New to Argentine Tango? this guide will get you started and dancing in a jiffy! The first thing to know is that partners are not necessary for any classes offered by Tango Colorado, or to attend practicas or milongas. If a particular teacher sponsors a workshop or class that requires a partner, he or she will specify it in their notice. We cannot guarantee there will be gender balance at any of these events, but in classes most instructors ask that partners rotate after every few songs so that all dancers can participate. If you do come to class with a partner, you are still generally encouraged to rotate, but will not be forced to do so. Dancing with multiple different partners makes for better leaders and followers because it encourages dancers to adapt to different dancing skills levels.
What to Wear
Clothing: The attire for classes and the practicas (practices) is generally casual. Jeans are acceptable, but you will see a variety of “dressiness” at the practicas. The most important thing is that you are comfortable. Layering is always a good idea because even when it’s cold outside, you can become quite warm after dancing a while.
Attire for milongas (the social dances) is generally more dressy and sometimes even elegant. How dressy you want to get depends on the milonga AND your mood. Women: If you feel like getting really “decked out”, do; if you are feeling a little more casual, wear a nice skirt/pants and top. Strapless dresses can work, but you will probably feel more comfortable with something attached to your shoulders.) Tight skirts do not allow the leg extension necessary in Tango.
Shoes: Until you’re “hooked” on Tango and feel that intense need to buy multiple pairs of Tango shoes, all you need are shoes that have a soft or leather sole that will pivot easily on the floor. Rubber soled shoes do not work.
Women: A heel of one inch to four inches is fine, whatever you feel most comfortable in. Make sure they attach to your foot (open backed shoes, sandals, clogs, etc. don’t work for Tango). Platform shoes do not work well for Tango either and your feet will hurt if you try to wear them dancing. If you know you’re committed and want to spend the money, you can find dance shoes at any dance store, including practice shoes and dance sneakers.
Tango shoes are also available through a variety of online outlets, for both men and women, but before you spend the money, try out a few pair of leather/soft soled shoes, and experiment with heel height (and heel width, for women.)
Where to Learn
Tango Colorado offers a Tango Beginners Lessons 6:30 – 7:30pm and an Intermediate/Advanced Lesson 7:00 – 8:00pm, at the Denver Turnverein but that is not your only option! There are a number of teachers based in the Denver-Metro area and other cities in Colorado offering classes for beginners to advanced tango dancers. You can also take classes and workshops throughout the year from visiting teachers arriving from other States, Europe and, of course, Argentina. Not to mention the Tango Festival held twice a year in Denver (Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend) and TC’s Tango Tiempo, two days of classes in April showcasing the best teachers in the area, and the best part? It’s FREE to all TC members!
Please check the TC Calendar regularly to see what’s available, where, when and how much.
Where to Dance
Once you have a few lessons under your belt is time to go out dancing! There are a number of milongas and practicas around the Denver-Metro area. Again, the TC Calendar is your best resource to check what is happening, when and where. You’ll have a ball!
Learning from Videos
While it is possible to learn Argentine Tango from watching videos (like the ones on the sidebar) in our experience nothing compares to learning from a live teacher who can tailor the instructions to your skill level and can answer your questions. Nevertheless, if you are curious about learning to dance this wonderful dance but are not ready to step into the dance studio yet, take a look at these videos so you can see what to expect when you decide to join us.
Roughly translated La Ronda means The Circle and it refers to the customary way tango dancers move around the floor, i.e., in a counter-clock circular flow. The following graphic explains it best: (click to enlarge):