Do I need a partner ?
No! Many folks come alone. Some bring a partner. Some come with a friend or a group of friends. Argentine tango is a social dance; expect to dance with a variety of partners. You'll find plenty of people to dance with during classes, practicas, or milongas.
During classes we typically rotate partners. This is the best way to learn tango. By switching, leaders will be exposed to a variety of followers making them more flexible (and more skilled) in their lead -- and followers will be exposed to different leading styles.
If you come with a partner and wish not to rotate, please let your instructor know before class. Please note that if you choose not to rotate, it will slow your rate at which you learn tango. We understand that some people might be more comfortable with not rotating initially. If this is the case, you might want to consider private instruction from one of our local instructors or from our visiting tango professional, Vania Rey or Ney Melo.
What should I wear?
For a class or practica, dress casually and comfortably in light and loose fitting clothing that allows your body to breathe and move.
For both men and women, wear something on your feet that allows you to slide your foot along the floor and to allows you to easily PIVOT! That might be dance shoes, comfortable shoes with leather soles, indoor sneakers (possibly with gorilla or masking tape on the bottoms), or even just socks or stockinged feet. No boots, please.
Ladies, indulging in sexy tango heels is one of the super fun perks to dancing tango! However, you don't need to own a pair of tango heels initially. Until you are a bit more experienced, it is best to learn in flat shoes with flexible leather soles.
What can I expect from a first class?
All our classes are drop-in -- for both members and non-members. Because all of our classes are focused on technique rather than a choreographed routine, anyone can join our All Levels classes at any time.
Do you offer classes especially designed for complete beginners?
Yes. We will offer beginner class series several times a year. However, you do not need to wait for a beginner series in order to start learning tango. Our classes are focused on technique and anyone can join an All Levels class at any time. We also encourage Intermediate and Advance dancers to take our beginner series more than once. You will learn different things with more depth each time. Staying in touch with the fundamentals of the dance is important.
What can I expect from taking Argentine Tango lessons?
Argentine Tango is NOT Ballroom Tango. Ballroom tango, "Dancing with the Stars" tango, or any tango with a rose in the dancer's mouth -- is typically memorized steps and choreographed show tango.
Argentine tango is about being in the moment. It is an improvised dance where you learn technique, body mechanics, and the ability to improvise. It is not about memorizing steps or set routines. Tango can be very gentle and connected or tango can be very active and connected. How gentle or how active you are can change from partner to partner or tanda to tanda. In all cases, connection with your partner and the music is key.
What is the difference between a Guided Practica and Practica?
A guided practica is a time for dancers to practice what they’ve learned usually with instructors available to help. We will play tango, milonga, and vals music typically without cortinas. You can practice with a partner for one song, two songs, three songs, etc. The idea is to practice and actively learn. Typically we will keep the lights bright for really working on your tango.
Our Thursday night and Sunday night practica is a mix between practica and milonga. We typically will use tandas and cortinas, but it's totally fine to quietly talk with your partner while working on something specific. Just remember, don't stop the flow or hold up the line of dance! If you are working on something where you find you're not moving much, please consider working in the middle of the dance floor. The outer line of dance is for moving while you explore and learn. The lights may be softer/dimmer for a more relaxed learning environment.
What is a Tanda?
A tanda is a set of three or four songs by the same orchestra or performer, in the same style of music (tango, milonga, or Argentine vals). We typically play tandas with cortinas at our Thursday night and Sunday night practilonga and at all of our milongas.
What is a Cortina?
Cortina means curtain in Spanish. It is a small musical interlude that signals the end of a tanda and time to switch partners. Cortinas usually sound very different from the music of the tanda so that you can tell them apart. The cortina is often not a full song length but rather only 30 - 40 seconds in length. So find that next partner pronto!
What is a Milonga?
Milonga has two different meanings in regards to Argentine Tango.
1 ) a social dance party - A milonga is an event or a party where you dance tango -- with food, drink, and a whole lot of fun! At a milonga, you don't teach or instruct on the dance floor. A milonga is a celebration of dancing what you know -- and not worrying about what you don't know.
2 ) a style of music - Milonga is a style of music, which is written in 2/4 time, and sounds faster than it is. Meaning that there are 2 beats per measure. Whereas by stark contrast tango is danced in 4/4 time, and Argentine vals is 3/4 time, but sometimes played in 6/8 time, so it sounds very ‘peppy’.