mastercourse challenge v

New! General dialogue forum including both Challenge I and Challenge II students. This is to build community, so conversation topics are open.

Challenge Dialogue

To log in, click the button just below TangoForge at the top of this page. If you have technical problems, please use the violet chat button at the bottom right of screen.

Here We Are!

Screenshot    MasterCourse Challenge  Google My Maps

Welcome to some of our regular long-term MasterCourse students who want to join in to the Challenge to participate in the Forum:

Lewis from Palm Beach, Florida, USA
Virginia from Nelson, British Colombia, Canada
Danny from Dublin,  Ireland
Pez from Portsmouth, England
Katriona from Cambridge, England
Remco from Utrecht, Netherlands

A very special welcome to Boris & Jutta, students of Studio Berlin 2017, where we recorded the first version of the MasterCourse.

NOTE that this map is not automatically generated, so if you do update your city, please tell me you did so, using the chat button at bottom right.

In order to support your rapid learning, we are including the KnowledgeBase with the MasterCourse Challenge. This enables you to quickly look up any unfamiliar or forgotten terms. The KnowledgeBase works like Wikipedia, it’s a hyperlinked text Encyclopedia of every term of tango movement (with images and short video clips where necessary). If something is missing, please let us know!

You’ll find the KnowledgeBase terms in the sidebar of every Challenge Session or you can click the logo wherever you see it to visit the KnowledgeBase directly.


The 5 Biomechanical Tools Video

A couple of weeks ago I made a little exercise series –with fashion tips. Just for fun…

Technical issues:

  1. If the “Current Sessions” section is blank, you are not logged in. If you have trouble with your credentials, use the button at bottom right to chat with me.
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    If you receive a 503 error, nothing is broken. There is just too much traffic at some point along the route between you and here. I find that waiting 3-5 minutes and then reloading is adequate. Any other errors, please bring to my attention.
  4. Having difficulty with playback of the videos?
    Touch the gear icon on the video and choose a lower resolution. Here is Vimeo’s guide for choosing resolution in sync with your home’s internet bandwidth. 
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    The Forge is caught in your email provider’s algorithm. Please learn how to “whitelist” (Erwünscht-Liste) with your email provider:,, outlook,  hotmail. For gmail, supposedly adding a sender to your address book will prevent blocks. 
25 Elements in 16 sessions

1 Front Steps 2 Back Steps 4 Change of Foot

3 Side Step 6 Ochos

5 Molinete Lineal

7 Sacada

8 Double Giro 9 Mark’s Single Giro10 Revel’s Single GIro (Calesita)

11 Crosses

12 Parada

13 Barrida… Sandwichito… Pulpeades

14 Rebote 15 Alteración

16 Voleos Circular 17 Voleos Linear

18 Ganchos … Piernazo

19 Rebote Cadera 20 Patada

21 Volcada 22 Colgada

23 Adorno

24 Soltada

25 Salta/Sostenida

Anatomical Terminology: We seek to provide instruction in objective, scientific terms. This will be unfamiliar at first, but our students catch on quickly. At any point, you can visit the Exercise Center to review the 10 key tango muscles and their control exercises.

Tango Language: Before creating the MasterCourse, we spent years documenting tango concepts and disaggregating terminology. If you are confused about what something means, or why we use the term we do, you can visit the KnowledgeBase for reference.

The Structure: The MasterCourse is a comprehensive tour of the entire Lexicon of Tango inherited from the 1940s. It is organized balancing three goals:

  1. We draw on 8 years of teaching to create the most effective revelation of technique and systems by linking elements together based on their functional/biomechanical relationships.
  2. We use traditional terms as much as possible to synchronize with what you learn elsewhere.
  3. We distill to make tango graspable without losing any detail.

How to Learn: We believe that tango has been mystified and students have been disempowered. Watch each video here to build your confidence in understanding of how tango works. Then practice each part of the video with a partner at home or at a practica. Prepare for each practice section by taking notes on the video or writing down the exact section you want to practice.

Close Embrace: We show the movements in open embrace and quite large, so that it’s possible to see on the video. The technique in close embrace is exactly the same.

Technical Support: Your enrollment includes technical support. If you have any kind of question, do not hesitate to send an email to or use the chat function at the lower right corner of your screen. We answer personally within 24 hours.



The MasterCourse is a complete documentation of TangoForge Pedagogy, covering every Element in the Tango Lexicon. The Lexicon of Tango is the repertoire of 25 Elements and their variations inherited from the 1940s. Until the mid-1990s, tango was understood in groups of steps, or sequences. The Cochabamba Investigation Group analyzed tango and identified the basic elements, from which dancers can compose. Dancing from the elements empowers dancers to to express every music, challenge partners to maintain intense concentration, and use space skillfully for better floorcraft.
We use the term ‘Mark’ for Leader and ‘Revel’ for Follower. Here’s why
I acknowledge my teachers, Pablo Villarraza and Dana Frígoli, Chicho, El Pulpo, Sebastián Arrua, Makela Brizuela, Pablo Rojas, and Eugenia Parrilla. I am grateful to dancers Armin Kyros, Iwan Harlan, and Germain Cascales for inspiring me to understand how far we can go with pure tango elements and technique. The 2017 TangoForge Apprentices, Yoko, Stefan, and Swan, contributed to refining this pedagogy. My students’ questions throughout my career have challenged and inspired new articulations.

Power is the courage, confidence, and competence to make things happen. I want to create in a way that’s incomparable and define my own compensation package. You too?

Syntax of Power is a raw, potent, and spare revelation of how I got to where I am and how I take on the struggle every day.

This book is not about tango, it’s about everything else.

It’s about stepping into the darkness of change, learning how to take care of yourself, and making things happen.

Dyv stands for Duro y Vio. We were inspired by a 2007 conference at Harvard University about tango as a transnational culture. Also we wanted to create something that would help people to imagine a queerer tango. We forbid ourselves to use the word ‘passion’ and instead tried to articulate the experience more precisely.

Argentine Tango is more than an elaborate and difficult dance, it is an international culture of intimacy, desire, and dignity. No mere romance or memoir, the intricately woven stories evoke tango’s true mysteries … the elation, the frustration, the compulsion…

We published the book in 2009. Dancers asked “how did you know what I was feeling?”

Silences in history. Silences by code. Silences of fear. You already know that Tango’s silences can be sublime and they can be devastating.

What I do in my blog is use myself as a lens – sometimes a microscope, sometimes a telescope. I try to be as honest with myself and you as words concede. Then I try to find a deeper meaning and imagine a pathway for us.

A blog post can be a fragment, a wisp of inspiration, an outline for thinking. A book must complete and reconcile it all. Now I drag the social scientist to the scene to enumerate the facts of the case, the mystery which brought both stardom and tragedy to my life.

We didn’t start online education in March of 2020. We started in 2014. Learn more about our Digital School