It is important to understand that at the beginning, all of us have nothing! That's right, nothing! We don't have any balance, skills, dancing experience etc.
Specially men, it is important to have no expectations and simply enjoy the journey. After a few months you will learn all the things you need to dance, which you will perfect over your whole lifetime.
The worst thing you can do is look at all the experienced men around you and ask "why am I not dancing tango like them? Why am I such a bad tango dancer?" - the reason, and the ONLY reason this is true, is because they have had more experience. And even they are making lots of mistakes (but they have learnt to ignore them or dance out of them well enough that their mistakes are almost unnoticeable).
The only thing I would advise you to have is a good pair of tango shoes. For men there are a few brands, I prefer 2x4 which are probably the best, but there are others as well that are cheaper.
You need the following:
- Love of music
- Love of embrace and connection
- Perseverance - LOTS AND LOTS of this - because tango is a beautiful but hard road
- Yes, as some answer said, good shoes (and they make HUGE difference, so do not get cheap shoes, you need high quality shoes that connect to the ground)
- Some ability for rhythm (you will learn this, but if you have no rhythm whatsoever, tango is not for you)
Actually you do need SOMETHING... tango shoes!!!
For men this is undoubtedly 2x4 al pie, nothing else comes close, not sure about women, there are lots of brands.
Other than that, nothing.
O, you do need to love intimate embrace of strangers of the opposite sex - and who wouldn't love that!