Choosing a partner dance for social dancing – Swing, Salsa, Ballroom, Argentine Tango … Each of the popular social partner dances offers a different experience. The music! • The social atmosphere • What people wear • The dance’s own mood • The structure of the dance…
How to determine whether you are receiving quality instruction – There are lots of Argentine Tango instructors to choose from. There are lots of expensive workshops to attend. Everyone seems to rave about every teacher they’ve studied with and how fabulous the workshop was. Of course it’s fun to go to workshops just for the social part and the buzz. This post is about evaluating […]
About shoes for tango – Wear whatever makes you feel sexy. I see no reason whatsoever to wear technical dance shoes, and several reasons not to. Like clothing, there are a few functional requirements, but many non-dance shoes meet these requirements, while looking and feeling much better than tango shoes.
Yoga Toes Stop Foot Pain – Yogatoes are widely used by ballerinas to manage foot pain. They exercise the tiny muscles of your toes so that your feet work better to support your body. Where to order:
About Practicing – Every tango teacher exhorts students to practice, and every student agrees that they need to practice. Most dancers don’t. For the same reasons we don’t do lots of other things: We do what’s most urgent or compelling, and lots of actions and good ideas and “shoulds” get pushed aside. But we really want to improve […]
The power of desire – One of the most painful parts of tango for aRrevel is waiting, or sitting. It makes us feel passive and powerless when we wait for someone –anyone– to ask us for a dance. This is a mistaken perception of the situation and revels can develop a deeper understanding of what is going on.
What to wear? – The main thing to pay attention to when shopping and dressing is how a piece of clothing makes you feel. Notice if you are smiling, notice if you are twirling or tapping your feet. If this piece of clothing gives you joy and makes you want to dance, then it’s a keeper. If you’re feeling doubtful or self-conscious, take it off!
All the Guides and Resources
Your First Milonga 18 August 2019 – Your First Milonga is an exciting occasion, but you may be very nervous right now. It’s always easier when you don’t feel mystified, so I’ve prepared an Orientation Guide. Are you getting ready for your first Milonga? The first time can be a little intimidating. But don’t worry, everyone is very happy to see a […]
Hope Whisperers (and Italy food guide) 30 May 2019 – It seems that tango may survive. We were delighted and astonished to find students wanting to concentrate on learning sophisticated technique, changing roles, preferring diverse music, and even a few hotshots daring to be creative (again)….
Let’s Make Tango Popular 30 December 2018 – Milonga Popular is an extraordinary tango project. Founded by Sven Elze and Pedram Shahyar in 2013, Milonga Popular has proven to be a sustainable and successful model for building new tango communities. This year, Sven and I have spent many hours working together to analyze and articulate exactly what are the questions and lessons which […]
Improvisation Self-Test & WorkBook 7 June 2018 –
San Francisco Bay Area 26 January 2018 – San Francisco is my birthplace, but I started dancing in Los Angeles, so I’m not part of the San Francisco community. A few quick points: Milongas end very early and are often empty 30 minutes before the stated closing time. Since this means they are quite short, people go on time at the start. If […]
Walking yoga 25 January 2018 – Yoga enables us to feel fulfilled in solitude. Tango enables us to make a silent connection with almost anyone. Both depend on intense physical rigour and body-experience and both offer us serenity, but yoga can be lonely, and tango can be needy. Combining these two silent practices enriches both.
The Perfect Tanguera 10 August 2017 – To create “The Perfect Tanguera” I wrote to my 10 favourite Milongueros of all time to ask for their advice. These aren’t professionals, or my dance partners, or my friends. They are actually the 10 most delicious men I’ve danced with anywhere in the world over the last 10 years. Most of them are guys I was too shy to even have a conversation with.
Berlin Guide to Milongas & Food 2018 1 July 2017 – Below the Milonga guide is a guide to my other passion, food… And below that a short guide to museums and shopping. Milongas Do be sure to bring your miniskirt if you have great legs as that’s the main criterion men use for deciding who to dance with. You might also want to read my […]
Balance is not a character virtue 23 May 2017 – So many students say “I have bad balance” as if they are describing their shoe size or model of smartphone. Balance is not an innate character virtue or flaw. It’s a skill. Importantly, tango balance is not the same as ballet balance, because in tango we build our balance with our partner, not alone, and […]
How to be a Good Man, as you become an Advanced Tanguero 3 January 2017 – Congratulations! After years of hard work, you are now mastering this dance! You can make girls feel really good and happy. Girls are starting to look for you, snuggle you, hang around you. This feels great! You’re a nice guy; you are not planning to use your newfound advantage to become a womanizer, but you […]
How to become a Hot TangoMan 30 December 2016 – This guide reveals women’s preferences and if you follow it, you’ll be on your way to charming and delighting them as a confident and hot Tanguero.
