Argentine Tango is the "dance of the heart". Tango is a conversation between leader (masculine energy) and follower (feminine energy). To dance well requires connecting with your partner.
Learning to dance Argentine Tango can be intimidating. The key to dancing well is to learn the basics, which are easy steps (if you can walk, you have the ability to tango), and to master them - i.e. learn them well enough so you don't have to think too much when you do them. This is a simple thing, but not so easy for most people because most of us tend to think too much. Tango is more about the connection, less about the steps, or thinking about the steps. It is only when you get to the point when you don't have to think too hard that, ahhhhh, that is when the tango "magic" happens. Once you experience that magic, you will fall irrevocably in love with Tango.
Argentine Tango is FUN no matter what level you are at. We are lucky to live in the Bay Area. There are plenty of lessons (group and private), practicas, and milongas going on every day of the week. No matter what level you are there is always somewhere you can go to dance, and there is always someone to dance with. Lessons are a good idea at all levels. You never know what you will learn or who you will meet. The Bay Area is fortunate to have many world-class instructors, both in residence and visiting.
Most lessons are inexpensive (sometimes free!), and partners are typically not needed except for the most advanced classes. Most instructors say that you will improve faster if you dance with different partners. Everyone has a different style and you will dance better with some people than with others. However, you will become a better dancer as you learn to accommodate various partners' style.
It is a good idea to find a teacher that you like, and stick with that teacher for awhile. That is not to say you can't try other teachers too, but it is safe to say that when you find someone whose dancing and communication style feels comfortable to you, you will likely improve faster. And when you begin to master the tango basics, you will begin to experience the "magic" that can happen when you become One with your dance partner.
My favorite teachers currently are Diego y Negracha, Glenn Corteza, and Santiago y Amy. Check out their classes. I think you will be pleased.
There are also a number of Practicas and Milongas happening on any given day, many with great free refreshments. And no, you don't have to be single to come, or an advanced dancer. Tango is for everyone!
As the new organizer (01/02/2010), my hope is to share my passion and love for Argentine Tango.
I plan to post lessons, practicas, and milongas in Calendars as notes, with comments about various instructors, and ambience and/or level of particular events. Postings in Calendar that are notes will not be hosted...only FYI. Hosted Meetups will occur approximately once a month, and will have an option to RSVP.
For questions or to share your suggestions or ideas, please email me. I hope to see you soon and perhaps share a dance with you!
Sheri Lee January 2, 2010
For those of you who are ready for the Milonga experience, here is a list of my favorite Milongas (and one practica). If you see me, please say "Hello" and perhaps we can share a tanda!
Sunday - Studio Gracia, 19 Heron St, SF (8:30pm)
La Milonga @ CafeCocomo (irregular, check tangomango.org), 650 Indiana St, SF (9pm)
Monday - Orange Practica at The Beat, 2560 9th St, Berkeley (9:15pm)
Tuesday - El Valenciano, 1153 Valencia St, SF (9:30pm)
Wednesday - Cellspace, 2050 Bryant St, SF (9:15 pm)
Thursday - Verdi Club, 2424 Mariposa St, SF (9 pm)
Friday - MUSE Milonga (1st & 3rd Friday), 1420 Harrison St, San Francisco (9pm)
Saturday - Late Shift (except 4th Sat), 1830 17th St, SF (9pm)