I am seriously considering starting tango, but I am not too musical... a bit of "two left feet syndrome".
I wonder if you need natural musicality to dance tango, or is it something you can pick up and learn?
You can learn it.
When I started tango, I was not at all musical.
I took some classes with an argentin teacher. He made me work this side with d'Arienzo (because of the syncopa) and said to me that I had to listen a lot of tango during free time.
Now my partners (including professional musicians) say that I have a very good musicality...
I am sur there is other ways to work musicality but the main idea is if you work about it, you will gain it.
(sorry for my english, this is not my first language)
Does one need "musicality" to dance tango? Only if you are going to be dancing to music. Technically, one can dance tango entirely well to no music at all, maintaining the fluidity of the connection as the two move artistically and gracefully across the floor.
It's just that if there is music playing, as is typically the case, it certainly must be considered a third member of the dance and respected with as much regard as you ought for your partner. And thereby the same respect and consideration are given to all members on the floor.
So, yes, of course, musicality is required. But what is musicality? Is it something one is born with? Can it be developed? I think that, though some people are naturally gifted, like most things, musicality can be developed by paying attention, in this case, to the qualities of the music.
My suggestion is that one try to "see" the music in the same way that one "feels" the body, with it's varying positions and qualities of movements, with its sundry pains and pleasures, together with those also of one's partner's body. You feel all those things in the body, right? Practice feeling the music in the same way. For instance, ask yourself, How does its rising and falling in pitch feel? How do the other qualities of the music feel —the rhythm and tempo, the texture and timbre? How does each song uniquely feel at any given moment as it progresses through time, just as the dancers move through space?
Why is it important to know the qualities of the music? Because the bodies of the dancers are to move in sync to it, respecting it as a third member of the dance. And the more detailed the awareness, the more detailed, unique and creative will be the dance. Practice paying attention and then translating that understanding into movement.