The codigos (advanced) 18 May 2016 – The codigos exist to protect egos and relationships. They are really very handy, and I recommend you follow them. The codigos are like your best friend, who takes care of you when you are drunk.
Berlin Tango Histories 22 October 2015 – “Berlin is the first city of the world where you had tango community who danced Argentine Tango. In Japan in 40s and 50s you had many people who heard tango music, But dancers in a community, you had in Uruguay and BsAs, but not in Europe. The first point of the world to have this outside from South America was Berlin. Berlin is famous for the boheme life. People come here to go out, to meet people, to laugh and love with them. And tango is a part of this.
Starting to dance Vals and Milonga 25 August 2015 – So you feel ready (or you feel like you should be ready) to dance faster? Here’s a guide to getting started with vals and milonga. General points Faster is harder than slower. Always perfect your technique slowly before attempting to do any movement fast. Both vals and milonga can be danced slowly. Start by finding the […]
Organic yerba mate 13 March 2015 – My Mate World carries many varieties of organic yerba mate, and can send you a sample kit so you can try them! Why do I drink yerba mate?: Because it’s a smoother high than coffee, and it generates physical power AND excited ideas! From the My Yerba Mate website: Yerba mate contains 24 vitamins and minerals, […]
Dancing to the beat: JewelLab Musicality Session 2 11 January 2015 – by Nick Young Previous sessions: Session 1: Slow In this musicality session, we look at choosing which beats of the music to step on. First we identify the beats we have to work with, and then we try some simple ideas for dancing them. These ideas are simple ways to make your dance more interesting […]
Slow: JewelLab Musicality Session 1 14 December 2014 – by Nick Young Next sessions: Session 2: Dancing to the beat In this musicality session, we look at 3 different techniques of dancing slowly by skipping beats that we might normally step on. Now, we only look at how to skip beats using these techniques. Later, we will look at when or which beats to […]
Tango in Berlin 2014 30 August 2014 – Berlin is purported to be the #2 city in the world for Argentine Tango. No one knows what this means – number of dancers, level… It doesn’t matter, it’s well worth the trip. This post began as a summary of my experiences in July and August, 2014, so it still has the flavor of a […]
Music in which the rhythm doesn’t make noise 13 June 2014 – Last month we had the pleasure of dancing tango to the live jazz saxophone of Junio Karokaro. For some of us, the lack of a beat was challenging. One leader said “I can’t use sequences, I have to lead one element at a time.” Others promptly felt comfortable with it. We all agreed that this dancing was riveting. It took a lot of concentration and felt very satisfying.
BBC documentary about Piazzola 29 May 2014 – 2004 BBC documentary, “Tango Maestro” about Astor Piazzola, now on you tube! Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
Iris Toren custom tango portraits 28 May 2014 – Iris Toren does custom and commissioned tango portraits and other work. Contact info below. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org +61 425 349 019 //iristoren.com www.facebook.com/iristorenartist
Guide to Argentine Tango for Ballroom Dancers 26 May 2014 – Are you ready to try Argentine Tango? You’ll use all your ballroom dancing skills, but every step is improvised, so it will be an exciting new challenge. This guide will help you understand the key differences between Argentine Tango and Ballroom.
A step-by-step guide from here to your first tango 26 May 2014 –
Guide to tango for Ballet Dancers 26 May 2014 – Tango will use all your ballet skills for concentration and muscle control, but requires less strength and flexibility, so it’s kinder to your body.
Happy Tango in Buenos Aires 23 May 2014 – I am so glad to find this book. An English woman who started dancing in her 40s has written a book of really good tips on how to make sure you have a happy time and blissful dancing when you go to Buenos Aires. (This is not always easy to do.) She has 11 smart […]
Fabián Pérez tango paintings 17 May 2014 – Who is that painter? His work is so famous, but as usual in tango, people forget to give credit. He is Fabián Pérez. He has his own website, and here’s a gallery that sells both originals and prints of his work!
