH PHOTOS
This first video is a homemade one that allows you to hear the song with Julieta singing the lyrics. I would encourage you to download their song on iTunes if you decide to use this song in your classes. Musical artists work hard and deserve to be paid for their work!
OPTION 2: SONG WITH TANGO
This next video is great because it shows how the tango is danced to this modern song, although it might be a little sexy for some schools. Preview it through the end and decide for yourself! Your students may get bored after a bit of it, so find a good clip and show that to them.
OPTION 3: PA’ BAILAR EN EL TREN
This is an awesome video of the song that is just fun to watch! My students like it of the bailarín’s sweet moves!