What is the course about?
This course is about learning Tango Argentino's fundamentals. Each term will both introduce and revisit the essential technique of walking in partnership, functional alignment in motion, different musical rhythms and the social dancing etiquette.
As the group will inevitably be constituted of individuals at different levels and from different backgrounds, you will be encouraged to embrace the learning process in a supportive and co-operative atmosphere. This course is about Tango as a social dance!
What will we cover?
We will cover different elements of Tango Argentino vocabulary and technique including:
- Walking in cross and parallel systems with a partner
- Functional alignment and body awareness
- Using syncopation/double rhythm/s
- Footwork and embellishments for leaders and followers
- Disassociation of upper and lower body
- Connection with partner
- Dance improvisation
- Appreciation of various tango music styles (Tango, Vals, Milonga) and lyrics
- The embrace and the way it changes with each partner
- Leading and following (you are requested to explore both!)
- Sequences introducing basic and more complex material (for beginners or improvers)
- Tango steps (such as ochos, giros, sacadas, turns, sweeps, parada)
- Social etiquette for dancing in a Milonga (Tango hall).
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
(On successful completion of all three terms)
Lead or follow (or both!) your partner with confidence
Enter any Milonga (Tango hall) with poise
Recognize different tango music
Trust your improvisational skills whilst dancing.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is a beginners dance class. Each term will cover the topics listed above with many different variations to keep you engaged and challenged. If needed the teacher may divide the group in to complete beginners and improvers (this is seldom necessary as the material presented already includes variations in complexity the students can choose from).
As part of the learning process you would need to be open to a dialogue with both the teacher and your partner/s. Discussions are welcomed and encouraged. You should be willing to empathize with each participant's learning process as well as your own.
A beginner’s dance class isn’t just for newcomers. In any beginner’s dance class there will be student’s from all types of backgrounds. We all have different learning techniques and paces. If your first class seems overwhelming and you can’t get it the first time, don’t worry: dance is heavily reliant on repetition so it will happen. We want you to learn and to have fun so just give it your best and keep coming back!
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Each class will start with a short warm-up to prepare the body, followed by various exercises on your own and in partnership. The emphasis is on developing improvisational skills to facilitate the leaders entering the Milonga's flow of dancing and to encourage followers to be prepared for (without anticipating) any movement. Set material will also be taught.
You will be encouraged to experience both roles for learning purposes and you could choose to learn a role different from your gender.
Some directed reading, listening and viewing. You might need to practice some of the exercises particularly if you need to improve your balance and co-ordination.
You may or may not be asked to participate in rigorous activity from time to time. Please consider whether you
could do this, if you are in any doubt consult a medical practitioner.
As part of the course content, your tutor may record your image for initial and ongoing assessment purposes. You are entitled to decline to participate in the recording of your image.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
If you have some general dance shoes, please bring them to the class. You do not need to buy Tango shoes prior to the course, however if you wish to buy them during, all the advice will be available.
No stilettos, sandals, platforms, boots or trainers. If you do not have appropriate shoes to the class, you will be
working in socks which is perfectly good for the class environment but not for other social occasions.
The main thing is that your clothes allow for the Tango movements to be practiced and allow the movement to be visible to the teacher, therefore easy to correct.
When attending Milongas you will need to pay for you own entrance and drinks.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Continue Tango Argentino next term. Beware Tango dancing can be very addictive, probably for a combination of its music and its sociable aspects. You may have to pack your Tango shoes wherever you will be travelling to as Tango dancing is very popular in many countries!