Guide to Transcendent Technique 14 April 2014 – Guide to Transcendent Technique: For sublime connection, sweet community, and smooth biomechanics.
Intermediate leaders 23 February 2014 – But sometimes you feel a bit bored. And you don’t really want to be just another intermediate dancer. You want to be one of the ones the women look at in that way. Going to classes doesn’t seem to help. Sometimes you can do the sequence, it depends who you’re dancing with. Sometimes you can’t get there. Either way, it’s hard to remember, and hard to take useful notes, and even the girls who were in the class don’t remember the move so on the occasions when you do remember it, you can’t do it at the milonga.
Choosing a partner dance for social dancing 20 February 2014 – Swing, Salsa, Ballroom, Argentine Tango … Each of the popular social partner dances offers a different experience. The music! • The social atmosphere • What people wear • The dance’s own mood • The structure of the dance…
Emotions on the dance floor 20 November 2013 – Muscle control is just the entry ticket to the party. We still have choices to make about how to interact, what parts of ourselves to share, and how deeply we seek to connect.
Musicality 14 October 2013 – Musicality is the application of tango dancing to any music. Traditional tango music offers a lot of complexity and changes during one song. These characteristics can be found in other kinds of music, and we can also learn to dance to simpler music by dancing to the melody or using complex systems for relating to […]
Tango vignettes by Ramiro Gigglioti 4 September 2013 – I love to read his column in El Tangauta. His book Tango Venom is available in English and Spanish but hard to get. I found this German distributor, Abrazos Books, who also offer a number of other interesting tango books in English.
DJ Resources by Homer Ladas 3 September 2013 – Homer Ladas is a serious DJ of alternative tangos, and well-respected for it. He researches songs that can be pulled into the tango repertoire and these are often taken up by DJs around the world. This resource page provides tips on traditional DJing in addition to alternative DJing. Homer shares quite a few of his […]
Romain Baillon tango photography 23 August 2013 – Need some tango art? My favorite tango photographer: Romain Baillon
Pilates Buenos Aires 23 August 2013 – Mil grullas, Barrio Norte, beautiful studio in old building in tranquil neighborhood: Gascón 1454 at El Salvador T. 4867 2491. Equilibrio Vitalidad Armonia PIlates, Villa Crespo. untranquil street, cramped floorspace, but airy and natural lit studio, high in an apartment building (unmarked buzzer) 10th Floor Unit C. Eva is a vigilant instructor and appears to […]
Wellington NZ Bodywork 23 August 2013 – Brendan Roach BodyLab “We Cure Pain”.
Bodywork Sydney 23 August 2013 – Simonne Smiles Pilates Brad Moffitt Remedial Massage Therapy 0416 308 764 Quro Health Studios: Unlimited yoga and pilates for $35/week with contract or $37/week without contract.
Tango Marathon Directory 16 August 2013 – Want to go dancing? The Global Tango Marathon Directory lists all the events where you can get together with tango dancers you don’t know yet, and dance all day and night (with breaks for great food). You can search by date and plan your travel around some amazing weekends. It includes festivals, but also the […]
How to determine whether you are receiving quality instruction 23 July 2013 – There are lots of Argentine Tango instructors to choose from. There are lots of expensive workshops to attend. Everyone seems to rave about every teacher they’ve studied with and how fabulous the workshop was. Of course it’s fun to go to workshops just for the social part and the buzz. This post is about evaluating […]
About shoes for tango 19 June 2013 – Wear whatever makes you feel sexy. I see no reason whatsoever to wear technical dance shoes, and several reasons not to. Like clothing, there are a few functional requirements, but many non-dance shoes meet these requirements, while looking and feeling much better than tango shoes.
