In this section you will find free resources and contents about Tango history, musicians, instruments and DJing. For any inquires about our Tango Lectures please contact us.
History of Tango
The Art of DJing
We offer group and private (individual/couple) tango classes and intensive workshops in Durham for newcomers/beginners and intermediate/experienced dancers. Our classes seek to develop in the student the techniques for social tango dance with a focus on communication, posture, and musicality. Students work on sequences of figures that help managing the body movements, the embrace, axes, and musical tempo needed for an elegant dance. See News and Activities for updates.
Series of group lessons are offered every Wednesdays for intermediate / experienced dancers. These classes are held at Barriskill Dance Studio from 7:30 to 9:00 pm; $15/class at the door. Special discount for advanced payment/series, extra discount for couples. Barriskill is at 3642 Shannon Rd. Durham NC 27707. Tel: 919-489-5100. Tango classes are held at Studio #5. Directions at: www.barriskilldance.com
Group lessons for newcomers and beginners will be announced in News and Activities.
The benefits of taking private lessons (alone or with a partner) are that classes are personalized, adapted to your particular needs having the full teacher attention during the entire class. Alicia and Eduardo teach private lessons at their home studio together adding the benefit for the student of experiencing the leader and follower perspective. Discount available for multiple classes. Inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org
Every quarter, Alicia offers a 2-h workshop for followers. This workshop is exclusively for ladies and focuses on different aspects of women’s technique such as posture, axis control, active following, presence and elegance on the dance floor.
Thematic workshops for couples
We also offer, periodically, workshops for couples in which a given technique is reviewed and practiced intensively.
Workshops with invited Maestros
Once or twice a year, we invite word renowned tango dancers/instructors (Maestros) to teach intensive workshops and private lessons in our area (see Our Invited Maestros).
Tango is an improvised dance originated in Argentina and Uruguay at the end of the 19th Century; it evolved from simply rhythmic steps to a sophisticated, sensual dance as is danced nowadays all over the word. Maintaining an elegant, balanced posture and embrace is one of the most important features of tango dance.
Anybody at any age can learn and dance tango. If you can walk, you can learn and dance the tango.
It is not difficult to learn the fundaments of tango dance, but each person needs her/his own pace to master it. Learning tango is a continued experience. Once you manage the basic concepts, you will enjoy dancing the tango and there is infinite room for advancing.
You can come to our classes with or without a partner. In class, partners rotate so every student has the chance to dance with different partners However, having a regular partner to go to classes and practice with will increase your chances to learn tango faster.
Wear a light, confortable pair of shoes. Shoes with leather sole or any non-sticky sole will be preferable over rubber sole shoes, but this is not a requisite for the initial classes. Clogs, boots, or wedges may not be the best type of footwear for dancing tango. After a few classes, most students get real tango shoes, which can be purchased on line or at some local dancewear stores.
Both group and private lessons are useful at all levels. Group classes will let you get familiarized with walking and figure techniques and to interact and practice with other dancers of the same level. The benefits of taking private lessons (alone or with a partner) are that classes are personalized, adapted to your particular needs; having full teacher attention during the entire private class.
Tango was born as a social dance and, as such, is danced in a social environment, i.e., by many dancers sharing the same dance floor. A social tango dance party/event is called Milonga (but see below). Dancers of all levels meet and dance at the Milongas. The tango danced at Milongas is improvised. In contrast, tango shows on the TV (e.g., Dancing with the Stars) and theaters are in most cases performed by professional dancers following a pre-arranged choreography.
There is an active community of tango dancers in the Durham-Chapel Hill-Raleigh area of NC. Two formal Milongas are held every month, one on the second Saturday and the other one on the forth Friday (see News and Activities). In addition, weekly “prácticas” (every Thursday and Sunday) are offered where students meet other dancers, practice and dance in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. In 2000, local dancers created the non-profit tango club Triangle Tango to promote Argentine tango. Information about local tango activities is posted at www.triangletango.com. Useful information about Milonga etiquette is at http://triangletango.com/?page_id=1919
Two types of tango dance are seen in social Milongas. The “milonguero” style is danced in closed embrace, figures are subtle, and it requires a great level of musicality. The so-called “salon” style is danced in a more relaxed embrace and figures could be more open. In both milonguero and salon styles partners dance for each other maintaining a great level of connection. The couple, not the individuals, is the focus of the dance. Social tango dancing is improvised, not choreographed. Unlike ballroom dances, Argentine tango is danced in a social, not competitive environment.
The word milonga defines three different although related concepts. First, as mentioned above, Milonga is a tango dance gathering. Second, milonga (or tango-milonga) is a subgenre of tango dance; it is more rhythmic and is danced with shorter and faster steps than tango. The tango-milonga originated in the countryside rhythm played on the guitar and sung by the gauchos. Gaucho-milongas are not played (and not danced) at the Milonga. In a typical Milonga (dance party), the DJ plays four tandas (segments) of 3 or 4 tangos each intersected by one tanda of 3 milongas, and one tanda of 3 valses (another subgenre of tango dance distantly related to the Waltz). Thus, we go to the Milonga to dance tangos, milongas, and valses. The same partners dance an entire tanda but partners can rotate/change between tandas.
You do not need a partner to go to the Milonga (or práctica); you will find partners at the dance floor.
Drop us a line with your questions and we will get back to you as soon as possible.