Making tango your own 16 June 2013 – You are investing time, power, and heart into this dance. It may sound obvious, but it’s crucial to remind yourself that you’re doing all this for your own pleasure. Tango is a space of self-expression, elation, and emotional intensity that are very personal. It’s also an authoritarian, righteous, rules-centered, judgmental world. Perhaps too easily, we […]
NuBra for backless dresses 8 June 2013 – If you’re going to wear a backless dress, you are going to need a Nubra. They work. I use them all the time. I prefer the “Seamless” model because the bra itself adds the least weight. Please note that their website is shockingly unhip, but it works as does the product. If you’re in Australia, […]
Spanx girlshorts 8 June 2013 – Spanx panties have no seams, just smooth lines and confident coverage. Get a set in black and nude to manage every outfit! I use the “Hide and Sleek” family of products, especially the smallest girlshorts and the mid-thigh, but the capri looks great for people who like coverage to the knee, and the high-waist if […]
Yoga Toes Stop Foot Pain 8 June 2013 – Yogatoes are widely used by ballerinas to manage foot pain. They exercise the tiny muscles of your toes so that your feet work better to support your body. Where to order:
Leaders’ versus Followers’ musicality 1 June 2013 – This post is the beginning of an investigation which I hope to continue in further discussions and observation. I was never interested in DJing, but more and more it becomes part of my work, as I host practicas and milongas. I have collected a nice library of music. Some days I really can’t stand any […]
Where to dance in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City 11 April 2013 – I’m often asked to recommend milongas in the US. I haven’t been home in a few years, but I can tell you what I liked when I was last there. First of all, you’ll need the calendars for each city. San Francisco’s MangoTango Calendar is especially user-friendly with listings for the entire Bay Area, searchable […]
Moody milonguera / Us and the Onda 14 January 2013 – In Castellano, the mood of the milonga is called ‘onda’, a term used to describe the combined effects of everything from architecture to astrology. “The Onda” is an ineffable mix of the shape of the space, the lighting, the attitude of the organizer, the music, the feeling of the floor, who is there, who is […]
Experience the “real” tango… 9 December 2012 – But Argentines say that the music itself brings emotions into you, and this is why they emphasize that to understand tango you must learn the language, even the old Lunfardo words and phrases. You must feel the pathos of the songs in order to fully experience the emotion of tango.
Tango as relationship therapy (The Atlantic) 23 October 2012 – I, You, and ‘the Embrace’: Tango as Relationship Therapy By Amelia Rachel Hokule’a Borofsky The Atlantic, Oct 23 2012 Taking a test on healthcare provider burnout, I met every criterion. It lists the familiar recommendations that no one has time for: “self-care,” “exercise,” “sleep,” “eat.” The same ones I make to my patients. At home, between my […]
Packing for Buenos Aires 3 July 2012 – You will need to feel great. Bring whatever makes you feel Sexy Sexy Sexy (daytime stuff too). Do not pack anything that you feel so-so in. You won’t even want to go to the grocery store in it.
Chacarera! 13 February 2012 – It’s nice to have a break from tango and do the Chacarera. It’s often played at milongas. Don’t be intimidated, this dance is NOT about being perfect. It’s about being happy and flirty. How to participate The chacarera is about flirting. The most important part of the dance is your eyes. The purpose is to […]
Medical report: Tango alleviates symptoms of depression 27 January 2012 – In the last few years, health and medicine journalists have seized on the idea that dancing is good for you, not only physically, but emotionally. The Sydney Morning Herald published a short report on recent Australian research regarding tango and depression. Researchers compared tango with cross training and meditation, practices already thought to be good […]
Websites to learn about and buy music 16 January 2012 – to learn Milonga.co.uk (also a store) Tango.dj Tanda of the Week Poesia to buy DJ Iain’s favorite is still Tango Store (This is the website of the Buenos Aires store, Zivals.) The prices are fairly good and you can listen to most of the music. Movie Mars has great prices, but their search function is […]
About Practicing 16 January 2012 – Every tango teacher exhorts students to practice, and every student agrees that they need to practice. Most dancers don’t. For the same reasons we don’t do lots of other things: We do what’s most urgent or compelling, and lots of actions and good ideas and “shoulds” get pushed aside. But we really want to improve […]
The power of desire 11 January 2012 – One of the most painful parts of tango for aRrevel is waiting, or sitting. It makes us feel passive and powerless when we wait for someone –anyone– to ask us for a dance. This is a mistaken perception of the situation and revels can develop a deeper understanding of what is going on.
The lyrics 7 January 2012 – Many people say “you have no idea what’s going on if you don’t know what these songs are about!” I believe there are many ways to experience and relate to tango, but in case you’d like to learn, here are some resources. If you know of another resource please send me a message in the […]
About Tango Music 7 January 2012 – Argentine Tango is a rich genre of music, which has already been interpreted around the world by musicians for decades. It is a fascinating and worthy subject of study and I’ve listed below some wonderful resources for learning. If you know of more, I’d be so happy to include them, just send the info using […]
Tango radio 7 January 2012 – Here’s a list of Tango Radio stations that you can listen to on the internet. Thanks to Manuel Garber for the list. If you know another one, please send me a message using the contact for at the right. AM-TANGO (Buenos Aires) Tango Rosario Radio General Belgrano La 2×4 (Buenos Aires) AccuRadio Tango Radio Shoutcast […]
Podcast about the tango orchestras 7 January 2012 – As you learn about tango music, you’ll find that each song has been recorded many times, and you’ll notice that it sounds different depending which orchestra is playing it. Manuel Garber’s podcast discusses the orchestras, the singers, the composers, and more!
Joaquin Amenabar’s pedagogy for musicality 7 January 2012 – Joaquin Amenabar is a spectacular bandoneonist. He has a method for teaching dancers with no musical training about how tango music works and how to dance to it. If you don’t have a chance to learn from him in person, you can buy his book which explains the technique.
Videos of the Maestros 31 December 2011 – Videos of the Maestros Your brain is wired up to master movements from watching other people. These are your mirror neurons. Watch videos of the maestros. When you find someone you like, watch them over and over. Absorb how they move and then imagine their dance in your mind when you are dancing. I’ve done […]
What to wear? 28 December 2011 – The main thing to pay attention to when shopping and dressing is how a piece of clothing makes you feel. Notice if you are smiling, notice if you are twirling or tapping your feet. If this piece of clothing gives you joy and makes you want to dance, then it’s a keeper. If you’re feeling doubtful or self-conscious, take it off!
Guide to Buenos Aires 7 November 2011 – Neighborhoods and great apartments, transportation, my favorite food, pilates, milongas, teachers, shopping. Plus updates on the queer and ex-nuevo scenes.
Getting started 28 August 2011 – Don’t waste a minute! Soon you’ll have a rich social life, and a place to wear fancy-dress whenever you feel like it. Dig through your closet and find some shoes that don’t grip the floor, because that’s all you need. You do not need a partner to start learning tango.
Getting custom shoes made in Buenos Aires 28 August 2011 – EVERY shoe store (except 2×4) will tell you that they do “custom” shoes: “Anything you want!”. We learned that what this means is that they will change the colors and materials of the models they make. It has NOTHING to do with the fit. If you have a VERY unusual foot, what you actually need […]
Couples and tango partners 2 June 2010 – Somehow, in tango we are especially vulnerable to criticism. Perhaps it is because dancing tango means working at about 125% of not only our physical capacities, but our intellectual, emotional, and even spiritual ones as well. In what other moment of our life is so much of ourselves on the line?
Aleph Bravo Tango, A Novel 17 December 2008 – “Just like a clever dance.” Eric Jørisson (founder of El Corte in Nijmegen) “This book didn’t just make me laugh. It also made me feel mad, happy, nostalgic, empathetic, represented, respected proud… It broke my heart and then mended it. If you want to know what happens to those who have been seduced by tango, […]
Pablo Aslan on tango music 6 March 2008 – Pablo Aslan is a tango musician and musicologist who is very historically informed and clear thinking. He is working on his own music, with his NY band Avantango. He is unfortunately not maintaining the history sections of his website, but I was able to find his excellent work using the way-back machine. Here it is: […]
Tango Music Educational Radio Show 25 February 2008 – Tango Tales radio show is not about playing music only – it is about educating the listeners about Argentine tango – music & dance. The show is broadcasted on Saturdays 9:00-10:00am on Portsmouth Community Radio ( listen on line www.wscafm.org), but you can DOWNLOAD the most of the episodes from the show’s site:www.tangotales.com. HERE […]
How long do you dance with one person? (the tanda) 10 February 2008 – We dance three or four songs with one person – this is called a “tanda”, sometimes separated with 15-30 seconds of contrasting music, called a cortina (curtain). If there is no cortina, you can just count four songs. It’s rude to leave your partner before the end of the tanda.
How do dancers manage the intimacy of tango? (the codigos) 10 February 2008 – The codigos of tango are a set of “codes” that make some structure around the intimacy of tango.
Troubles in practice? 10 February 2008 – While practicing, it is likely that you will have some frustration with your partner. When something is not working, it is VERY hard to tell what’s wrong and who is at fault, tempting though that is. Here are some tips:
Etiquette Guide to the Codigos and Beyond 25 January 2008 – The codigos guide social interaction when tango is being danced. They respect the sanctity of the dance and take care of dancers’ feelings and egos.